Gorgeous, pristine, and luxurious — those are words that easily describe the Republic of the Maldives, an island nation in the Indian Ocean. West of Sri Lanka and India, the Maldives are made up of 1,190 islands and situated in the Laccadive Sea.
The Maldives is a dream destination for divers, with its beautiful weather (during the right times of year) and colorful reefs featuring large pelagic fish and tiny, brilliant sea life. There are numerous dive sites all over the Maldivian atolls, and the best possible way to fully enjoy them is by experiencing a liveaboard. This is an all-inclusive trip where divers live on a boat, traveling each day from one dive-site to the next.
However, in our world it’s going to happen on a great ship, where one not only gets to dive in fantastic waters, but also has ample opportunities to relax, experience incredible onboard spa treatments, dine on gourmet cuisine, hang out with fellow divers and much more.
And the trip we’re looking at for 2014? That’s with EDA – Élite Diving Agency.
The Maldives Trip
EDA has been operating for more than five years in the Maldives, and they are based on two islands: Thudufushi and Athuruga. This particular Maldives liveaboard diving program is one week long — from March 22-29, 2014 — giving visitors enough time to enjoy all the best diving spots of the Ari Atoll. There is a rough itinerary, which can vary depending on weather conditions.
The cost of the trip includes pick up to and from the airport, your accommodations as well as full board, excluding alcohol. You get 12 dives or 12 Spa treatments, or you can break that up into 6 dives and 6 Spa treatments, and the EDA team is there for the entire trip.
Extra dive packages, equipment rental, and your flight to and from Malé International Airport are not covered.
Anyone can attend the trip, but only qualified divers may go diving. However, there are plenty of non-diver activities such as snorkeling and the spa services that non-divers can take on, so you get to enjoy diving in one of the most pristine and glorious locations on the planet, while your partner also has fun.
The Liveaboard Boat
This is the biggest boat ever built in Maldives — a 50-foot vessel — and it was inaugurated in Spring 2013, so everything is new. There are 21 cabins onboard, with four different cabin styles, and each features an ensuite bathroom. The ship has a beautiful dining galley, lots of deck space, and a spa that’s more than 3200 square feet.
The Asian style spa is situated on the boat’s upper deck. Massages, ancient health rituals, rejuvenating body care and beauty treatments follow natural holistic therapies using the finest natural products. Visitors can also take yoga, Pilates and meditation classes while on the trip, making this more than just a simple diving adventure and really capturing the tranquil ease and beauty of the Maldives.
Check out all of the photos in our slide show at the bottom of this post.
Here’s the price breakdown:
- Manta Suite: 3,900 Euro (approximately $5287.00 US)
- Dolphin Suite: 3,500 Euro (approximately $4745.00 US)
- Cowrie Suite: 3,200 Euro (approximately $4338.00 US)
- Seastar Cabin 2,900 Euro (approximately $3931.00 US)
According to the folks at EDA, many divers travel alone, so they estimate around 21 – 25 guests go on an average trip.
That said, this trip only happens if there are a minimum number of signups, so if you’ve got a group of diving buddies looking for an incredible experience, now’s the time to recruit them.