Expert-led manta ray expedition aboard Four Seasons Explorer
It’s an experience that tops many a bucket list: the chance to swim with manta rays. But how about spending three, four or seven nights in floating Four Seasons luxury, contributing to the pioneering research of these gentle giants alongside some of the world’s leading manta experts?
Across two weeks of oceanic wonder – September 10 to 17 and September 24 to October 1 (with the option of shorter three- or four-night cruise within the dates) – divers and non-divers alike, including families with children as young as eight years old, are invited to join Four Seasons Maldives Manta Trust Expeditions aboard the group’s only floating resort, Four Seasons Explorer.
Cruise highs and highlights include a full immersion into every aspect of the research experience, from improving free-diving techniques and learning how to take underwater ID photos to helping record vital environmental information and understanding manta feeding and breeding habits.
As well as becoming part of the conservation story of these gentle giants, chances of whale shark encounters are high, with these epic fish attracted to local waters by the same seasonal abundance of plankton that attracts the mantas. Cruise options include three-, four- or seven-night itineraries, with direct links to resort-based stays at Four Seasons Resorts Maldives.
In addition to exhilarating underwater encounters, Manta Trust Expedition guests get to enjoy all the laidback luxury of the inimitable Four Seasons Explorer: a sleek three-deck catamaran that offers hand-line fishing, kayaking, wakeboarding, water skiing and windsurfing; Captain’s Dinners and remote BBQs; thrilling diving, sandbank spa treatments and star-gazing; plus 10 bright and airy en-suite State Rooms and one Explorer Suite complete with outdoor deck.
The Maldivian archipelago is home to the largest recorded population of manta rays in the world. Thanks to the tireless data capturing of the Maldivian Manta Ray Project (the founding project of The Manta Trust, based at Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru since 2006), this uniquely identified population is one of the most studied in the world, and has helped pioneer some of the world’s most insightful knowledge into the behaviour of mantas.
Based on more than a decade of close research, Manta Trust founder Dr Guy Stevens’ carefully selected cruise dates maximise chances of frequent sightings, with previous years’ cruises boasting a 100 per cent success rate for encounters with manta rays, whale sharks, pilot whales, dolphins and more.
Combining innovation, wellness and conservation, Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru is a 44-acre, 103-villa wonderland in the Baa Atoll UNESCO Biosphere Reserve — a 30-minute seaplane flight from the main Velana International Airport.
Its sister property, Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa lies to the south: an enchanting garden island complete with Island Spa sea sanctuary and Tropicsurf coaches and guides. It features 96 thatched beach and water accommodations constructed by local craftsmen using indigenous materials and techniques to reflect a true sense of the Maldives.
The luxury catamaran Four Seasons Explorer connects the two properties via three, four and seven-night cruises, plus private leisure, surf and manta ray charters.
The latest addition to the Maldives collection, Four Seasons Private Island Maldives at Voavah, Baa Atoll opened in 2016 as the group’s first exclusive-use private island: off limits to everyone else, limitless to the guests.
To join a Manta Trust Expedition onboard Four Seasons Explorer, contact the Reservations team at tel: +960 66 00 888 or email: email@example.com