Maldives General Information
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, fascinates visitors as it has for thousands of years. The Maldives are a tropical destination for liveaboard scuba diving with a year-round sea breeze.
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. Groupers, Snappers, Surgeonfish, Eels, Parrotfish, even Giant Napoleon Wrasse park casually in corners, oblivious to all, (including cameras) while armies of wrasse, shrimp and other assorted cleaners pick at debris in their open gills and cavernous mouths.
There are two distinct monsoon seasons. The northeast monsoon is from December to April and offers fair weather with significant currents. The southeast monsoon is from May to October with more wind and less current. The Maldives liveaboard scuba diving itineraries have been designed to offer the best diving according to the different seasons which is why there are so many different itineraries.
The big attraction in the Maldives for scuba diving are the schools of fish that patrol the reefs in colourful packs: Humpback and Black and White Snappers, Trevally Jacks, Barracuda, Batfish, Unicornfish, Yellowback Fusiliers and Harlequin Sweetlips almost comical in design. The reef's larger inhabitants, including sharks, rays and occasionally even Whale Sharks, are often seen cruising in the blue. Manta Rays can be seen year round with the best time for feeding station encounters from May - November. Whale Sharks are also seen year round with the most encounters in April, May, October and November.
There are three thrilling areas to choose from for your liveaboard scuba diving trip on the beautiful Maldives Aggressor II. The 'Best of the Maldives' offers 7 and 10-nights with 4 different itineraries that includes the areas of: North Male, South Male, North Ari, South Ari, Vaavu and Rasdhoo which includes spectacular channel-drift dives, wrecks, pinnacles and world famous night dives. Guests will embark and dismark from Male. This is a year round itinerary with each of the dive areas offering exciting diving. Guests may dive up to 18 dives during the week on the 7-night itinerary and up to 27 dives on a 10-night itinerary.
The third area, Southern Hemisphere offers 7 and 10-night charters with 3 different itineraries to choose from. The itinerary for this Maldives liveaboard scuba diving trip will include South Male, Vaavu, Meemu, Laamu, Thaa, Huvadhoo, Fuvahmulah and Addu. This itinerary will include mostly channel dives and offers exciting marine life such as pelagics, reef sharks, whale sharks, oceanic mantas and occasionally tiger sharks and hammerhead sharks. Guests will either board the boat in Male and end in Addu or board in Addu and end in Male. On both outbound and inbound routes a one way domestic flight will be required at GAN International Airport located in Addu Atoll (GAN).
There are several daily flights to and from the Malé International Airport prior to embarking or post disembarking depending on which itinerary you choose from. For more information, see itineraries listed above.
Getting There, Passports & Visa Documentation:
The Maldives lie 370 miles southwest of Sri Lanka scattered across the equator in the middle of the Indian Ocean. The Male (MLE) International Airport is located on Hulhule Island.
Many major airlines fly into Malé (MLE): Singapore, Emirates, Sri Lankan, Delta and Qatar Airways. There are many connecting flights from the US, the UK and Europe
Recommended Hotels in Malé or nearby:
* Bandos Island Resort - beautiful beach resort that is a short boat ride from the Malé International Airport.
* Kurumba Island Resort - a private island resort located 10 minutes by speedboat from the Malé Airport. Offers multiple spas, 8 restaurants, swimming pool and beautiful setting.
* The Newtown Inn - Offers a great option for a day room while waiting for your outbound flight. Has a delicious Indian Restaurant, Bombay Darbar as well as roof terrace, located 10 minutes from the Malé International Airport. * Sala Boutique Hotel - Is a quaint boutique hotel beautifully decorated in a Thai theme. Located 10 minutes from the Malé International Airport.
Email the Aggressor Travel Department for rates: firstname.lastname@example.org
Visitors must have a current passport, adequate funds to support themselves, and a return airline ticket. US citizens are required to have a passport valid for 6 months from date of entry. It is the travelers’ responsibility to ensure they have the proper visa to travel into each country on his or her itinerary as well as for re-entry and return to their country. Since regulations vary by country, contact your consulate or embassy of your country for the requirement.
Each itinerary has a different embark/disembark island/port/atoll depending on the itinerary you are traveling on. Domestic flights may be involved prior and post your charter week. You may view your invoice or visit the schedules page for this information. Guests 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 (complimentary) to the yacht at 4 pm.
We strongly recommend to arrive at least one day prior to the charter start date and to stay in either a hotel or resort in the Malé area or, our Aggressor Adventure department has many other wonderful choices of places to stay on other islands for extended stays.
All guests must be onboard by 5 pm on all itineraries so the yacht can depart for its first night anchorage with the first dive the following morning.
Malé International Airport: If your trip embarks from Malé and you arrive early in the morning, you are encouraged to either get a day room at one of the local hotels or wait at the Coffee Club located just outside the arrivals hall, where the staff will greet you at 3:30 pm and transfer you by water taxi to the yacht at 4 pm. The Maldives Aggressor II anchors in the Hulhumale Lagoon, which is a 15-minute boat ride from the airport.
All Other Domestic Airports: All other itineraries include domestic flights prior or post charter weeks. It is encouraged that all guests arrive on flights after 12 pm noon. Guests will be met at the domestic airport by an Aggressor representative for transfer at 3:30 pm. All guests will be transferred by water taxi and must be onboard the yacht by 5pm.
Best of Maldives Itineraries:
• Laamu to Addu (GAN) (7 nights)
• Malé to Addu (GAN) (10 nights)
• Addu (GAN) to Malé (10 nights)
Airport Codes and Atoll Locations:
(GAN) Gan International Airport in the Addu Atoll
(KDO) Kadhdhoo Airport on Kadhdhoo Island in the Laamu Atoll
Last Day of Charter:
If your itinerary ends in Malé, (last diving day), a complimentary walking tour will be offered in Malé. This will include a visit to the Presidents Office and Residence, the Old Mosque, the New Mosque, the local vegetable and spice market and a local gift shop. Dinner is ashore at a waterfront restaurant and is approximately $35 pp. This is the only meal not included in the price of your trip.
Checkout time starts at 8 a.m. Transportation is provided to the airport after breakfast. If you are traveling later in the day from Malé, you may consider a day room/pass at a local hotel , there are several close to the airport and can be booked in advance by our travel department