Dive deep into the blue water to experience the abundance, variety and beauty of marine life in the Maldivian seas. Watch as large pelagic species to small reef dwellers and spectacular underwater seascapes of cliffs, walls and caves emerge through the sun dappled water adding a sense of adventure to the beauty all around.
The seas around the Maldives host several hundred species of algae, colouful stony and soft coral in weird shapes and many hues, huge sea fans, sea anemones, worms, crustaceans, mollusks, 740 species of fish including rare and endangered species that make up this amazing underwater world. Fish found among the rich diversity of the coastal reefs include vibrantly coloured angel fish, large ferocious looking barracuda, blue lined snappers with bright yellow bodies and blue horizontal stripes as well as brightly coloured butterfly fish, clown or orange fish. You will also glimpse large eagle rays, agile and fast grey reef sharks, long nose hawk fish swimming amongst black corals and rocks, manta rays with wing spans of more than 17 feet and the endangered Napoleon wrasse hiding in the slopes of coral reefs. Other attractive denizens include the oriental sweet lip which changes colour as it grows, the herbivorous multi hued parrot fish, sting rays with their barbed tails, brightly coloured trigger fish, moray eels, large 40 foot whale sharks weighing more than 47,000 pounds, the endangered Hawksbill turtle and the nocturnal Zebra sharks which rest on the sea floor during the day and goes into action at night fall. No wonder the waters around the Maldives are considered a ‘treasure trove of marine life’.
Snorkeling and kayaking are popular holiday pastimes to view the teeming marine life in shallow lagoons and coastal reefs. However scuba diving off coastal crafts is the preferred way to experience the beauty and adventure of the underwater world found outside and inside the atolls, lagoons and channels. The Maldives is said to have 1001 dive sites off its coasts. Seasonal diving is also popular to view concentrations of various species at some of these sites such as manta rays that gather in large numbers to feed on plankton at Hanifaru Bay. Ari Atoll has a reputation for reliable sightings of whale sharks, mantas, hammerheads, eagle rays and schools of other large fish.
Every resort island has a PADI certified diving school with PADI and UDI certified instructors and excellent equipment for hire. The natural coastal lagoons are perfect for diver training. There are even training programmes for junior divers.
The reef islands of the Maldives which support an enormous diversity of marine life are a rich ecological community inextricably linked in a complex relationship of food and competition for resources, providing a beautiful dynamic panorama to be enjoyed by the thousands of appreciative visitors.
For those keen on having the best diving experience and taking in the breathtaking scenery then a Maldives cruise would be the best option. The Atoll Explorer is able to fulfill these expectations. With comfortable accommodation, innovative dining experiences on board or on an uninhabited island the all inclusive cruise with exciting itineraries offers opportunities for snorkeling, scuba diving at some of the best dive sites and excursions to reefs, beaches, luxurious resorts and rural communities; in short island hopping that introduces visitors to the best that the Maldives has to offer. The commitment to making the cruise an event to remember makes this one of the best liveaboard Maldives experiences.