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Love Whale Sharks Week

June 8 to 15 2024
November 23 to 30 2024

Within the marine paradise of the Maldivian atolls lives one of the most majestic subaquatic creatures, the whale shark.


These gentle giants glide through this part of the Indian Ocean all year round, making the Maldives one of the top hotspots to dive alongside these pelagics.

Join us as we celebrate the planet's biggest fish on a bucket-worthy expedition. With the help of our friends from the Maldives Whale Shark Research Programme, you'll become an expert in all things whale sharks related, including the threats they face and how you can aid their conservation.

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 ambassadors of the sea.

Click here to learn more about Maldives Whale Shark Research Programme's efforts.


Best of Maldives Itinerary: Male - N Ari - S Ari - Vaavu - Male (no domestic flights required)

Throughout this expedition, the primary focus will be on diving along pinnacle and outer atoll walls, providing unforgettable encounters with pelagic megafauna.

You’ll spend two full days in the South Ari Marine Protected Area, home for whale sharks and mantas visiting cleaning stations. As night falls, enjoy a unique experience with whale sharks during unforgettable night snorkeling sessions around the boat. The possibility of more than one visitor makes staying up late worthwhile, offering you the potential one-on-one encounters.

Once we arrive at the Vaavu Atoll, anticipate a once-in-a-lifetime night dive with nurse sharks and stingrays, residents of the iconic Alimatha Jetty.

To conclude the trip, we’ll cruise back to Male on Friday.

On top of daily diving you'll experience:

    Guest speakers from the Maldives Whale Shark Research Programme will cover topics such as general information about whale sharks, their presence in the Maldives, guidelines for swimming with them, research methods, our ongoing projects, citizen science, and whale shark identification.

    PADI AWARE Specialty courses, such as Shark Conservation and more, will be offered.

    Project AWARE Specialty course is INCLUDED (theory-only course).

Love Ocean Talks

Big Fish Talks: A presentation to familiarize you with whale shark biology, behavior, and conservation status. You’ll learn about the importance of research and monitoring programs and how you can become a citizen-scientist to gather crucial data for the preservation of our local whale sharks.

Shark Talk: Join the discussion about the world's most misunderstood fish. Discover the value of sharks to marine ecosystems and economies, and learn about the actions you can take to dispel misconceptions and act to protect them and their habitat.

Whale Shark Night: Spend the evening unraveling the mysteries behind these majestic creatures while also learning what part you can play in their conservation. As we discuss our favorite gentle giants, the stern platform will light up to attract whale sharks for a plankton feast.

PADI AWARE Specialty courses

AWARE Shark Conservation: This course will ignite your spark of interest in these fascinating creatures. You'll discover the value of sharks to marine ecosystems and economies, and learn about the actions you can take to dispel misconceptions and act to protect them and their habitat. During the two course dives, you'll demonstrate responsible diving practices and behaviors to minimize negative environmental impact. (To gain this PADI Specialty Certification, you must be at least 12 years old and certified as a minimum 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 provides simple diving ethics to live by and teaches how you can make a difference when traveling, diving, taking photos, and more. This course only requires a keenness to learn.

Movie nights

If you're looking to recharge and unwind while still reveling in the magic of these graceful, gentle creatures, join us on the spa deck to learn more about whale sharks.

Join the camera team duo, Doug Anderson and Rick Rosenthal, in 'Ocean Wanderers' on their journey filming oceanic white tip sharks without a cage. Relying purely on experience, observation, and nerves, you'll see how the powerful shark's behavior changes toward them throughout the expedition.

Up next in 'Whale Sharks: Gentle Giants,' you'll be transported to Mexico and Western Australia, where you'll learn about how whale shark tourism can be both a blessing and a curse.

Other events

Whilst the clear Maldivian waters provide an aquarium-like view of these subaquatic creatures, join us on deck to bask in all you've discovered over some shark-themed cocktails and dinner.

If you're feeling competitive, consider entering one of our photography competitions. We'll be looking for the best photos of the biggest and smallest fish from our daily dives.

If you're ready for an experience that's possible in only a handful of places around the world, with one of the oceans' greats, we can't wait to welcome you aboard.

Last minute trip? Check our new special cruises!