Cruising is undoubtedly the best way to get to the heart of Maldives, not just because it's exciting but also because it allows one to explore the hidden gems by gaining access to thousands of stunning islands and hundreds of resorts. Not just that, the customised routes are the best for water sports enthusiasts to have a fun, adventurous and an unforgettable experience, in a crowd less space. Apart from the offbeat itineraries and a chance to explore some of the underwater marvels, you will have the option of pairing your cruise with a luxurious resort stay for one or more nights to have a taste of both land and the ocean.
The dry phase that runs from November to April is considered to be the best period to cruise the tranquil waters of Maldives. Around this time, humidity is relatively less, and it hardly rains, making way for a smooth cruise experience. January to April is the perfect time for underwater activities like snorkelling when the waters are clearer, and the visibility is high. Also, between March and April, you can go on an exclusive South Expedition (or a part of it) by booking through Yacht Maldives, in which the yacht touches twelve of the fourteen Southern atolls - it will definitely be a unique experience.
Avoid May to September as the weather becomes less predictable during this period and you are more likely to encounter storms.
G Adventures is quite a popular operator when it comes to Dhoni cruises. Explore and experience the enchanting Maldives on this cruise which carries 8 to 10 passengers. The itinerary gives one chance to explore the local villages and towns, as well as the unexplored desert islands, while also providing plenty of time to relax under the sun, on the Dhoni yacht, surrounded by clear water on all sides.
Amenities: Apart from air-conditioned twin and double bed cabins with ensuite bathrooms, television and window pop-ups, this Dhoni also provides a covered dining room and a large sundeck with an outdoor sitting area for relaxation. Snorkelling equipment is also available.
Activities: The tours usually include activities such as snorkelling, diving, hiking, biking, rafting, or kayaking. Excursions also involve enjoying local entertainment.
Cost: Around MVR 24,800 - MVR 28,000 which includes 7 days, 6 nights' accommodation, arrival transfer, 6 lunches, Snorkelling equipment, local guide charges, permits, etc.
Yacht Maldives lets you choose from some 21 tailored itineraries to follow, or design your own cruise with the online cruise planner. Even people staying in the resort can charter a private Dhoni for private daily excursions for a minimum of 3 or more consecutive days.
Amenities: Apart from cabins equipped with hot water showers, air conditioning, television, and Wi-Fi connection, the Dhoni yacht also houses a small library containing books and movies, and a sundeck for relaxing and soaking up that tropical sun. In the night, a romantic candle-light dinner amid sea breeze and under the starry sky can be arranged on the top deck. The aft deck is for the adventurous activities.
Activities: The Diving Centre is located on the aft deck which offers a number of exciting activities and intensive lessons, under the supervision of professional dive instructors. Some of the activities include scuba diving, snorkelling, surfing, and fishing. Fish for your own supper aboard your Dhoni yacht. Diving and snorkelling gear is available on request, apart from full fishing gear, rod holders and fighting belts for trolling and spinning. Apart from water activities, indulge in the beautiful island excursions, spend time on the pristine beaches, visit local villages on the inhabited islands and explore those beautiful, unspoiled desert islands. The guide will help you get to know the place better and will answer all your questions.
Cost: Daily rates of Dhoni Stella 1 (best option for one couple/family) range from MVR 13,000 to MVR 16,000, while daily rates of Dhoni Stella 2 range from MVR 15,400 to MVR 18,500. Daily rates include GST (12%); Crew (1 captain, 1 cook, 1 steward + 1 divemaster when required); snorkelling and fishing gears, bed linens, towels, beach towels, bathrobes. WI-FI Internet.
World Expeditions provides a 6 days itinerary which you can modify if you choose private group travel, and get an itinerary that meets the need of your group - what you want to see, where you want to go and when you want to do it. Those travelling with their families can create a unique family adventure tailored to your needs.
Amenities: World Expeditions uses different types of Dhonis based on group size, cabins with bunk beds, some without ensuite. Each vessel has an outside dining area. Other facilities include a bar, dining area, library, sun deck, television, DVD/VCD player, music player. Wi-Fi is not available.
Activities: Water-based activities include swimming, snorkelling and fishing. Snorkelling lessons are provided. Excursions to local villages, local towns and the uninhabited islands are also included in the itinerary (and can be excluded in the custom ones). A local guide is the part of the crew; snorkelling gear and fishing line is available.
Cost: A six days Maldives Dhoni Cruise costs around MVR 18,000 - MVR 24,000 per person which includes 15 meals, accommodation on board on a twin share basis, tourist taxes and tour permits, basic equipment for snorkelling and fishing, local guide charges, and airport transfers.