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The Scuba Divers guide to

Finding the perfect Liveaboard in the Maldives

Map of The Maldives

Best time to go

It is possible to dive in the Maldives all year round.

The monsoon season from April to October brings rain and therefore is avoided by some.

The water temperature ranges from 26 to 30°C (80 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit)


How divers rate us:

Are you still hesitating about the destination of your next liveaboard diving experience?

 

Think no more, Maldives is your next liveaboard destination!
Diving in the Maldives is one of the reasons for the success of the area.

Divers chooses the Maldives for its various underwater species.
It’s underwater fauna is very rich and prolific. The reefs are covered with beautiful hard and soft corals, gorgonians, and at every detour of the relief, you can make beautiful underwater encounters.

The Maldives archipelago is spanning nearly 700 km from north to south and lies between the Lakshadweep Islands to the north and the Chagos Islands to the south. These three archipelagos forming an immense submarine relief composed of atolls and coral reefs.

Undoubtedly, the best way to discover the most beautiful diving sites in the Maldives is to go on a liveaboard. It is no coincidence that divers from all over the world come to the Maldives to practice their passion. The archipelago’s location in the middle of the Indian Ocean, the warm waters, the beautiful coral reefs, and above all the diversified fauna make it a fantastic destination for scuba diving.

We’ll help you find the perfect Liveaboard trip, that suits your needs:

It’s difficult to choose wich liveaboard that will suit your needs and how to find the best price on that boat.

So we’ve gathered the best boats and made it possible to compare prices across all the different booking platforms. This way, you’ll get the best boat for your needs at the best price.

Start by sorting the boats after your budget, and find a liveaboard that fits your budget and your needs:

Sort the liveaboards based on your needs

We've done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Emperor Voyager :

Average price is US$ 181 per day

Book here:

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Year built: 2014
Max divers 20
Internet Yes ($)
Nitrox Yes (free)
Rental equip. Yes (free)
Camera station Yes
Min. logged dives No minimum
Aircon Yes

The luxurious boat is true to its name, in its 30 meters (98.4 feet) by 9 meters (29.5 feet) stretch, all of the needed facilities and amenities for a comfortable and convenient voyage are there. It houses a total of 10 spacious cabins that are perfect to accommodate up to 20 guests, an indoor air-conditioned saloon that is equipped with a modern entertainment system, a dive deck with platform, several sun lounges, a large dining area, and more! The boat is equipped with internationally accredited safety and alert systems, providing a safe and comfortable Maldives experience. Emperor Voyager offers well-designed itineraries for guests to enjoy their trip to the best sites in the Maldivian majestic waters!

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We've done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Blue Force One :

Average price is US$ 198 per day

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Year built: 2013
Max divers 22
Internet No
Nitrox Yes ($)
Rental equip. Yes ($)
Camera station Yes
Min. logged dives No minimum
Aircon Yes

Blue Force One will give you a wonderful Maldives experience! It is considered to be one of the three best boats across the Maldives as awarded by the Liveaboard Association of Maldives in 2018. The 42 meters (138 feet) by 12 meters (39 feet) boat is made of steel and houses 11 spacious cabins that could accommodate a maximum of 22 guests. All cabins are equipped with an air conditioning unit, comfortable beds, en-suite bathroom facilities, dresser, and safe box. The boat also features an indoor saloon with modern entertainment facilities, a beautifully designed dining area, a dive deck with platform, and marvelous sun lounges. The boat is equipped with accredited safety and alarm systems and equipment so that safety is never an issue while on board. Guests will surely enjoy the marvelous itineraries in the different atolls of the Maldives with Blue Force One!

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We've done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Honors Legacy :

Average price is US$ 207 per day

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Year built: 2012
Max divers 18
Internet Yes ($)
Nitrox Yes ($)
Rental equip. Yes ($)
Camera station Yes
Min. logged dives No minimum
Aircon Yes

Make your dream Maldives escapade with Honors Legacy! The luxurious boat was built in the year 2012 and is regularly revamped in order to keep up with the contemporary demands of the guests. It houses a total of 9 spacious cabins, just perfect to accommodate a maximum of 18 guests. All cabins are meticulously designed to maximize the space and provide a home-like feel, plus each is equipped with comfortable beds and en-suite bathroom facilities. The indoor saloon, on the other hand, is spacious and air-conditioned, has comfortable sofas, and modern television sets and other entertainment facilities. There are two sun decks available on the boat, perfect to spend time with friends while being in awe with the majestic sight of the Maldivian waters. For divers, the spacious dive deck has a platform and other facilities necessary for diving and equipment maintenance. Guests may choose from a range of Maldivian Atoll itineraries that everyone will surely love!

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We've done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Princess Dhonkamana :

Average price is US$ 179 per day

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Year built: 2008
Max divers 18
Internet Yes ($)
Nitrox Yes ($)
Rental equip. Yes ($)
Camera station No
Min. logged dives No minimum
Aircon Yes

Experience a luxurious Maldivian cruise with Princess Dhonkamana! The beautiful boat was specifically designed for divers as it has all of the diving facilities installed on board, yet non-divers will surely enjoy the trip as well due to all of the entertainment and other facilities installed. The 31 meters (101.7 feet) by 10 meters (32.8 feet) luxurious boat features a total of 10 spacious cabins, each is equipped with an air-conditioning unit, dresser, safe box for storage, and en-suite bathroom facilities. The indoor saloon is also fully air-conditioned and is equipped with entertainment systems and luxurious sofas. Divers or snorkelers will surely enjoy the convenience of the spacious dive deck with the platform as it has all the facilities necessary – storage boxes for equipment, charging port for cameras, hanging area for wet suits, and freshwater showers! The boat is also equipped with internationally accredited safety facilities such as life rafts, life vests, oxygen, first aid equipment, alarm systems, firefighting systems, and fire extinguishers. The perfectly planned itineraries will surely maximize your trip to one of the best waters in the world!

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We've done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Carpe Novo :

Average price is US$ 173 per day

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Year built: 2016
Max divers 22
Internet Yes ($)
Nitrox Yes (free)
Rental equip. Yes ($)
Camera station Yes
Min. logged dives No minimum
Aircon Yes

The newly built Carpe Novo deliver fantastic diving trips in the Maldives. Catering for a maximum of 22 guests, the 12 cabins are each equipped with en-suite bathrooms, AC units, storage space, and TV/HD player. The inviting indoor lounge area, located on the main deck, has an entertainment system, large flat screen TV and library. This is accompanied by a comfortable and relaxing outdoor shaded seating area. Last but not least, the upper deck is home to a fully stocked bar and the al-fresco dining area, where guests are served delicious.

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We've done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Emperor Serenity :

Average price is US$ 207 per day

Book here:

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Year built: 2016
Max divers 26
Internet Yes ($)
Nitrox Yes (free)
Rental equip. Yes ($)
Camera station Yes
Min. logged dives No minimum
Aircon Yes

Emperor Serenity offers year-round diving to the incredible dive sites of the Maldives. With 13 well-appointed en-suite, air-conditioned cabins, Emperor Serenity can comfortably accommodate up to 26 guests. 13 experienced and friendly crew members make sure guests have a memorable Maldivian dive vacation. Guests can enjoy open-air dining on the main deck, or relax in the air-conditioned saloon equipped with a TV and entertainment system. The sundeck is a great place to get some tan, or just unwind at the upper deck with a covered open area. There are also 4 professional dive guides. Scuba diving takes place from the large, fully equipped diving dhoni, nitrox is free and non-divers are catered for, making this the perfect dive getaway for everyone.

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We've done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Ocean Sapphire :

Average price is US$ 205 per day

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Year built: 2018
Max divers 22
Internet Yes ($)
Nitrox Yes ($)
Rental equip. No
Camera station Yes
Min. logged dives No minimum
Aircon Yes

Ocean Sapphire will surely give you an epic Maldives sea safari experience! The luxurious boat was specifically designed for divers to provide them with the best cruising and diving experiences. Ocean Sapphire was built in early 2012 and was equipped with amenities to provide great comfort to all its guests. It is 35 meters (114.8 feet) long, perfect for up to 22 guests as it houses a total of 11 spacious cabins, an airconditioned indoor salon, two large sun decks, and a dive deck. Each cabin is equipped with air-conditioning units, comfortable beds, dressers, and en-suite bathroom facilities. The indoor saloon on the other hand features a modern entertainment system. The sun decks are equipped with luxurious sun loungers, and the dive deck is complete with all the necessary diving facilities. Guests may choose from a range of beautiful itineraries.

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We've done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Emperor Virgo :

Average price is US$ 156 per day

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Year built: 2017
Max divers 18
Internet Yes ($)
Nitrox Yes (free)
Rental equip. Yes ($)
Camera station Yes
Min. logged dives No minimum
Aircon Yes

Achieve your dream Maldives escapade with Emperor Virgo! The modern luxurious boat is over 32 meters (105 feet) long and 9 meters (29.5 feet) wide, housing a total of 9 spacious cabins and could accommodate up to 18 guests. Emperor Virgo also has a fully air-conditioned saloon that is equipped with modern entertainment systems, luxurious sofas, and a mini library. Sun lovers will truly enjoy the beautifully designed sun decks on the lower and upper decks, as well as the spacious dive deck for diving adventures. The boat’s interior is made of wood, giving that rustic, warm, and homey feel. Plus, the dining area is large and is strategically located to allow for better views while eating a sumptuous meal. Guests could choose the perfect itinerary that fits their taste, whether it is in the Central or Southern atolls of the Maldives, everyone will surely have a blast in witnessing what the waters have to offer!

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We've done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Princess Haleema :

Average price is US$ 186 per day

Book here:

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Year built: 2011
Max divers 22
Internet Yes ($)
Nitrox Yes ($)
Rental equip. Yes ($)
Camera station No
Min. logged dives No minimum
Aircon Yes

A perfect Maldives escapade could be achieved with Princess Haleema. The 36 meters (118 feet) by 10 meters (32.8 feet) luxurious boat was specifically designed to provide a luxurious, convenient, impressive experience to divers and non-divers alike. It features 11 spacious cabins, which all have temperature control facilities, en suite bathroom facilities, and safety equipment, which makes Princess Haleema perfect for a group of about 22 guests. It also features a fully airconditioned indoor salon equipped with modern entertainment facilities and comfortable sofas, large dining area, sun decks equipped with luxurious sun loungers and hot tubs, and a spacious dive deck with platform, large storage boxes, and fresh water facilities. Surely, guests will have an epic Maldives getaway exploring the rich marine life in these sites.

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We've done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Ark Nobel :

Average price is US$ 239 per day

Book here:

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Year built: 2016
Max divers 12
Internet No
Nitrox No
Rental equip. Yes ($)
Camera station Yes
Min. logged dives No minimum
Aircon Yes

Experience the best of Maldives with Ark Nobel! The luxurious boat was built in 2016 and was designed to provide comfort and convenience to its guests. In its 37 meters (121 feet) by 10 meters (32.8 feet) stretch, Ark Nobel houses 11 spacious cabins that could perfectly accommodate up to 22 guests. It runs with a 650HP Mitsubishi diesel engine and has a cruising speed of 10 knots. Also, it is proud of its large and fully air-conditioned saloon that is equipped with modern entertainment facilities, shaded sun decks, panoramic views in the dining area, large dive deck with platform, library, en-suite facilities, quality service and hospitable crew members. It also offers a laundry service and daily housekeeping to ensure comfort for the guests. The boat’s safety facilities are also up to date and are in line with international standards. Surely, everyone will enjoy their trip to the great itineraries the Maldives has to offer!

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A diverse fauna and flora:

More than 240 varieties of corals, more than 1,000 species of fish, 5 species of turtles, etc. have been listed. Maldives has such a variety of underwater species that it is a safe bet that, as snorkeler or a diver, you will probably cross with huge napoleons, schools of barracudas, batfish, gaterini, tuna and jacks; a multitude of small reef fish, angelfish, ballista, clownfish, and colorful anemones.

  • Corals: Corals are very exciting to explore while diving. They form beautiful reefs with their original shapes and architectures. Despite the bleaching of hard surface corals, there are numerous areas of regrowth here and there. The corals of the southern atolls, deeper, have suffered less from the effects of El Nino. Numerous varieties of gorgonians, sponges and colorful alcyonaria will live up to your dives.
  • Sharks: In recent years, the government has passed a law banning shark fishing. The archipelago has no less than 26 species. The most common sharks are tip-white sharks, black-tips, and gray reef sharks. The thresher shark, guitar shark is often observed in some areas. Hammerhead sharks are visible in whole schools on some famous sites, such as in the Rasdhoo Atoll. Tiger sharks and leopard sharks can also be spotted. Additionally, according to the seasons and the sites, you will be able to encounter the majestic whale shark.
  • Rays: All rays are protected in the Maldives. The majestic manta rays are present in large numbers in the archipelago. The Manta Trust estimates the population at over 5,000 specimens. We can see them in all seasons, at different locations. In addition to the manta rays, you can admire squadrons of eagle rays passing or isolated rays here or there. Stingrays are also numerous.
  • Turtles: Although 5 species of sea turtles have been listed in the Maldives, there are 3 species that are most often encountered during diving or snorkeling. The green turtle is probably the one you will see most often. The hawksbill turtle is also present in the Maldives, although it is considered an endangered species. Furthermore, the leatherback turtle is the largest of the three, and is rarer to observe. The turtles come to lay eggs on the beaches of the islands, and if you are lucky, you will be able to observe this fabulous spectacle of the nature that is hatching.

Where to dive in the Maldives?

Diving in the Maldives offers a wide variety of dive sites and typologies. The bottoms are varied, the hard and soft corals line the reefs and the colored drop-offs. The fauna is rich: whether you are a big fish enthusiast or a lover of small creatures, there is something for everyone. The underwater world is everything but monotonous; you will explore caves, slide along the walls, and admire the beautiful overhangs that adorn the walls.

  • House-reef diving: All the islands are bordered by a coral reef; however it is more or less accessible from the beach, or the pier. Some diving centers installed in hotels allow experienced divers to go diving on the reef around the island. Among the most famous islands are Eriyadu, Filitheyo, and Huvahendhoo.
  • Diving in Kandus: The Maldives archipelago is made up of atolls made up of thousands of coral reefs. These coral barriers are cut outside by channels formed over time by currents changing with the seasons. These channels, called Kandu in the local language, present a fabulous playground and life for marine species. Everyone finds it in this very rich pantry. Corals, planktivorous fauna, and sharks cohabit in osmosis. Pelagic fish navigate solitary or in huge schools in search of food.
  • Diving in Thilas and Giris: Thilas and Giris are always inside the atolls. They arise from the depths of the atoll to the surface and attract a rich marine life. Covered with corals, they serve as refuge and home for many species but are the delight of predators. The show often takes place following the currents.

A diving liveaboard allows you to cover a wider variety of diving spots in record time. You can visit several atolls during the same liveaboard cruise, and depending on the schedule, you can concentrate the dives on a less popular area, as in the South or the Far North for example.

  • Classic center atolls: These diving liveaboards run a loop from Male. Generally, they allow discovering 5 atolls. Kaafu North and South, Alifu Atoll, Vaavu and Rasdhoo Atoll. The sites are varied. North Male includes beautiful reefs full of fish. On Alifu Atoll, in winter you can cross manta rays and why not the whale shark in Maamigili. South of Kaafu South, the Guraidhoo Pass should be on every diver’s bucket list for shark attendance in the channel. At Rasdhoo, we go especially for the hammerhead shark bank.
  • North atolls: From Male, you will visit the atolls of Baa, Raa, Noonu, and Lhaviyani. From May to October, Baa Atoll becomes an awesome playground for manta rays and whale sharks. The southwestern monsoon brings a significant amount of plankton. UNESCO has classified the area as a biosphere reserve. The other atolls are almost virgin, there are few hotels, and the fauna you can observe is representative of the Maldives, but in large quantities.
  • South atolls: The atolls of Faafu, Dhaalu, Meemu, Thaa and Laamu will be on the program of your Liveaboard. The dive sites are not very visited, and the dives in the passes guarantee an unforgettable sight. Gray sharks, albimarginatus, tigers, hammers, and thresher sharks, but also large schools of tuna and jacks. The dives are quite sporty and these cruises are therefore reserved for confirmed divers.

When to dive in the Maldives?

You can dive all year round in the Maldives. The air and water temperatures are almost constant because the archipelago is distributed on both sides of the equator. In the Maldives as elsewhere, it is difficult now to generalize and it is impossible to guarantee the good weather. However, there are two major seasons: The northeast monsoon from December to April, and the southwest monsoon from May to November. During the first, the rains are rare, and the sea calmest. On the other hand, it is between May and November that the rainy days are the most frequent. During the northeast monsoon, currents cross the atolls from east to west. The eastern parts therefore benefit from stronger currents, with a greater concentration of sharks and pelagic in these currents. Manta rays and whale sharks are rather happier in the plankton-rich parts of the South and West, but there will be less visibility. During the Southwest monsoon, currents move to the South and West. Sharks, schools of tuna, eagle rays and other pelagic species are concentrated in these southern and western areas. Manta rays and whale sharks move north and east.

So what are you waiting for you to book your next liveaboard in the Maldives? Warm water, around 28 ° C all year long, colorful lagoons, intense turquoise blue water with shades of celadon green, sand incredibly white and so fine that your feet will struggle to regain the rhythm of closed shoes after a few days, lovers of the seabed, we invite you to discover this paradise on earth!

2 Comments

  1. CHUNG

    I am interested in living aboard in the Maldives.

    I’m one, and have 7nights 8days from 28th Sep.

    Can you recomment a boat which is not too expensive?

    And I am open to make new friends, and share a room.

  2. Torben Lonne

    Hi Chung,

    Did you go through our recommendations above? Booking via a shared room is not that common as it’s hard to match up parties that don’t know each other.

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