Liveaboard SCUBA diving in Maldives offers some of the world's most pristine and colorful reefs along with luxury dive boats that satisfy the choosiest of vacationers.
Diving in the Maldives by liveaboard offers the best in many must-have tropical SCUBA experiences. Deserted, white sand islands peep up out of the ocean by only two meters, stretching seamlessly into an underwater paradise of wildlife nourished by the Indian Monsoon current. The Maldives' crystal clear waters are home to mantas, whale sharks, and reef sharks, not to mention the brilliant flatworms and ghost pipefish who hide among its wrecks, coral gardens, channels, and pinnacles. Maldives liveaboards offer itineraries encompassing the world-class dive sites of North Male Atoll, Ari Atoll, Baa Atoll, Hanifaru Bay, Rasdhoo and many more, including remote atolls in the far north and south where you'd be hard-pressed to see another liveaboard.
Maldives - 35 liveaboards
- Free Nitrox
Emperor Serenity offers 13 en-suite, air-conditioned cabins, accommodating 26 guests. Scuba Diving takes place from the large, fully equipped diving Dhoni, Nitrox is FREE & non-divers are catered for
- 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
- 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 lifeScubaspa Ying
Liveaboard Diving in the Maldives
Liveaboards in Ari Atoll come for its submerged, volcano-shaped pinnacles, which attract immense amounts of big marine life. Diving in and near Ari Atoll can bring you face to face with manta rays, pelagic fish, and even hammerhead sharks at Rasdhoo Atoll to the northeast. Within Ari Atoll's 40 km length and 105 small islands, dive sites like the premier Maaya Thila, overflowing with reef life, or Donkalo Thila, one of multiple manta cleaning stations, are only accessible to liveaboards. The most dependable Maldives dive sites for whale sharks and manta rays are located in this area. Experienced divers will be best able to navigate the strong currents that bring the giants to Ari Atoll. Maldivian liveaboards to Ari Atoll are mostly MV luxury yachts.
The length of most liveaboard itineraries to Ari Atoll ranges from 7 to 12 nights. The best time to dive in Aril Atoll is the calm-sea season of December to May. The water temperature usually remains between 26-29 C, and visibility at a good 15-20 meters. Budgets for liveaboards in Ari Atoll range between 200 to 400 euros per. day. Ari Atoll liveaboards depart from Male, reachable by short flights from nearby Singapore, Dubai, and Colombo, as well as longer flights worldwide. Places to dive in and around Ari Atoll are North and South Male Atolls, Rasdhoo Atoll, and sometimes Baa Atoll. Ari Atoll liveaboard itineraries will often include a combination of the above.
Baa Atoll, in the Maldives Northern Atolls area, offers an array of famously beautiful underwater landscapes and plentiful marine life. At Maavaru Kandu, you can dive below huge rocky overhangs festooned with luminous pastel gardens of blue, yellow, and green soft corals. Dhonfanu Thila and Dhigali Haa dive sites are underwater pinnacles known for their scenic whip corals, bushy black corals, and sea fans, as well as schools of snapper and regular manta rays. Hanifaru Bay even enjoys world-famous manta and whale shark aggregations during the plankton-rich months from August through November. Some diving in Baa Atoll is suitable for beginners, with moderate currents. Liveaboards in Baa Atoll are mostly MV yachts and luxury yachts.
The length of most liveaboard dive cruise itineraries to Baa Atoll ranges from 7 to 10 nights. Baa Atoll dive sites can be visited year-round, though the southwest monsoon from May to November can make the seas a bit choppy. The water temperature stays stable at 27-30 C. Budgets for Baa Atoll liveaboards range from 200 to 400 euros per day. Many liveaboards bound for Baa Atoll depart from Male. However, some depart from Hanimadhoo in the north, and spend their whole itinerary in that area. Hanimadhoo can be reached by domestic sea plane from Male. Some itineraries on a Baa Atoll-bound liveaboard include North Male and Ari Atoll. Other itineraries may spend more time among Baa's uncrowded neighbors in the north: Lhaviyani, Noonu, and Raa Atolls.
Longer dive safaris include Lhaviyani, Felidhoo, Vaavu and Meemu atolls, whilst during January-March several Maldives dive liveaboards focus their attention on Huvadhoo Atoll in the Deep South close to the Equator. No matter which dive trip you choose, you can be sure to see healthy corals surrounded by colourful reef fish and plenty of pelagic fish action on each and every dive.
More about the Atolls of Maldives
- Jump off the plane and hop on a boat for a classic Maldives dive trip in the Central Atolls.
- Grab your bunk on an exclusive Far North Atolls liveaboard for untouched, pristine diving.
- Drift dive the Southern Atolls in serenity and witness Maldives marine life with exceptional visibility.
- Crack the Maldives' best-kept secret- tiger sharks and oceanic whitetips in the Deep South.
Tips for Travellers
The best time to dive in Maldives is all year. However, some people prefer to avoid monsoon season, which hits the area in April and continues to bring rain through October. The water temperature typically ranges between 26 to 30 degrees Celsius (80 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit) with visibility from 20 meters (65 feet) to as far as the eye can see. Water depths include shallow reefs, deep walls, and everything in-between ensuring every diver can find their perfect dive. For the more intrepid diver, there are slow currents in many area and extremely strong currents jetting through the atoll passes for the more experienced thrill seeker. Whatever your tastes, Maldives has the diving suited just for you, which can be enjoyed in mild outside weather ranging from 24 to 33 degrees Celsius (75 to 91 degrees Fahrenheit).
In Maldives, additional liveaboards fees usually include gear rental (not covered by your trip price), which can be in the vicinity of 40 USD per. person, per. night. Every diver also needs to independently purchase dive insurance before getting in the water. Some other fees like extra alcoholic drinks and special gear such as torches may incur additional charges. In the Maldives, a new Green Tax of 6 USD per person, per night applies for every tourist in the country. Some islands and marine parks have national park fees that are not included in liveaboard packages, like Hanifaru Bay's park entrance fee of 20 USD per person. Nitrox is offered on virtually every Maldives liveaboard- some as a complimentary service, and some for a fee. A fuel surcharge per person, per. night may be added, depending on the route. This surcharge usually ranges from 10 to 15 USD per night. If you have any questions about extra fees in the Maldives, please contact us directly. We are here for you.
Minimum logged dives are required by many Maldives diving liveaboards, Scubaspa Yang and Ying being the exceptions. Ocean Divine requires 20, MV Orion and Amba require 50, and Carpe Vita requires 100. Safety briefings on boats like Scubaspa Yang and Ying are conducted on day one. Check dives on Maldives liveaboards are often held in Male on the first day.
The official language of the Maldives is Maldivian, or Dhivehi.
A free 30 day visa is issued on arrival to all tourists in the Maldives. However, tourists must possess a valid passport, a valid outbound ticket and either a reservation confirmation in a hotel or enough funds to cover expenses for the duration of their stay (30 USD per. day).
There are no compulsory vaccinations for travel to the Maldives unless you have been in a country with increased yellow fever risk sometime in the nine days previous to arrival. In such cases, you must have proof of a yellow fever vaccination. We recommend standard protection against tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis, polio, influenza, typhoid and hepatitis A. There is no endemic malaria risk in the Maldives. However, the rainy season (May through September) elevates risk of dengue fever. For advice on Malaria and Dengue, seek professional medical advice before travelling.
Electricity voltage runs at 220-240 volts; the standard socket is UK-style three-pin, but many resorts have universal sockets to accommodate non-UK tourists.
The Maldives is the smallest Asian country by land area (300 square kilometers) and population, but its underwater offerings are comparatively huge- 90,000 square kilometers of ocean. Fewer than 300 of its roughly 2000 islands are inhabited, leaving the rest of the white-sand paradises to sharks and corals, and the lucky divers who visit them. At a maximum height of about 2.5 meters above sea level, the Maldives is at incredibly high risk from global warming, which contributes to its activism for carbon-pollution reduction worldwide. Thirty one protected areas exist in the country, and incredible coral restoration projects are common.
Ports of Departure and how to get there
Male is the main liveaboard departure location in the Maldives, and the country's capital city, located on the southern edge of North Male Atoll (also called Kaafu Atoll). The main Male departure port is Hulhule, next to the Male airport. Liveaboards diving in the Central Atolls set out from here. North Male Atoll is the best known and explored dive area in the Maldives, long recognized as a world-class manta and reef shark destination with many longstanding, beloved dive sites of pinnacles, wrecks, coral gardens, and cleaning stations. Entry level divers can find offerings around Male, even though currents can be strong. Standard liveaboards departing from Male may visit North Male Atoll, Ari Atoll and Rasdhoo Atoll, and sometimes Baa Atoll as well. Other liveaboards may head south of Male Atoll to include Meemu (Malaku), Vaavu (Felidhu), and Thaa (Kolhumadulu) atolls.
Travellers bound for Male can take direct flights from Dubai, Singapore, and Colombo. Longer international flights from Europe, America, China, India, and Australia are all readily available, often connecting through the airports mentioned above. Flights to the Maldives are available on multiple airlines, such as British airways, Cathay Pacific, Lufthansa, Emirates, Etihad Airways and Singapore Airlines, among others. From the UK, expect at least a 13 hour trip. From Germany or Australia, the flight duration is at least 12 hours. Divers arriving from the USA can fly first to Sinagpore, with a flight duration of 20 hours from Los Angeles.
Maldives Diving Reviews
It was pretty good. Shark life is very much alive. Mantas were great. We missed the whaleshark and the visibility was not great. Currents can be very strongDiving Maldives in July on the Carpe Novo
absolutely outstandingDiving Maldives in June on the Emperor Leo
Visibility was not as great (but I knew that coming into the trip), but the variety of marine life was stunning! Mantas everywhere the first day! :)Diving Maldives in October on the Scubaspa Yang
Wonderful trip! Will do it again!Diving Maldives in March on the Emperor Serenity
Excellent; the Maldives offered a wonderful variety of dive sites, with opportunities for seeing both pelagics and also nice macro critters.Diving Maldives in May on the Emperor Serenity
great! Many sharks and Matnas:)Diving Maldives in May on the Sachika
Best in the world for me. My dive experiences are extensive and cover, Australia, Fiji, New Zealand, Bali, Malaysia, Philippines, Egypt, South Africa, California, Mexico, Florida, Tanzania,Thailand, Burma, Mozambique and the Maldives - Number one by far is still the Maldives.Diving Maldives in April on the Carpe Novo
We dove the Maldives in 2002 and the visibility and abundant corals were rich and alive. Diving here 15 yrs later we wondered if we would be disappointed. I can safely say, we were not. Although El Nino wipes out coral life here and there from time to time, the corals renew and the sea life was as active and plentiful as we remember. The visibility was not quite as clear as we remember, but this is hit or miss depending on time of year no matter where you go.Diving Maldives in April on the Emperor Serenity
The dives were deep and often with strong currents. I would say that diving the Maldives can be challenging. I would not recommend the trip for inexperienced or fearful divers. However, for the more experienced, adventurous diver, I have not been on a better trip.Diving Maldives in April on the Blue Voyager
Very impressed and look forward to coming back. The variety between macro and micro provided a nice change of pace.Diving Maldives in April on the Blue Force One
Is this a serious question?? The best dive experience so far! Deep dives, wreck dives, tons of fish, mantas, sharks, whale-sharks, night dives, strong currents, awesome drift dives, etc... Why am I here typing this, I should go back in the water right now!!!Diving Maldives in April on the Blue Force One
It was just incredible, had everything you could have wished for and more. The crew were just fantastic, attentive, knowledgeable, very encouraging with me as I am quite a novice diver. I now feel more confident and I learnt so much.Diving Maldives in April on the Scubaspa Ying
Very good, we very much enjoyed the Vaavu, Meemu, Thaa and Laamu atollsDiving Maldives in April on the Carpe Novo Liveaboard
A dream that comes trueDiving Maldives in April on the Sachika
Fantastic, it's now my favorite location. Cannot wait to come back and dive the Maldives again.Diving Maldives in April on the Azalea
The Greatest Place on EarthDiving Maldives in April on the Scubaspa Yang
awesome, was the first time and definitely not our last!Diving Maldives in March on the Carpe Novo Liveaboard
the best trip of my lifeDiving Maldives in April on the Scubaspa Ying
It was amazing and i do recommend this trip to all!Diving Maldives in March on the Carpe Novo
As I went to the Maldives to take underwater pictures, I was disappointed with the trip as the depth combined with the currents meant that the freedom to move around for the best shot was missing.Diving Maldives in April on the Amba Liveaboard
It was generally amazing. A few of the dive spots you could tell a lot of begginer divers had bumped into/ broken the coral hence the reefs being pretty damaged in some places. had been badly maintained but not much investment was getting put back in the maintenance aspect as well be it t he csepark.Diving Maldives in April on the Moonima
Incredible!! Best diving ever.Diving Maldives in March on the Carpe Novo Liveaboard
South from the equator was the stand out diving week but second week around central atolls was not far behind.Diving Maldives in March on the Scubaspa Yang
Maldives continues to deliver on great diving - always loads to see and great visibility. I would say that the amount of live aboard's seems to be rising, making it feel a little like the red sea experience (crowded dive sites) at times. Maybe when that spot opens up the boats and divers will head back thereDiving Maldives in March on the Scubaspa Yang
Amazing diving, loved it!Diving Maldives in March on the Scubaspa Ying
Best experience so farDiving Maldives in March on the Emperor Atoll
the best was diving with mantasDiving Maldives in February on the Emperor Serenity
Best diving experience of my 400 plus dives. I will be repeating the trip bringing friends from South Florida!!!Diving Maldives in February on the Azalea
We like the variety of diving experiences.Diving Maldives in February on the Orion
3 channel dives in one day is a bit much - need some variety................ Visbility not brilliant but the big stuff need the nutrients in the water!!!!!!!!!! Our 5th time to the Maldives - I think that says it all - we will be back again!!!!!!!!!!!Diving Maldives in February on the Carpe Novo