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Keeping the underwater world green at Baros Maldives

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Maldives Promotion House – Programmes have been introduced to keep the underwater world green at the beautiful island resort of Baros Maldives in the Indian Ocean. Great care is being taken to conserve the natural resources of the island’s lagoon and reef, in addition to the attention given to preserving eco-systems on land.

Baros Maldives is unique in having a house reef encircling the island that is only a few metres from the shore. Even novice snorkellers can swim easily to it and gaze at the living organisms that form the reef.

Guests at Baros Maldives are informed of the dangers of touching coral because of its fragility, as well as being encouraged not to feed any of the fish, turtles and rays to be seen in the lagoon’s shallow waters, because of disruption to their feeding cycle.

The resort has introduced the first certified Eco Dive Centre in the Maldives practising the international Reef Check Programme. This combines education with action to give divers a unique experience while taking an active role in conserving the world’s reefs. The programme includes increasing the awareness of divers about the environment by teaching sustainable dive practice knowledge, participating in reef conservation initiatives, and offers specialty courses that teach divers and guests about ecology and conservation.

In addition, Baros Maldives has launched a Coral Reef Regeneration Programme run by the resort’s resident Marine Biologist. Guests are invited to attach selected pieces of broken, but still living, coral to a frame constructed as a nursery reef. This is located near the linking boardwalk to the island’s Water Villas, so guests can easily observe the reef’s regeneration. Participants are sent an email every six-months, with photograph, showing the progressive growth of the oral they have planted.

By this initiative of involving guests to help keep the underwater world green, Baros Maldives is successfully pioneering responsible and sustainable eco-tourism in the islands.

The resort, on the small private island of Baros, just 25 minutes by speedboat from the Maldives International Airport, has 75 beach and water villas of classic, natural elegance, as well as gourmet-standard cuisine. Since its opening in 2005 Baros Maldives has won many awards, including being voted among the top ten resorts in Asia in 2011 in the Travelers’ Choice awards sponsored by Trip Advisor.

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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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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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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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