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Explore Goidhoo Atoll’s beauty onboard Soneva in Aqua



Setting sail from Soneva’s original barefoot luxury resort, Soneva Fushi, liveaboard enthusiasts who love diving and surfing can look forward to the new four-day, three-night Goidhoo experience onboard Soneva in Aqua.

Goidhoo is an island in the south of the Baa Atoll, 48 kilometres (30 miles) from Soneva Fushi, taking approximately four hours of sailing on the ultra-luxurious yacht.

Goidhoo is not often frequented by divers and surfers, meaning that its dive and snorkelling sites will have more vibrant marine life and corals due to it not often being disturbed.

It also means that the surf breaks will be uncrowded, making it the ideal destination to have waves all to oneself.

Soneva in Aqua is a refined yacht that combines Soneva’s iconic chic barefoot luxury with the sense of freedom and adventure associated with a private boat charter.

The 23-metre yacht sleeps a maximum of four adults and two children and has two spacious bedrooms with en-suite showers, while the master cabin has a glass bottomed spa tub set into the floor for viewing the marine life.

There is also on on-deck Jacuzzi, daybeds for lounging, and dining area.

Inside there is a bar, lounge and library with iMac and WiFi connectivity. The crew consists of the Captain, Mechanic, Head Chef, Barefoot Butler and Wellness Therapist.

A Dive Master, Surf Instructor, Photographer and Astronomer can be added on request.

Around Goidhoo there are numerous diving and snorkelling sites that are sure to delight guests.

There is the Corbin, a 400 tonne French ship that set sail from St. Malo on May 18, 1601, in search of trade in the east. Beset by misfortune and ill-discipline onboard, the Corbin met its end off the shores of Goidhoo on July 2, 1602. It was carrying with it a cargo of silver and many have since attempted to salvage the treasure, which has to this day never been found. Guests are welcome to search the for the illusive silver bars.

Another wreck worth seeing is the Naamuli Wreck, found on the Naamuli Reef (which means shipwreck reef) on the western side of the Goidhoo Atoll.

Here, in the top five metres of the wide reef lies the flattened remains of an old steel ship. The main body of the coral covered wreck covers a distance of about 30 metres. The steel remains have been broken up by heavy seas, and some rib sections are spread over the reef for a distance of up to 50 metres. The highest point of the wreck is at two metres, and the deepest at seven.

Like most wrecks, it offers good protection for fish and attracts many wrasse, surgeon, fusilier, angelfish, and emperor fish. A special feature, which can be found in little burrows on the reef top, are the many orange-spotted blennies.

The entrance of Goidhoo Corner offers divers and snorkelers all the usual marine life that can be seen at many channel entrances. Among them are Napoleon fish, lobster, nurse sharks, and turtles.

The Rose Garden is a shallow snorkelling site that offers a spectacular display that looks like a huge underwater garden of rose-shaped coral.

Protected inside a lagoon the Inside Tilla is best explored at night when all the nocturnal marine creatures come out and the reef comes to life.

The Soneva in Aqua crew have often spotted manta rays and whale sharks while anchored inside the lagoon.

When it comes to surfing, the Goidhoo Pass is well known for producing some of the best waves in the Baa Atoll, with local surf competitions often being held here. There is a long left and punchy right on either side of the reef pass.

The spot can only be accessed by boat and the closest resort is a long way away. The Soneva in Aqua crew have never seen any surf safari boats around the area, guaranteeing an empty line-up.

The crew know the Goidhoo area very well and are able to take guests to the best anchorages and spots based on the weather conditions at the time and what guests would like to see.

Guests can also visit the local island for a cultural experience, as well as a football match with the locals if the guests wish to do so.

There will likely be a change in the itinerary based on whether a large number of mantas rays are reported at a local cleaning station, or if an unusually large pod of playful dolphins or whale sharks are sighted.

In 2019, the crew were lucky to have spotted and followed a very rare pod of killer whales (orcas) in the area.

Here’s the suggested itinerary for this trip:

Day 1

  • Breakfast onshore at Soneva Fushi
  • Set sail for the south of the Baa Atoll
  • Surf a break in the south of the Baa Atoll if the waves are good or one hour of guided snorkelling
  • Cross to Goidhoo
  • Have lunch during the crossing
  • Dolphin watching and fishing for tuna along the way
  • Anchor at protected anchorage
  • Enjoy canapés and sparkling wine with the sunset
  • Dinner onboard

Day 2

  • Breakfast onboard
  • Go surfing or snorkel the Rose Garden (depending on the swell and tide)
  • Lunch onboard or a picnic lunch on a sandbank
  • Kayaking / stand-up paddle boarding / skurfing (being pulled behind the tender on a surfboard) / massage / fishing
  • Sunset drinks on a deserted sandbank / or from the deck of the yacht
  • Dinner onboard

Day 3

  • Breakfast onboard
  • Scuba dive in search of the Corbin (get lucky and find the lost treasure!)
  • Cross back to the Baa Atoll
  • Have lunch during the crossing
  • Afternoon massage / fishing for tuna / dolphin watching
  • Anchor at protected anchorage
  • Night scuba dive or guided night snorkel on one of the nearby reefs
  • Dinner onboard

Day 4

  • Early morning surf / dive / snorkel
  • Have breakfast while cruising back to Soneva Fushi
  • Depart Soneva in Aqua midday
  • Lunch at Soneva Fushi

The cost of the Goidhoo four-day, three-night charter is priced at $9,900++ for all three nights, which includes all food and beverages for the duration. This cost excludes the standard dive and surf instructor rates that are priced at $750++ and $600++ each, per day for two guests.


Last call to cruise Maldives aboard Four Seasons Explorer



Last call! The stunning Four Seasons Explorer will be cruising through the sun-drenched turquoise atolls until May 1, 2023 – leaving intrepid explorers just a few months to embark on a once-in-a-lifetime Maldivian odyssey between the two Four Seasons resorts of Kuda Huraa and Landaa Giraavaru before the boat relocates to thrilling new waters.

This is an incredible final opportunity to escape on an all-inclusive 3-, 4-, or 7-night Winter of Wonders cruise on board the luxurious three-deck, 11-cabin catamaran, experiencing multiple bucket-list encounters each day.

Guests can dive and snorkel isolated reefs, encounter rare marine animals up close, dine under the stars in the middle of nowhere and indulge in spa treatments on remote, uninhabited islands. Retiring to 10 spacious cabins or the unrivalled Explorer Suite to reenergise and rejuvenate, each cruise fluidly adapts to the needs of onboard guests and the best of the surrounding waters on any given day.

Secure one of the last remaining places on Four Seasons Explorer – Four Seasons only “floating resort” – before she bids farewell to the Maldives for the last time.

To be one of the last guests to experience a Maldivian atoll cruise aboard Four Seasons Explorer, contact the Central Reservations Department team at tel: (960) 66 00 888 or email

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Dive into luxury at sea with Four Seasons Explorer seasonal cruise routes



After many months cooped up at home, and many missed travel experiences, Four Seasons Explorer – the brand’s only floating resort – offers marine adventurers a ticket to fresh sea air, blissful seclusion, bucket-list experiences, and a different view every morning with two extraordinary seasonal cruise itineraries: Winter of Wonders, and Summer of Mantas.

Available to a maximum of 22 guests at a time, the gleaming 39-metre (128 foot), three-deck vessel takes divers, snorkellers and avid adventurers on all-inclusive three-, four- or seven-night odysseys into some of the Indian Ocean’s most abundant waters, complete with gourmet dining, spa therapies, water sports, island visits and Four Seasons inimitable service standards.

From now until May 29, 2022 (and again from October 31 to December 18, 2022), experience a different extraordinary every day with Winter of Wonders cruises: endless bucket-list encounters across five atolls, from coral-ceilinged caves to camera-happy sharks, swim-through tunnels to a fish-filled wreck. Winter of Wonders cruises sail between Four Seasons two sister Maldivian Resorts on a 3-, 4- and 7-night itinerary, departing from Kuda Huraa on Mondays and Landaa Giraavaru on Thursdays.

From June 27 to October 31, 2022, itineraries change to Summer of Mantas, in line with the huge seasonal aggregations of manta rays and whale sharks that come to the region to feed. Get up close and personal with the world’s largest known population of manta rays alongside The Manta Trust team dedicated to studying them during an epic gentle giants odyssey through the Baa Atoll UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and into Rasdhoo, North and South Ari Atolls.  Summer of Mantas cruises depart from and arrive back to Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru on a 3-,4- and 7-night itinerary.

Each of the 10 air-conditioned staterooms offer blue-hued views through large windows, along with spacious ensuite bathrooms, refrigerated private bars, and flat-screen LCD TVs. For the ultimate luxury, the expansive Explorer Suite boasts an abundance of interior space, a wall of windows, and its own sunbathing deck.

A floating 5-Star PADI Dive Centre, Four Seasons Explorer features the latest Scubapro dive gear, Cressi snorkelling gear and Olympus cameras, while a team of multi-lingual instructors share the full spectrum of PADI courses at a bespoke pace with highly individualised attention.

Sandbank spa treatments, gourmet dining, and water sports take the Four Seasons experience to sea within sleek, chic interiors that include a new sun deck, a lounge, a library, a restaurant and two bars.

The boat is also available for private dive, surf or leisure charters for groups of up to 22.

With the health and safety of its guests and staff a top priority, Four Seasons Explorer provides the ultimate care, confidence, trust and comfort through its Lead With Care programme – heightened health and safety protocols led by global experts that include enhanced cleanliness, physical distancing measures in shared spaces, and empowering staff training grounded in emotional intelligence. In addition, Four Seasons App and Chat provide the reassurance of contactless real-time interactions in 100+ different languages.

For the oceanic adventure of a lifetime, contact Central Reservations at tel: (960) 66 00 888, email: or book online.

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Superyacht Nord in Maldives



Currently exploring the countless islands of the Maldives in the Indian Ocean is the 142-metre superyacht Nord, owned by Russian billionaire Alexei Mordashov.

Since late December, Nord has been spotted in Baa Atoll, home to several world-leading luxury resorts, as well as the southern island-atoll of Fuvahmulah, which is world-renowned for diving with tiger sharks.

Delivered in 2021 as one of the largest superyachts in the fleet at 10,154 GT, she was built at the German shipyard Lürssen in Bremen with Moran Yacht & Ship overseeing her build. Formerly known as Project Opus, she was designed inside and out by the Italian studio Nuvolari Lenard.

Made from steel and aluminium to PYC standards, the warship style vessel encompasses six decks and can accommodate up-to 36 guests across 20 cabins.

On bridge deck level, a large helicopter landing deck aft with fold-down side platforms provide shelter for Nord’s helicopter that can be stowed away in a retractable hangar that slides neatly into the superstructure when not in use.

A large sports and diving centre on the lower deck, oversized swimming pool on the main deck and a fleet of custom tenders are just some of the other features on board this impressive vessel.

Photos: Ammadu/Ajaaibu

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