Southern Atolls Maldives

Diving the Southern atolls of the Maldives is a joy for every diver. With only a couple of liveaboards diving these new developed Atolls. You are most likely to be the only liveaboard there. It is an excellent way to discover new dive sites every time. There has been only little human interaction in this area what makes it more interesting to dive.

Healthy reefs and corals are common here, and the marine life is excellent. With strong currents running through channels and around pinnacles, the change to see big predators hunt for the smaller reef fish is very likely. With grey reef sharks on almost every dive and Whale sharks, Manta rays and other big pelagic fish this is a perfect place to feel a little bit like Jacques Cousteau in the earlier days.

Southern Atolls Liveaboards

Serenity liveaboard maldives
Serenity

Serenity is a brand new liveaboard Maldives has to offer. She made her first cruise in 2015 with her first trip to the central atolls. With a

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diving maldives liveaboards voyager
Voyager

The beautiful and modern liveaboard, Voyager, is a 30-meter long vessel that sails from Male every week to dive the very best that Maldives has

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MV Leo Maldives
Leo

MV Leo, a one of a kind luxury liveaboard is part of the Emperor Fleet operating in the Maldives. Built in the year 2009, Leo

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virgo liveaboard
Virgo

Virgo is a 32-meter long liveaboard from Emperor fleet operating diving safaris to several parts of the Maldives.  The Virgo Maldives cruises bring you to

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MV Orion Maldives
Orion

MV Orion Maldives Liveaboard designed by keeping the diver’s comfort in mind. It is the culmination of years of diving experience in the Maldives to

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Carpe vita liveaboard
Carpe Vita

Explore the beautiful Maldives in excellent comfort on board Carpe Vita! The beautiful 38 meters long safari yacht Carpe Vita entered the water for the

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Dive site Description

Laamu Atoll

Cruising Laamu Atoll, also known as Haddhunmati Atoll, is an adventure of discovery. The beauty of the Maldives Islands in the outer Atoll rim reefs due to their secluded location and undisturbed nature. Only nine dive sites have been officially located yet so there remain many opportunities for more pristine spots along the 48 km coastline.

Laamu Atoll Summary
Type: Drift Dive, Channels
Visibility: 20 - 30 meters
Depth: 5 - 30 meters
Current: Mild - Strong
Difficulty: Beginner to Advance

Meemu Atoll

Visit the crystal clear waters at Meemu Atoll, also called 'Mulaku' by the locals, and you are almost guaranteed to see manta rays on every dive. The Eastern and Western rims characterised by deep channels, known as 'Kandus', with currents that sweep in plankton-rich water, sustaining healthy soft corals and thriving marine life.

Large umbers of a variety of pelagics populate the channels. In addition to manta rays and the occasional appearance of a magnificent whale shark; grey reef sharks, mobulas and eagle rays are seen on most dives

The Mulaku Kandu channel in the North East is peppered with submerged pinnacles covered in predominantly soft corals. Dive in at the West corner to be surrounded by snappers and jacks. Keep an eye out for rays and sharks as you descend to 30m. Then, if there is an outgoing current, allow it to carry you north along the reef until you reach an overhang rich in soft coral. The wall below is home to moray eels, while stingrays sleep in the depths and groupers look for snacks in the coral formations.

To dive at Medhufushi Thila, you descend through the warm, clear waters of a Northeastern channel situated between 2 lagoons, which is the only access and exit point to this site.

Dolphins might accompany you to the start of your dive on the Northern side of the Thila. Peaking at 4m below the Indian Ocean's surface a colourful selection of hard corals covers the Thila. You could descend to as low as 35m to take a look at the steep wall with overhangs, but remember to save bottom time to scout out the caves and marvel at the countless reef fish.

The current is virtually non-existent here, making it one of the few Southern Atolls sites that are suitable for scuba divers of all skill levels. You will not be disappointed with likely sightings of reef sharks, tuna, manta rays, whale sharks and schools of trevallies.

Manta rays are common in the southern Maldives atoll of Meemu - photo courtesy of ScubaZoo

Mantas and More definitely lives up to its name with an amazing diversity of sea creatures, including the eponymous manta rays. Wave back at the lobsters living in cracks along the coral walls as you drift with the changeable current. Napoleon wrasse and turtles feed on the corals while large shoals of jacks play in the current avoiding the abundance of barracuda.

It is not uncommon to see 8-9 manta rays swoop in the blue, together with numerous mobula and eagle rays. Tuna search for their next meal along with loads of grey and white tip reef sharks. You might even see a feeding frenzy develop overhead.

Liveaboard cruising at Meemu Atoll means you will often be diving at unspoilt sites that have seldom or never been visited before.

Meemu Atoll Summary
Type: Channels, submerged pinnacles, walls and overhangs
Visibility: 20 - 30 meters
Depth: 5 - 30 meters
Current: Moderate - Strong
Difficulty: Beginner to Advance

Thaa Atoll

Your liveaboard tour of Thaa will mostly be undisturbed by other dive boats as there are no resorts on this atoll. With 37 sites already chronicled, there are still plenty of unexplored channels and reefs, promising that new sites frequently are added to these Maldives Islands diving cruises.

Eagle rays in the Maldive Islands - photo courtesy of ScubaZoo

Descend at 7-Up in 30m visibility to enjoy the exceptionally healthy coral on the walls and overhangs. Like the beverage that gives the site its name, you can expect a sweet experience in clear liquid. Unlike the fizzy pop, you won't have to deal with many bubbles since Thaa Atoll (also known as Kolhumadulu) is among the least visited dive destinations in the Maldives. While several boats may all be battling for the same sites further north, here it will seem like you have the ocean to yourself.

Take a relaxing wander through the Gorgonian Garden for possible manta ray encounters and then return for a night dive to meet ghost pipefish hidden in the colourful coral garden.

You will experience drift diving at its best at Beauty and the Beast, alongside a full range of marine life from snappers to Napoleon wrasse while schooling eagle rays are often encountered. There is no shortage of beasts to marvel at, and they are all beauties.

At Brand's Hatch, you could be accompanied by shoals of jacks as you make your way across the channel to see sharks and eagle rays.

Olhugiri Kandu is the spot for loads of pelagic action. Schooling fish and jacks attract large numbers of white tip reef sharks. Tuna and eagle rays wait for the leftovers, and the occasional large Napoleon wrasse can be seen nibbling on corals. Do keep close to the reef as freighter ships pass through the centre of this channel. It is best to dive here when the current is flowing inwards.

Thaa Atoll Summary
Type: Submerged thilas, channels, coral gardens, walls, overhangs
Visibility: 20 - 30 meters
Depth: 5 - 35 meters
Current: Moderate - Strong
Difficulty: Intermediate to Advance

Vaavu Atoll

Vaavu (or Felidhoo) Atoll is an undeveloped vacation paradise comprised of 19 beautiful isles and the natural atolls of Felidhoo Atoll and the Vattaru Reef. It is the smallest and among the least commercialised atolls in the Maldives. The pristine, warm waters here are teeming with fish and larger marine life providing superb scuba diving for both beginners and advanced divers.

Vaavu Atoll Summary
Type: Submerged thilas, channels, coral gardens, walls, overhangs
Visibility: 20 - 30 meters
Depth: 5 - 35 meters
Current: Moderate - Strong
Difficulty: Intermediate to Advance

Far South Atolls

This region of the Maldives has become a "best kept secret" for liveaboard divers in the know. Very few dive operators have visited the area and those that returned with tales of wonder. Whale sharks can be found at Gaafu Atoll ('Huvadhoo') and mantas at Addu Atoll ('Seenu'), but perhaps the unique attraction lies at Foahmulah (or Fuvahmulah) Island (a.k.a. Gnaviyani Atoll) where thresher sharks, oceanic white tips and tiger sharks will be around.

Summary Southern Atolls

Best Time To Go: November – April
Getting There: By liveaboard from Male
Experience Level: Intermediate – Advance
Visibility: 20 – 40 Meters
Currents: Moderate
Water Temperature: 26 -29 c