Here we share one of the trip report shared by our esteemed guest who spent 7 Nights / 8 Days on Horizon III Liveaboard.

Trip Report Maldives – Horizon 3 Liveaboard 

Embark on an 8-day, 7-night adventure on the Horizon III, navigating the Central Atoll of the Maldives for the Best of the Maldives liveaboard route in Jan 2024. This thrilling voyage, originally planned for 17 dives including one night dive, allowed us to complete 18 dives thanks to our evening flight on Sunday.

The journey kicked off on Sunday with a check dive at Kurumba Housereef, where we encountered several sharks. Our subsequent dives took us to Rasdhoo, Ari Atoll, Vaavu Atoll (my personal favorite), South Male Atoll, and back to North Male. The marine life was abundant and impressive, featuring a Guitar Shark at Fish Factory, Manta Rays at Rasdhoo Manta Point, and dancing mantas in Maaya Lagoon. Alimatha Jetty offered an unforgettable night dive with dozens of nurse sharks, making it one of the Maldives’ top night diving spots.

For those curious about our route, the map of the Best of the Maldives is available for reference.

An Introduction to the Maldives:

The Maldives, officially the Republic of Maldives, is a tropical paradise in the Indian Ocean. Comprising 26 coral atolls and over 1,000 islands, its capital is Malé. Known for its breathtaking beauty, the Maldives boasts turquoise waters, white sandy beaches, and vibrant coral reefs, making it a haven for relaxation, water sports, and underwater exploration.

Maldives has a population of around 390,000, is the smallest Asian country in both land area and population. Dhivehi is the official language, but English is widely spoken, especially in tourist areas. Tourism is vital to the Maldivian economy, with visitors coming to enjoy luxury resorts, water villas, and various activities like swimming, surfing, fishing, and spa treatments.

The Maldives is also dedicated to environmental conservation, actively combating climate change and promoting sustainable tourism.

Although the liveaboard provides Wi-Fi, I decided to get a SIM card at Malé Airport. The boat’s Wi-Fi is okay for basic browsing and texting but isn’t reliable for streaming or heavy data use. Signal drops are common when crossing channels or in certain atolls.

The Liveaboard Experience:

Horizon III is a spacious 36-meter yacht with 12 ensuite cabins accommodating up to 24 divers. A separate 20-meter Dive Dhoni facilitates airport transfers and dive site visits, staffed by three crew members including the Dhoni Captain. The mother vessel hosts four dive guides, deck hands, and two chefs.

The friendly crew strives to make your stay enjoyable. Amenities include tea, coffee, snacks, and a water dispenser. The boat is spacious, comfortable, and equipped with bean bags for relaxation. Each cabin has a private toilet, air conditioner, dehumidifier, and hair dryer, with toiletries available on request.

Cabins

Upper Deck: The upper deck features deluxe cabins with sun beds, a Jacuzzi, and seating areas.

Lower Deck: The lower deck has eight twin standard cabins. I had the fortune of a solo cabin, with 15 guests on board.

First Day/Check Dive: Check-in began after 11 AM, with the team picking us up from Burger King. After unpacking on the Dive Dhoni, we boarded Horizon III, greeted by warm towels and refreshments. After receiving our room assignments, we then enjoyed lunch. Subsequently, we attended a boat briefing that covered safety protocols and equipment maintenance.

Diving: Inspired by a friend’s recommendation, I chose this trip, which featured 18 dives over 7 days, including night dives and two dives on the final day. The daily schedule, posted on a whiteboard, typically followed:

06:00 — Wake up
07:00 — Dive 1
09:00 — Breakfast
10:30 — Dive 2
13:00 — Lunch
15:30 — Dive 3
19:00 — Dinner

Sometimes, we did four dives every day. After each dive, we had snacks. Then, we relaxed by visiting nearby villages, where we could pay with cash or card at the shops.

Marine Life and Diving Conditions: The Maldives teems with diverse marine life. I was mesmerized by a manta ray’s graceful dance during one dive. Weather-wise, it was mostly sunny, with a couple of cloudy days that didn’t deter our diving enthusiasm. The high season in the Maldives runs from November to April.

Maldives Dive Sites:

We explored numerous dive sites, repeating some of the best:

  • Fish Head
  • Kuda Haa
  • Bathalaa Maaga Kan Thila
  • Maaya Thila
  • Camel Rock
  • Mahi Rock
  • Kuda Rah Thila
  • 7th Heaven
  • Maamigili
  • Machafushi Wreck
  • Miyaru Kandu
  • Alimatha Jetty
  • Kandooma Thila
  • Kudagiri Wreck
  • Shark Tank

Cuisine: The onboard buffet offered a variety of delicious options, with the chef accommodating special dietary needs.

Diving Gear: The Dive Dhoni was well-equipped, and the crew provided excellent assistance.

Conclusion: My diving trip in the Maldives was an extraordinary experience. The abundance of marine life and the well-organized liveaboard itinerary ensured a memorable adventure. If you have any questions, feel free to ask. Cheers!

For bookings, visit Blue Horizon III Liveaboard.

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