Maldives 'Whale Shark and Manta Ray' Luxury Liveaboard Holiday
3rd to 11th February 2018
(Plus optional extension to Sri Lanka)
This has to be one of the best diving holidays in the world for people who like the worlds largest marine life, drift dives and exhilirating night dives - we hope you can join us?
The Maldives is a divers paradise with tropical blue warm waters, colourful coral reefs and is home to some of the worlds most magical marine life. Our chosen itinerary will take you to some of the best dive sites in the world for spotting Whale Sharks and Manta Rays.
MALDIVES "MANTA & WHALE SHARK SPECIAL" - Central Atolls
The Maldivian atolls are well known for their amazing encounters and regular sightings of mantas and whale sharks. These elusive and majestic animals migrate around the 26 atolls depending on currents and time of year. With our hosts' years of experience and knowledge, we set out on these trips to visit the very best dive sites to give you the best opportunity to dive and snorkel with these incredible animals. Can you believe we even get to night dive with these awesome creatures!
This itinerary gives you 7 days on board and will take you to some of the Central Atoll. So you can expect to visit some (but not necessarily all) of the following; North and South Male Atolls, Felidhu Atoll, Rasdhoo Atoll and Ari Atoll. After a fabulous week at sea there is the option to stay on a luxury tropical Maldivian Island.
The above video shows many of the same dive sites and although it's a different boat, it's the same company and quite similar.
Day 1: Arrival Day - 4th February
We will depart the UK on the 3rd February and will arrive in Male around 8am the next morning. We will be met by our guides for the week at the airport and transferred by boat to the liveaboard 'Blue Voyager' which will be anchored nearby.The Cruise Directors will give a safety briefing and you will have the opportunity to settle in before lunch. It is normal that a check-dive is given in the afternoon. Dinner is usually followed by an early night!
Day 2 - 6:
Five full days of wonderful diving, with a typical program of 3 ocean dives a day plus two or three night dives during the week:
06:30 - Tea, coffee and biscuits
07:00 - Dive 1
11:00 - Dive 2 followed by lunch
15:00 - Dive 3 followed by homemade cakes and snacks
19:30 - Dinner
Any night diving will be at the discretion of the Cruise Directors and is planned subject to local conditions and diver abilities.The diving schedule is not set in stone so, for example, if we are diving a shallow manta point, we may dive 4 times during the day. On a day when we have to make a passage across a channel from one atoll to another, we might make 2 day dives plus a night dive. Our aim is to give you the best diving for the season and the given conditions.
Weather permitting we should also have the chance to do one of the best night dives in the World. Every evening dozens of harmless Nurse Sharks and Rays gather in front of Alimathaa Reef. This spectical is a high octane adrenalin charged dive that you'll never forget! Every evening dozens of harmless yet imposing nurse sharks and rays gather around the reef. The often swim around you in front of you, behind you and even through your legs.
One dive is offered this morning and then guests relax on board while the boat cruises back to Male. In the afternoon guests will usually have the opportunity to visit Male for sight-seeing and shopping.Day 8: Departure DayA light breakfast is served before we are transferred to the airport at around 08:30am for our international flight home or onward transfer (if you'd like to stay a few extra days on a resort?).If our flight leaves later in the day then the Hulhule Hotel, which is just 5 minutes from the departure terminal, offers various "Day Packages" we will confirm this in the next few months. If you are travelling back to the UK, your flight will usually arrive home in the same evening (same day).
Optional extention: Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka, the jewel of the Indian Ocean, was proclaimed by Marco Polo to be amongst the
finest islands on earth.
Filled with cultural and natural treasures, the island encompasses magnificent landscapes, beautiful beaches, abundant wildlife and ancient art and architecture. Over 1,300 km of beach surround the island, from established tourist destinations of the southern coast to the less-visited beaches of the north and east.
Sri Lanka is home to seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Six of these are testament to a civilization with over 2,000 years of recorded history while a seventh natural site boasts
some of the highest biodiversity in the world. These sites showcase the island's rich history and contribution to civilization. The largest of these sites are in the 'cultural triangle', an
area that links the ancient capitals of Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa and Kandy.
There is an option to extend your stay and either chill out on a resort for a few days, snorkel with Blue Whales and visit the UNESCO Galle Fort. You can stay as many nights as you like, but most divers choose to stay for an extra 4 or 7 nights. See details below.
Flight Details - Maldives Only
|Outbound Flight||Depart London - time tbc||Arrival Male - time tbc*|
|Return Flight||Depart Male - time tbc||Arrive London - time tbc|
* denotes arrive next day.
MV Blue Voyager
Originally sailing as a Blueotwo fleet vessel in the Red Sea, M/Y blue Voyager now welcomes 26 divers on board to sail the pearls of the Indian Ocean, the magical islands of the Maldives.
Refurbished in 2015 ready for her move to the Maldives and recently updated Summer 2016, M/Y blue Voyager is a 37 metre, steel hulled vessel that boasts three spacious doubles and ten twin cabins. She features a separate outdoor dining area where breakfast, lunch and dinner is served, bar and sky lounge, as well as a Jacuzzi. A shaded seating area can be found on the middle deck, as well as 3 sun decks; one viewing deck located at the front of the middle deck, an open air deck on the upper deck and a ocean deck at the stern of the boat, all providing comfortable seating and loungers.
M/Y blue Voyager benefits from a separate tender and diving dhoni which allows for the best use of space on the liveaboard to explore the pearls of the Indian Ocean in comfort. The vessel is also equipped with a nitrox membrane and charging station.
Non-divers and there will be plenty of snorkelling opportunities and you may wish to extend your stay in Sri Lanka afterwards?
Sri Lanka Optional Extension
7 DAY TRIP SUMMARY
All tours are optional and you can opt to chill by the pool/beach but we have put the best cultural experience together to make the most of our time in Sri Lanka.
|Sunday 11th February||Arrive at Bandaranaike International Airport (CMB) - Bandaranaike International
Airport (CMB) Airport | Arrival
Information | Transportation and Guiding
Transfer to Sigiriya by road – Approx. 4 ½ hours
13:00 PM Check in at Water Garden hotel - Sigiriya
14:30 PM After lunch leave optional trip to Safari at Minneriya / Kaudulla National park to look at the wild Elephants
18:30 PM Return to Hotel http://www.watergardensigiriya.com/
2 nights at Water Garden Sigiriya – Deluxe room on Half Board basis
|Tuesday 12th February||08:00 AM Cultural Triangle | A guided visit to Sigiriya Rock Fortress (UNESCO) - 8th Wonder of the World
11:00 AM Transfer to Polonnaruwa Approx. 1 ¼ hours
12:30 PM Local lunch in a village house
13:30 PM Cultural Triangle | Guided visit to Polonnaruwa (UNESCO)
16:30 PM Cultural Triangle | Wash and Feed to an Elephant (Exclusive)
|Wednesday 13th February||09:00 AM Check out at Water Garden Sigiriya.
Transfer from Cultural Triangle to Kandy by road Approx. 3
09:45 AM Cultural Triangle | Guided visit to Dambulla rock cave temple (UNESCO)
11:30 AM Free to explore Kandy city and lunch on your own.
14:30 PM Check in at Ozo Kandy.
17:00 PM Guided visit to the temple of tooth.
Overnight at Ozo Kandy – Dream Room on Half Board basis
|Thursday 14th February||09:30 AM Check out at Ozo Kandy – Kandy
10:30 AM Check in to Lantern Hotel.
Afternoon at Leisure by the pool or beach
3 nights at Lantern MIrissa – Ubuntu Villa
|Friday 15th February||06:00 AM Transfer to Mirissa – Whale watching experience in a
11:30 AM Return to hotel.
|Friday 16th February||Morning leisure by the pool / beach
15:00 PM Explore Colombo city with your guide and shopping.
Overnight at Lantern MIrissa – Ubuntu Villa
|Saturday 17th February||Leisure by the pool / beach|
|Sunday 18th February||Transfer from Colombo to Katunayake International Airport
Depart from Bandaranaike International Airport (CMB) - Bandaranaike
International Airport (CMB)
Depart flight TBA
Liveaboard Only Package includes:
- Return economy flights from either Gatwick or Heathrow
- 7 nights aboard the Blue Voyager
- All meals and soft drinks
- 3-4 dives per day
TOTAL PRICE from £2,295pp based on a twin share in a standard room. Suites are available for an additional fee.
Additional Price of Sri Lanka
TOTAL PRICE : £1,250pp
INCLUSIONS / EXCLUSIONS
- Accommodation and Meal Plan:at
Water Garden Sigiriya - 2 nights HB basis
Ozo Kandy - 1 night HB basis
Lantern Mirissa - 4 nights HB basis
• Transport in an air conditioned coach with the services of an English Speaking national guide.
- Guided Visits and Excursions:
• UNESCO Galle fort
• 1 x game drive in Minneriya / Kaudulla national park
• Sigiriya rock fortress
• Polonnaruwa Kingdom
• The Temple of tooth relic
• UNESCO Galle fort
- Exclusive and unique experiences:
• Elephant experience in Habarana.
- Complementary Amenities:
• Welcome garlands at the arrival.
• Welcome gift
• Local lunch in Cultural triangle.
• VAT (Value Added Tax) & Tourism Tax.
• UNESCO World Heritage Site entrances fees
• Additional meals, beverages and liquor.
• ETA Mandatory VISA prior to arrival into Sri Lanka
• International flights.
• Travel insurance.
• Paid optional excursions
• Expenses of any personal nature.
• Tips/gratuities and porterage.
• Any other services not specified above.
- Kindly note that check in time to all hotels will be at 1400hrs and check out is at 1200 noon.
- All above hotel rates are subjected to revision as and when government taxes are revised, when respective hotel managements
revise rates or due to any currency fluctuations experienced at a given time.
- Bars, Clubs or similar entertainment is prohibited during “Poya” Days. As such liquor will not be served in public areas of the hotels
during this time.
- The above-mentioned hotels will only be confirmed on availability at the time of booking if booked above allocation during the
specified time periods. In such an event suitable alternatives will be suggested prior to confirmation.
- Museums, Schools etc will be closed during Public Holidays and Poya Holidays
Includes accommodation in a garden view villa, all-inclusive meals and drinks as well as watersports described above:
£245 per person per night in a Deluxe room on an all inclusive basis (based on 2 people sharing)
Plus return 50 minute speedboat transfers £243pp
25% deposit required to secure your place
Balance payable 10 weeks prior to departure
If you need to hire equipment then it is £75 from us for the entire duration including BCD, regs, weight belt, mask, fins and boots. Does not include torch, SMB or dive computer. Diving courses are available but extra charges will apply.
All prices are subject to availability and may change. The earlier you book the less chance there is of any price increases!
Please contact us directly...
There are only 26 spaces on the liveaboard available so please book your space ASAP to avoid dispappointment.
Diving and Travel Insurance
If you are planning on diving while on holiday ensure that your travel insurance policy covers you for diving. Many standard travel insurance policies don't include diving or put unrealistic depth limits and other factors within the policy so that they can avoid a payout. While diving is considered a very safe activity it is still advisable to carry out adequate insurance as accidents can and do happen. We have teamed up with DiveAssure who are providers in travel and diving insurance policies. To find out more just click on the banner below.
Oyster Diving offers and sells flight packages as the agent of ATOL holders. When you pay us for a flight package you will be supplied with an ATOL certificate. Please ask for it and check to ensure that everything you booked (flights, hotels and other services) is listed on it. For further information or for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to: www.atol.org.uk/ATOLcertificate.