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Carpe Diem Maldives introduces Learn to Dive cruises

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Carpe Diem Maldives has introduced special cruises to learn diving, allowing travellers to the Maldives in 2018 to combine their PADI Open Water Diver certification with a week-long cruise onboard a luxury liveaboard.

For one week in July and a week in August, a seven-day cruise on Carpe Vita will be dedicated to 20 adventurous travellers looking to obtain their PADI Open Water Diver certification. Starting in capital Male and ending in the central Baa atoll, guests will experience the beauty of coral reefs and a myriad of fish starting from just three metres beneath the surface.

“With a destination that is surrounded 99 percent by water, Carpe Diem Maldives believes any traveller to the region should be in, on, or under the ocean to truly appreciate it’s beauty. Spending a week exploring different lagoons and reefs on board an award-winning luxury liveaboard cruise, complete novice scuba divers can now do this in style with Carpe Diem Maldives,” an announcement by the company read.

Dive equipment on Carpe Vita dive dhoni. PHOTO/ CARPE DIEM

The Learn to Dive cruise weeks begin with shallow and calm lagoon dives. With the fundamentals of diving firmly mastered, four open water dives on beautiful coral bedecked reefs will complete the certification.

Under the guidance of Carpe Diem’s expert Maldivian dive instructors, guests will learn the PADI Open Water theory in the briefing room on board Carpe Vita luxury cruise. Equipped with the latest dive gear, guests then step onto a dive dhoni for their first plunge into lagoon waters.

With increased confidence and applied theory, divers return to the main cruise vessel after each dive to enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner on the upper deck. Around a long table, mealtimes quickly become an enthusiastic exchange of underwater observations and shared experiences.

“By the end of the week, novice divers will be confidently enjoying the mesmerising underwater world at 20 metres below the surface. Each of these special trips will also include a snorkelling visit to the region’s annual manta ray migration in Hanifaru Bay, Baa Atoll, a UNESCO protected marine biosphere area,” the announcement read.

A shallow reef in the Maldives. PHOTO/ CARPE DIEM

The two Learn To Dive cruises on Carpe Vita will run July 1-8, 2018 and August 26-September 2, 2018. Priced from USD 2,363 for the week, the package includes:

  • Seven nights on board Carpe Vita
  • Three meals daily, plus between-dive snacks
  • PADI Open Water theory and practical training as well as certification
  • Three dives daily (except for on day of arrival and day before departure)
  • Use of tanks, weights and belts
  • Dive mask, fins, dive computer and buoyancy control device
  • Drinking water, tea and coffee

Participants of the Learn To Dive cruises can also combine their cruise with a resort stay in Raa atoll at the new Carpe Diem Beach Resort and Spa, opening July 2018. For cruise guests staying at the resort, three complimentary dives are included in the full-board stay package, making it the perfect opportunity to practice those certified dive skills on a thriving house reef.

A Beach Pool Villa at Carpe Diem Resort and Spa, opening July 2018. PHOTO/ CARPE DIEM

Since 2008, the award-winning hospitality group Carpe Diem Maldives has been operating luxury dive and surf liveaboard cruises, sharing the beauty of the Maldivian waters with adventurous travellers. Carpe Diem is the only liveaboard operator in the Maldives to offer diving adventures with a team of all-Maldivian dive masters.

With the expansion into resorts, Carpe Diem Maldives becomes the only hospitality brand in the country to offer year-round liveaboard cruises that can be combined with a resort stay.

The Maldives is continuously rated as one of the top diving destinations in the world by international dive publications and awards. Made up of 26 coral atolls and crossing the equator, roughly 1,200 islands are home to some of the most beautiful, thriving reefs of rare and common coral, attracting every kind of marine life.

Known internationally as one of the world’s best scuba diving destinations, the Maldives has an abundance of dive sites with one thrilling dive opportunity after another. The islands of the Maldives have consistently warm waters with outstanding visibility throughout the year, and consist of exhilarating dive sites such as vibrant thilas, exciting channels, coral-filled overhangs and fascinating wrecks.

Excursions

Uncover the Gems and Untold Tales of the Maldives’ Baa Atoll Through Personalised and Free-Spirited Adventures with The Nautilus Maldives

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When envisioning the Maldives, one often conjures images of pristine white sands and  luxurious resorts. However, beyond the typical tourist attractions lies a realm of adventure,  cultural immersion, and natural wonders waiting to be explored. The Nautilus Maldives, an  ultra-luxury private island hideaway, is crafting extraordinary journeys in the captivating Baa  Atoll, inviting its guests to embrace escapism through immersive cultural experiences. 

Inspired by The Nautilus’s brand hallmarks of the Art of Bohemia and Free Spirited  Adventures, guests are encouraged to step outside their comfort zones and indulge in  transformative experiences. Through encounters with local personalities, guests gain an  insight into island life, delving into cultural roots, traditions, nature, language, cuisine, and  more. 

The Nautilus prides itself on tailoring bespoke experiences to suit the unique preferences of  its guests—whether adventurers, culture enthusiasts, or families seeking more than a  beachside retreat. Guests embark on one of The Nautilus’s luxurious yachts, exploring  treasured spots of the Atoll and creating unforgettable memories that will linger in their  hearts long after their journey ends. 

Discover the roots at the Kendhoo 

Nestled in the northwest of the Baa Atoll, Kendhoo carries a rich tapestry of experiences  weaving together history and culture. Once a vital hub along ancient maritime routes,  Kendhoo’s vibrant cultural landscape is shaped by centuries of influences from Indian, Arab,  and Southeast Asian merchants, as well colonial conquests. Guests can wander its streets, 

indulging in local culinary treats with distinct flavours, and exploring landmarks like the 800- year old house marking the place of prayers of Abdul Barakaath Yoosuf al Barbary, a renowned Islamic scholar. 

Weave your memories of the Maldives into art at Kihaadhoo 

On the beautiful island of Kihaadhoo, guests can immerse themselves in the therapeutic art  of coconut leaf weaving, a cherished tradition passed down through generations. Through  hands-on experiences with the island’s residents, guests can learn to create baskets, hats,  and decorative pieces, fostering a sense of cultural identity and belonging.

www.thenautilusmaldives.com 

Traditional lacquer masters at Thulhaadhoo 

Venturing to the southern tip of Baa Atoll, guests discover Thulhaadhoo island, renowned for  its exquisite craftsmanship in traditional lacquerware. Here, artisans share their secrets of this  ancient art of decorating items with vibrant colours and intricate designs inspired by the  Maldives’ marine life and lush tropics, which has been passed down through generations. 

Guests can even try their hand at creating these unique art pieces, serving as precious souvenir  of their tropical getaway. 

Exploration of the Deep Blue Waters of Dhonfanu 

At Dhonfanu, one of Baa Atoll’s premier diving spots, vibrant coral gardens and diverse marine  life awaits beneath azure waters. In season, there’s also a high chance for guests to encounter  graceful manta rays and majestic whale sharks, igniting the senses with excitement and awe. 

Delve into Poetic Ambiance of Dharavandhoo 

Guests can make a stop at Dharavandhoo island, which boasts a rich tradition of Maldivian  poetry, where locals celebrate history and folklore through the art of storytelling, expressing  emotions, beliefs, and aspirations in the most poetic ways. These enchanting verses, inspired  by the islands’ natural beauty, love, nature, and daily island life, transport listeners to a world  where ocean rhythms intertwine poetic imagery.  

To craft your own cultural journey across Maldivian islands, contact The Nautilus at hello@thenautilusmaldives.com and begin creating your ultimate bohemian dream escape. For more information visit www.thenautilusmaldives.com.

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InterContinental Maldives invites guests to third Manta Retreat in March 2024

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After the successful launch of the Manta Retreat in 2022, the InterContinental Maldives Maamunagau Resort is gearing up for its third Manta Retreat, scheduled to take place from March 9th to 12th, 2024. This unique experience offers guests an opportunity to delve into the world of manta rays, their natural habitat, and the conservation efforts led by the Manta Trust.

The Manta Retreat, designed for travelers seeking an extra dimension to their vacations, encourages participants to explore and understand these majestic creatures while contributing to ocean conservation. The retreat will be led by Meral Hafeez, the Manta Trust base leader at InterContinental Maldives, who will guide participants through an immersive experience.

The focus of the third Manta Retreat will be on meeting the manta rays that inhabit the surrounding waters of the island, emphasizing their protection and ocean conservation. Meral Hafeez expressed her enthusiasm for sharing the wonders of Maldivian marine life, stating, “I can’t wait for everyone to experience their first manta ray and the wonders of the deep!”

This year’s retreat coincides with the Maamunagau Manta Season in March, where young manta rays gather in the resort’s lagoon, offering a unique opportunity for up-close encounters. The Maamunagau Lagoon serves as a crucial research ground for the Manta Trust team, allowing guests to actively participate in the identification and naming of manta rays through the Manta ID workshop.

The Manta Retreat package, priced at USD 1490 per guest, includes two manta ray snorkeling trips, a guided house reef snorkeling experience, the chance to name and adopt a manta ray, and various workshops covering manta rays, plankton, and coral restoration.

For certified divers, dedicated dive spots around the resort provide opportunities to observe the natural manta ray ‘spa’ at cleaning stations, showcasing the fascinating symbiosis of marine life in the Maldives.

The purpose of the Manta Retreat goes beyond education and exploration; it also serves as a fundraiser to support the valuable work of the Manta Trust. Guests staying at InterContinental Maldives can enjoy the resort’s luxurious facilities and accommodations while those not participating in the retreat have plenty of entertainment options.

To book the Manta Retreat or for more information, visit InterContinental Maldives Sustainability or contact the reservations team at reservations.icmaldives@ihg.com or on WhatsApp at +960 730 9300.

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Football legend Lukas Podolski lights up Heritance Aarah with friendly match against Maldivian youth

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In a heartwarming display of football’s unifying spirit, German legend Lukas Podolski traded the grand stadiums for the sun-kissed shores of Heritance Aarah, Maldives, to play a friendly match with a team of eager young players from Meedhu Island. The event saw Podolski donning a custom Heritance Aarah jersey and taking to the pitch alongside the spirited Maldivian children.

More than just a friendly kickabout, the match was a platform for learning and inspiration. The young athletes showcased their skills and learned new tricks from the seasoned pro. The air crackled with a distinctive camaraderie as Podolski’s guidance and encouragement blended seamlessly with the children’s infectious joy.

As a memento of this extraordinary encounter, each participant received a personally signed jersey from Podolski, adding a priceless touch to the occasion. The football star’s presence transformed the friendly match into an unforgettable experience, etching itself indelibly into the memories of the young players and their families.

Podolski later took to his Facebook, sharing photos from the event with the caption, “Football is our global game. A pleasure to meet you all thanks @oneluxury.de & @heritanceaarah #LP10 #football #strassenkicker #enjoy #love.” The post resonated with fans worldwide, celebrating the power of sports to connect people across cultures and backgrounds.

Heritance Aarah, a Premium All-Inclusive resort, offers an idyllic setting for the ultimate getaway, presenting a diverse range of experiences. From the culinary delights crafted by award-winning chefs to the exploration of the captivating over and underwater wonders of the Raa Atoll, the resort sets a remarkable tone for luxury and adventure. With five restaurants included in the Premium All-Inclusive package, exclusive bars, and access to Hatha and Baani with supplement charges, Heritance Aarah offers a holistic experience. The spa and wellness facilities, featuring a hot tub and a fitness center, further enhance the overall well-being of guests, who can also enjoy various activities.

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