The 39m Maldives liveaboard Four Seasons Explorer has introduced two seasonal cruise itineraries: Winter of Wonders and Summer of Mantas.
Available to up to 22 guests at a time in 10 air-conditioned staterooms plus the Explorer Suite, the three-deck vessel is conducting all-inclusive three-, four- and seven-night trips.
Describing the vessel as a floating 5* PADI Dive Centre, Four Seasons promises “gourmet dining, spa therapies, water sports, island visits and Four Seasons’ inimitable service standards”.
Winter of Wonders itineraries run until 29 May and resume from 31 October to 18 December this year, taking in diving across five atolls as the liveaboard cruises between the Four Seasons sister-resorts at Kuda Huraa and Landaa Giraavaru.
Filling the gap, Summer of Mantas kicks in from 27 June to make the most of the seasonal aggregations of manta rays and whale sharks. The trips are guided by the Manta Trust team as they study the animals’ odyssey through the Baa Atoll UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and into Rasdhoo, North and South Ari Atolls – and share their expertise with guests. These cruises leave and return to Landaa Giraavaru.
Four Seasons says it has a Covid-based “Lead With Care” programme embracing health and safety protocols such as enhanced cleanliness, physical distancing in shared spaces and appropriate staff training.
Seven-night trips, on which guests can expect three dives per day including occasional night and sunrise dives, run from Monday to Monday. Staterooms are priced at US $9,800pp until 29 May, after which the price is $7,000pp (two sharing) until 18 December. Children aged 8 and above are welcome on board and the third-person supplement is $400 per day. Find out more from Four Seasons Explorer.
Manta Expeditions ‘23
Looking ahead to 2023, UK-based Manta Expeditions is offering a south-to-north 14-night expedition in which the 33m Conte Max liveaboard will cover more than 500 miles to visit 11 of the 26 Maldivian atolls. The vessel has eight en suite and air-conditioned cabins, a massage centre and a diving dhoni.
The cruise is timed to coincide with the arrival of giant oceanic mantas in southernmost atoll Fuvahmulah, which also attracts whale, tiger, grey, thresher and hammerhead sharks and schooling eagle rays.
Huvadhoo brings channel dives and the opportunity to swim with whale sharks by night; Laamu, Meemu and Ari mean mantas at reef cleaning stations; and Vaavu could mean hammerheads and a spectacular night dive. The trip concludes in Ari and South Male.
Manta Trust experts Guilherme Kodja and Jess Haines are the on-board guides from 26 March – 9 April 2023 and the price is US $4,100pp (two sharing). Learn more from Manta Expeditions.
UK tour operator Dive Worldwide also recently announced five Maldives holiday ideas, mainly liveaboard-based, as reported on Divernet.