Diving & Spa-ing in the Maldives Aboard the Scubaspa Liveaboards20th September 2016 | Sandro Lonardi
Imagine yourself surrounded by tiny islands with pristine beaches, spread throughout a turquoise sea like pearls in the ocean. Now imagine yourself jumping in the warm water and diving with gentle manta rays and giant whale sharks.
This is the Maldives. It sounds perfect right? What if I told you it could get even better?
The Scubaspa liveaboards are transforming this amazing scuba destination into the most luxurious holiday found on water.
If you’re ready to learn how to make the most of your next dive vacation, keep reading.
Diving in the Maldives
In case you don’t already know, the Maldives are one of the best dive destinations in the world.
Manta rays and whale sharks can be seen fairly regularly throughout the year. Whitetip, blacktip, grey, nurse and leopard sharks are also common sightings. If you’re into rays, the Maldives is a great place to see both eagle and sting rays. To round out an impressive selection of marine life, turtles, dolphins, tunas and jacks are logged regularly while liveaboard diving in this island nation.
With healthy reef systems covered in both soft and hard coral, huge schools of reef fish find easy living in the Maldives. Big gorgonians and caves covered by Alcyonaria will amaze you.
Diving Season in the Maldives
You can dive in the Maldives all year long. Liveaboards adjust their itinerary so that you always find manta rays and whale sharks. That said, there are some periods where the weather is better and being in the Maldives, on a boat, is more pleasant.
- Best time: February to April is the absolute prime time. During these months, you’ll find the dry season / northeast monsoon. The sea is flat, sun is almost guaranteed, and there will be hardly any wind. To give you a better idea of the conditions, you’ll probably be able to see the bottom of the reefs from the boat when you pass over them.
- Good time: July to October is the wet season / southwest monsoon. The sea is a bit more rough and you may get some rainy or cloudy days. This is not guaranteed, and you may still be lucky enough to have a fantastic week without a cloud in the sky. The weather is simply less “stable” during these months.
- Risky time: November to January and May to June is when the monsoons change. Lately, the timing of these changes is becoming less predictable. Usually the changeover lasts about one month, and during this time, it’s mainly windy and rainy. I wouldn’t recommend going to the Maldives during these months, but if you’re on a budget and don’t really care about rain, this is when you’ll find the best deals.
Regarding the water temperature, it averages 82 to 86°F (28 to 30°C) throughout the year, so it’s always awesome.
Liveaboard vs Resort Vacations
I’m a big fan of liveaboard vacations. There’s no better way to dive when you really want to explore a place. The Maldives is no exception.
Ari Atoll probably boasts the most beautiful dive sites in the Maldives, but the other atolls have some crazy dives, too. If you stay in a resort, you’ll only see the sites that are within an hour’s journey of your accommodation, and you’ll miss out on all the other amazing dive sites around the Maldives.
With a liveaboard, you’ll dive in 3 to 4 atolls, so you’ll actually see the best underwater environments in the Maldives. And, as previously mentioned, the cruise director will adjust the itinerary depending on the season and knowledge from previous trips so that you get the most out of your liveaboard vacation.
A Liveaboard that Feels Like a 5 Star Resort
At this point you should be convinced that a liveaboard is the best way to dive the Maldives, but you (like me!) may still be attracted by a luxurious hotel where you’ll get fancy cocktails and relaxing spa treatments. Keep reading… this is getting exciting!
I’m here to answer all of your dreams with the Scubaspa liveaboards. These liveaboards, which are two twin yachts called Scubaspa Ying and Scubaspa Yang, are the biggest and most comfortable diving boats ever built in the Maldives. They will show you the time of your life while sailing around these picturesque atolls.
The magic of a Scubaspa liveaboard lies in its dual purpose as both a dive boat and wellness retreat. With the spa occupying a whole deck (300sqm), you can rest assured that these boats will take great care of you both under and above the water.
Liveaboard Diving in the Maldives On Board the Scubaspa
On the Scubaspa, you can choose different packages, either 2/3 dives a day, 2 spa treatments a day or various combinations of the two.
In case you travel with a non-diver, the Scubaspa is the perfect choice. Your partner can relax in the onboard wellness center while you’re underwater.
The Scubaspa dhoni, which is the tender you’ll dive from, is one of the most comfortable I’ve ever encountered. All your equipment will be stored on this vessel, and the tanks will be filled there, too. So, you’ll only have to prepare your gear on the first day, and you won’t be disturbed by the sound of the compressor or clanking of the tanks.
Snorkeling is almost always possible, and the crew will suggest the best spots for you depending on the itinerary.
Also get ready for some awesome land excursions, including a deserted island BBQ and exploration of a fisherman’s island.
Cabins and Booking
The Scubaspa vessels have 4 types of cabins:
- Manta Suites: Located on the main deck, these are the nicest cabins on board. Very spacious and elegant, they feature huge windows for enjoying the magical landscapes of the Maldives.
- Dolphin Suites: Also located on the main deck, these cabins are also incredibly nice, albeit slightly smaller than the Manta Suites. They feature huge windows and elegant furniture.
- Cowrie Suite: Located in the bow of the lower deck, this is a uniquely shaped cabin, which stands out due to its spacious layout. It also boasts the largest shower on board.
- Sea Star Cabins: Situated on the lower deck, these cabins are the best option for budget-conscious divers.
The Scubaspa Ying and Yang are incredibly similar to each other. They both offer Nitrox and have comfortable dhoni (tenders) for reaching the dives sites. The price is also the same for both of the Scubaspa yachts. Either one is sure to provide sunny memories of the Maldives.