With over 22 Atolls consisting over 1200 islands, the choice of dive sites is endless for a Maldives liveaboard. Most liveaboards dive around the central atolls also known as the classic route where you can see all the marine life you expect to see in the Maldives. From reef sharks cruising around the reef and turtles minding their own business. Also, you can encounter manta rays on one of the cleaning stations and whale sharks coming from out of the blue. In general, you don’t watch the reef so much because of all the action that comes by but the reefs are in some dive site beautiful with soft corals and large sea fans.
More popular every year 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 its own population of tiger sharks and when you are luck also thresher sharks are seen here.
The Northern atolls are mostly famous for the huge amount of manta rays and whale sharks that come every year to feed on the plankton. Some of the dive sites are only now for snorkelling but there are still plenty of changes to see a large number of manta rays during your Maldives cruise.
Top Liveaboard Destinations
How To Get There
The only international airport is on North Male Atoll in the capital Male. Here is where most liveaboards depart and disembark. From the airport, you can directly go on the pier and catch the Dhoni to the liveaboard you booked. For the Northern and Southern atolls, you need to take a domestic flight one way or return ticket this can be booked by Maldivian Aero. Make sure you check the itinerary of your liveaboard what flights you need to book.
You can go on a Maldives liveaboard all year round with the best time between November and May. This time of the year is the dry season and brings you blue skies and flat seas while cruising around the atolls. For marine life, there is also not a real peak season where you can see one specific species. Only when you want to dive with hundreds of mantas in one dive your best changes will be between May and December. There will be a change of rain and the see is a bit rougher but that doesn’t spoil the fun of diving with these amazing animals.
The visibility is in general 20-30 meters in the dry season and during the 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 fine.
When you arrive at Male international airport you get a stamp in your passport that allows you to stay in the Maldives for no longer than 30 days. This is valid for all nationalities. 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 6 months on the date you plan to arrive back home as well you need an empty page for the stamps.