Cruising or better known as a "Safari" in the Maldives is not as big an option as it is in say the Mediterranean or other tropical tourist destinations. Thank goodness it is not - and remains such an unspoilt way in which to discover the real 'out of the way' Maldives!
Cruising in the Maldives also falls into two divided categories, non- specific leisure cruising on well appointed mid size 'purpose built' tourist cruise vessels or cruising on what are termed "liveaboards" - smaller cruise boats - including local built "dhonis" - built along the same lines as small Arab styled dhows. "Liveaboard" vessels are usually used for dive and surfing "safaris" or big game 'tag and release' fishing which is rapidly gaining popularity in the Maldives. (More information on liveaboards can be found here in our Diving section)
Also - just to make it a little more interesting is the increasing number of small, wonderful Mediterranean "gulet" cruise yachts that are starting to offer small and highly personalised bespoke cruising in the Maldives.
(A "gulet" is a traditional two-masted wooden sailing vessel design from the south-west coast of Turkey although vessels of similar designs are found all around the eastern Mediterranean. (Most gulets now are not rigged for pure sail due to the number of crew required and now operate on diesel power.) Vessels usually range in size from 14 to 35 metres with many beautifully appointed with all mod cons including air-conditioning and a la carte dining. If you are interested in this unusual and romantic/relaxing type of sailing holiday please contact us for further details.
Liveaboards come in all shapes and sizes and range from basic dive and surf safari locally built Dhonis to the ultra-luxurious 4 Seasons Maldives Explorer. Liveaboards offer a stunning "tour de force" to explore the more secluded parts of the REAL Maldives and offer many activities as mentioned, including magnificent diving, surfing, snorkelling, big game fishing and excursions to uninhabited and inhabited islands.
Tourist Cruise Boats
The two major scheduled departure cruise boats operations in the Maldives are the long established and well loved locally built and very affordable Maldives Explorer and the newer, more upmarket Yasawa Princess which was relocated to the Maldives from cruising the Yasawa and Mamanuca island groups in her native Fiji.
Luxury 5 star plus Cruising
Our dream cruise! A truly absolutely amazing experience - the 5 star plus stunning luxury of the 4 Seasons Maldives Explorer- a 3 deck luxury catamaran taking only a total of 22 guests hand-matched to 22 ultra trained crew.
Cruise Boats: "Yasawa Princess"
The Yasawa Princess was built in 1987 to become the premier cruise ship for the Blue Lagoon Cruise Company in Fiji. Nowadays she is the queen of the Maldives, cruising the scattered islands of the Maldives. She is a custom built medium size 'boutique' style cruise boat - of steel construction, 180 feet long and 35 feet wide, carrying 66 passengers and 25 crew. Dress code onboard of course is very casual - daytime shorts and swim-wear and of an evening reasonably smart casual dress.
the Yasawa Princess is of course totally non-smoking inside. She has 33 compact air-conditioned cabins spread over three decks simply furnished with either a double bed or two singles, wood accented furniture, en suite shower with toilet, air conditioning, hairdryer, personal safe and 240V AC power outlet. Main Deck cabins have a porthole and cabins on "A" and the Bridge Deck have a deck window.
On the Saloon Deck, the ship has a large air-conditioned lounge with soft furnishings and big screen television for viewing DVDs and passenger's own digital camera images, a sun-deck with plenty of sun loungers, and an undercover bar and dining area with panoramic opening windows to enjoy unending sea or island views. Meals are buffet-style international cuisine.
Buffet style meals, featuring international cuisine, are served in the informal dining area, and Maldivian dishes are also available upon request. If you cannot tear yourself away from doing your washing (!) self-service washing and drying facilities are available on-board (at extra cost) as well as a photo shop and souvenir corner. A comprehensive first-aid kit is kept on board and crew are trained in its use. Smoking is not permitted in the cabins, or any enclosed area of the ship, however a smoking area is available on the aft section of the Bridge Deck.
Prices below are for 7 night cruises, sailing Monday to Sunday. Embarkation days are usually Mondays but in conjunction with international flights clients can also board from Sunday afternoons.
7 Night/8 Day Cruise
Prices September 2011 to December 27th 2011
Cruise cost per person per cabin in a Lower Main Deck Cabin: US$ 1,450
Cruise cost per person in an 'A' Deck Cabin: US$ 1,700
Cruise cost per person in a Bridge Deck Cabin: US$ 1,900
Yasawa Princess Itinerary
Please contact us for more extensive information including a full digital brochure, availability, costs and any further information you require. Note Maldives cruises are always heavily booked and we recommend booking as far ahead as possible to secure the best possible cabin and rate.
Included in the price of your holiday are:
•Full English breakfast, light lunch and buffet dinner daily, house spirits, wine (except champagne), beer and bottled water.
•Snorkelling & fishing,
•Transfers to islands and glass bottom boating for coral viewing.
•SCUBA diving can be arranged aboard the boat, at a cost of USD$50 per dive. (PADI licence required)
Bridge Deck Cabin
These 115-square-feet cabins are air-conditioned cabins, with a double bed or twin beds, en-suite bathroom, deck window with Ocean Views and door opening onto outside walkway.
A Deck Cabin
These 117-square-feet cabins are air conditioned cabins, with a double bed or twin beds, en-suite bathroom, deck window with Ocean Views and door opening onto outside walkway.
Lower Main Deck Cabin
These 142-square-feet cabins are air conditioned cabins, with a double bed or twin beds, en-suite bathroom, with porthole.
Cruise Boats: "Atoll Explorer"
The Maldivian built Atoll Explorer was specifically designed for affordable live aboard cruising and launched in 1996, becoming the first ship to offer full cruising in the Maldives.
The atmosphere on board is that of an intimate and impeccably run floating family hotel. The boat is not about trying to be something that it is not - and is exactly as it is - a great laid back little cruising boat that is based on 'what you see is what you get - no news - no shoes - no worries'! Expect no pretension - only dedication - to seeing that all the guests are comfortable, having fun and enjoying themselves. The ship's ambience is "laid back"; there is no dressing up for dinners, or entertainment - or for that matter for anything! Dress code is shorts and swimmers during the day and casual dress in the evening, both on board and on the islands that are visited en route. The boat is also non smoking - however smoking is permitted on the after sun deck.
The Atoll Explorer carries a maximum of 40 passengers in a variety of choice of cabins. The makeup of the boat encourages guests to get to know one another quite quickly and every cruise becomes an ongoing party with friends. It also offers excellent scuba diving activities to different dive sites as well as visits to different Maldives resorts, village and uninhabited islands.
Note: Only children of 12 years or older are accepted on the cruise. We also recommend all passengers are able to swim. The cruise is also NOT suitable for anyone with a mobility problem.
The Atoll Explorer also has a fully equipped diving dhoni which serves as a base for diving, snorkelling and swimming. In addition there is a fully equipped dive school run by the professional Euro Divers company and you can also learn to dive and be certified on your cruise. Certified divers have the opportunity to dive in a number of different locations during the cruise.
A restaurant serving international style buffets with indoor and open-air dining areas, jacuzzi, small gift shop, bar, two sun decks and indoor games. An onboard 'Eurodivers' Dive School which also arranges snorkelling and windsurfing. Diving packages can be prebooked before you go.
Diving Option: Take up to 2 free dives per day (plus one night dive per week) as an alternative to alcohol and soft drinks. If this option is taken, alcohol and soft drinks will be at an extra charge locally. This diving option must be pre-booked for the full duration of your cruise and must be included for both persons sharing a cabin. A charge of US$10 per person per dive for the dive boat is payable locally
Only 20 small, simply furnished cabins which have either a double bed or two single beds. All are outside cabins with a picture window and have airconditioning, telephone, shower and limited wardrobe space.
Category C cabins
Located on either upper or lower deck.
Category B cabins
Located on the upper deck with small balcony and double bed.
Category A cabins
Located on the upper deck - slightly larger and with a double bed and balcony overlooking the stern.
Note: cabin sizes vary from cabin to cabin!.
Atoll Explorer Itineraries:
Please contact us for more extensive information including extensive images, availability, costs and any further information you require. Note Maldives cruises are always heavily booked a LONG way ahead of departure (especially the Atoll Explorer)and we recommend booking as far ahead as possible to secure the best possible cabin and rate.
Luxury 5 Star Plus Cruising: The "Four Seasons Explorer"
Experience the world's most intimate Four Seasons resort onboard the Four Seasons Explorer - a stunning 3 deck luxury catamaran, takes a maximum of 22 guests – matched one-to-one by a seasoned crew – on a marine and cultural odyssey into the undiscovered Maldives. Embark on three-, four- and seven-night cruises, or our speciality - private, customised charters.
Luxury Scuba Diving Safaris
The fastest and most luxurious liveaboard in the Maldives, Four Seasons Explorer offers scuba divers effortless access to a wide variety of exceptional dive sites. Enjoy three dives a day as part of all-inclusive itineraries that explore some of the most sought-after locations in the Maldives – untouched reefs, vibrant thilas, exciting channels and wrecks, breathtaking sunrise and night dive sites and seasonal manta ray and whale shark hot spots.
A personalised charter aboard the 4 Seasons Explorer provides a unique opportunities to snorkel, waterski, fish, kayak and sail in virtually untouched waters with an amazing crew and enjoying the very best of a la carte dining and luxury. Spend time with the resident marine biologist and visit remote arts-and-crafts villages and castaway isles, savour gourmet cuisine and relax with beachfront barbecues, massages on idyllic sandbanks and sunset dips in the on-board whirlpool.
The Four Seasons Explorer is also perfect for that luxury big game fishing safari (tag and release) in the Maldives. Big game fish such as sailfish, marlin, barracuda, yellowfish tuna, wahoo, swordfish and many other big fish can be caught in many cases just outside the resort atolls.
Beautifully complementing a stay at the superb 4 Seasons 5 star Maldivian resorts at Kuda Huraa or Landaa Giraavaru, Four Seasons Explorer offers you a spirited resort experience, with service so seamless you'll forget you're at sea.
Please contact us for more extensive information on the Four Seasons Explorer including an extensive image library, availability, costs and any further information you require. This vessel is amongst one of the most luxurious small cruise vessels in the world and is often quite heavily booked especially for private charters so we advise contacting us as far ahead of your proposed trip as possible.