Maldives liveaboard cruises bring you to the most remote areas of the 26 atolls in the Indian Ocean, where you can enjoy 7 – 14 dive safaris in all comfort all year long.
From deep channels where you do drift diving to see the enormous amount of sharks. To diving on a Thila where schools of fish await you on the reef. You name it, and the Maldives has it to offer. That is why most scuba divers will come over and over again to this beautiful scuba diving destination.
Maldives liveaboard offers week-long dive cruises with some exceptions when you make a dive trip to the Northern or Southern Atolls, where 10-14 days is not uncommon. There is an excellent selection of liveaboard dive trips to choose from, from the more basic setup to pure luxury. But all have in common that they provide you with excellent customer service.
When diving in the Maldives, you have three main routes. The most popular liveaboard dive destination is the central atolls, also known as the Classic route. Here is where all the Maldives liveaboards started and eventually explored more of the North and South atolls.
More popular every year for the experienced divers are the Northern and Southern atolls, where you can dive where no one has dived before. When diving the deep South route, you can go on a night dive with whale sharks.
Fuvahmulah has a tiger shark population, and when you are lucky, thresher sharks are seen here.
The Northern atolls are primarily famous for the considerable number of mantas and whale sharks coming every year to feed on the plankton in Hanifaru Bay.
Some of the dive sites are only for snorkeling, but there are still plenty of chances to see a large number of manta rays during your Maldives dive safaris.
You will have several kinds of dives during your liveaboard trips, such as a sloping reef, a thila, or channel diving. You can expect encounters with the great variety of big marine life in the Maldives on each of those dives.
One dive, you are hooking onto a rock to see grey reef sharks and eagle rays pass by in the current, then the next dive, your diving around a thila where large schools of snappers hang around and green turtles are sleeping under an overhang.
All over the Maldives, you also have cleaning stations where whale sharks and manta rays await their turn to get cleaned from parasites and dead skin by wrasses and other small fishes.
In the Northern atolls, you can see some macro life such as frogfish and ghost pipefish.
You can go on a Maldives liveaboard all year round, with the best time to dive is between November and May. This time of the year is the dry season and brings you blue skies and calm seas while cruising around the atolls.
There is also not a real peak season for marine life where you can see one specific species. When you want to snorkel with hundreds of mantas, May and December are the best months to join a dive safari.
There will be a chance of rain, and the sea is a bit rougher, but that doesn’t spoil the fun of scuba diving with these amazing animals.
The visibility is in general 20-30 meters in the dry season, and during the northeast monsoon season, it drops to 15 meters, with some dive sites even less because of the plankton in the water.
The water temperature is year-round the same with 26-28 C°. So for most divers, a 3 mm wetsuit would be sufficient.
There is only one international airport in the Maldives, North Male Atoll in the capital, Male. Here is where most liveaboards depart and disembark. You can directly go to the airport’s pier and catch the Dhoni to the Maldives liveaboard you booked.
For the Northern and Southern atolls, you need to take a domestic flight one way or return a ticket. Maldivian Aero can book this. Make sure you check the itinerary of your liveaboard what flights you need to book.
When you arrive at Male international airport, you get a stamp on your passport that allows you to stay in the Maldives for a maximum of 30 days.
Extending your visa for another 30 days is possible by visiting the immigration office before your first visa runs out. For more information about visas, visit the official website of the Maldives immigration.
Before departure, make sure your passport is still valid for at least six months on the date you plan to arrive back home as well. You need an empty page for the stamps.
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