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Niyama Private Islands Maldives to host Surf Week 2021

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Niyama Private Islands, the only luxury resort in the Maldives with its own wave breaking onto the shore, will host its 2021 Surf Week from 1 to 7 November, where guests can receive surf coaching from two times world surf air show champion Josh Kerr and have a personalised surfboard designed by award-winning and innovative shaper Matt Parker of Album Surfboards.

Renowned professional surf photographer, Erick Proost will also be there to capture action images of the guests riding the waves.

Niyama Private Islands Resort has two islands – Play and Chill, which are connected by a bridge. Vodi wave is just off the shore of Play Island and is a powerful and sometimes hollow left hander.

Off to the west and five minutes away by speedboat, Kasabu is a rippable and hollow right hander. There are also a number of other surf spots in and around the Dhaalu Atoll that can be easily reached by speedboat or seaplane.

Former Australian pro surfer Josh Kerr has also been Todo Santos Big Wave Champion and a ten times top ten finisher in the WSL championship tour. Now retired, Josh enjoys surfing the alternative and progressive surfboards of Album surfboards by Matt Parker. During Surf Week, Josh will conduct daily surf clinics as well as two one-to-one coaching sessions with each guest.

Matt Parker was the 2021 Electric Acid Surfboard test winner with surfer Coco Ho. Based in California, he has been shaping one of a kind, innovative surfboards since 2001 for riders such as Asher Pacey. Matt will analyse guests’ surfing style and technique in order to recommend a board design and will then have a one to one consultation with each guest to finalise the design. The personalised Album surfboard will be shipped to the guest’s home within 14 to 16 weeks.

Erick is a cinematographer and photographer specialised in surfing and water shots, having worked with world champions and professional surfers including Gabriel Medina and Adriana De Souza, and with several of his surf movies receiving recognition at international film festivals. His passion in photography highlights the beauty of surfing blended with the ocean and nature. He will swim in the ocean at Vodi or out on boats to other surf breaks taking pictures of guests riding the waves. They will leave with a professional video and photos as mementoes of their surfing week.

After a day’s surfing, guests can hang out with Josh, Matt, Erick and other surfers at the Surf Shack with its laid-back bar, tomato-red food truck, bean bags and swings to relax on, and a reggae music soundtrack. The perfect spot for sundowners, the Surf Shack serves rum cocktails and gourmet snack food, such as tacos, burritos, poached prawns, chorizo hotdogs and truffle fries with churros to wrap up.

Niyama Private Islands offers a collection of 134 villas, suites and pavilions, dotting along the beaches of both islands and extending out over the lagoon. The laid-back resort offers an abundance of space and privacy and a multitude of experiences tailored to adventurous honeymooners, active couples and style-savvy families.

With the authorisation in late 2020 of nearby Dhaalu Airport to handle direct private jet arrivals and departures to and from the archipelago, the journey to Niyama has become the swiftest arrival experience in the country, taking just seven minutes by speedboat.

Alternatively, guests can take a 40-minute shared seaplane flight from Malé or a 30-minute domestic flight to Dhaalu Airport.

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Exploring the depths: Technical diving at the British Loyalty wreck in Addu Atoll

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In the southernmost reaches of the Maldives lies a submerged relic steeped in history – The British Loyalty shipwreck. This underwater treasure, resting 33 meters below the surface between the islands of Maradhoo and Hithadhoo in Addu Atoll, has become a haven for technical divers seeking a unique and thrilling experience.

The British Loyalty, an oil tanker with a storied past, was constructed in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, and played a crucial role during the colonial era, serving the British Royal Air Force until the late 1970s. Tragically, the ship met its fate during World War II when it was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine in Madagascar in May 1942, resulting in the loss of lives and significant damage.

Despite facing the perils of war, the British Loyalty managed to find its way to Addu Atoll after being repaired. Its duty shifted to supplying oil to the base in Gan until another harrowing incident in 1944, when a German U-boat torpedoed the vessel. Miraculously, the ship did not sink but sustained considerable damage. Instead of full repairs, it was repurposed as a fuel storage vessel until the British withdrawal from the Maldives in 1946, leading to its intentional scuttling across the atoll.

Today, The British Loyalty lies beneath the crystal-clear waters, offering a captivating dive site for enthusiasts. Aquaventure Maldives, a PADI 5 Star Dive Center in Addu, facilitates these mesmerizing dives, providing enthusiasts with a chance to explore the sunken vessel and the vibrant marine life that has made it their home.

Divers have the opportunity to navigate through the 140-meter-long wreck adorned with corals and inhabited by schools of small fish, turtles, and occasional visits from manta rays and sharks. The deck and keel of the ship feature two large holes, inviting divers to swim in and out, enhancing the overall experience of exploring this historic underwater site.

To ensure the preservation of the natural beauty surrounding the wreck, the Maldives Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) declared The British Loyalty a Protected Area in 2018. This designation emphasizes the commitment to maintaining the delicate balance of marine life and safeguarding the historical significance of the site.

For those seeking an extraordinary adventure beneath the waves, Aquaventure Maldives invites divers to embark on a journey through time, exploring the depths of The British Loyalty and witnessing the captivating underwater wonders of Addu Atoll. With experienced instructors and dive masters boasting thousands of dives in the atoll, Aquaventure Maldives promises a safe and unforgettable technical diving experience in this unique underwater realm.

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Sheraton Maldives hosts “Shape-Up” bootcamp for Global Wellness Day

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Fitness enthusiasts can maintain their routines while connecting with the natural beauty of Furanafushi Island

Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa invites fitness enthusiasts and wellness seekers to join an exciting boot camp in celebration of Global Wellness Day. ‘Shape-Up’, a two-day event, will take place on June 11 and 12, 2024, celebrating health, fitness, and well-being. Hosted by renowned German fitness coach Dennis Felber, the event promises a dynamic mix of workouts against the idyllic backdrop of Furanafushi Island.

Dennis Felber, recognized for his coaching expertise, brings years of experience in promoting healthier lifestyles, weight loss, and muscle building. His engaging and effective approach ensures that participants of all fitness levels can achieve their personal goals. The program includes a variety of workouts, such as high-intensity interval training (HIIT) for beginners, beach circuits, battle ropes, fun aqua aerobics, and many more, ensuring an exciting and diverse fitness experience for everyone.

Elevate your performance with an intensive session with Dennis Felber at CocoFit, an innovative outdoor gym that allows fitness enthusiasts to maintain their routines while connecting with the natural beauty of the surroundings. To complement each session, the signature Furana Detox, crafted from fresh lemongrass, mint leaves, and pandan leaves harvested from the resort’s own Furana Organic Garden, is served to get you refreshed and refueled. To conclude the day, our executive chef, Riccardo Pinna, has curated a wellness-inspired dinner consisting of a three-course hearty meal to ensure a balance of nutrients for your body. The evening promises an experience that delights your taste buds and supports your overall well-being.

‘Shape-Up’ is available complimentary for all resort guests aged 16 and above, accommodating guests of all fitness levels. The event also underscores the resort’s commitment to being the World’s Gathering Place, fostering a sense of community among like-minded travelers who share a passion for wellness.

“We are excited to host the ‘Shape-Up’ with Dennis Felber this Global Wellness Day,” said Mohamed El Aghoury, General Manager of Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa. “Our goal is to be part of our guests’ wellness journeys by providing enriching activities while they enjoy the unparalleled beauty of our resort.”

Beyond the boot camp, Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa offers a variety of enriching activities for guests of all ages. From Sunrise Yoga sessions and adrenaline-pumping water sports to “Adopt A Coral,” a coral planting activity, guests can indulge in both adventure and relaxation while contributing to marine conservation. Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa is accessible with a 15-minute complimentary speedboat ride from Velana International Airport, making it ideal for guests who prefer brief travel.

For reservations and more information, visit www.sheratonmaldives.com or contact the reservations team at Sheraton.Maldives@sheraton.com.

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Amilla Maldives teams up with NGO to protect turtles

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In celebration of World Turtle Day on May 23rd, 2024, Amilla Maldives, a haven nestled within the breathtaking Baa Atoll UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, announced a new and exciting partnership with the Atoll Marine Centre (AMC), a local NGO dedicated to marine conservation. This collaboration allows guests to actively participate in protecting these magnificent creatures and their vital habitats.

Founded in Lhaviyani Atoll in 2012, the Atoll Marine Centre (AMC) has become a vital force for sea turtle conservation in the Maldives. Their mission extends far beyond rehabilitation of hatchlings once kept as ill-advised pets. AMC actively rescues and rehabilitates adult turtles entangled in fishing gear or stranded on beaches. Their dedication extends to restoring coral reefs, raising awareness within the local community, and educating future generations through engaging school programs. This partnership with Amilla Maldives marks AMC’s first venture outside their home atoll, signifying the growing importance of collaborative conservation efforts across the islands.

As a proud member of The Conscious Travel Foundation and an EarthCheck silver-certified resort, Amilla Maldives goes beyond offering luxurious accommodations. The resort prioritises sustainable practices and actively engages guests in environmental initiatives. To celebrate World Turtle Day, Amilla curated a series of unforgettable experiences that allowed guests to learn about and contribute to sea turtle conservation:

  • Turtle Discovery Excursion: Witnessing the magic of turtles in their natural habitat through a guided snorkelling adventure.
  • “Turtle Tales”: Educational talks by marine biologists, demystifying the lives of sea turtles and the threats they face.
  • “Adopt-a-Turtle” Programme: An opportunity for guests to directly support AMC’s vital conservation efforts by symbolically adopting a turtle patient recovering at the centre

Amilla Maldives’ dedication to environmental responsibility extends far beyond World Turtle Day. The resort has implemented a series of ongoing initiatives that demonstrate their commitment to a sustainable future:

  • Harnessing the Power of the Sun: A significant investment in solar panel installation has drastically reduced the resort’s reliance on diesel fuel, minimising its carbon footprint.
  • Sustainable Amenities: Amilla Maldives has partnered with socially conscious brands to provide guests with refillable, eco-friendly toiletries packaged in PCR materials.
  • Combating Plastic Waste: The resort has replaced single-use plastic water bottles with reusable Rolla Bottles for all guests. Partnering with Rolla Bottle ensures that a portion of the proceeds goes towards funding ocean plastic pollution clean-up solutions.
  • Supporting Sustainable Fishing Practices: Amilla Maldives actively participates in the Blue Marine Foundation’s “Maldives Resilient Reefs” initiative. This program financially rewards local fishermen for adopting sustainable fishing practices that protect fragile coral reef ecosystems.

By choosing Amilla Maldives, travellers can indulge in luxurious comfort while contributing to vital marine conservation efforts. The resort offers a unique opportunity to combine an unforgettable vacation with the chance to make a positive impact on the environment. Let Amilla Maldives show you how luxury and sustainability can coexist beautifully.

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