Wildlife cruise in the Maldives

“With thriving reefs packed full of corals, rays, turtles, dolphins, reef fish and magnificent Whale Sharks, this Maldives wildlife cruise is the ultimate in marine adventures. ”

Highlights

6 nights boat accommodation | North Male Atoll | Snorkelling | Baa Atoll | Evening on board with Manta Ray expert | Hanifaru Bay (Manta Rays and possible Whale Shark sightings) | Goidhoo atoll | Traditional dinner & music | Hulhumale island lagoon | Maldives Marine environment Q&A with Save the Beach NGO | Optional Male city walking tour

Description of Wildlife cruise in the Maldives

There is no better way to explore the Maldives than by boat and on this wildlife cruise you will get to spend 6 whole days aboard a comfortable motorised catamaran, sailing to beautiful and remote island atolls.

Setting off from North Male, keeping a watch for dolphins as you go, you will soon see why the Maldives is considered to have some of the best diving in the world. Anchoring in the Baa Atoll, we will travel by traditional dhoni boat to access specially chosen snorkelling locations where you’ll swim amongst the Green sea and Hawksbill turtles, reef fish and Manta rays. Later in the trip you will also get the chance to swim in Hanifaru Bay famous for its large Manta ray gatherings. It's also a good place to keep an eye out for Whale Sharks.

Designed for those who want to take their appreciation of marine environments to a whole new level, you will be joined by local wildlife and marine NGO experts some evenings who will give you a window into the work that they are doing as well as helping you to gain a greater understanding of the Maldives' fragile ecosystem.

If you can drag yourself away from the sea, island life offers up a lively environment of a different kind, which you’ll experience during a ‘hedikaa’ (traditional afternoon tea) and dinner with Bodu Beru drums where you can dance away the evening before re-boarding your catamaran home for the night.

Hello. If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. Rosy & team.

01273 823 700

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Date
Price
Basis
21 Jul 2018
£ 3899
including UK flights
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25 Aug 2018
£ 3699
including UK flights
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13 Jul 2019
£ 3849
including UK flights
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Click here to enquire about or book the 13 Jul 2019 departure
20 Jul 2019
£ 4049
including UK flights
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10 Aug 2019
£ 3899
including UK flights
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24 Aug 2019
£ 3899
including UK flights
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Click here to enquire about or book the 24 Aug 2019 departure
Vouchers
Accepted
Holiday type

Small group holiday

Small group travel is not large group travel scaled down. It is modelled on independent travel – but with the advantage of a group leader to take care of the itinerary, accommodation and tickets, and dealing with the language. It’s easy to tick off the big sights independently – but finding those one-off experiences, local festivals, travelling markets and secret viewpoints is almost impossible for someone without the insider knowledge gained from years in the field. If you’re heading off on a gap year your, perhaps – but for those with a two-week holiday, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.

The leaders are not guides – they’re not there to shepherd you around. Instead, they’ll let you know which local restaurant serves great value food – without running the risk of travellers’ tummy. They’ll allow you to avoid hour-long queues at train stations and attractions.

We like to think of small group travel as the Goldilocks option. It is independent travel without the fuss, worry and bunk beds – and organised travel without the coaches. And it’s cheaper than a tailor made tour. It’s sits somewhere in the middle – and we think it’s just about right.

What are the main benefits?
Big experiences
Have big, life-enriching experiences that would be impossible to organise without lots of time and insider knowledge.

Simplicity
Make the most of your holiday time by letting someone else do the hard work and boring logistics!

Peace of mind
Small group tours take care of the security aspects – and provide a safety net should anything unexpected happen.
Who is it ideal for?
Travellers who are short of time
If you don’t have three months to spend exploring, small groups trips let you cover more ground in less time. Your days are not spent queuing for tickets or finding hotels – so you can squeeze more into your holiday.

Solo travellers who’d like company
Likeminded travel companions plus peace of mind for those travelling alone. Single supplements are usually available – providing privacy if you want it.

Less confident travellers
Stray from the tourist trail without worrying about getting lost, and meet local people without dealing with the language barrier.
Mythbuster
“I won’t get any privacy!”
Couples and friends have private rooms, and you can choose to eat alone or not. Single supplements give solo travellers their own room.

“There won’t be any free time”
Free mornings or afternoons let you explore on your own, or just relax.

“The accommodation will be basic”
Trips are as high or low end as you like. Though off the beaten track destinations won’t have luxury hotels, this is all part of the adventure.

“I won’t like the other travellers!”
Tour operators try to create groups with a similar demographic – age, families, activity levels... Chances are, you’ll even make new friends.

“Will we be following an umbrella?”
No.
Valerie Parkinson
Meet a group Leader
Name: Valerie Parkinson

Story: The first British woman to climb Manaslu, Valerie climbed Everest for her 50th birthday. She’s spent fourteen Christmas Days trekking to Everest Base Camp, and is involved insetting up Responsible Tourism initiatives in the Himalayas.
Roshan Fernando
Meet a local guide
Name: Roshan Fernando

Story: Roshan has led over 130 trips – he adores showing travellers around Sri Lanka. He won the company Leader Award in 2010, but his career highlight was working on their Tsunami Project – which earned him a responsible tourism award.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Wildlife cruise in the Maldives

Accommodation & Meals:
M/V Keana is a newly built 31m vessel built specifically for snorkeling and diving. She offers high standards of comfort and uses the latest low-consumption machinery and solar power for a sustainable and environmentally-friendly operation. Almost all meals are provided and whilst much produce has to be imported to the destination the M/V Keana will endeavour to use local produce wherever possible. Meals might include bananas, water melon papaya and plenty of fresh fish!

Community:
We only use locally owned and operated guesthouses, dive schools and excursion providers all of which have been developed by locals. This ensures that profits go back into the hands of the local community. We also support businesses indirectly through associated services and activities. These include laundry services, local fishing industry, speedboat operators, cafes and supermarkets.
We provide employment, good working conditions, a fair wage and performance reviews for local employees. Our guides are Maldivian and with the exception of the Sales Director, our operations team are Maldivian. Not only does this ensure our guests get a real insight to Maldivian life, our guides achieve personal development through interaction with guests from different cultures and backgrounds. They also have the opportunity to participate in tour leader development programs available from our international partners.

Wildlife:
“A treasure trove of marine life” is perhaps the best way to describe the Maldives, however this ecosystem is fragile. A single touch can kill coral or infect marine life. We encourage safe and responsible snorkelling and diving practises and guests can expect information and demonstrations on correct snorkelling/diving practises throughout the trip. For example, we do not touch underwater creatures (including coral) or pollute the water with litter.
Awareness:
The Maldives struggles to eliminate all the rubbish produced by over 1 million tourists per year and whilst educating locals in waste management is all part of a larger project, we encourage our guests to support this in a number of ways. Lead by example and don’t drop rubbish, reuse or refuse plastic bags in shops and we encourage it as a point of conversation between our guides and the local community with guests.
Local Craft and Culture:
Although this trip is largely nature and water based, we make time to stop at locally inhabited islands where you will have the opportunity to explore Maldivian culture and to support the local economy. Traditional handmade souvenirs include coconut wood carving and woodware, lacquer ware and woven products. We encourage clients not to buy any crafts made from animal parts, including shells.

Water/Plastic:
Plastic bottles are a big issue in many countries where recycling isn’t yet widely available; they often end up in landfill sites or get burnt, both processes are harmful to the environment and we would like to reduce our impact here. On this trip we have decided to include drinking water in order to reduce the amount of plastic used. The M/V Keana has two water dispensers and provide each guest with a refillable bottle upon arrival. No plastic bottles are used on board. Beer is offered on draft and only tins or glass bottles of soft drinks offered.

UK office:
It all starts at home so we have first worked at reducing our carbon footprint in our UK offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment. We support various projects all over the world to try and give something back to the places we visit.

Group size
We operate small group tours that have a low impact on the communities we visit and we always ensure our operations do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people. This allows us to stay in unique and characterful accommodation that would not have benefitted from tourism due to their limited size.

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