Maldives holidays, Dhoni cruise

Spend eight blissful days cruising the Maldives on a traditional wooden dhoni. This small group trip is relaxing, yes – but you can never get bored when there’s the possibility of snorkelling with manta rays.
Male Vavuu Atoll Kuda Anbaraa Island Meemu Atoll Dhiggaru Island Felidhoo Fulidhoo Embudhoo Reef Cruise on a traditional dhoni Optional activities include: snorkelling
£1400£1250To£1749 excluding flights
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8 Days
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Prices based on 2 adults sharing.
Mimimum age 16.
Up to £170 off selected dates.
Late availability on these dates: 10 Dec, 31 Dec, 21 Jan, 28 Jan, 04 Feb, 18 Feb, 25 Feb, 03 Mar, 10 Mar
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Description of Maldives holidays, Dhoni cruise

This is your chance to see the Maldives as the locals know it. On a Maldives dhoni cruise leave the resort islands on the horizon and instead cruise between the inhabited islands in the beautiful atolls south of Male. You'll travel in a small group – up to a maximum of 16 guests – on a traditional motor-powered Maldivian fishing boat called a dhoni on this wonderful eight day cruise. There is ample time to lie back and relax – as well as enjoy the featured star of the show: the snorkelling.

This trip cruises gently from Male through the South Male Atoll, Felidhoo and Meemu. On the way you'll be able to stop and visit the islands – some totally uninhabited, some little more than sand spits, others with a few hundred or a few thousand inhabitants in fishing and farming communities. You’ll have the chance to visit some villages and see the traditional Maldivian island way of life first-hand.

You can snorkel every day if you want to. This cruise provides masks and flippers – just state your size in advance. The water is warm and exceptionally clear, and under the surface you may be able to spot turtles, clown fish and other colourful reef fish over the unspoilt coral reefs that fringe nearly every atolls. Your guides will be able to help you identify what you’ve seen. You may also see manta rays, and other beautiful species of ray.

Between four and five crew operate the dhoni, leaving you free to relax on board. Accommodation is simple and comfortable, with two bunk beds in each cabin and shared bathroom facilities. You’ll get three meals a day, including beach barbecues and, as you can imagine, plenty of fresh fish – and drinking water, tea and coffee. You can also buy additional drinks on board.


Price information

£1400£1250To£1749 excluding flights
Convert currency:
Prices based on 2 adults sharing.
Mimimum age 16.
Make enquiry

Check dates, prices & availability

Travel guides

Maldives cruising
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Holiday information

Small group tour, ideal for solos & couples:
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. Those with a two-week holiday, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.


11 Reviews of Maldives holidays, Dhoni cruise

4.5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed on 03 Oct 2023 by

It was wonderful. We were looking for a relaxing switch off break between very stressful work commitments and it exceeded the brief! Read full review

Reviewed on 21 Mar 2023 by

The whole trip was wonderful. Read full review

Reviewed on 07 Mar 2023 by

The snorkelling was fantastic... Wonderful way to see the Maldives Read full review

Reviewed on 29 Nov 2022 by

10/10. It was memorable in every way. Read full review

Reviewed on 17 Feb 2022 by

Five stars for me, but then we love the rustic authenticity Read full review

Reviewed on 22 Nov 2021 by

Peaceful stunning gorgeous food lovely friendly helpful crew amazingly friendly knowledgeable tour leader Read full review

Reviewed on 09 Feb 2016 by

The size of the boat the crew and natural beauty of the Maldives was a win win situation. Read full review

Reviewed on 31 Mar 2016 by

The snorkeling was great - saw many beautiful fish, turtles, sharks, dolphins, Read full review

Reviewed on 18 Feb 2014 by

Seeing a dolphin chasing a flying fish was extraordinary...and one of so many fantastic sights and experiences on board. Read full review

Reviewed on 07 Jan 2014 by

The best holiday I have ever been on....So many wonderful memories of this holiday, the great group of people I met, the dolphins swimming in their natural environment and releasing a turtle back into the sea after having found it caught up in a fishing net. Read full review

Reviewed on 03 Dec 2013 by

The most memorable parts were the multiple shades of blue, and the clear underwater views of the Maldivian coral and fish. A great team on the boat (Captain Mog, Super Chef Bablu, Waiter Ahmed and Room boy Yoonus). Not forgetting our guide Bongo. Read full review

Responsible Travel

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we've screened this (and every) holiday so that you can travel knowing it will help support the places and people that you visit, and the planet. Read how below.

Planet and people

This trip avoids the large International resorts altogether, stopping at small local fishing villages on lesser known atolls to gain a genuine insight into the traditional Maldavian lifestyles away from the tourist industry.

We sleep aboard a locally owned and operated converted traditional fishing vessel known as a “Dhoni” with all our food supplies being bought or caught locally, thus ensuring a direct contribution to the local economy of the islands.

Limiting our group size to just 16 minimizes the impact of out visit – “smaller groups leave fewer footprints”Our boat crew and leaders have been trained to operate the Dhoni cruise in a manner to minimise our impact on the amazing coral atolls that form the focus of our snorkelling excursions from our boat.

In addition to the above, we are continually looking for ways to improve and are proud to be ‘Responsible in everything we do’. Education is key and so all staff, Tour Leaders and partnering suppliers are trained in responsible and sustainable tourism. At our Head Office, we continually strive towards a sustainable and planet-friendly working environment, including having solar panels installed and a company commitment to reducing our plastic usage. As well as this, we have valuable and longstanding partnerships with UK charities Toilet Twinning and Send a Cow, plus many smaller initiatives and projects around the world. We’re members of UK travel industry bodies Tourism Concern and AITO because we believe it’s important to share our knowledge and experience, as well as learn from other operators. As a company we support Cool Earth. Protecting rainforest is one of the most effective actions to tackle climate breakdown. CoolEarth work with indigenous communities empowering them to conserve their forest; keeping CO2 locked in.

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