- Depart London on an overnight flight to Malé.
- Arrive at Malé International Airport and transfer to our vessel. We depart soon after midday, and with a little luck we can expect our first cetacean sighting while still in sight of the airport!
- Tonight we anchor in a sheltered location within one of the atolls.
- Accommodation: MV Ari Queen, 7-nights on a full board basis
- Each day we sail and explore the various atolls, with opportunities to swim, snorkel or visit the islands, while searching for cetaceans.
- The Central Atolls have an incredibly rich whale and dolphin fauna. 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.
- As is normal practice in the Maldives, we travel by day, and anchor early each evening in a sheltered atoll lagoon. Depending on our location there should be opportunities for a snorkel or island visit, while after dark, the top deck offers stunning views of the night sky.
- In the evenings, a programme of informative slideshows and illustrated talks are presented by our tour leader and marine biologist, Dr Charles Anderson.
- We enjoy a final full day of whale and dolphin watching, before anchoring near Malé this evening for a farewell dinner and our last night on board.
Day 9 Transfer to Malé airport and depart for the UK
Day 10 Arrive UK
All prices are per person and include:
- Services of the naturalist leader
- Guided activities
Accommodation is on board the M/V Ari Queen, a specially chartered liveaboard vessel. With 10 ensuite air-conditioned cabins, and a maximum of only 16 guests, the Ari Queen provides the perfect base for snorkelling, relaxing and enjoying the fascinating marine life.
All meals are included.
The Maldives has an especially rich whale and dolphin fauna. The diversity of species can be astonishing – Risso’s, bottlenose, and spinner dolphins, and short-fin pilot, and dwarf sperm whales are all regulars. With any luck we may also see Longman’s beaked whale.
- Fraser’s dolphin
- Cuvier’s beaked whale
- False killer whale
- Spotted dolphin
If conditions are suitable then we may have the chance to swim with giant manta rays and whale sharks.
Our itinerary is flexible, to make the most of cetacean sightings, but we should enjoy a tropical cruise past coral reefs, uninhabited, fishing and resort islands, with lots of opportunities to spot marine wildlife.
The Maldives span the equator and enjoy a tropical climate. At the time of our visit the weather is normally calm and sunny with calm seas – ideal for whale watching.
Daytime air temperatures typically reach 29-31° Celsius, dropping to around 25-27° Celsius at night. Sea breezes make this feel quite comfortable and sea temperatures are around 28° Celsius.
Price includes return scheduled flights London – Malé – London.