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Dive in the Maldives - 26 Atolls

Dive in the Maldives - 26 Atolls

So Many Islands, So Many Choices


With nearly 2,000 islands, most of which are uninhabited, the Maldives has countless stories to tell. The islands are scattered throughout the Arabian Sea, lying south of India and Sri Lanka. Off of the white sand beaches, the waters invite guests into a new world. With pelagic life, nutrient-rich waters, and abundant coral, the Maldives provides a great experience for any diver, no matter their ability. Most notably, however, are the 26 lively atolls that bring visitors to the islands. Each atoll is unique, and there is a variety of adventures for divers to choose from. Each one of the Maldives atolls has a unique history and vibrancy that is just waiting to be explored. With countless different dive sites and extensive marine life, divers can’t go wrong when choosing to spend their time in the Maldives. 


Ihavandhippolhu Atoll - Located at the very top of the Maldives, Ihavandhippolhu Atoll has many amazing sights for divers. Channels in this area are wider and shallower when compared to others in the Maldives, making the currents calmer and better for newer divers. This location has many walls and overhangs as well as macro life. Some guests even spot larger marine life such as reef sharks and turtles. One of the most popular resorts on the atoll is Beach House Iruveli, which has access to a five-star diving center. 


Haa Alif

                                        

Thiladhunmathi - Also known as Haa Alif Atoll, is the farthest north atoll in the Maldives as well as one of the largest atolls in the world. With forty-three islands of varying sizes, this atoll has only been open to tourism for less than 20 years. Only fourteen of the islands are inhabited. In addition to this, the western side has separate isolated reefs and tiny atolls within the atoll.  Guests usually visit this location if they are looking to spend their days on the beach and exploring all that the sea has to offer. Haa Alif is a 70-minute seaplane ride from the Male Airport, and there is a new airport, Hoarafushi Airport, on the atoll as well. Photo courtesy of CruiseMapper.

MaamakunudhooAs a small and intimate atoll, Maamakunudhoo has plenty of history that lives in its waters. There are many shipwrecks near its coral reef, and the marine life is plentiful. Divers often get to see jellyfish, dolphins, eels, and more on their adventures. Only one of the four islands in this atoll is inhabited as the atoll wasn’t known to exist until the 1800s. 


Etthingili Alifushi - Consisting of only two islands that lie on a detached reef, Etthingili Alifushi Atoll is known for its peaceful environment. Only one of the two islands is inhabited, and the waters surrounding them are very deep. There are luxury hotels in which guests can  their time, and the natives are known for their carpentry and boat building.  


You & Me Resort - Raa Atoll 

                                      


Raa Atoll - As one of the most popular atolls in the Maldives, Raa Atoll consists of 88 islands, only 15 of which are inhabited. It is located on the northern end of the Maldives and has many luxury hotels to choose from such as Kudafushi, Emerald, and Joali Maldives. Divers often get to see pelagic life and spend their time on comfortable liveaboards as they explore many of the dive sites Raa has to offer. Photo courtesy of You & Me Resort.


Fasdhūetherē - Popular for its island-hopping opportunities, Fasdhūetherē Atoll lies between two atolls in the northern section of the Maldives. It is home to 11 islands, only one of which is inhabited. This atoll is perfect for travelers looking to escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life and fall into tranquility. 


Baa Atoll

                                            

Baa Atoll - Due to its abundant biodiversity, Baa Atoll is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. The waters are home to gatherings of manta rays and whale sharks, most often in Hanifaru Bay. Perhaps one of the most popular sites in Baa is the submerged reef known as Dhonfanu Thila where divers can swim deep into the waters and see schools of fish as well as the occasional shark or manta ray. Although this is a more difficult dive, visitors of any skill level can choose from a wide range of dive sites that fits their abilities. Photo courtesy of Visit Maldives.


Goidhu Atoll - As a small oval-shaped atoll with a lagoon free of coral heads, Goidhu has seven islands in total. Only three of the islands are inhabited, but there are still plenty of excursions for visitors to experience. Snorkeling and diving are popular at this atoll, and the lagoon ranges from 30-35 meters deep. 

 

Lhaviyani Atoll - Just a 40-minute seaplane ride north of Male Airport, Lhaviyani Atoll is perfect for any visitor as there are many different resorts to choose from. From adults-only resorts to family-friendly resorts, Lhaviyani truly has it all. Guests looking for a peaceful getaway will be able to find that on this atoll just as others looking for adventure will be able to experience it. 


Kaashidhu Atoll - With many coconut trees and its stunning landscape, this atoll has an oval-shaped lagoon and a narrow reef. There are only two islands in the atoll, and there are Buddhist remains from centuries ago. The waters surrounding this atoll are incredibly deep. 

 

Gahaafaru Atoll - With a large reef that has caused many shipwrecks, this small atoll is separated from Male by a deep channel known as Gaafaru Kandu. The lagoon has no coral patches or shoals. There isn’t anywhere to stay on this atoll, but guests still visit this atoll for day trips. 


North and South Male Atoll

                                       

North and South Male Atoll - The Male Atoll comprises two sections: North Male Atoll and South Male Atoll. North Male Atoll is one of the most popular destinations in the Maldives while South Male Atoll is mostly explored by more experienced divers due to its strong currents. North Male Atoll is easily accessed as it is home to the airport, and there is plenty to do, including exploring the capital city or staying at one of the many luxury resorts. South Male Atoll is located near the airport as well and is perfect for guests looking to vacation on a budget. Photo courtesy of ZuBlu.


Thoddu Atoll - With some of the deepest waters in all of the Maldives, Thoddu Atoll is often used for island hopping as there are no real resorts there. There are Buddhist ruins that can be found on parts of the atoll, and the main source of income for those living on Thoddu’s islands is agriculture. 

 

Rasdhu Atoll - Although Rasdhu Atoll may be small, it has plenty of sights to see. Most popular amongst snorkelers and scuba divers, the atoll has a barrier reef stretching along its northern to western sides with another reef to the east. Sightings of hammerhead sharks, manta rays, and turtles are common at this location, and it is usually visited as day trips. 

 

Ari AtollThe Ari Atoll is located in the western region of the Maldives and is most famous for its stunning clear waters. The atoll is one of the largest in the area, and it has around 50 small islands and several oval reefs. Divers often visit this atoll for the pinnacle, Mayya Thila. This pinnacle reaches a depth of 100 feet, and divers often spot stingrays and barracudas as they descend into the sea. This atoll can be reached by a quick 30-minute seaplane flight from Male airport. 


Vaavu Atoll - Situated between South Male Atoll and Meemu Atoll, Vaavu Atoll is home to the ring-shaped Vattaru Reef at its southern end. Most arrive at one of the atoll's five inhabited islands by ferry or speedboat. These trips usually range from around one to three hours. Guests usually visit this atoll for its stunning dive sites, including the Keyodhoo wreck that is only a few years old. There is also a channel with caves and overhangs known as Fotteyo Kandu that bring in many divers each year. 

 

Falhu Atoll - With only one uninhabited islet, Falhu is a very small egg-shaped atoll. Since it is located near the Vattaru Kandu channel, it is often referred to as Vattaru Atoll. This channel is very popular amongst divers due to its diversity and strong currents; however, it can only be reached by boat. Tourists usually don’t visit this atoll due to its small size and the fact that it's uninhabited, but there are many great sights to see in its waters. 


Meemu Atoll - With 33 islands in total, Meemu Atoll is located south of Male. While the atoll can be visited by liveaboards, it can also be explored from the comfort of luxury resorts. The islands have plenty of history, including a mosque and a 1573 wreck off of a reef near Kolhuvaariyaafushi Island.


Faafu Atoll

                                             

Faafu Atoll - Faafu Atoll is located near the channel Ariadhoo Kandu, which separates it from Ari Atoll. It is often described as peaceful due to its small size and population. Out of the 20 islands that make up this atoll, 15 are uninhabited. This atoll is located just over 100 kilometers from the Male airport. Photo courtesy of the Dive Report.

 

Dhaalu Atoll - With plenty of luxury resorts to choose from, Dhaalu Atoll is a perfect vacation spot for families and honeymooners. Divers can explore the open lagoon or straight barrier reefs while other visitors can enjoy surfing or snorkeling. 56 islands make up this atoll, and less than 10 of the islands are inhabited. Dhaalu airport is located on the capital island of Kudahuvadhoo and can be reached by flights coming in from Velana International Airport. 

 

Kolhumadulu - Also known as Thaa Atoll, Kolhumadulu is famous for its waters that are ideal for fishing. Buddhism is a large part of the atoll’s history, and there are plenty of Buddhist remains on some of the islands. COMO Maalifushi is the only resort on this atoll. 


Haddhunmathi - As one of the more secluded atolls, Haddhunmathi is reached by a short boat ride from Kadhdhoo Airport. Most guests arrive at Kadhdhoo from the Male International Airport. There is one luxury resort on the atoll known as Six Senses. There are plenty of barrier reefs in its waters, some of which even turn into islands. Due to its tropical beauty, the atoll was chosen as the filming location for the Star Wars movie Rogue One. 


Huvadhoo Atoll

                                         

Huvadhoo Atoll - Often referred to as Gaafu, is the second-largest atoll of the Maldives. There are 235 islands in this atoll, and it is surrounded by a rim reef. Many visit this atoll for its ideal surfing conditions, specifically from April to October. Guests can spend their vacation exploring the diverse waters of Gaafu as reef fish, pelagics, and macro life are all common sights for divers. Guests visiting Huvadhoo can experience the atoll at any of the luxury hotels and resorts, or they can visit from several liveaboards.

 

Fuvahmulah Atoll - Located in the south of the Maldives. Due to its proximity to the equator, there aren’t any seasonal changes that impact diving, so guests are welcome year-round. Most of the dive sites in this area have not been extensively explored, making this location best for more advanced divers. In addition to the pristine, nearly untouched reefs, there are many freshwater lakes as well. 


Addu Atoll

                                            


Addu Atoll - Located just south of the equator, Addu Atoll is surrounded by barrier reefs and coral patches in the northern areas. Due to the diverse marine life around the atoll’s reefs, it is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. There are 30 islands, 13 of which are inhabited by around 10,000 people. The atoll has a long history, including a dialect that is specific to the area. Photo courtesy of the Scuba News.

The 5 Best Underwater Cameras for 2021 - Our Choices

The 5 Best Underwater Cameras for 2021 - Our Choices

You have taken the leap into a new adventure in life and become a certified diver. After buying the gear that fits your style and with a few trips to a resort or on a liveaboard, you notice many of your fellow divers are packing a camera of some sort. Some carry a small sports camera like the GoPro HERO, some carry a small compact and fully waterproof camera that requires no housing like the Olympus TG-6, and others carry a camera that looks like it was assembled by NASA. Now you have decided to become part of the photography crowd, but the question is which camera will best suit your wants and needs. The decision can be complex with so many options for the buyer. Once you start looking at cameras and housing and strobes, you may find your budget could be the driving factor. A full top end camera setup can cost a few thousand dollars.

 

We have selected what we believe are the best cameras in their category along with a couple of options on housings. This article doesn’t delve into the world of underwater strobes and lighting which deserves an article of its own. We hope this article helps you decide which camera might be your first purchase or if you already have an underwater camera and are ready to upgrade, what will be your next step.

 

Our categories are entry level compact, high-end compact, mirrorless, full frame mirrorless, and DSLR (digital single-lens reflex). Each type of camera has its own pros and cons.

 

Compact cameras offer an attached lens while both mirrorless and DSLRs offer interchangeable lenses. After shooting with a compact camera, many people eventually upgrade to a mirrorless or a DSLR. The advantage with a DSLR is the choice of interchangeable lenses. This difference limits the flexibility of a compact camera, although wet lenses that can be added while diving can help bridge this gap. You also have more flexibility with different focal lengths and better image quality from superior optics and a larger sensor. Interchangeable lens cameras also have reduced shutter lag and better focusing capability. These are huge advantages. 


Entry Level Compact Camera - Olympus TG-6

Key Features:

12MP Hi-Speed image sensor for low light performance and noise reduction

Dual Quad Core TruePic™ VIII Image Processor

F2.0 high speed Lens

4K and high speed video

Field Sensor System w/ GPS, Manometer, Compass & Temperature Sensor

Waterproof 


                               

                                               
The Olympus TG-6 is the same size as the TG-5 and has very minor improvements. The TG-6 will work in TG-5 housings. So, if you're really on a budget, take a look at the TG-5. Either the TG-5 or the TG-6 can be considered the best waterproof camera, outside of a housing. 

 

Although we are calling this an entry level camera, this is a very good underwater camera. It's also a good option for snorkeling because it's waterproof without a housing down to 50 feet (15 meters). 

 

The TG-6 has a high speed 12 MP sensor designed for excellent low light performance and noise reduction. It shoots 4k video, RAW photos, and includes built in WIFI, making transferring photos on the go easy. It's important to note that there is no full manual control on this camera. For the casual photographer who doesn't want to have to think about their camera settings this is probably not an issue. But if you want more control, you may want to consider a different camera. you'll be happier with an of the other cameras we mentioned above. For the housing, we recommend either the Olympus housing or the premium Isotta housing.

 

Pros

  • Smaller size for travel
  • Ability to change wet lenses underwater 
  • Much less cost 

 

Cons

  • Smaller sensor means less detail and more noise at high ISO
  • Shutter delay and focus delay is slow 
  • Less control over depth of field. 


High-End Level Compact Camera – Sony RX100 VII

Key Features:

1-inch 20.1 MP stacked CMOS sensor

BIONZ X processor

Built-in 24-200mm (equivalent) f/2.8-4.5 zoom lens

Electronic shutter up to 1/32000s

4K video with full pixel readout

S-LOG2, S-Log3, and HLG picture profiles

Pop-up EVF (2.36 million dots)


                                      

                                          

The Sony RX100 VII is packed with great features and improvements from its predecessor. New technologies have been integrated into the camera, which is similar to its cousins, the A9 and A6400. The improved autofocus tracking system, including animal eye autofocus makes the Sony RX100 VII a top choice for underwater photographers. You won’t find more useful technology for photographing underwater creatures on any other compact camera. Other upgrades include burst shooting without blackout and improved low light capability with a lower native ISO. 

 

There are three things that make the RX100 series one of the best underwater compact camera series. First, the 1-inch sensor size is larger than most other compact cameras. The larger sensor produces better image quality and better low-light performance due to a larger pixel size. Second, the auto-focus speed is faster than traditional compact cameras. Thirdly, the advanced 4K video features available in the RX100 series are the top-of-the-line when it comes to compact camera video systems.

 

The highlight of this camera is its unprecedented macro capability. The zoom on the 24-200 mm f/2.8-4.5 zoom lens cannot be beaten by other compact underwater setups. Details captured with this lens are remarkable. When combined with a wet macro lens, the realm of super macro photography is attainable. The tiniest details of the smallest subjects can be captured with this set up. For the housing, we recommend either the Nauticam housing or the premium Isotta housing.

 

Pros

  • Sharp 8x zoom lens
  • Electronic viewfinder
  • 1-inch sensor design
  • Eye detection

 

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Can't start video while images are writing to card
  • Limited touch functions


Mirrorless Camera – Panasonic GH5

Key features:

20MP Four Thirds sensor

5-axis in-body image stabilization system

4K footage taken using full width of sensor

Internal 4K/30p 10-bit 4:2:2 video capture

1080 video at up to 180p, enabling 7.5x slow-motion

4K and 6K Photo

9 fps shooting with continuous autofocus

Dual UHS II card slots

5GHz Wi-Fi, NFC and Bluetooth

                      


The Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 is the fifth in the company's industry-changing video and stills 'hybrid' lineup. With its 20MP Four Thirds sensor and deep video-centric feature set, it looks likely to pick up where the GH4 left off as a favorite of indie filmmakers and photographers whose interests venture into the realm of motion picture work.

 

The camera offers carefully thought-out features designed to let videographers of all levels record what they need with the new system. The body is larger and the price tag increased as a result, but the video produced speaks for itself. And the GH5's still photo capability holds its own against the best from Olympus and Sony.

 

The benefit of mirrorless cameras is that they offer the flexibility of interchangeable lenses, with a higher quality and better focusing than compacts in a smaller, lighter package than their DSLR counterparts. As the mirrorless cameras are becoming more robust, we’ve seen the sizes of these cameras begin to increase, getting close in size as DSLR cameras. We’re not quite there yet, and the Panasonic GH5, which the largest of the mirrorless options so far, is still smaller than a DSLR.

 

GH5 underwater housings are smaller than DSLR housings, and support both the GH5 and GH5s cameras, in addition to a variety of micro-four thirds lenses. The Panasonic 12-35mm lens is a popular choice for underwater video. For the housing, we recommend the Nauticam housing as it supports the largest number of lenses.

 

Pros

  • 20MP sensor gives increase in resolution without increase in noise
  • Highly impressive video specifications (4:2:2 10-bit color, 4K/60p)
  • Auto ISO added for manual movie shooting
  • JPEG color improved
  • Dual UHS-II card slots, support for faster V60 cards in the future
  • Settings can be saved to card
  • Good battery life

 

Cons

  • On the larger end of the Micro Four Thirds cameras
  • JPEG sharpening improved 
  • Viewfinder resolution drops noticeably during high-speed bursts
  • Autofocus in video can exhibit focus hunting
  • Slight decrease in video quality when shooting high frame rates (180fps)


Full Frame Mirrorless Camera – Nikon Z6 / Z7

Z6 Key features:

24.5MP sensor

5-axis image stabilization system

1080 video at up to 120 fps

4K video at up to 24 fps

12 fps burst shooting

ISO 100-51200

273-point hybrid phase-detection autofocus

 

Z7 Key features:

45.7MP sensor

5-axis image stabilization system

1080 video at up to 120 fps

4K video at up to 24 fps

9 fps burst shooting

ISO 64-25600

493-point hybrid phase-detection autofocus


                                    

                                               

The most important distinctions between the Z6 and Z7 are the sensor resolution and autofocus - both are markedly better on the Z7. Additionally, the Z7 has a native ISO of 64, expandable down to 32, which is better than the Z6's native ISO of 100 (expandable down to 50). This means the Z7 will pull out more details from the shadows and highlights than the Z6. Other than that, the cameras are almost the same, including the same physical dimensions and weights. And of course, the cost, with the Z7 about $1200 higher in price.

 

The most enticing thing about the Z6 and Z7 is the excellent construction. The weather sealing is tough in variable weather conditions. The Z7 is much smaller and lighter than the D850 (675g vs 1005g). For the travelling diver, the Z6 or Z7 wins every time. 

 

The image quality on the Z7 is amazing. At first you might think that 45.7 MP is more than enough pixels in one camera. However, every bit of that information is useful. When you have so many megapixels on a full-frame sensor, you’re left with an ability to crop photos and produce a large, beautiful images with very minute details. Details like this will open new worlds for macro photographers.

 

The video on the Z6 / Z7 can be considered on par with the D850. This puts it at the top of the line for most underwater video systems. The color rendering is as good as in the Nikon D850 - which was revolutionary for Nikon at the time of its release. But the best feature on the Z7’s video is the autofocus full-time function. It outperforms the D850 and most other competing cameras. I did, however, have a little bit of trouble with this function in very low light. The most exciting thing for videographers using the Nikon Z7 is that it’s a full-frame camera with 4k video, capable of outputting video at 10 bits. Many cameras with this capability are over 10 times the price. An N-Log color profile is also available for the Nikon Z7, which will bring out more details after post-processing. 

 

For the underwater housing, we recommend the Nauticam or the premium Isotta housing.

 

Pros

  • Amazing image quality 
  • Very high resolution
  • High functioning electronic viewfinder
  • Smaller than competing DSLRs

 

Cons

  • Banding in low light
  • Noise at low ISO 
  • AF slightly lower performing than the D850
  • Battery life
  • Single XQD slot

Digital Single-Lens Reflex (DSLR) – Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

Key features:

30.4MP CMOS full-frame sensor

DCI 4K 30/24p video using Motion JPEG + 4K Frame Grab

61-point AF system 

Dual Pixel AF

ISO 100-32000

7 fps continuous shooting

Wi-Fi w/ NFC + GPS

       


The Canon EOS 5D series is one of the most recognized camera lines of the digital age and the Mark IV is designed to appeal to a wide range of professionals. Nearly identical in appearance to its predecessor, it features considerable upgrades, including: a higher-resolution sensor with Dual Pixel auto-focus, 4K video capture, an upgraded AF system, improved weather-sealing, built-in Wi-Fi/NFC, an interval timer and GPS. All this adds up to an amazing camera that fits into Canon's product line.

 

The 5D Mark IV is Canon's first full frame camera that can continuously focus in Live View during stills capture, and because of the way Dual Pixel AF works, focus is generally very accurate. It's good at sticking to the original subject on which you initiated the focus, and it's easy to specify the subject by tapping on it on the touchscreen in 'Face Detect+Tracking' mode.

 

Underwater and even in poor visibility, the camera will easily snap autofocus. And, if the camera is tilted from a near subject to a far subject, the focus triggers quickly and smoothly. The new autofocus features in this camera could be a milestone in video autofocus for underwater photographers.

 

No other DSLR camera on the market can master natural light white balances underwater without a color correction filter like this camera. This allows the shooter to take lights in the water and have the option to do natural or artificial light shooting on the same dive. The white balance procedure is a little bit different compared to previous models. This camera does not allow photos in video mode. This requires an additional step to switch to photo mode, take a shot, then go back to video mode. This is not big deal, but if you were used to the procedure on a previous Canon, it’s an additional step.

 

Canon has made some vast image quality improvements over the previous EOS 5D. Still images are superb and as far as video quality, Canon is the king. For the underwater housing, we recommend the Aquatica or the premium Isotta housing.

 

Pros

  • Improved dynamic range
  • True live autofocus in video mode
  • Now shooting 4K 30p
  • High 500mbps data rate
  • 4:2:2 color space
  • 1.64 crop in 4K movie mode

 

Cons

  • No zebra or focus peaking in-camera, but available on external monitors
  • Large file sizes for 4K video
  • Fastest CF card on the market required to ensure uninterrupted video


                                                                              

Awesome Drift Dive Destinations

Awesome Drift Dive Destinations

                                     

 

For many of our fellow dive buddies, there’s nothing like a dive with wild current. Coral heads flying by, schools of fish and critters all doing their best to fight the flow and find shelter from the current in a coral head. Drift diving is one of the most exhilarating types of diving in the underwater world and there are some great dive destinations where you can jump in and enjoy the ride. No matter where you decide to experience drift dives, remember, Dive Safe! Whether you are an expert or a novice drift diver, safety comes first. Here are some rules to follow for a safe and fun drift dive:
– make sure you carry and use an SMB;
– streamline your gear to avoid damaging the reef;
– be properly weighted and neutrally buoyant;
– concentrate on your surroundings and changing conditions;
– do not fight current, work with it not against it.

 

Cozumel, Mexico

 

When planning a dive trip to Cozumel, you should prepare yourself for some great drift dives. Cozumel is a renowned destination for divers with a whole lot to offer. Cozumel is known for drift diving as well as other amazing reef dive sites. With its combination of great visibility, generally calm surface conditions, and strong currents, divers can experience drift diving at its best. Whether you’re an experienced diver, a beginner, looking to add drift diving to your skill set. Some amazing drift dives to try when diving Cozumel include Santa Rosa Wall, Pun ta Tunich, Palancar Reef, and Columbia Wall.

Santa Rosa Wall - Divers come back from Cozumel unable to stop talking about the Santa Rosa Wall, and for good reason. It is one of the deeper dive sites you will do when diving Cozumel, it is worth getting down there to see the fantastic coral formations, barrel sponges, and the incredible marine life. You can see sea turtles, huge groupers, and majestic eagle rays gliding through the waters here.

Punta Tunich is another great site. With coral ridges rising up from the sandy base at 70 feet, you’ll see schools of grunt and snapper, as well as large sea fans, bright, beautiful sponges and intricate corals. 

Planacar Reef offers three miles of reef and is suitable even for the beginning scuba diver. If you are diving Cozumel as a newly qualified diver and want an experience that lets you use the skills you learned, Palancar reef is easy and rewarding, with its hugely diverse sea life population and coral formations. The gentle currents and temperate water allow you to drift comfortably as you enjoy the surrounding world of colourful fish, sponges, coral and sea fans. This is also a really good dive site if you are an underwater photographer.

                                    

Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

The Galapagos Islands are considered one of the best dive experiences in the world, thanks to the large marine critters and unique wildlife found at these special islands. There is no shortage of currents at the Galapagos Islands, which attract pelagic species to top sites such as Wolf and Darwin Islands. Jump in, go with the flow and enjoy the schools of hammerheads and rays that pass you by.

 

The Cabo Douglas dive site is located on the North West side of Fernandina Island. One of the central Galapagos islands, Fernandina has an active shield volcano 'La Cumbre', which has been subject to eruptions within the last ten years. Fernandina is one of the most unspoiled environments in the world and one of the few places in the Galapagos which has never suffered any kind of invasive species. Many of the animals on Fernandina exist only on the Galapagos Islands. Marine iguanas have also evolved to survive on these islands making them completely distinctive to the region. The island is also home to a great number of sea lions, turtles, pelicans and Galapagos penguins. The dive sites at Cabo Douglas don’t cover a very large area but offer the opportunity to see so many rare species that it is thrilling diving.

Red Sea, Egypt

Elphinstone Reef in Southern Egypt is a long sausage-shaped reef that sits in the open ocean and is perfect for drift diving. The walls of the reef drop thousands of meters to the inky depths and are covered in hard and soft corals and filled with marine critters. The currents will take you along the walls at ripping speeds of up to 2 knots, with no diving effort needed at all on the right day. Diving Elphinstone is definitely one to add to the bucket list for experienced divers looking for adventurous dives. The ‘Simply the Best’ itinerary offered by Emperor Divers includes the Elphinstone Reef. This cruise offers some of the best Red Sea drift diving sites, including Elphinstone Reef, Daedalus and the Brothers. Divers enjoy the colourful corals and critters and the occasional passing oceanic whitetip shark.


                                      

Palau, Micronesia

Drift diving in Palau is often compared to hang gliding. Instead of riding winds, you are riding the marine currents maintaining neutral buoyancy and perfect trim. Many of the techniques of drift diving were developed in Palau, including the reef hook. Using a reef hook is the bit different than a typical drift dive. The waters of Micronesia are known for the abundant marine life and amazing currents. The dive spots of Palau, like German Channel, Ulong Channel and Blue Corner will wow you and have you flying through the sites full of colorful soft corals, turtles, sharks, manta rays, and tons of other fish.



                                   

Maldives, Indian Ocean

 

The Maldives offers plenty of drift dives to those lucky enough to visit. Teeming with life, many species of sharks are commonly seen as well as sea turtles, schools of fish, manta rays, and whale sharks. Add Lhaviyani Atoll, Noonoo Atoll, and South Ari Atoll to the top of your dive list here. Most of the liveaboards in the Maldives offers itineraries that include some fantastic drift diving.

Blue Force One Maldives Liveaboard - Scuba Dive Adventure

Blue Force One Maldives Liveaboard

Premium Scuba Dive Adventure

Book with us Now - The Maldives is Open for Divers

                   

The Maldives Blue Force One was awarded as the best Maldivian liveaboard boat in 2018. The ship has two outdoor jacuzzies, solarium sun decks with loungers, an outdoor bar, a large lounge, and modern cabins.
Blue Force One has eleven cabins that accommodate up to two guests per room. The eleven cabins include seven deluxe, one master cabin, one junior suite, and two master suites. All of the cabins feature an ensuite bathroom, hairdryer, remote control for lights, air conditioning, a flat-screen TV with satellite connection, onboard phone, a safe, and towels. The lower deck has one master cabin with a couple bed and six cabins with a double bed and a single bed. The main deck has two master suites with a double bed, jacuzzi for two people, and a sea view window. The upper deck has one junior suite with a double bed and a single bed as well as one cabin with two single beds.
Rates Per Person Double Occupancy: Deluxe $1990 USD - Master Cabin $2090 USD - Junior Suite $2190 USD

Scubaspa Liveaboard - Maldives is Now Open!

The Maldives is Now Open to International Travelers

Scubaspa Ying Liveaboard

Get Our 10% Discount 


The Scubaspa ships are as much a floating resort as they are dedicated scuba diving liveaboard ships. The unique concept combines exceptional spa experiences with unforgettable scuba diving. The Scubaspa has been designed for divers who travel with non-diving partners, and guests with a desire for an exceptional spa experience. Scubaspa’s purpose-built yachts explore the picture-perfect islands and divers explore the reefs in the crystal-clear waters of the Indian Ocean.


The liveaboard diving yachts Scubaspa Ying and Scubaspa Yang have been designed to accommodate up to 40 guests. The ships feature 10 cabins and nine suites on each yacht, and are tastefully decorated, all with panoramic sea view or port lights. The cabins are configured with queen, king or twin bed combinations. One suite and one cabin sleep up to three people. All cabins have air conditioning, en suite bathrooms with shower, personal safe, and mini-fridge.



Diving takes place from a tender. Approximately 20 meters in length, the dive boat carries all the equipment, including air compressors and state-of-the-art nitrox; purpose-built for comfort, each has adequate seating, multiple entry points, stern platform, and on-board toilet facilities. Both yachts are the only vessels in the Maldives awarded PADI 5 Star Dive Resort status. Nitrox is available but Scubaspa does not support technical diving or rebreathers. 


Contact us today to book an amazing dive and spa retreat holiday to the Maldives and get our 10% DISCOUNT. 

WWDS Master Fleet May Liveaboard Specials - Big Discounts

WWDS Master Fleet Liveaboard Specials - Big Discounts

Must Book by 31 May 2017 - Call Us Fast...!

French Polynesia Master  - Fakarava & the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve

Last Minute Special - 25% discount

 

• 7 nights: 24 June - 1 July 2017

 

Truk Master - Master Truk Lagoon

20% discount

• 7 nights: 23 July - 30 July 2017

• 10 nights: 6 - 16 September 2017

 

Red Sea Master - Northern Wrecks & Reefs
10% discount

• 7 nights: 11 - 18 Aug 2017 - was $1150 now $1035

• 7 nights: 18 - 25 Aug 2017 -  was $950 now $855

 

Maldives Master 
20% discount

• 7 nights: 13 - 20 Nov. 2017 - Pelagic Encounters 

• 7 nights: 21 - 28 Nov. 2017 - Magical Maldives 

• 12 nights: 30 Nov. - 13 Dec. 2017 - Central Atolls & Beyond

Maldives Liveaboards - Last Minute Deals

We have two new Maldives Liveaboards offering Last Minute sales. Contact us for details...! These charters offer air conditioned cabins, full board (all meals), stay 7 nights - pay for 6 nights. Experience all the fabulous diving you expect in the Maldives.

Handhu Liveaboard ~ $1526 USD Per Person

Discount Charter Dates: 20-27 February 2016

 

 

Theia Liveaboard ~ $1995 Per Person

Discount Charter Dates: 11-18 April, 18-25 April, 25 April to 2 May 2016

Liveaboard Dive Travel Deals

Carpe Vita Maldives Deep South - February 28 to March 10, 2016 - Last Minute

  • One Lower Deck Cabin - $4059 per person SAVE $500 per person
  • One Lower Deck Male Share Berth - $4059 SAVE $500

 

 

Dewi Nusantara 2016 SAVE 15%

  • Charter 1604 - Departs Sorong for North Raja Ampat, South Halmahera, Spice Islands 14-25 February - $5095 + Fees
  • Charter 1606 - Departs Ternate for Spice Islands, South Halmahera, Ambon 13-24 March - $5095 + Fees

 

 

Pearl of Papua - Raja Amat North - Limited Space

  • January 31 to February 7, 2016 SAVE 25% Book this trip with us and get a huge discount!

Carpe Vita - Maldives Deep South Shark Trip

Carpe Vita Liveaboard

Maldives Deep South Shark Itinerary

February 28 to March 10, 2016

We have one (1) remaining male share cabin on the popular Carpe Vita on a Maldives Deep South Shark itinerary. The charter departs Male and ends in Addu. The charter rate includes domestic return airfare from Addu to Male. Check out the itinerary map below. Ask for our discounted rate on this charter. Published rates listed below are in USD:

Charter $4,329

Airfare $230 

Green Tax $66 payable onboard

Fuel surcharge $100 payable onboard

Nitrox $200 payable onboard

Maldives Deep South Shark Trip - Carpe Vita Liveaboard

Maldives Deep South Shark Trip - Carpe Vita Liveaboard

February 28 to March 10, 2016

We have the last remaining cabins on a Maldives charter on the Carpe Vita, our favourite ship in the Maldives. First class all the way…! This charter is 11 nights from February 28 to March 10, 2016. Rates on this trip: Main Deck Cabin = $4,549 and Lower Deck = $4,329 USD per person. Fuel surcharge $100 per person, Green Tax $66 per person, Nitrox $200 per person.

This itinerary requires a one-way domestic flight from Addu (GAN) at the end of the trip at an approximate cost of $260 per person.

 
 
 
Male to Addu on the Carpe Vita
 ITINERARY 1: MALE – ADDU (11 NIGHTS)
Atolls covered: South Male, South Ari, Vaavu, Meemu, Thaa, Laamu, Huvadhoo, Fuvahmulah and Addu
This unique 11 night trip will be starting from Male and end all the way past the equator in Addu. On this 11 night trip South Ari atoll is added. Guests will require a domestic flight back after the trip from Gan (Addu) to Male airport or from Male to Addu to join the trip. The routing is suitable for experienced divers only due to the currents and number of channel dives involved. The routing is focussed on seeing lots of sharks including possible thresher and tiger sharks, hammerheads, whale sharks and mantas plus the possibility of seeing the rare Mola molas (sunfish). The map below gives a tentative overview of the routing, but will be weather depending. Because of the distance that needs to be covered this trip will only provide 3 dives a day instead of the package of 4 normally offered on the Carpe Vita.

 

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