September 17 to 24
The temperate ocean water of the Maldivian atolls are home to the highly intelligent, largest rays of the world, the manta rays. We invite you to join us as we visit the coral-reef equivalent of our onboard spa, the manta ray cleaning stations.
On this journey we'll explore these high cognitive functioning sea creatures behaviours and habitats, whilst also learning how you can help protect these highly threatened beings.
Alongside the daily dives and explorations of the western side of the atolls, you'll enjoy ocean talks from local NGOs' guest speakers, PADI Specialty courses, and entertainment. You'll leave having made a real difference in conserving these devil fish that are fundamental to our marine ecosystems.
Far North Itinerary: Baa - Raa - Noonu - Lhaviyani - Male (domestic flight to Dharavandhoo).
This trip starts with the most spectacular pinnacle dives of UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in the Baa Atoll.
You'll spend two full days anchored in Hanifaru Bay Area, the biggest seasonal congregation of manta rays in the world.
With the help of local rangers, we'll be monitoring for manta presence throughout the day. Once the Mantas show up, we'll sail you into the bay in our dive dhoni for an hour of guided snorkeling. This is a rare opportunity, as diving has been forbidden since 2012.
The areas surrounding Hanifaru Bay offer shallow manta cleaning stations that can be accessed for both diving and snorkeling.
Moving to the east of the archipelago, you'll experience uninhabited, unfrequented islands off the tourist map that are home to various secret sandbanks. We make sure to visit the must-dives of Noonu Atoll: Orimas Thila and Christmas Rock, followed by a night at Maafaru Wreck.
Rounding off the trip with the legendary Kuredu Express channel, before 6hrs crossing back to the Male Atoll on the Friday.
On top of daily diving you'll experience:
- Guest speakers from the Manta Trust and Maldivian Manta Ray Project.
- Green Fins Maldives Workshop.
- PADI AWARE Specialty courses: Manta Awareness, Dive Against Debris and more.
- Project AWARE Specialty course: INCLUDED (theory-only course).
Love Ocean Talks
Manta Talks: Join us for a series of engaging presentations to learn all about manta rays anatomy, physiology, behavior and conservation status. You'll discover how to identify individual mantas and what personal actions you can take to protect them. The Manta Talks will cover the required theory section of your PADI Manta Awareness course.
Green Fins Maldives Workshop: An interactive course for divers and snorkelers alike, following the Project AWARE Specialty course, fostering travelers into new ocean advocates. You'll be provided with advice on how to enjoy the wonders of the reefs within environmentally friendly guidelines.
PADI AWARE Specialty courses
PADI Manta Awareness: Explore the grace and beauty of these infamous manta rays further, learning more about them as a species, the threats they're facing, how to follow the code of conduct around manta cleaning stations and what you can do to help conserve them. (To gain this PADI Specialty Certification you must be at least 10 years old and certified as min. Junior Open Water Diver).
AWARE Dive Against Debris: If you want to make a difference on every dive you make, this course is for you. In this course, you'll begin learning about the widespread problem of marine debris, and you'll leave with the knowledge and skills to help tackle it. You'll start protecting our blue planet through both clearing local dive sites of trash, and also completing crucial Dive Against Debris surveys. After the clean-up dive we will weight, sort and record our findings so you can submit your first survey results to Project AWARE. (To gain this PADI Specialty Certification you must be at least 12 years old and certified as min. Junior Open Water Diver).
Project AWARE: In this interactive workshop you will learn how to channel your passion for diving into protecting the dive sites you love the most. This course will provide simple diving ethics to live by, and how you can make a difference when traveling, diving, taking photos and more. This course only requires a keenness to learn.
If you're looking to recharge and unwind whilst still reveling in the magic of these graceful, gentle creatures, join us at the spa deck to learn more about manta rays and their ecosystem.
Join us reveling in the remarkable 'Andrea: Queen of Mantas', a story of 30 year old Andrea Marshall who changed the world of marine biology, giving up everything for a life observing the largest population of manta rays in the world.
Next up, we have 'Majestic Mantas', following Pacific Manta Research Group scientists study their local manta ray population, whilst also showcasing the impact microplastics and other toxic trash has on these mysterious fish.
Feel the commorardary aboard our floating resort and spend the evening reveling in good stories and good food during manta ray themed dinner.
If you fancy yourself as a budding photographer, take part in our Manta Ray underwater photo contest, where you'll compete to capture the iconic "manta train". We also have 20 manta trivia cards waiting to be found around the boat.
If you're ready to take the plunge and not only share experiences with these magnificent sea creatures, but also make a lasting impact on their conservation, we can't wait to welcome you aboard.