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Great for groups !
This boat used to be known under the name Sea Queen with an imaculate reputation, ran by Maldives Scubatours Ltd. Probably one of the boats with the best possible maintenance and now owned by the Constellation Fleet, ran by our friend Alexander Bryant.
Built to high, comfortable standards Emperor Atoll measures 26 metres and accommodates 12 guests in 6 twin/double ensuite cabins. Each cabin has a full-size double bed with a single bed above, air-con, washbasin and fan.
On the main deck is a large saloon with four separate seating and table areas as well as a 38″ LCD flat screen TV with multi-system home theatre surround sound. For underwater video and photography enthusiasts, there are plenty of recharging points/edit playback facilities. WiFi is available when in range of a signal, charged per week. Our DVD and book library includes an interesting selection of marine life material.
Emperor Atoll is fully licensed to sell soft drinks, beer, wine and spirits. Complimentary tea, coffee and drinking water are available throughout the day. In good weather, meals are taken on the open foredeck table. The food is renowned for its excellent quality with an impressive variety of both local and European dishes. If guests have special dietary needs, be sure to tell us in advance.
You don’t need a minimum number of dives but you should be comfortable with drift dives. Currents can be strong. All your diving is made from dhonis or zodiacs to give precise entry and exits points. Experienced divers can dive in a buddy pair unguided.
In this period the clean ocean water flows in from the eastern side of the Maldives. That means currents running from Sumatra, Indonesia to the Maldives bring with them not just fantastic visibility up to 40m but also a variety of pelagic surprises coming to the reef for a quick feed.
The Channel dives of the eastern coast of the Maldives are the main order of the day. TheseKandus, as they are known in the local language (Dhivehi), attract grey reef sharks, dog tooth tuna and eagle rays as standard but look out into the blue and you never know what surprises await. The outer walls and corners of the channels in Vaavu and Meemu have the added bonus of beautiful overhangs draping in the blues, yellows and pinks of the majestic soft coral.
After the adrenaline pumping channel dives of eastern Maldives we cross over to South Ari Atoll to look for the whalesharks and mantas at Maamagili and Rangali Madivaru (Dhivehi for Manta Place) among other great sites such as Kudarah Thila and Kudimaa Wreck known for its potential leaf fish and frog fish.
On this route we take you on a manta and whaleshark hunt in the North & South Ari Atolls having crossed over from Male. Exact dive sites will vary depending on diver experience levels, local conditions and where the best sightings have been.
Pelagic Magic gets you face to face with the famous whalesharks of Ari Atoll. As this itinerary devotes more time here, you are certain to get your whaleshark fix at Maamagili. Iconic dive follows iconic dive as you sail from Male through North Ari and then onto South Ari; your log book will fill with shark and manta sightings as well as outstanding reef dives. Then grab your snorkel and splash in to float only feet away from graceful whalesharks. Pelagics of all shapes and sizes await.
With around 17 dives, as well as opportunities to snorkel with the whalesharks, this is an action packed week. The pelagic sightings start right from the beginning. Manta Point (otherwise known as Lankan Finolhu) is a cleaning station with reliable manta sightings. Just settle down and watch the manta swoop in. Hafsa Thila and Maya Thila are yet more iconic dive site where sharks are plentiful. Look out for baby white tips under the large table corals. But it is at night that Maya Thila really comes alive. Reef sharks and marble morays hunt dinner out as morays slink between the coral blocks.
As you reach South Ari keep a look out for the whalesharks. Maamagili is the place to find whalesharks at this time as they follow the seasonal currents. Manta chase plankton trails too into the nearby lagoons. Between your pelagic encounters, the reef dives will not disappoint. Discover the lush corals and schooling fish at the likes of Reethi Thila and Kuda Rah.
This is a great itinerary for everyone. No matter what your experience level this is a Maldives itinerary you can enjoy. There can be some drift diving so some experience of diving in currents in advisable. Don’t forget to take your reef hook to make shark watching all the easier. As so many of the best whaleshark encounters are snorkelling, everyone can feel the thrill of seeing these graceful creatures in their natural environment. Pelagic Magic runs when the pelagics sightings are at their optimum in North and South Ari. Don’t delay – discover the biggest inhabitants of the Maldives for yourself.
This safari starts with a pickup from the airport, MV Emperor Atoll will be anchored in the lagoon on the inside of the airport island.