June 11 to 18
Within the crystal clear waters of the Maldivian atolls live five of the seven species of sea turtles in the world. These marine animals are living representatives of a group of reptiles that have existed and ventured through the blue planet for the last 100 million years.
We invite you to get to know these ancient, gentle creatures both on and off the water, on an expedition that involves exploring their habitats, learning about their habits, and conserving their home.
Alongside daily dives and explorations of breathtaking seascapes, you'll also enjoy ocean talks from local NGOs' guest speakers, PADI Specialty courses, and entertainment. You'll leave having helpedus make a real impact in conserving these gentle giants that are fundamental to our marine ecosystems.
Far North Itinerary: Male - Lhaviyani - Noonu - Lhaviyani - Male (no domestic flight required).
Starting on Saturday in the central Maldives, we'll cross to the home of the turtle clinic in Lhaviyani Atoll, where you'll be greeted with countless green sea turtles.
Moving to the northern atolls, you'll experience uninhabited, unfrequented islands off the tourist map that are home to various secret sandbanks.
This itinerary covers the 'must-dive' sites starting with Christmas Rock, followed by famous Kuredu Express, and not forgetting The Shipyard where you'll explore not one, but two wrecks and a profusion of macro reef life.
You'll have a full day anchored in Noonu Atoll, with its unique pinnacles, colorful macro life, and thriving corals.
This expedition offers an abundance of channel dives along the outer walls of the atoll, their strong currents attracting many pelagic animals for once-in-a-life-time encounters.
Rounding off the trip with a final dive at our favorite location, Turtle Caves. We will then cruise back to the Male on Friday.
On top of daily diving you'll experience:
- Guest speakers from Naifaru Turtle Sanctuary.
- A visit to Atoll Marine Center Turtle Clinic.
- A Sea Turtle Net Rescue Workshop.
- Green Fins Maldives Workshop.
- PADI AWARE Specialty courses: Sea Turtle Awareness, Dive Against Debris, and more.
- Project AWARE Specialty course: INCLUDED (theory-only course).
Love Ocean Talks
Turtle Talks: A presentation to introduce you to sea turtle biology, anatomy and their complex life cycle. We will talk about all seven species and how to identify them. You'll also learn about threats to sea turtles, their conservation status, and how you can personally get involved in citizen- science projects, such as photo ID collection. The Turtle Talks will cover the required theory section of your PADI Sea Turtle 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 Sea Turtle Awareness In this course, you'll be taught how to identify and record sightings of the sea turtles you'll be diving alongside in these tropical waters. Additionally, you'll learn why they're so important to marine biodiversity, and what you can do to help their conservation. During the two course dives you'll fine-tune your buoyancy and practice advanced finning techniques that will help you take better turtle ID photos without disturbing the animal. (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 be able to protect 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 archaic yet beautiful marine animals, join us at the spa deck to learn more about sea turtles and their ecosystem.
From the animation 'A Turtle's Tale - Sammy's Adventure', whereby an elderly sea turtle narrates his life experiences, from adventures amongst the atolls to habitat obstacles such as pollution and global warming. To 'Turtle Journey', a powerful short film commissioned by Green Peace that showcases the importance of ocean protection for our sea turtles.
Join us and visit the Atoll Marine Center, a unique initiative run by local people to rehabilitate as many sea turtles as possible. Discuss all you've discovered during Love Turtle week over one of our seven turtle-themed cocktails at our turtle-themed dinner, it's a meal to remember. Enter the photos you've captured of sea turtles wading through the Indian Ocean in our Underwater Turtlegraphy contest. There are prizes, of course.
If you're ready to take the plunge and not only deepen your understanding of these fascinating subaquatic species, but also learn how you can make a real difference in their conservation, we can't wait to have you aboard.