Cruising Destination of the month: Maldives
When thinking of the Maldives, most people will picture island resorts with lines of identical thatched bungalows promising varying levels of luxury and seclusion to lucky travellers. Whilst this remains a very popular way to experience these beautiful islands scattered in the warm waters of the Indian Ocean, nothing quite compares to the freedom of cruising through the atolls on a superyacht. With a literally endless choice for island hopping, cruising in the Maldives offers some of the most exotic and scenically beautiful itineraries anywhere on the planet.
The beauty of these islands, white sandy beaches, diving hot spots, abundance of marine life needs not be mentioned. The fact that it is an archipelago of more than 1900 small islands makes it an ideal destination to discover on a yacht. Maldives comprises of merely 1% land and the rest is water. This is where you meet the warm friendly smiles of the locals, where you listen to the dolphins singing and where you will hear the music of the ocean, where you witness some of the most colourful sun rises and dramatic sunsets. In this idyllic setting, locals lead a simple and laid-back lifestyle in harmony with nature; one of the greatest attractions of this land. A quick glimpse through their homes lets you witness the close-knit island community culture they practice.
Photos: ©Asia Pacific Superyachts
“Thanks to its geographical location, but also significant investment and several decades of development in the tourism infrastructure, the Maldives is an increasingly attractive destination for superyachts. Combined with a safe environment and an extremely friendly and welcoming population, this is an ideal location for winter sun and tropical cruising, whether for general sightseeing and watersports or for more focused trips such as for scuba diving.” Explains Nicolas Benazeth, Charter Director of CharterWorld.
He adds: “Superyachts crossing the Indian Ocean from the Mediterranean towards South-East Asia (or vice versa) are increasingly tempted to make a stopover in these pristine atolls during the dry season months, roughly between November and April, when conditions are warm and calm and the waters are perfect for swimming, snorkelling and diving, with some of the highest visibilities possible. There is also a growing local fleet of yachts, with locally-built yachts of larger sizes and greater comfort being launched every year, building on the skill of traditional shipyards and experience gained form live-aboard diving boats. This means you can charter in the Maldives year-round and benefit from crews with an excellent local knowledge.”
With many convenient connections into the Male airport (located on its own island of Hulhumale), many trips start directly off the international airport runway where the yacht’s tender can pick you up for immediate embarkation. The atolls of north & south Male, Ari, Baa and Vaavu are most often visited thanks to the easy cruising distances between islands and sites of interest, as well as the possibility to run good round trips to and from Male. These, as with other atolls located further north or south, offer a great combination of exceptional dive sites, uninhabited islands ideal for private beach parties and barbeques, endless beaches and clear waters.
“Many guests choose to visit one or more of the luxury resorts with an opportunity to stop over in a world-class spa, or enjoy fine dining before continuing their adventure. Some inhabited islands also offer the possibility of shore visits to experience local life and culture. An efficient fleet of seaplanes also allows for more remote destinations to be visited, or for a great combination of ease of access directly to the yacht with spectacular scenic flying.” Says Nick.
“Scuba diving is one of the main activities the Maldives is known for, and there are literally thousands of sites for all levels of experience and skill. Nearly all superyacht trips will include at least a couple of dives, and some guests can try for the very first time, as well as get certified. There are also spectacular sites for the more experienced, with superb drift dives and some of the best viewings of whale sharks, hammerhead sharks and manta rays anywhere. Many yachts will offer specialist diving itineraries, with expert local guides and a support diving ‘dhoni’ vessel.” Nick adds.
“Last but not least, and recently gaining more attention from yachts, is the possibility for good surfing. With a good surfing season running from April to October, this offers another angle from which to approach these islands, and a superyacht is an ideal platform from which to access remote breaks or surf your own spot with not another soul in sight.” He explains further.
Cruising the Maldives on a superyacht means embarking on a journey that allows you to travel in your private space with no boundaries in a whole new level of luxury. You are free to race across the seas and collect some of the most memorable images of a life time. It is a luxury lifestyle experience in one of the most un-crowded waters of the world, steering you well off the beaten track and into the undiscovered.
Affluent travellers from around the world are seeking the perfect place: to fall in love, to spend quality time with family, to explore what lies beneath and above, to enjoy the art of doing nothing and escape to complete privacy. A yacht charter in the Maldives has it all!
Article supplied by CharterWorld Charter Director, Nicolas Benazeth & Nadhira Muneer, Charter Manager at Asia Pacific Superyachts
For more information about cruising options and services in Maldives please contact APSA members:
Asia Pacific Superyachts I firstname.lastname@example.org