- Free Nitrox
The Emperor Virgo is a luxury floating resort. She has eight comfortable cabins with en-suite bathrooms & individual climate control. The Virgo Maldives schedules diving cruises from August through May.
The Carpe Vita is a 38m yacht with 10 cabins accommodating 20 guests. She visits Kudarah Thila, Manta Point, Maaya Thila, Fish Head, and Machafushi wreck.
- Free Nitrox
Emperor Orion Maldives has 10 cabins & 2 lavish suites onboard. Jacuzzi and massage available. All diving takes place from a large tender dhoni allowing for much greater space on the liveaboardOrion
Liveaboard dive sites
Male Atoll is technically termed Kaafu Atoll, but by any name, it is the classic Maldives- best known and explored of all Maldives atolls. Male is divided into North and South Male Atolls, both of which were the first in the country to open to tourism, though the south opened before the north and still sports more resorts and dive sites. North Male has beloved manta cleaning stations, great topography, and a couple coral gardens on par with some of the nicest reefs worldwide. South Male is famous for its kandus, which are channels that bring ripping currents of nutrient-rich water from the open ocean into the atoll, along with big pelagic fish following the food. While sharks are plentiful in both North and South Male, the southern atoll is best known for them. The north, however, is better-preserved and a bit quieter.
In North Male Atoll, Manta Point may be the most famous dive site. Its name speaks for itself- when you visit, get ready to see more mantas than you can keep track of, as well as sharks and other reef denizens. Nowhere else in the Maldives can you jump in the water to see mantas so close to your arrival at an international airport. The other top North Male location is Girifushi Thila, recognized as one of the premier Maldives dive sites. The current here is full-time, so expect a drift dive alongside scenery of colorful soft corals and water full of fish, including rays, sharks, and tuna.
The variety of dive sites in North Male Atoll caters to every taste. One of the best-loved and first-discovered is Banana Reef, which still showcases healthy thickets of branching corals. Along the curve of this banana-shaped reef, giant grouper and morays can be found. A huge school of bannerfish hangs in the current at the edge, and a few incredible caverns call for investigation. In another area, the impressive 100 meter Maldives Victory Wreck, has enjoyed over thirty years of colonization by creatures of the sea. Itís lucky thereís a line for ascents and descents, because the current can be strong. Once you find your sheltered areas, enjoy the big and small fish and invertebrates that have many this wreck their home.
More sharks are available at Miyaru Faru, where divers watch the blue-water show from the safety of an overhang on the wall. The incoming current at Miyaru Faru brings crystal-clear water and pelagics, including manta rays, eagle rays, tuna, and more. And for inexperienced divers, North Male actually has great sites available. Two stunning dive sites that are relatively free of current are Hans Haas Place with plenty of overhangs and little caves, and Back Faru, which offers good reef and pelagic life in incredibly low-stress conditions.
South Male Atollís six big channels, or kandus, are not known for coral, but they have amazing pelagic life, big schools of fish, and tons of sharks. Cocoa Thila is one of the most famous South Male dive sites. If youíve got the perfect amount of current, you can see rays and all the rest; luckily, there are some dips and caverns in the topography in which divers can rest as they watch the goings-on. Cocoa Thila is a big pinnacle rooted in deep, deep water, and itís located on the perimeter of South Male Atoll. This means you may well be doing a drift dive in the same current that brings in the big ocean life.
Guraidhoo Kandu South is actually many sites under one name. This is a large area that cannot be covered in only one dive, and the variety of its topography adds to the feeling of many different dives sites. Here, divers can submerge on a vertical or horizontal plane, from walls, to flats, to channels, to caves. At Guraidhoo Kandu South, sharks glide along the waterways while tons of different reef denizens enjoy their holes and hiding places. However, for buckets of sharks, itís Embudhoo Kandu that South Male offers at the top of the list. Embudhoo Kandu hosts a healthy population of white tip and grey reef sharks. Its marine protected area was established to make sure thatís the case forever.
Besides Cocoa Thila, Kandooma Thila is known as the premier South Male Atoll dive site. At a thin channel along the side of this thila, an intense current brings a crazy amount of activity, including schools of barracuda and other big predators. Kandooma Thila is another dive where current must be dealt with; the pinnacle provides shelter during parts of the dive, but youíll eventually drift into the blue with a marker buoy for the ending. Other South Male dive sites include Vadhoo Caves and Kuda Giri Wreck. At Vadhoo Caves, one cave after another offers the chance to chill with reef inhabitants among a garden of colorful soft corals, while watching sharks glide by in the adjacent open water. At Kuda Giri Wreck, inexperienced divers have a great chance to jump in the water to explore the artificial reef and its inhabitants with little or no current.
The length of liveaboard itineraries in Male Atoll usually ranges from 7 to 10 nights, with a budget from a bit over 200 to 350 euros per night. Male Atoll liveaboards go almost everywhere within the Maldives; there is a tour to fit virtually every diverís particular passions and timeframe. The shortest trips make a loop in the central atolls, sometimes dividing the tours into north-central and south-central options to fit in a bit more of Ari or Baa (to the north), or Vaavu/Meemu (to the south). Check out Scubaspa Ying and Yang, and many other boats, for these classic Maldives itineraries. Larger and larger loops or traverses go farther afield in all directions (example liveaboards include Carpe Vita and Carpe Diem). Liveaboards in Male Atoll are mostly MV yachts and luxury yachts.
The experience level required by Baa Atoll liveaboards range from zero to 100 logged dives, with a certification level of Open Water for some boats and Advanced Open Water for others. Entry level divers can find some offerings around Male, but in general, expect many of the dives to be drifts, especially in the kandus of the southern area.
Male is the main liveaboard departure location in the Maldives and the countryís capital city. It is located on the southern edge of North Male Atoll. The main Male liveaboard departure port is Hulhule, next to the Male airport, making it virtually possible to jump off a plane and hop on to a boat. Divers bound for Male Atoll can take direct flights from Dubai, Singapore, and Colombo. Longer international flights from Europe, America, China, India, and Australia are also readily available, often connecting through the airports mentioned above.
Best time to travel
Diving is possible in Male Atoll all year round, but the northeast monsoon from December to May allows the calmest surface conditions and the least rain. However, even during the wetter part of the year, from June to November, Male Atoll receives less downpour than areas farther south in the country. Mantas are present throughout the year. The water temperature usually stays between 26 and 29 C, and visibility between 15 and 30 meters.
Male Atoll Diving Reviews
FantasticDiving Male Atoll in December on the Scubaspa Yang
GREAT!Diving Male Atoll in October on the Leo Liveaboard
Good conditionsDiving Male Atoll in November on the Scubaspa Yang
the dive with current , make you feel like walk in space ,Diving Male Atoll in October on the Scubaspa Yang
Great with lots of Mantas!Diving Male Atoll in November on the Scubaspa Yang
Great sites, plenty of underwater life, sometimes strong currentsDiving Male Atoll in October on the Blue Force One
Diving in Male was very good. Lots of manta encounters.Diving Male Atoll in October on the Carpe Novo Liveaboard
bad weather but perfect manta divesDiving Male Atoll in October on the Carpe Diem Liveaboard
Due to off-Season the visibility was not always perfect but still very good. On the plus-side ... less boats and less divers. Wildlife was great.Diving Male Atoll in October on the Scubaspa Yang
Amazing at fish head, with the variety of eels - mind blowing!Diving Male Atoll in October on the Sachika Liveaboard
ExcellentDiving Male Atoll in October on the Scubaspa Ying
Water was not as clear as I thought, but lots of big stuffs here, quite fantastic.Diving Male Atoll in September on the Scubaspa Yang
AmazingDiving Male Atoll in October on the Moonima Liveaboard
All of our dives were fabulous. Each one had its own highlight, but they all revealed something spectacular.Diving Male Atoll in September on the Blue Force One
I would rate it as very good and definitely there are presence of marine life that are not your everyday.Diving Male Atoll in September on the Scubaspa Yang
Diving in Male Atoll was interesting and varied. A variety of sea life and sites which gave so many options that suited a variety of experience levels.Diving Male Atoll in September on the Scubaspa Yang
5 star - nurse shark and mantasDiving Male Atoll in August on the Scubaspa Yang
Exellent, lots of mantas!Diving Male Atoll in September on the Carpe Novo Liveaboard
Male Atoll may not be the best know, but it surprised us wth some of the best dives.Diving Male Atoll in August on the Sachika Liveaboard
Our first and last encounter with manta rays. The only issue vs Ari is the number of dive boats on the best sites. You will still have a great time.Diving Male Atoll in August on the Carpe Novo Liveaboard
The diving was remarkable and worth going.Diving Male Atoll in August on the Scubaspa Ying
Good divng in Male atollDiving Male Atoll in August on the MV Ari Queen
Great placeDiving Male Atoll in October on the Orion Liveaboard
Nice reefs, great divesDiving Male Atoll in May on the Orion Liveaboard
The diving was just superb! In a week we saw all things people dream of seeing a whole lifetime: whalesharks, mantas and sharks, sharks and more sharks! Simply amazing!Diving Male Atoll in August on the Scubaspa Ying
Fantastic!! Just very strong currents but really niceDiving Male Atoll in July on the Scubaspa Yang
Great visibility, healthy marine life, beautiful corals. Sharks, rays, turtles, and huge schools on almost every dive, Currents can be really strong though. Remember to bring a current hook. On many of the dives, we are required to hook ourselves onto a rock, and wait for some time, while waiting for big fishes. without the hook, you'd be struggling in such strong currents.Diving Male Atoll in July on the Scubaspa Yang
Nice, I would say less to see than South Ari but also nice.Diving Male Atoll in July on the MV Ari Queen
Great!!Diving Male Atoll in June on the Scubaspa Yang
we were there in the off peak season so the vis was at some times not the best, but it was not as bad as we thought it would beDiving Male Atoll in June on the Carpe Vita Liveaboard