MY MALDIVES EXPLORER
A modern, and spacious liveaboard built to a high standard. MY Maldives Explorer and its crew are waiting to please you in any way they can! Maldives is one of the most appealing dive destinations in the world with its year-round warm water and sightings of great pelagics. Around the coral reefs you will find large schools of fish, sharks, and rays. Whale sharks and grey reef sharks are common sights, while manta rays can be found at the numerous cleaning stations!
MY Maldives Explorer offers 7 cabins for maximum 16 people. All cabins are equipped with bathroom, shower and air conditioning. The lower deck has 5 cabins (4 twin cabins and 1 big cabin with 4 separate beds that can be converted into 2 double beds). On the main deck you will find bar, kitchen, indoor and outdoor dining, and lounge area with TV, music, and wifi. On the upper deck is the bridge, the captain's cabin, an outdoor deck with lounge chairs and 2 cabins with double bed. On the Top deck there is ample space on the sundeck with sun beds and mattresses for sunbathing.
The boat is always accompanied by our comfortable dive dhoni. This is a boat where all diving equipment, compressors and tanks are stored. During the filling of the tanks the dhoni will move away from the boat, so people are not disturbed by the noise. You can consider the boat as your hotel and the dhoni as your dive center, but both are floating on an endless ocean… They move to the best dive spots in the area, the ultimate divers dream!
Routing of most scheduled trips is Male - Ari - Vaavu - Male. Healthy reefs, abundant fish life are a continuous joy during the dives on this trip. But most of the divers become ecstatically after our 2 famous night dives. Imagine yourself sitting on a sandy bottom, surrounded by several circling Manta Rays Or maybe you are an adrenaline addicted diver? In that case you will like the Alimatha jetty night dive. Dozens of nurse sharks, hunting jacks and giant stingrays will accompany you during this night dive.
For the returning and experienced diver, we could highly recommend a trip on our yearly "South atolls expedition". For about 2 months in a year, we move South. As South as South can be, up to Addu atoll! The cleaning station in Addu is famous for the number of Mobula and Giant mantas you can admire. On the way we cross big schools of grey reef sharks on thrilling channel dives. Occasional encounters with Tiger Sharks, Great Hammerheads, Tresher Sharks and Leopard Sharks are the dream of every shark-fanatic. But what attracts most experienced divers, is the fact that only few liveaboards schedule these expeditions, resulting in a wide open ocean, just for you!
Please note: Divers should be able to dive without help of an instructor. Our dive guides are there to guide, and for cases of emergency. Dives in Maldives can be challenging due to strong currents. Therefor we advise a minimum dive experience of 40 logged dives, and a minimum certification level CMAS**, Padi advanced er similar. Or you can bring your own experienced dive buddy who will take care of you!
Ari Atoll is one of the best places to enjoy all of what the Maldives has to offer. On this route, we have excellent house reefs, pinnacles and channel dives and provides excellent diving all year round. Recommended for divers of all levels.
We will start at North Male' Atoll with a check dive to Lankan Manta point depending on the flow of current (mantas usually gather at this point when the current in the channel is flowing out of atoll) where you have the chance of seeing Mantas being cleaned by blue streak cleaner wrasse. After the check we set sail to North Ari atoll. Once we reach ari atoll the dive sites are numerous. The atoll is famous for the extensive number of thilas or pinnacles. A thila is a submerged reef usually a few metres below the surface and most of them can be circumnavigated in a single dive. Most of the pinnacles have marvellous coral growth and is home to a profusion of marine life. Some of these thilas have been designated as protected marine areas which means that fishing of any kind at these sites are prohibited. Large schools of blue line yellow snappers, tall fin batfish, oriental sweetlips and butterfly fish are common on most of the pinnacles. Pinnacles lying in the middle of a channel such as Maalhos thila has excellent soft coral growth as strong currents pass through these channels. Currents can be strong in such pinnacles, but with strong currents, come the big life including grey reef sharks, Dog toothed tuna, Barracuda and other pelagic fish congregate at these pinnacles.
There are a few wrecks in Ari atoll and Fesdhu wreck is one of the most famous dive site in this atoll. It is a small fishing vessel lying at 30 metres next to a pinnacle and the coral life on both the wreck and pinnacle are outstanding. Apart from the coral it is one of the best sites for macro photographers with different species of shrimp including boxer shrimp, mantis shrimps. Garden eels can be found all around the sandy bottom of the wreck. Other sand dwelling creatures such as flounders and sand divers can be found here too. The top of the pinnacle at fesdhu wreck is full of anemones and clownfish. MV Kudhima or commonly known as Machafushi wreck is also a spectacular wreck with excellent coral growth. fish life on the wreck is also very good with glass fish in and around the wheel house, octopus and sometimes nurse sharks are seen lying under the wreck. Scorpion fish and stonefish can also be found and there is a nice reef with wonderful finger coral to end the dive. The ultimate highlight of Ari atoll is undeniably the night dive with Mantas, where you get to sit at about 15 metres on a sandy bottom and watch the mantas eating plankton literally in front of you. The out reef of the most southern point of Ari atoll is a place where whale sharks gather to feed all year round. Divers and snorkelers have the chance to enjoy a swim with the whale shark. Other plankton feeders such as manta rays, manta mobulars are also a common sighting at this site.
A few days of diving in Ari atoll and we make our way to Vaavu atoll. Vaavu atoll is famous for the spectacular channels. Channels are natural passes where currents flow in and out of the atolls. When the currents flow inside the atoll, grey reef sharks gather in large numbers to the channel edge. Besides the grey reef sharks, eagle rays, great barracuda, schools of big eye jacks can be found at most of the channels. Strong currents have to be expected when diving to these channels. Alimathaa in Vaavu atoll also provides an excellent night dive where you could expect to see nurse sharks (sometimes in their hundreds), black tip reef sharks, sting rays and giant jacks.
Guraidhoo corner in south male atoll is also one of the best channels in the Maldives and is a designated protected marine area due to the immense number of marine life that can be found at the channel. eagle rays and grey reef sharks are almost always present at the channel and it is famous for Napoleons. Hammerhead sharks have also been spotted here. To the North of Guraidhoo corner, we have Kan'dooma thila. Soft coral life on this pinnacle is like no other and is full of different species of fish.
Similar to Ari atoll, the dive sites on this trip comprises of house reefs, pinnacles, and channels. Check dive at Lankan Manta point or banana reef, we sail further north of Male' atoll. Helengeli thila, HP reef and Nassimo thila are famous for their spectacular coral life, including soft coral, and gorgonian sea fans and the fish life at these sites are just as spectacular with Giant groupers, Sweetlips, schools of snappers, the list goes on.
Kuredhoo express and Kuredhoo caves are two marvellous dive sites in lhaviyani atoll where divers can encounter at least 10 to 15 green turtles, and the soft corals at kuredhoo caves also make it a memorable dive. Shipyard is possibly the most famous wreck in the Maldives and is also located in Lhaviyani atoll. There are two wrecks at this dive site and one of them sits upright on the reef and you can see the bow of the ship from the surface.
There are 2 dive sites in Noonu atoll, namely christmas rock and Miyaru thila. Christmas rock has a profusion of fish life and soft coral life while Miyaru thila (literally translated as shark pinnacle) is where divers can see grey reef sharks in large numbers.
The highlight of this route is in Baa atoll. In 2011, the entire baa atoll was declared a biosphere reserve by UNESCO, due to the diversity of marine life and the Hanifaru bay in Baa atoll is designated as a biosphere reserve by UNESCO because Mantas and whale sharks gather inside the bay to feed. On a good day more than a 100 Mantas can be observed inside the bay. Although diving is no longer allowed inside the bay, guests can go snorkelling with the mantas and whale sharks. The dive sites in Baa atoll also have wonderful fish life and coral and there is a possibility of encountering manta rays in every one of those dive sites. Of course some sites have a higher possibility than others. Mantas and whale sharks can be observed in and around the bay between June and October. Seas can be rough and possibility of rainfall is high during this period as it is the Southwest monsoon also known as the wet monsoon.
Water temperature around this time is on average 27 degree celsius.
You will enjoy following highlights during this trip:
A more detailed description will follow soon!
On this route we will be entering the deep South of the Maldives. Famous for the channel dives, Gaafu atoll is the place for divers seeking exhilarating dives as currents at these channels can reach up to 6 or 7 knots and makes for excellent drift dives. this trip is therefore recommended for experienced divers. This is also the best route for shark lovers as different species of sharks are encountered in Gaafu atoll.
Best time to dive this route is during the North East monsoon (January - April), when the current flows inside the atoll from the East. Unlike the channels further up North, Gaafu atoll boasts grey reef sharks in large numbers ( more than 100 grey reef sharks on a good day). Water temperature remains at 27 - 28 degree Celsius. Although sometimes it can go to 25 - 26 degree celsius at the channel edge. Coral life at the channels are not as spectacular compared to the North but the fish life is like no other. Apart from grey reef sharks, there is the possibility of encountering tiger sharks and hammerhead sharks in these channels. The out reef of gemanafushi is a place where Hammerhead sharks shallow up to dive able depths in the early hours of the morning. Also a highlight of this trip would be the whale shark. A light is lit at the back of the live aboard to attract plankton which in turn attracts whale sharks and other filter feeders behind the boat. Don your snorkelling gear and get up close and personal with the biggest fish in the ocean.
Further down south of gaafu atoll is Foammulah island. It is an isolated island lying by itself and the depths around the islands can reach unto 2000 metres. This is a spectacular dive site where Thresher sharks, Silvertip shark, and tiger sharks are encountered. Furthermore, Oceanic Mantas reaching unto 8 metres are regularly spotted at this location. Depending on the weather, we will be doing one or two dives at foammulah and will be making our way to last atoll to the south of maldives which is addu atoll.
The manta cleaning station at this atoll is the highlight of Addu. All around the Maldives, Mantas gather at cleaning stations when the current at the channels are flowing out of the atoll. Visibility in outgoing currents are usually very low, sometimes less than 10 metres. The cleaning station in Addu however, attracts mantas when the current is ingoing and visibility is usually 20 metres or more. For those who like wreck dives Addu atoll also has a 140 metre British oil tank called the BRITISH LOYALTY sunk during the second world war. The out reefs in Addu also boasts hard coral like no other.
On this route, we will be diving in 6 different atolls, namely: North and South Male' atoll, Vaavu atoll, Meemu atoll, Thaa atoll and finally reaching to Laamu atoll. Unlike Ari atoll, this route does not have many pinnacles to dive to but has an extensive number of channels on the east side of the atolls. Best period to dive this route is during the North East monsoon which starts in December and lasts till April each year. Currents will be flowing predominantly from the East side of the atoll bringing nutrients from the ocean inside the atoll attracting a vast variety of marine life.
Schools of big eye jack, fusiliers, dog toothed tuna, and other pelagic fish such as the great barracuda, schooling barracuda and sometimes sail fish can be seen in these channels. Also typical in these channels are the grey reef sharks. Most of the channels on this route have excellent soft coral and hard coral. Since most of the dive sites are channel dives, strong currents have to be expected at all times and the best way to dive to channels is when the current is flowing inside the atoll. Reef hooks and surface marker buoys are a necessity.