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Knowledge is power: Marine biology journey starts with trainee modules at Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru

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The fight for a healthier ocean is real and not to be taken lightly. Continuing more than 15 years of dedication to its UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve home, Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru has launched a new series of Trainee Marine Biologist modules to offer young adults a deep dive into pioneering marine research in one of the world’s most abundant oceanic territories.

Designed for 15 to 19-year-olds, the six one-day, one-to-one modules are designed as a serious foundation for scientifically minded teens, those considering a career in marine biology, or anyone with a genuine desire to deeply engage with the natural world.

Each module combines practical activities with comprehensive take-home texts for a deep dive into what it takes to be a Coral Biologist, Dolphin Biologist, Turtle Biologist, Aquarist, Plankton Biologist, or Manta Biologist. Each privately taught module stands alone and is bookable as a single-day experience.

Trainees work alongside the Resort’s expert Marine Savers marine biologists, on-site veterinarian and experts from The Manta Trust, gaining a unique insight into the Resort’s conservation projects. Activities might include using artificial intelligence to monitor coral reef restoration, cultivating artemia and rotifers in the Fish Lab, tracking and identifying local cetaceans, rehabilitating injured turtles, and contributing to the conservation of the world’s largest known population of manta rays.  

“We know from experience that actively engaging youngsters with marine environments is key to inspiring long-term conservation efforts,” comments Simon Dixon, Manager of Landaa Giraavaru’s Marine Discovery Centre. “Our trainee modules offer an in-depth experience of life in our field and are a great foundation for anyone with a passion for environmental action. It’s the kind of training I would have loved in my own youth.”

Explore one or more of the following one-day modules.

Trainee Coral Biologist

A unique insight into the incredible underwater world of coral reefs – the most diverse of all marine ecosystems – and how to help ensure their survival. Alongside the resident Coral Biologist, trainees will take part in every aspect of the coral restoration project, from preparation and transplanting to photography and uploading.

Trainee Dolphin Biologist

An opportunity to be part of the conservation story of the Maldives’ much-loved marine mammals: dolphins and whales. Working alongside the Dolphin Biologists, trainees will find out all about these magnificent creatures, go on a cruise to track their movements around the islands, and take and process photos to identify individuals.

Trainee Turtle Biologist

Sea turtles have been found throughout the world’s oceans since around the time of the dinosaurs – with the exception of the polar seas – but now six of their seven species are at risk of extinction. Alongside the resident Turtle Biologist, trainees will learn about sea turtle anatomy and biology, the threats they face in the wild and what can be done to help conserve them.

Trainee Aquarist

This module takes a closer look at some of the smaller organisms that inhabit the underwater world. From plankton to clownfish, rotifers to jellyfish, each play a part in ensuring healthy ecosystems that sustain life. A fascinating introduction to the work in the Fish Lab, this module highlights the dangers and threats facing each species and explores how we can help ourselves by helping the oceans.

Trainee Plankton Biologist

A chance to discover the role these incredible organisms play in our lives, from providing the oxygen we breathe to helping us track climate events and understand the migration of large sea animals. Trainees will be part of the first long-term, continuous plankton survey in the Maldives – and, to the best of the program’s knowledge, in any global UNESCO Biosphere Reserve – and help contribute to a model of plankton diversity and biomass that will hopefully expand into a national database.

Trainee Manta Biologist

An insight into the secret lives of the gentle giants of the Maldives: manta rays. Trainees will spend time with these majestic animals and learn how the Manta Ray Biologists work to conserve and protect the local manta ray population. This module enables trainees to become a part of the team’s research journey, from photo identification to helping monitor size, behaviour and even pregnancy.

The Trainee Marine Biologist modules are the latest innovation in 15 years of marine research and education at Four Seasons Resort Landaa Giraavaru. Other successes include the Maldives’ most successful coral reef regeneration project; establishing the Maldivian Manta Ray Project in 2005 (the founding project of the now worldwide Manta Trust); inaugurating the Maldives’ first Turtle Rehabilitation Centre in 2011; rehabilitating more than 340 injured sea turtles (including rehoming 6 overseas); and identifying 350+ cetaceans through the Dolphin ID Project.

Working out of a dedicated exhibition and research space that includes a purpose-built Turtle Rehabilitation Centre and Fish Lab, the research team also organise Dive Against Debris and other ocean clean-up events; attend international symposiums and local festivals to share their research; collaborate with local and international partner projects and organisations; welcome Maldivian school children for educational marine conservation days; lead daily guest snorkelling excursions and awareness talks; and lovingly tend to their extended family of turtle, fish, coral, jellyfish, egg and spawn with the highest levels of care.

For more information, visit marinesavers.com for month-by-month updates on all marine conservation projects currently undertaken at Four Seasons Resorts Landaa Giraavaru and Kuda Huraa, alongside data collated over many years of commitment to the preservation of the Maldives’ marine ecosystem.

To be part of the conservation story at Landaa Giraavaru and become a Trainee Marine Biologist, contact reservations.mal@fourseasons.com or call the Central Reservations department at tel: (960) 66 00 888.

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Join Ifuru Island Maldives’ exhilarating ice, bubbles challenge

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Are You Ready? The Ice & Bubbles Challenge awaits your arrival at Ifuru Island.

Are you ready for the ultimate chill thrill of indulgence and adventure? Then put on your explorer hat and jet off to Ifuru Island for the Ice & Bubbles Challenge! Imagine: you’ll be basking in the breathtaking Maldives scenery while putting your might to the test with a 6-minute polar plunge, clutching a flute of bubbly like a boss. Once you conquer the challenge, you’ll savour the delicious bubbly and feel like a true champion!

Picture yourself lounging poolside, surrounded by swaying palm trees, white sandy beaches, and crystal-clear waters, while also pushing your endurance to the limit. And as a badge of honour, guests are gifted with a trendy Ice Bath and Bubbles Challenge t-shirt to flaunt their fearless spirit. The current record for the Ice & Bubbles Challenge is a brave 22 minutes, and we’re daring you to beat it!

Cold-water immersion can speed up your muscle recovery, reduce inflammation, and give you a boost of energy. Plus, you’ll feel like a true hero after conquering the challenge and basking under the warm Maldivian sun.

So, what are you waiting for? Rally your friends and come join us on Ifuru Island Maldives for an unforgettable adventure that’s sure to create magical memories that will last a lifetime!

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Six Senses launches Mermaid Courses in Maldives

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Six Senses Laamu and Six Senses Kanuhura in the Maldives are making waves with the launch of an enchanting underwater experience – PADI Mermaid courses.

Now, guests aged six and above can embark on a magical journey guided by certified PADI scuba dive instructors. Aspiring mermaids and mermen will be equipped with a monofin, a type of swim fin that mimics the movements of dolphins, and colorful fabric tail, mirroring the hues of the ocean. Catering to various ages, interests, and skill levels, both resorts offer a range of courses from discovery to advanced. A professional photographer is available on request to capture personal fairytale-moments.

“We’re thrilled to introduce this fun new experience to our range of underwater offerings,” says Judith Scheibelberger, PADI trainer and resident mermaid expert at Six Senses Laamu, an IHG Hotels & Resorts property. “Our mermaid courses are not only a source of fun and excitement for kids but also invite adults to tap into their imagination and reconnect with their inner child. Beyond the entertainment aspect and capturing Instagram-worthy memories, participants will also gain valuable underwater skills and learn about the awe-inspiring secrets of the sea.”

Mermaid courses join a plethora of underwater experiences available to guests at both Maldivian Six Senses resorts, including snorkeling with turtles, vibrant coral reef explorations, and exhilarating diving adventures. The resorts boasts state-of-the-art dive centers that provide comprehensive services and expert guidance.

For young adventurers, both resorts also offer the PADI Seal Team programme, catering to junior divers aged eight and above. This program allows aspiring divers to explore the underwater world safely, through the five ‘AquaMissions,’ where participants can delve down to four meters, or the introductory PADI Bubblemaker experience, tailored for children aged eight to nine, allowing them to dive down to two meters.

“These experiences not only offer a glimpse into the mesmerising underwater world but also provide an opportunity for young divers to develop their confidence and diving skills while exploring the diversity of Maldivian reefs,” says Anne Hospital, Dive Manager of both resorts.

The brand’s Grow With Six Senses programme offers all of the dimensions of wellness, providing kids with opportunities to reconnect with nature and engage with their surroundings. Through immersive experiences in local culture, wellness, sustainability and social interactions, children spark their curiosity and gain valuable life skills. At the heart of this programme are the dedicated kid’s clubs known as ‘The Den’, which serve as hubs for exploration and discovery.

At Six Senses Laamu and Six Senses Kanuhura, one standout offering is the Mermaid course, which invites children on an underwater adventure amidst stunning turquoise panoramas. On land, the activities are equally diverse, ranging from enlightening garden tours to innovative waste-to-wealth workshops and interactive junior cooking classes. These experiences are designed to provide children with valuable life skills through hands-on play, ensuring a comprehensive and enriching journey for young guests at the resorts.

Prices for the PADI Mermaid Courses start from USD 150 for a 45-minute discovery session. For bookings and further information, please visit sixsenses.com or contact reservations-maldives@sixsenses.com.

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Encounter of majesty: Whale Shark sighting at Vilamendhoo Island Resort

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Measuring an impressive 6.5 meters, a majestic whale shark was recently spotted gliding gracefully through the enthralling house reef of Vilamendhoo Island Resort & Spa, just beyond the main jetty. This awe-inspiring sight captivated guests, who were fortunate enough to snorkel alongside this magnificent creature. As the whale shark meandered through the crystal-clear waters, guests paused their activities, enchanted by the rare opportunity to witness such a spectacular marine spectacle.

Whale sharks, the gentle giants of the ocean, are renowned for their majestic presence in the azure waters of South Ari Atoll where, Vilamendhoo is located. These magnificent creatures frequent the abundant house reefs of this tropical paradise, creating a mesmerizing spectacle for visitors. Alongside them, graceful manta rays glide effortlessly through the crystal-clear waters, while vibrant coral gardens teem with life beneath the surface. Each encounter with these marine wonders offers a glimpse into the rich biodiversity surrounding the island, captivating the hearts of all who venture into its depths, adding to the allure of this tropical paradise.

“The sighting of the whale shark has evoked an overwhelming wave of positivity among our guests, who have shared their sheer delight at the rare opportunity to encounter such a magnificent creature during their stay. For many, this unexpected marvel has transformed their holiday experience at Vilamendhoo into an unforgettable journey, solidifying our resort’s standing as a premier destination for ocean enthusiasts and nature lovers,” elucidated Mohamed Zahir, General Manager of Vilamendhoo.

Located on a pristine island measuring 900 meters long by 250 meters wide, Vilamendhoo Island Resort & Spa follows the cherished ‘One Island, One Resort’ concept for which the Maldives is renowned. Surrounded by a spectacular house reef teeming with marine life, guests are invited to explore the underwater wonders just a short swim away from the expansive sandy beaches.

Whether it’s diving into the depths of the ocean or snorkeling amidst vibrant coral gardens, Vilamendhoo offers the quintessential island adventure. The resort’s 184 rooms, each adorned in natural island style, provide the perfect sanctuary for relaxation after days filled with oceanic exploration.

To reach this tropical haven, guests embark on a scenic seaplane transfer from Velana International Airport, enjoying a breathtaking 25-minute flight over the mesmerizing atolls of the Maldives.

In conclusion, the sighting of a whale shark at Vilamendhoo serves as a testament to the unparalleled beauty and biodiversity of the Maldives’ marine environment. As travelers seek meaningful encounters with nature, Vilamendhoo stands ready to welcome them into a world where every moment is filled with wonder and awe.

Discover paradise at Vilamendhoo Island Resort & Spa in the Maldives. With its pristine beaches, azure waters, and luxurious accommodations, Vilamendhoo offers the perfect retreat for relaxation and oceanic exploration. Nestled in the South Ari Atoll, this resort follows the cherished ‘One Island, One Resort’ concept, providing guests with a true tropical escape. Experience the magic of the Maldives with a scenic 25-minute seaplane transfer from Velana International Airport, and indulge in 184 rooms adorned in natural island style.

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