This 8-day cruise aboard a chartered liveaboard vessel visits the beautiful Central Atolls of the Maldives in search of cetaceans and other marine life, accompanied by marine biologist guide Dr Charles Anderson.
Some 650 kilometres southwest of India’s southern tip, in the crystalline blue waters of the Indian Ocean, lies the tiny nation of the Maldives. On this small group tour, we will look for whales and dolphins, and enjoy snorkelling on colourful coral reefs that are home to rich marine life. If lucky, we may even have a chance to swim with magnificent manta rays – which some consider to be the wildlife highlight of a lifetime!
The Maldives possess an incredibly rich variety of cetacean life, which we hope to encounter on our voyage. The diversity of species can be astonishing: Risso’s, bottlenose and spinner dolphins, and short-finned pilot, and dwarf sperm whales are all regulars and, with luck, we may see Longman’s beaked whale.
Led by renowned marine biologist Dr Charles Anderson, the itinerary is deliberately designed to be flexible, so we can make the most of our wildlife sightings.
Depart the UK on an overnight flight to Malé.
Arrive Malé and transfer to liveaboard boat
Transfer from the airport to board our vessel and sail soon after midday. With luck we can enjoy our first cetacean sighting while still in sight of the airport!
Tonight we anchor in a sheltered location within one of the atolls for an orientation talk.
Accommodation: MV Ari Queen, 7-nights
Whale, dolphin and birdwatching around the atolls
Each day we sail while searching for cetaceans, with opportunities to swim, snorkel or visit the various atolls.
The Central Atolls are incredibly rich in whales and dolphins. The diversity of species can be astonishing: Risso’s, bottlenose and spinner dolphins, and short-finned pilot and dwarf sperm whales are all regulars, and with luck we may even see Longman’s beaked whale.
We sail by day, and anchor early each evening in a sheltered lagoon.
Depending on our location there should be opportunities to snorkel or visit the island, while after dark the top deck offers stunning views of the night sky. Each evening, tour leader and marine biologist, Dr Charles Anderson, presents an informative illustrated talk.
Whale and dolphin watching off Malé Atoll
We enjoy a final full day of whale and dolphin watching, before anchoring near Malé for a farewell dinner and final night on board.
Transfer to Malé airport and depart for the UK
Depart Malé on an overnight flight back to the UK, or extend your stay in the Maldives at the beautiful Bandos Island Resort.
You should note: Should you wish to extend your time in the Maldives, we suggest a stay at the idyllic Bandos Island Resort near Malé