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The Nautilus Maldives and manta season: Plunge into a world of freedom

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Just 15 minutes away from The Nautilus Maldives by luxury yacht, but feeling as if you’ve left this world all together; the unexplainable magic of Hanifaru Bay exceeds all expectations.

Experience an all-encompassing world of sensation and wonder and plunge into The Nautilus’ surrounding tourmaline waters at the world-renowned Hanifaru Bay. Swim and snorkel with the manta rays, joining in with their timeless dance of grace and majesty. Witness their performance of poised magnificence as they glide and somersault right before your very eyes.

Private excursions to Hanifaru Bay will be coordinated with the Hanifaru Bay park rangers who are experts in ensuring guests enjoy the most rewarding sighting opportunities.

Additionally, the resort’s resident marine team will teach you all about these fascinating sea creatures and guide you within Hanifaru Bay’s waters where these gentle giants swim in seemingly choreographed arcs. There truly is nothing quite as fulfilling as taking part in a rite of nature that’s as old as time itself!

The world-famous Hanifaru Bay…

Located in the heart of the Maldives’ stunning Baa atoll, the glistening waters of and majestic kingdom beneath Hanifaru Bay are classified as a UNESCO biosphere reserve. Recognised as an area that required conservation and protection, it was only in 2011 that it was declared such a highly esteemed title.

With such environmental acclaim, it is no surprise that it is one of the largest manta feeding hotspots in the world. With mantas returning to the Hanifaru’s ethereal setting year after year, their poise and grace compliments that of their surroundings.

Why Hanifaru Bay?

Hanifaru Bay is renowned for its magical ability to draw the manta rays back time and time again. But why? There is a very unique and particular combination of factors that must be perfectly balanced in order for the mantas to appear in their masses.

The shape of the bay has a long, narrow and channel-like form, most distinctively with a dead-end. This uniquely serves as a collector of plankton that is carried up through the seas drift from the deeper parts of the bay and ocean bed.

The Indian Ocean’s notoriously warm current also has a role to play. The southwest monsoon current pushes water packed with notably more nutrients into the western opening of the bay from around May to November.

A third key factor is the lunar tide, which of course pushed against the oceanic current creating a dynamic clash of currents, sub-aqua nutrients.

Simply put, if there is no presence of a counter-tide, the mixture of plankton simply washes over the bay into the outer periphery of the atoll. If there is a collision of currents, the plankton is swept up from deeper parts of the sea. Once it has risen, its biological instincts reject the light making it return back down to a higher point of the sea bed. This method of plankton collection is what drives the mantas back for their plankton feeding frenzy.

When all of these facets align, mantas in their masses — usually up to 200 — commune and perform a show of feeding and intrigue, whirling up to the surface to take a look at the snorkelling visitors for that day.

The manta season

The months where you are most likely to witness the majesty of the mantas is between May and November each year, with the peak being between June and October.

Even outside of these months where mantas are more likely to be witnessed, The Nautilus offers an array of explorations at sea where you decide when you leave and return for a truly freeing experience.

For an almost guaranteed sighting of the mantas, you could consider booking your aquatic Nautilus adventure over a full moon or new moon. During this time, the tides are naturally a little higher therefore capturing the most plankton within the bay ready for the mantas to eat.

The mantas

While the overriding number of mantas that appear and glide up to the surface to say hello to their visitors is what makes experiencing Hanifaru Bay particularly overwhelming, the mantas individually are also spectacular creatures.

Typically known as Mobula Alfredi, the reef manta ray is not only one of the largest but also one of the most iconic marine species in waters such as The Nautilus’.

Snorkelers and divers are far more likely to witness the grandeur of Mobula Alfredi than, for example, the Oceanic Manta Ray species, because they prefer communing in far shallower waters and are typically more sociable.

With an average width of 325cm-400cm, weight of 700kg and life span of around 40 years, these magnificent creates will continue to grace Hanifaru Bay’s waters and The Nautilus’ atoll so many years to come.

Of course, you are free to borrow snorkelling equipment free of charge throughout your stay at The Nautilus. There is nothing more liberating than spending time among the corals and sea life of the Baa Atoll UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve.

So, head over to The Nautilus soon for this once-in-a-lifetime experience!

The only Relais & Châteaux private island resort in the Maldives, The Nautilus offers life unbound. Its collection of 26 immensely private beach and ocean houses exists beyond the bounds of time.

This private island in the Maldives is a place where nothing is fixed, and anything is possible. This where you are free to set your own beat; free to do – and to be – as you please.

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Catch the wind with Kitesurfing World Champion Youri Zoon at COMO Cocoa Island

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Embark on an exhilarating kitesurfing odyssey from May 6th to 20th, 2024, at COMO Cocoa Island alongside Youri Zoon, celebrated for seizing the kitesurfing world championship twice. Under his seasoned guidance, amplify your kitesurfing prowess, whether you’re a neophyte craving the fundamentals or a seasoned aficionado striving for intricate manoeuvres and airborne thrills.

Kitesurfing merges windsurfing, surfing, and wakeboarding for a dynamic water sport. Using controllable kites, riders harness wind power to glide across the ocean’s surface while being set against the backdrop of endless horizons and azure waters.

Throughout his residency, Zoon will conduct guided kitesurfing sessions, offering novices a gentle introduction to the sport or empowering veterans to elevate their abilities. Additionally, Zoon will host enlightening COMO Conversations, delving into his personal journey to kitesurfing eminence and the obstacles he surmounted along the way.

Guests may arrange activities with Zoon at their leisure, with plenty of time to make the most of our private island comforts, from massage treatments at COMO Shambhala to sandbank dinners under the stars and more.

Hailing from the Netherlands, Zoon’s affinity for kiteboarding burgeoned at the tender age of 13. A prodigious talent, he swiftly amassed accolades, securing victories at the Junior European Championships and Dutch Nationals in his inaugural year. Subsequently clinching the world title in 2011 and 2012, Zoon’s enduring passion for the sport fuels his ongoing commitment to mentorship and coaching, ensuring his legacy endures both on and off the water.

Nestled within South Male Atoll, COMO Cocoa Island beckons discerning travelers with its intimate enclave of 33 overwater villas. Renowned for its iconic Dhoni Water Villas, which pay homage to Maldivian maritime heritage, this idyllic retreat offers a sanctuary of tranquillity and indulgence. Accessible via a scenic 40-minute speedboat journey from Velana International Airport, COMO Cocoa Island promises an unrivalled blend of luxury and seclusion.

For details on COMO Hotels and Resorts or to plan your next escape, please visit https://www.comohotels.com/cocoaisland.

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Sheraton Maldives hosts successful second season of Full Moon Futsal Cup

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Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa celebrated the culmination of the highly anticipated Full Moon Futsal Cup on March 31, 2024. The tournament, which commenced on March 17th, brought together 12 teams from neighboring resorts in Malé Atoll, fostering a spirit of friendly competition and camaraderie.

SO/ Maldives emerged victorious after a thrilling final match, securing the coveted title of Full Moon Futsal Cup Champions 2024. Mohamed El Aghoury, General Manager of Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa, presented the winning team with the Championship trophy and gold medals during a closing ceremony. Additional prizes, medals, and certificates were awarded to recognize the exceptional talent displayed by all participants.

“We are honored to have hosted and participated in such a vibrant tournament,” Mohamed El Aghoury commented, reflecting on the event’s success. “The Full Moon Futsal Cup celebrates not only sportsmanship but also fosters strong bonds within the resort community.”

Throughout the tournament, all teams showcased exceptional skill, determination, and teamwork, captivating spectators and fellow competitors alike. Notably, Sheraton Maldives’ own associate teams, Team Sheraton and Team Furana FC, participated with commendable spirit.

This involvement aligns with Marriott International’s Associate Resource Groups (ARGs) initiative, which prioritizes fostering an inclusive workplace where employees feel valued. The participation of the Young Professionals ARG team specifically exemplifies the group’s dedication to community building, skill development, and mentorship. The tournament provided a platform to spotlight the energy and potential of young professionals, promoting their growth and contributing to the organization’s future success.

Extending beyond a sporting event, the Full Moon Futsal Cup embodies the values of unity, friendship, and healthy competition. This aligns with Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa’s commitment to fostering community connections and Marriott International’s TakeCare philosophy, which emphasizes the importance of physical well-being among associates.

The Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa extends its sincere gratitude to all participating teams, supporters, sponsors, and organizers who contributed to the resounding success of the Full Moon Futsal Cup 2024. The resort eagerly anticipates continuing this tradition of sporting excellence and camaraderie in the years to come.

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Dive into memorable underwater adventure with Baros Maldives’s Eco Explorer Experience

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In today’s world, where the fragile balance of marine ecosystems teeters on the edge, to call for sustainable tourism practices resonates louder than ever. Baros Maldives, deeply rooted in its respect for nature, leads the way in conservation and preservation. Baros’s Eco Explorer Experience stands as a testament to the island’s commitment, inviting guests to not just observe but to actively contribute to the safeguarding of our underwater sanctuaries.

Nestled on a lush, natural island paradise, Baros is a sanctuary surrounded by a kaleidoscope of marine life, boasting a world-class house reef, celebrated for its unparalleled beauty and biodiversity, attracting adventurers and nature lovers alike.

The Eco Explorer Experience is a carefully curated immersive experience designed for those who seek to delve deeper into the mysteries of the ocean. This experience is more than an adventure; it’s a journey of discovery and contribution, offering intimate encounters with the marvels of the sea, all while promoting marine conservation.

With this experience, Baros guests enjoy a myriad of enriching activities, culminating in a bespoke photobook documenting the essence of their Eco Explorer journey beneath the waves.

Coral Restoration and Conservation: Participants will immerse themselves in coral ecology, by planting personal coral gardens under the guidance of Baros’s resident Marine Biologist. This hands -on experience not only fosters coral growth but also contributes to the restoration of these vital habitats. Through the Coral Cube initiative, guests will apply innovative techniques like using fast plug cement to build thriving underwater ecosystems. The Baros marine team will share bi-annual updates with the guests so that they can follow the growth of their corals.

Marine Life Identification: This educational session equips guests with the knowledge to identify different fish species and understand their vital roles within the marine ecosystem. Equipped with snorkelling gear and new insights, guests will explore Baros’s world- class house reef during a snorkelling tour, guided by the resident marine biologist, to witness the vibrant marine life.

Night Snorkelling and Bioluminescence: As night falls, the reef reveals a different kind of beauty. With UV lights, guests will explore this nocturnal wonderland, observing the reef’s inhabitants in a new light. This magical experience is not only enchanting but also educational, offering insights into coral health and the ecosystem’s delicate balance.

Baros recognises the fragility of the marine environment and is committed to fostering sustainable tourism practices. The Eco Explorer Experience is more than a holiday activity, it’s an invitation to become part of a larger movement, advocating for the protection and preservation of our marine environments.

Join the Baros marine team on this extraordinary journey. Together, dive deeper, explore further, and unveil the boundless wonders of the ocean, ensuring they remain vibrant for generations to come.

For bookings and more information, please visit www.baros.com or contact Baros directly at reservations@baros.com or call +960 664 26 72.

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