Maldives – March 14-24, 2024
Length of Cruise: 11 Days / 10 Nights
Vessel Departure: From Male, March 14, 2024, Airport pick-up at 3:30 pm
Vessel Return: To Male, March 24, 2024, at 8:00 am
Dives: Approximately 27 dives in total
Experience Open Water: No minimum logged dives required.
Location: The Maldives (North of the Equator)
Vessel: Maldives Aggressor II
Trip Leaders: Doug Jones and Heidi Erickson
$4750 per person double occupancy in a Twin Stateroom
$7838 single occupancy in a Twin Stateroom
$5050 per person double occupancy in a Deluxe Stateroom
$5950 per person double occupancy in a Suite Stateroom SOLD OUT
Effort will be made to help find room mates for those who are traveling solo and want a roommate. However, if we are unable to find a roommate for you the single occupancy price is $7838 in a Twin Stateroom.
This trip is the first time Heidi and Doug have revisited an Indio-Pacific location. The Maldives ARE that beautiful.
The Maldives Islands lie Southwest of India. Scattered across the equator in the middle of the Indian Ocean, the gem-like islands of the Maldives depict the rare vision of a tropical paradise. Palm-fringed islands with sparkling white beaches, turquoise lagoons, clear warm waters and coral reefs teeming with abundant varieties of marine flora and fauna, fascinate visitors as it has for thousands of years.
Logistics – Arrival/Hotel/Departure:
There are MANY airlines you can utilize to get to the Maldives. Everyone does not need to be on the same flight, but it often helps. Heidi and Doug will be traveling to the Maldives (Male) on Qatar Airlines through Doha with the itinerary:
Monday March 11, 2024 – QR 714 – Depart IAH 18:30 Arrive DOH March 12, 17:00
Wednesday March 13 – QR 676 – Depart DOH 0:55 Arrive MLE 07:50
Sunday March 24, 2024 – QR 673 – Depart MLE 19:45 Arrive DOH 22:50
Monday March 25, 2024 – QR 713 Depart DOH 08:00 Arrive IAH 16:30
If you too decide to take Qatar airlines and have a longish layover, the Doha airport is beautiful with great amenities including restaurants and shopping, and in their lounges, lovely showers.
There is also a Qatari tour service that runs out of the airport so you can explore the city or desert if your time permits. Follow the below hyperlink if you want to explore that option for yourself. By the way, the conversion rate of Qatari Riyal to US Dollars is one QR is about 27 cents.
For overnight and Day Pass in Male we are arranging to stay at the Hulhule Island Hotel (https://www.hih.com.mv/). You can stay somewhere else if you would like but this hotel is nice, within walking distance of the seaport, has free transfers to and from the airport, and you can make your reservation and payment through the dive shop instead of managing the hotel booking on your own.
Day Pass (6 Hours) double occupancy $245
Night Stay double occupancy with daily breakfast $475
The cruise shuttle service will take those of us staying at this hotel from the hotel to the boat and from the boat to the hotel on the days of boarding and departure.
The M/V Maldives Aggressor II is a world class liveaboard yacht scheduling year round diving cruises to the stunning Maldives Atolls. She caters for 22 guests in 11 staterooms, each complete with a private in suite bathroom and shower, closet, hair dryer, individual climate control and TV/DVD. There are 4 deluxe staterooms and 1 suite with ocean views located on the main and upper decks and six standard twin cabins located on the lower deck. The large indoor lounge and dining room is fully air-conditioned and is where the onboard menu featuring a variety of American fare and local cuisine is served. Soft drinks, iced tea, beer, and wine are complimentary. Guests can also enjoy the large partially covered sundeck with chaise lounges and deck chairs, bar service and CD/stereo player. Diving amenities include a large swim platform with personal gear lockers, air/nitrox fill stations, rinse tanks, three-tier camera table with low-pressure air hoses and 2 warm freshwater showers and nitrox is available for those certified. Nitrox is $150 plus tax (22%) for the week to be paid on the boat.
For comfort of the guests, all the dives are conducted from a spacious and fully equipped 60 ft, 28 passenger dive Dhoni (skiff).
Water temperature varies from 80F, 27C to 86F, 30C therefore we recommend a 3mm wetsuit.
The ‘Best of the Maldives’ includes the areas of North Male, South Male, North Ari, South Ari, Vaavu and Meemu Atolls. These locations offer spectacular channel-drift dives, wrecks, pinnacles, and world-famous night dives.
Guests will embark and disembark from Male.
Guests will fly in and out of Malé, Velana International Airport (MLE).
Guests are urged to strongly consider spending the night in Male before the cruise at a hotel near the seaport (see logistics section). Hotel guests will be met at the hotel on the cruise start date between 11:00 and 17:00 and transferred by speedboat to the Maldives Aggressor II.
Guests who fly into Male the day of the cruise (remember jet lag on a boat is pretty icky) will be met at the airport by a crewmember of the Maldives Aggressor II wearing an Aggressor polo shirt and hat at 3:30 pm and then transferred by water taxi to the yacht at 4 pm.
There are three distinctly different types of scuba diving at the Maldives: inside the atolls, outside the atolls and inside the channels or passes, which is where the currents are strongest, and you’ll find the greatest congregation of fish life. Most intriguing are the cleaning stations, found around every corner and under every ledge. Mantas, Sharks, Groupers, Snappers, Surgeonfish, Eels, Parrotfish, even Giant Napoleon Wrasse park casually oblivious to all, (including cameras) while armies of wrasse, shrimp, and other assorted cleaners pick at debris in their open gills and cavernous mouths. What does diving in the Maldives look like? All dive pictures in this section were taken by Doug (excuse the poor skill) in the Maldives in 2021.
The Fine Print:
$500.00 deposit per person to hold your spot!
Payments – 50% by September 1, 2023; 100% by December 10, 2023.
Trip Cancellation Fee – $100 Until June 1, 2023. $200 Until September 1, 2023. After September 1, 2023, non-refundable.
Included: VAT, Airport Transfer, Drinking Water, Soft drinks, Tea & Coffee, Welcome Cocktails, Beer and Wine with Dinner, Full-Board Meal Plan (All meals), Snacks, Diving Package, Cabin Towels, Complimentary Toiletries, Deck Towels.
Required Extras: Environment Tax, Fuel Surcharge (270-360 USD per trip), Gratuities, National Park Fees (290-350 USD per trip), Port Fees. These and Nitrox (150 USD plus tax) to be paid on the boat.
Optional Extras: Dive Insurance, Travel Insurance, Hotel Transfer, Local Flights, Extra Dives, Specialty Scuba Courses from Doug, Rental Gear, WiFi internet, Nitrox.