The Maldives

  maldives 

Exotic Maldives… Pearls of the Indian Ocean

July 16-25, 2019                10 days/ 9 nights                $4690.80 per diver

Maldives Diving Essentials

Some worldly-wise travel advice to make your trip effortless.

Getting Here: A quick one-hour hop by air from Trivandrum (South India) or Colombo (Sri Lanka), and just a four-hour flight from Singapore or from Dubai, Maldives is truly an escape to paradise. Located on Hulhulé Island, adjacent to the capital island, Malé International Airport (code: MLE) is the gateway to Maldives. Arriving guests are greeted by a Manthiri escort who facilitates transfer to our boat.

Passport and Visa: Arrival could not be any easier — while a valid passport or travel document, current to the departure date, is required for entry, visitors don’t need to arrange for visas. A 30-day tourist visa is issued on arrival at the Malé airport. To smooth entry and exit, we strongly advise that the name on the air ticket tally with that on the passport, to avoid delay at the Immigration counter or any travel restrictions.

Health: Maldives is remarkably safe, sunburns and falling coconuts are among the few indigenous health hazards. If you have a preferred brand of ocean safe sunscreen and insect spray, add it to your suitcase as a limited selection is available on the islands. Happily, the country is free of malaria, yellow or dengue fever or any other plague, so a Certificate of Inoculation is required only if arriving from endemic regions of the world.

Safety Standards: Manthiri’s construction meets every safety standard of the Ministry of Transport and Coast Guard. Smoke detectors in every cabin and key areas, an updated alarm system and an ample supply of extinguishers secure the boat. Exiting the boat is made simple with options like the main stairway, an emergency exit to the main deck, and a back-up exit ladder.

Safety is a primary concern on both of our vessels, so oxygen and essential first aid needs, although rarely needed, are handy on both vessels. Maldives is a renowned dive destination, so a recompression chamber and a hyberbaric doctor are handily accessible in some key holiday resorts, namely Bandos Island in North Malé Atoll, Kuramathi in North Ari Atoll, and Kureddu further north in Fadippolhu Atoll.

Customs: What to leave behind? Some items are strictly prohibited, so do not attempt to import narcotics, firearms, pornographic literature or pictures, or idols of worship (indigenous religious practices make this disrespectful). Importing liquor is also prohibited so, although alcohol purchased before arrival may be left for collection at the airport, it’s best not to pack any. Manthiri is well-provided with excellent wines, included with dinner; guests also may purchase beer and liquor on board. Export of tortoise shell and coral is illegal, to protect natural resources.

Weather & Clothing: There’s a reason Maldives is a year-round resort location. Weather is uniformly lovely and mild, which makes packing as simple as tossing some shorts, t-shirts, beach shoes and a swimsuit into your overnight bag. Casual options are all you’ll need at nearly every island here, with some modest items, such as a skirt or below-knee shorts and shoulder covering for ladies, suggested for visits to the capital and smaller villages. Bring along a light sweater for sea breezes for those starry evenings on deck.

Gear: Visitors who prefer traveling light may rent quality SCUBA gear right on Manthiri.

The best tip of all? Relax and let us take care of you!

Trip Schedule & Pricing

Reservations and bookings for the Maldives trips can be made online by emailing us at: info@sdsharkdiving.com. You can also phone our office at 619-299-8560 – 7 days a week- 9am-5pm Pacific Time Zone (Pacific Daylight Time during the summer)

Note: occasionally we are offshore out of cell phone range and may be unavailable, but there is a voice mail feature on our phone line. Please leave your message and we will return your call when we return to shore.

Deposit: For the Maldives trip a $1000 deposit per person will hold your spot aboard the Manthiri. The balance would be due 65 days prior to your departure date. We can arrange a payment schedule for you if you prefer.

Payment: We prefer a personal check , Cashier’s Check, or Money Order made out to San Diego Shark Diving and mailed to our office:

San Diego Shark Diving Expeditions, Inc.
6747 Friars Rd Ste 112
San Diego, CA 92108 USA

Payment can also be made using a credit card (Visa, Master card, American Express, or Discover Card). Many of our foreign white shark divers also like to make their payment via bank wire transfer. Please email or call us for the wire transfer details. We strongly recommend that you purchase travel insurance to protect against unforeseen situations.

If you cancel 90 days or less prior to your departure date, your deposit and any additional money you may have paid toward the balance of the trip price will be refunded, minus a $300 cancellation fee, provided another person can be found to purchase your spot on that Maldives trip. If another diver cannot be found in time to purchase your spot on the trip, no refund of your deposit, nor of any money paid toward the balance of the Maldives trip price will be issued.

Itinerary

Overview:

Day 1: Meeting & Greeting in the airport upon guests’ arrival. Our rep wears MV Manthiri T-Shirt and has MV Manthiri sign so you can easily recognize them. Transfer to the boat at 13:00. If your flights time do not match with our transfer time, please, contact us to see what other transfer time we can arrange for you. If you need to take a domestic flight to join the boat, our rep will meet you and show you the way to the domestic terminal. The meeting point is near the Help Desk. You can call us from there, local phone will be provided for you.

Introductions and briefings, equipment preparation and set up. No diving

Day 2 through day 8: Three to four dives per day.

Typical Trip Schedule:

6:00 am: Wake up call
6:30 am: Briefing, coffee, tea and toasts, 1st Dive
8:30 am – 09:00 am: Breakfast
11:00 am: 2nd Briefing and Dive
1:00 pm: Lunch
3:00 pm – 3:30 pm: 3rd Briefing and Dive
5:00 pm: Afternoon tea and snacks (normally a cake)
7:00 pm: Dinner

Day 8: Two dives, Male City tour upon request and depending on the route and weather conditions

Day 9: Check out, transfer to airport @ 7:00am & 9:00am hrs No diving

Boat Accommodations

Manthiri Luxury Liveaboard Accommodations

Manthiri is custom-designed for the optimal dive experience but also for comfort. The vessel’s exceptionally wide beam minimizes rocking motion and our limit of twelve guests allows for commodious cabins. Cabin configurations provide numerous options, with four spacious twins and two doubles that feature roomy queen-size beds.

All cabins are en suite, with hot-water showers, convenient hair dryers, individually controlled air-conditioning and minibars. Our dive tender allows us to transfer your dive gear off the main boat, so there’s plenty of storage in every cabin; a locker and drawers await clothes and luggage stowage is handily accessible.

Manthiri’s teak-paneled salon is one of the largest found on any vessel of this size. Relaxingly furnished with expansive, upholstered sofas, it also offers a state-of-the-art music system, DVD player, and multi-system TV/VCR with video camera viewing facilities. The camera salon is equipped with a well-lit work station, a computer for instant download of digital photos and a slide projector. Manthiri has been outfitted by professionals with underwater photographers top of mind.

When sea breezes beckon, Manthiri’s top deck is artfully arranged to accommodate both sun-worshippers and shade-seekers. Deck chairs are ideally placed for soaking in the rays, icy drink in hand, or star-gazing in the evening.

Maldives, renowned for its rare and abundant marine life, is home to Manthiri, our luxurious live-aboard. Manthiri’s spacious cabins, beckoning decks and quality equipment are all rigorously well-maintained, but that’s only half of our commitment to excellence. Our other constant goal is service and an endless quest for perfection.

The gracious standard of Manthiri is evident the moment you step off the plane in Maldives. Our representative will greet you at Malé International Airport and accompany you to the transfer vessel we’ve arranged to breeze you to Manthiri.

Manthiri, our beautiful 85-foot (25.9-meter) liveaboard is powerfully built of fine tropical timber and custom-designed for dive cruises. The vessel’s wide beam of 25 feet (7.6 meters) contributes toward a stable hull, and allows room for spacious cabins. No more than twelve guests are invited on each cruise and our attentive eleven-person crew ensures that every need is met.

Our separate, specially outfitted dive tender, called a dhoni, provides a home for compressors, Nitrox systems and dive gear, creating the equivalent of a 106-foot (32.3-metre) liveaboard on the main vessel — one with just six cabins and its own gracious dive deck. With the dhoni, that’s how spacious Manthiri feels.

Fastidiously maintained and in operation for twenty years with a superb crew, Manthiri is widely acknowledged as one of the finest liveaboards in the world.

Manthiri specs:

Length- 85 ft     Beam -25 ft

Something unique about live-aboard diving in the Maldives is that a large tender will attend the Manthiri.

Dive Tender

We make every moment of your dive experience pleasurable and so we custom-built our dive tender’s 54-foot length and 45-ton displacement to provide a stable, low-sitting platform, which means that our dhoni, the Vasantha, offers the most comfortable entry for your dives.

The Vasantha’s 400-square foot (37-sq. meter) dive deck offers four exits, a rinse tank, a head, and two hot water showers for your convenience. It seats up to 14 divers with elbow room to spare.

Best of all, we’ve equipped this dive tender with two high capacity air compressors, a Nitrox compressor and sit-up tank racks that carry an assortment of tanks, 12 and 14 liter aluminum. This allows us to shift bulky dive equipment off Manthiri, giving you even more living space and luxury on the liveaboard.

Our guests’ comfort and peace of mind are the inspiration for every detail not only on Manthiri but also Vasantha. The dive boat’s crew of three delights in offering guests on-deck assistance and smilingly rinses gear after each dive, giving you even more time to relax and enjoy the ride.

 

Manthiri.profile Manthiri     01-1    Vasantha   manthiri-liveaboard-maldives-scuba-diving-deck-plan  sun deck Sun Deck

 

01-2 Salon  02  Twin Cabin  04  Double Canin 05  Ensuite Head and Shower

Manthiri  Crew

Manthiri’s close-knit crew of eleven prides itself on providing matchless service, ensuring that all your requests and comforts are met. It is our goal to anticipate every need, from providing fresh towels after each dive to meticulous laundry service. With nearly a one-to-one passenger-to-crew ratio, we are able to ensure the matchless service for which we are renowned.

Ibrahim, our cool-headed skipper, has racked up more than thirty years of experience sailing Maldives’ islands and lagoons. Exploring the region since his teens, he’s gained an uncanny intimacy with the local waters, navigating our guests to exclusive dive spots unknown to other operations.

Dhonbé, our quiet engineer, is a painstaking professional who prides himself in maintaining the machinery to optimum condition, ensuring a safe and serene boating experience.

Having cut their teeth at a top-class resort hotel, both our waiter Madhee and house-keeper Rashad, are in a class by themselves. Our two chefs, Ammaday and Hema, hail from a similar background. Creating four-star meals, they delight in pampering guests with mouth-watering dishes and invigorating snacks each day.

Manthiri’s dive guides, Moosa and Ali, are without doubt the finest pair of dive guides found on any liveaboard. Moosa is a PADI certified diving instructor. Ali is a PADI certified Dive Master. They had logged more than 13000 dives between them in career spanning 18 years and 12 years respectively. In 2014 Moosa was honoured in the United States based Diving and Equipment Manufacturing Association’s (DEMA) Hall of Fame as the youngest instructor to have completed 8500 dives.

In addition to his role as head guide, Moosa is Manthiri’s photo pro. An acclaimed underwater photographer, Moosa is delighted to assist guests gain skills and will target advice to any level of experience.  Photographic novices are frequently surprised and always delighted by how much they can improve their underwater shots in a single trip.

Guests can rest assured that Manthiri is owner-managed, so every element of your trip is championed by office staff who share the same passion for excellence as our boat crew.

Not Included:

  • International air fare
  • Gratuities
  • Souvenir purchases
  • Specialty beverages
  • Wi-Fi
  • Nitrox : $20.50 per day (up to 4 dives) + 12% Goods & Services Tax

Included:

  • All onboard meals, snacks, non-alcoholic drinks, weights, tanks, 3-4 dives per day except during transits
  • RT transfers from airport to vessel

Maldives Information

The Maldives forms an archipelago of 26 natural atolls comprising 198 inhabited and 991 uninhabited islands stretching over 820 kilometers north to south and 120 kilometers east to west. The islands are small and low-lying with neither rivers nor mountains. That being said, its plain geographical features appear like bubbles on the ocean horizon. Each island perpetually covered with fine pristine white sand. Each with a shallow lagoon, a harem for another mystical life beneath the water surface, surrounded by reefs of coral that danced under the warmth of the sun’s embrace, and glowing with perfection as it plunges into an infinite abyss. Even for poor swimmers, the lure of the calm waters becomes irresistible to behold.

The island resorts do not offer the artificial razzle-dazzle of Mediterranean beach strips. The theme is holiday, pure and simple. For the visitor, everything is easy and stress-free. Even if you do not want to laze in the tropical sun on a white beach, snorkel in clear blue lagoons, dive to discover fascinating reefs, go big-game fishing, wake-boarding, surfing or windsurfing, be marooned on a real desert island surrounded by candle-light or sip exotic cocktails before an epicure of quality dinner.

Dive Gear Rentals

Gear Rental on Manthiri

Guests are welcome to bring their own equipment . For those who wish to travel unencumbered, high-quality gear is available for rent onboard Mantiri.

All rates listed in US Dollars

Mask/Fins/Snorkel set hire for less than five days will be charged at rates per day. Other equipment hire less than five days will be charged at rates per dive.

NITROX FILLS at USD 20.50 per day (up to 4 dives) + 12% Goods & Services Tax

( Rental Equipment Rates are subject to 12 % GST )

Qty Description Brand Size
Charges in US$
per
dive
per
Day
5
Days
6
Days
7
Days
8
Days
9
Days
Lost
Charges
Regulator, complete Scuba Pro 7.00 55.00 60.00 65.00 75.00 80.00 779.00
BCD, complete Sea Quest, Scuba Pro Large, Medium, Small 7.00 55.00 60.00 65.00 75.00 80.00 779.00
Dive Lamp Scuba Pro 10.00 35.00 40.00 45.00 50.00 55.00 120.00
Dive Computer Uwatec, Aladin Pro 10.00 55.00 60.00 65.00 75.00 80.00 300.00
Mask 4.00 65.00
Fins 5.00 75.00
Snorkel 2.00 25.00
Wetsuit Large, Medium, Small 6.00 45.00 50.00 55.00 60.00 65.00 120.00
Snorkel Set 10.00 30.00 35.00 40.00 45.00 50.00 160.00
Weight 15.00
Belt 35.00
*NOTE: All divers must carry Surface Marker Buoy (SMB), and dive computer on every dive.

FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Where is Maldives?
    A. Maldives, a nation of 1190 small islands, scattered across the equator over 90,000 km² in the Indian Ocean, southwest of India.
  2. What kind of dives do you offer?
    A. Most of our dives are drift dives in channels or over sea mounts called thilas.
  3. When is the best time to dive in Maldives?
    A. Maldives is a year-round dive destination. Being far away from Bay of Bengal, cyclones are rare. Mantas (off cleaning stations) and whalesharks are sighted year-round. The best time for schooling mantas are July to mid November. Fish life is spactacular year-round. Dryer weather conditions and calmer seas in Maldives coinciding with the winter in the northern hemisphere makes January to April the busiest months.
  4. What is the visibility like?
    A. Visibility depends on current and sea conditions. On a typical 250 mile tour, we have 100 foot plus visibility on some dives while on other dives they range 60 – 80 foot.
  5. How about the current?
    A. Currents are always present in Maldives. The strongest currents, though, are experienced late December to mid February.
  6. In which time zone is Maldives located?
    A. Maldives Standard Time is GMT + 5 hours.
  7. What is the weather like in Maldives?
    A. Situated across the equator in the Indian Ocean, the climate is tropical year-round. The air temperature averages 30° Celsius (86° F). The cooling effect of the sea breezes, however, makes most days balmy and genial.

Maldives is blessed with plentiful sunshine throughout the year, the average being 7 ½ hours of sunshine a day. There are two definite seasons, characterized by the direction of the prevailing wind. The southwest season or monsoon lasts May to October. Days of fine weather is punctuated by short spells of rain and gusting winds. The northeast season or monsoon lasting December to April is dryer and the seas generally calmer. The term monsoon denoting roaring winds and rain, however, is mostly a misnomer where Maldives is concerned as the effect of monsoon experienced in India is much milder farther south in the Indian Ocean

  1. What is the water temperature like?
    A.
    Maldives being on the tropical zone, the water temperature ranging 28° to 29° Celsius (83° to 85° Fahrenheit)
  2. How do I get to Maldives?
    A. All passengers arrive into Maldives by air. International Airlines that operate scheduled flights into Male’ are Singapore Airlines, Emirates Airlines, Qatar Air, Malaysian Airlines, and Sri Lankan Airlines.

Passengers from North America usually travel to Maldives via Singapore using Singapore Airlines or via Dubai on Emirates Airline. Singapore Airlines offers a service from Los Angeles and San Francisco. Also from Newark, New York. Emirates flies from JFK, New York.
Passengers traveling from Japan use both Singapore Airlines and Sri Lankan Airlines.

Q. Can I bring in my own liqueur?
A. Import of liqueur, narcotics, pornography of all kinds, firearms, and idols of worship are prohibited. A large selection of alcoholic beverages is made available on our boat. If you wish to have a particular brand of drinks while on the boat, all attempts will be made to stock enough of your preferred brand provided you make the request in advance.

  1. Do I require any immunization?
    A. The country is generally free from malaria, yellow or dengue fever or other similar plagues. We recommend that you consult your doctor for an update on required immunizations when traveling abroad.
  2. What travel documents do I need?
    A. A passport or travel document, valid at least up to the departure date, is required for entry.
    For a hassle-free check-in at the airport, it is essential that the name and initial on the airline ticket match with those on the passport.
  3. Do I need a visa to enter Maldives?
    A. A 30-day free tourist visa is given on arrival at the airport.
  4. What kind of clothes should I pack?
    A. “Wisdom is modesty” says a bard of Maldives. This is good advice any traveler in a foreign country may well heed. Clothes that cover shoulder-to-knee, at the very least, are a custom which must be observed and respected when visiting inhabited islands. We recommend light cotton clothes. The atmosphere on board Manthiri is always relaxed and casual. You’ll spend your days in casual wear. Bring shorts or jeans, and T-shirts. Also bring a pair of sandals, hat, suntan lotion (non-oil, ocean safe) and sunglasses.
  5. Will someone meet me on arrival at Male’ Airport?
    A. Our Airport Representative will meet and greet you on arrival at Male’ Airport and assist you with the necessary transfers. We have a Reception Desk in the walkway just outside of the Arrival Hall.
  6. Do you arrange pre and post tour hotel accommodations?
    A. We arrange pre and post tour hotel accommodations in Maldives. We also offer extensions to Sri Lanka and India.
  7. Do I need travel insurance?
    A. It is important for you to have adequate insurance protection whilst on holiday covering Cancellation or Curtailment up to the holiday cost, Medical and Emergency Expenses, Baggage and Personal Effects, Baggage Delay, Money and airline tickets, Diving Accidents, Personal Accident, Personal Liability, Missed Departure, Legal Expenses, and Loss of Passport.
  8. Do I need to bring an electric voltage converter or plug adaptor for my laptop or camera charger?
    A. Both European Standard 220VAC outlets requiring rectangular blade plug Type G and American Standard 110VAC outlets requiring flat blade plugs of Type A & B are available in cabins and salons.
  9. What type of food is served on the boat?
    A. Two expert chefs on board spoil our guests with mouth-watering meals day after day. We serve three gourmet meals a day. Snacks and fresh fruits are always available. Most meals will be a combination of Western and Eastern cuisine. A selection of beverages is always on hand; from soft drinks, juices and lemonade. Special dietary requests will be met within the confines of available means in the country.Q. What if I get sick on board?
    A. First Aid Kits and oxygen cylinders are available within easy reach. Evacuation will be made, when necessary, either to the nearest hyperbaric Chamber or to a hospital in Male’. You should have an adequate insurance cover to meet the expenses.Q. How do I contact my family and friends while I am on board?
    A. GSM cellular phones are available on board. You may rent one for a modest fee for the entire trip.
  10. Should I leave a tip to the crew?
    A. Gratuities are not included in our package. You may reward the crew if you find their service worthy of a generous tip. Most of our guests leave 10 – 15% of the liveaboard cost as a tip. All collected gratuities are pooled and divided equally among the crew.
  11. What credentials do I need for diving?
    A. Certification Card and log book is required as proof of your training and experience. You are required to complete and sign a standard release and waiver form prior to the commencement of diving.
  12. What skill level do I require for diving?
    A. Drift diving with moderate to strong currents is the norm. To participate in our dives with currents, we recommemd that you be an experienced diver (50 dives +) with good swimming skills.
  13. Do I require a wetsuit?
    A. The water temperature is 28° to 29° Celsius (83° to 85° Fahrenheit) with little variation throughout the year. Therefore, a light wetsuit is necessary. We recommend a 3mm wetsuit for protection.
  14. How is diving done from Manthiri?
    A. All diving is done from the accompanying 54 foot dhoni. It has a spacious 400sq ft dive deck seating 14 divers with elbow room to spare. There is a head and two hot water showers, one of them on the deck aft. Divers are wowed by our dhoni. The dhoni is fitted with two high pressure compressors each of 450 liters (16 cfm) and a membrane-type Nitrox system.
  15. Will a dive guide assist me?
    A. Certainly. All our dives are guided. We have three great dive guides on board, all of them PADI qualified. Two of them are instructors and one of them an Assistant Instructor. Between them, they have more than 10,000 dives under the belt.
  16. What is the duration and maximum depth of a dive?
    A. Each dive is 60 minutes long. By law, the maximum depth for recreational diving is limited to
    30 meters (98 feet). We strictly abide by this rule.
  17. Is dive training available on board?
    A. A highly qualified and experienced dive instructor is available on board. Training for PADI Open Water Diver and Advance Open Water Diver is available on board.
  18. Is Nitrox available?
    A. 32% enriched air fills are normally available to all certified Nitrox divers for an additional charge. The Nitrox offer, however, does not extend the range beyond the prescribed limits of 60 minute duration and the 30 meter depth. If you are not Nitrox certified, we can help you accomplish this on board. The course is US$150.00.
  19. Is dive gear available for rent?
    A. Dive gear is available for rent: Scuba Pro Regulators, Tusa/Scuba Pro BCDs, Uwatec/Aladin Pro Dive Computers, Scuba Pro Dive Lamps, Masks, Fins, Snorkel, and Wetsuits. We recommend that you arrange rental prior to arrival.
  20. What diving equipment do I need to bring?
    A. Our package includes tank (with DIN and Yoke-type valve), weights and belt only. The following dive equipment is required for each diver.
    REQUIRED BASIC DIVE EQUIPMENT
    Regulator with alternate air source
    Dive Computer (just a dive watch is not considered a dive computer)
    Buoyancy Compensation Device (BCD)
    Mask/Fins/Snorkel
    Wetsuit
    One primary and one backup lightMANDATORY SAFETY EQUIPMENT
    Surface Sounding Device
    Safety SausageQ. What facilities do you have on board for photographers?
    A. Manthiri is well tuned to the needs of today’s digital photographer. Camera table and rinse tanks are readily available for the photographer. Moreover, the photo pro on board will be happy to help you hone your skills, regardless of the level of experience. Even novices are surprised by how much they can learn in a single trip.Q. How can I pay for my expenses and purchases on board?
    A. On board Manthiri, VISA and MASTER cards are accepted.Q. Will I see mantas and whale sharks?
    A. Mantas are sighted year-round in cleaning stations. Sometimes they are sighted in great swirling schools day after day. The best time for schooling mantas is June to October.
    Whale sharks are sighted on 70% of our tours throughout the year.Q. Do you have DVD and VCR on board?
    A. We have a DVD and VCR monitor with US and European formats. We have a collection of movies on board. Feel free to bring your favorites.

    Q. What can you offer for my non-diver spouse or companion?
    A. Snorkeling and island visits depending on the schedule of the boat.