- Free Nitrox
- Free WiFi
The beautiful ScubaSpa Ying offers exceptional service aboard this floating luxury hotel in the Maldives. Be pampered by the 6 full time spa therapists and enjoy the stunning Maldives marine life
- Free Nitrox
- Free WiFi
The 50m ScubaSpa Yang, accompanied with its own dive dhoni, allows you to dive with exceptional ease. Enjoy first class service on board as you dive and snorkel the amazing Maldives Atolls
- Free Nitrox
Emperor Orion Maldives has 10 cabins, 1 Junior & 1 Executive Suite onboard. Jacuzzi & massage available. All diving takes place from a large tender dhoni allowing for much greater space on board.Emperor Orion
Ari Atoll Liveaboard Dive Sites
Scuba divers plunge into the waters of Ari Atoll for the promise of spectacular pelagic encounters. Ari Atoll is the most reliable Maldives location for whale sharks and manta rays, as well as for tons of reef sharks and turtles. The area's general topography is dominated by kandus and thilas. Thilas are volcano-shaped pinnacles rising from the depths of the sea and attracting lots of sea life; kandus are current-filled channels from the open ocean, where big fish ride the ripping highway to their next meals.
Ari Atoll's thilas are colonized by sea life like all Maldives pinnacles, but this area is not the best Maldives site for corals and color. Instead, Ari's main draw is the large wildlife in the water column. Various marine protected areas within Ari Atoll ensure the conservation of its incredible underwater creatures, so diving within Ari Atoll sanctuaries at sites like Fish Head and Kudarah Thila should not be missed.
The crowning jewel of Ari Atoll is Maaya Thila, considered one of the top Maldives dive sites for both day and night dives. This pinnacle is famous for the wild abundance and diversity of its reef life, from nudibranchs and octopus to schools of pelagic fish. As you descend to the deeper areas, caves and overhangs add variety to the topography.
Maaya's neighbor Donkalo Thila holds its own crown as a premier cleaning station for mantas and sharks in the western section of the atoll. Kudarah Thila and Rangali Madivaru, both in the southern section of Ari Atoll, host high-volume manta cleaning stations as well, while Ukulhas Thila is the premier manta cleaning station in the north. Hammerhead Point in Rasdhoo Atoll, northeast of Ari, tops it all off. The deep water drop-off near this site gives divers a special opportunity to see hammerheads, the highlight of many divers' Maldives liveaboard adventures.
Within Ari Atoll's 40 km length and 105 small islands, site after site vies for divers' wonder and appreciation. However, if it's sharks you're looking for, Fish Head pinnacle is the best place for an adrenalin pumping dive- here, throngs of bustling grey and white tip reef sharks scour the reef for their dinner under huge schools of dancing fusilier. Fish Head lies in the eastern section of Ari Atoll and enjoys marine protected area status. It is known as one of the top ten Maldives dive sites, partly because of its shark abundance and reliability of sightings.
Those who want to swim with the giant of the ocean turn to Maamgili, where plankton-rich waters nourish whale sharks gliding over wrecks that also host large marble rays and nurse sharks. For wrecks, Ari Atoll offers Fesdu and Halaveli. Fesdu Wreck in the north is popular with macro critter lovers for its resident ghost pipefish and plethora of nudibranchs and flatworms. This fishing trawler was sunk to become an artificial reef more than ten years ago. Halaveli is a 33 meter long freighter where huge blotched fantail rays provide an impressive counterpoint to the macro-life tucked into the wreck's holes and corners, and can be dived day or night.
For divers who need color, Ari can also deliver. Rahdhigga Thila is crowned in its shallows with healthy branching corals and festooned on its sides with soft corals in every shade of the rainbow, not to mention other benthic organisms like sponges of many shapes and sizes. Pelagics lovers won't even feel left out here because Rahdhigga hosts shark action from silver tips, white tips and grey reef sharks.
Getting to Ari Atoll
The length of liveaboard itineraries in Ari Atoll ranges from 7 to 12 nights, with a budget of between 200 and 400 euros per night. Very often, a liveaboard bound for Ari Atoll and Rasdhoo Atoll will include North or South Male, Baa Atoll, or the southern atolls of Meemu and Vaavu in its tour. Usually, the south-focused itineraries which include Male, Meemu, and Vaavu, visit south Ari Atoll. North-focused itineraries visiting Male, Baa, and Raa, visit more of Ari Atoll, and include Rasdhoo Atoll as well.
However, Maldives liveaboard itineraries present great variety of choices and variations, like Carpe Diem's tour including Baa, Rasdhoo, Ari, Male, and Vaavu, and Orion's ìManta Madnessî itinerary. Most Ari Atoll liveaboards depart from Male, the capital city of the Maldives, but Carpe Diem's north-south trip departs from Baa. Most of these liveaboards are M/V luxury yachts, though the M/V Aggressor also has gorgeous sails.
The experience level required by Ari Atoll liveaboards varies from Open Water with no logged dives to Advanced Open Water with 100 dives. Currents are strong at Ari except at slack tides, but calm water also means no fish, so it's experienced divers who will be best able to take advantage of diving Ari Atoll.
Many Ari Atoll liveaboards depart from Male, reachable by short flights from nearby Singapore, Dubai, and Colombo. Longer international flights from Europe, America, China, India, and Australia are all readily available, often connecting through the airports mentioned above. When Ari Atoll itineraries depart from other ports like Baa, a sea plane from Male is the best way to get there.
Best time to travel
Ari Atoll can be dived by liveaboard all year round. December to May hold the calmest seas; however, August through November is the best time for manta rays. Never fear though- manta rays can still be seen reliably during the calm season at certain sites. Shorty wetsuits usually keep divers comfortable at 26-29 C, and visibility is usually 15-30 meters. When visibility varies between sites, it's usually because of the seasons and the particular characteristics of each site location. Some of the best manta and whale shark sights are green with plankton, but catching a glimpse of these giants makes up for it.
Ari Atoll Diving Reviews
Excellent is an understatementDiving Ari Atoll in September on the Ari Queen
ExcellentDiving Ari Atoll in September on the Scubaspa Ying
AmazingDiving Ari Atoll in September on the Ari Queen
N.Ari Big fishes & sharks. Night manta. S.Ari We could not see whale shark. Some mantas & nurse sharks were amazing.Diving Ari Atoll in August on the Emperor Voyager
Wonderful. Some of the best diving including sites dove in Australia, Vanuatu, Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia.Diving Ari Atoll in August on the Ari Queen
good and great at maya thilaDiving Ari Atoll in July on the Emperor Leo
Very Nervous but Shumi our dive leader, very patient nothing a problem, fantastic guy. Dive was fantasticDiving Ari Atoll in July on the Scubaspa Yang
BrilliantDiving Ari Atoll in April on the Princess Haleema
AmazingDiving Ari Atoll in March on the Emperor Serenity
Despite the poor weather above the surface, conditions were good at the dive sites, and we were able to swim with three whale sharks on a single dive!Diving Ari Atoll in May on the Emperor Serenity
We dove both North and South Ari Atolls. Sea life is plentiful and beautiful. The soft corals are amazing and colorful. Mild current with medium visibility. The south Ari atoll is where we encountered our whale shark!Diving Ari Atoll in April on the Emperor Serenity
This was fantastic - I chose this trip, because most of the resorts etc, only dive in one Atoll. this gave me the chance to dive in several. they were all different and each was spectacular in its own way.Diving Ari Atoll in April on the Blue Voyager
I was very impressed with the diving. I had no previous experience in the Indian Ocean. I found the aquatic life to be very impressive.Diving Ari Atoll in April on the Blue Force One
Fantastic, exhilaratingDiving Ari Atoll in April on the Scubaspa Ying
Superb, we saw plenty of mantas!Diving Ari Atoll in April on the Sachika
Very nice diving sites. No stress created for divers, at any situations.Diving Ari Atoll in May on the Sachika Liveaboard
The diving was really good. Saw a whale sharks and plenty Manta rays at the cleaning station.Diving Ari Atoll in March on the Scubaspa Ying
Great vis' lots of shoals of blue trigger fishDiving Ari Atoll in March on the Scubaspa Yang
Very goodDiving Ari Atoll in March on the Emperor Voyager
Excellent. Saw many big stuffs like sharks, rays and octopus. Swam among many big fishes till you smell like a fish.Diving Ari Atoll in March on the Emperor Atoll
All the atolls were special in their own way.Diving Ari Atoll in February on the Orion
Ari atol is the best for fish verity and water clearness.Diving Ari Atoll in February on the Scubaspa Ying
Was good. Visibility not that good.Diving Ari Atoll in February on the Soleil 2
Loved the Mantas at MoofushiDiving Ari Atoll in February on the Soleil 2
there was the whale shark so it was greatDiving Ari Atoll in January on the Blue Force One
ExcellentDiving Ari Atoll in January on the Soleil 2
Visibility was quite poor but the chance to dive with Manta's was worth it.Diving Ari Atoll in February on the Emperor Voyager
是位于马尔代夫阿里环礁海面上的度假岛礁，没有南、北马累环礁多，因此这里有很多大型的鱼类，而且鱼群也比别的地方大，珊瑚也非常漂亮。Diving Ari Atoll in February on the Carpe Diem
Amazing is the only way to describe itDiving Ari Atoll in January on the Leo Liveaboard
Very nice. Manta Rays and beautiful place.Diving Ari Atoll in January on the Soleil 2