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Marine Wildlife of the Maldives tour
Nature & Wildlife Wildlife viewing Marine Wildlife of the Maldives package

Marine Wildlife of the Maldives

Exodus Travels Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
4.7 . Excellent
Travel Style: N/A
Physical Level: All or most of day hiking or biking, hills included. Moderate
Lodging Level: Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value (3*)
7 days
From: $ 3,149 $ 450 / day
Checking price


Highlights (Bullets)

  • Spend six nights on a gulet in the Maldives
  • Discover unspoiled islands, pristine beaches and idyllic atolls
  • Snorkel with whale sharks, sea turtles and manta rays (in season)

Short Description

Awake to the sun rising over the azure ocean and snorkel areas of abundant marine life including manta rays, whale sharks, turtles (green, hawksbill and olive ridley), plus bottlenose and spinner dolphins. Visit unspoiled islands by day and by night relax on deck gazing at the millions of stars above. A traditionally crafted Turkish gulet sailboat is the perfect way to experience the magic of the Maldives. This itinerary is valid for departures from 21 Jun, 2023 to 24 Nov, 2023. For other departure dates, please contact us.Navigate the Indian Ocean in a traditional gulet for an unforgettable adventure in paradise

Style N/A
See all the highlights and popular spots on a classic tour.
Itinerary Focus Classic Highlights
Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels.
Lodging Level Value (3*)
Flight & Transport Inclusions All internal ground transport
Start City Malé International Airport
End City Malé International Airport



Attractions & Cities Visited


Activities & Interests

Wildlife viewing

Age Requirement


No Single Supplement
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Day 1 Start Male International Airport ; board our boat, the Felicity; cruise through South Male Atoll

Following the arrival of the group flight and a short introductory briefing, we will transfer by dhoni to board by midday the MV Felicity, our home for the next 6 days, arriving in time for a light lunch. Today we cruise south to Guraidhoo in South Male Atoll. During this time you are able to do as you please, relax on the sundeck, sit in the shade of the sun canopy and watch the beauty of the Maldives pass you by and maybe catch sight of dolphins. Our crew will try to find an opportunity for you to have your first snorkelling excursion this afternoon. If the islands of the Maldives are beautiful, what lies under the water is a veritable wonder of nature. The reefs that encircle the islands and the Atolls are just as abundant in their variety of coral as the marine creatures that live in and around them. This coupled with the amazingly clear water, make snorkelling and diving in the Maldives a unique experience that you will not forget. MV Felicity

Day 2 Turtle snorkelling safari in South Male Atoll; cross into Ari Atoll

This morning our first stop will be a reef located on the east side of the atoll which offers the strong possibility of a number of turtle sightings. The reef is shallow but dense with corals which provide turtles with an abundant food source. As with all Maldivian reefs there will also be plenty of fish to observe including Box fish, Porcupine fish and schools of Banner fish. The remainder of the day we will cross into Ari Atoll and head south towards the island of Dhangethi. Dependent on the sailing conditions if there is time there, will be the opportunity this afternoon to take a further snorkel trip before making a visit to the local island of Dhangethi where we will take a traditional Maldivian afternoon tea. Dhangethi is a typical Maldivian fishing island with an interesting story to tell concerning the moon and a Maldives Sultan! MV Felicity

Day 3 Full Day Whale shark safari with the Maldives Whale Shark Research Programme (MWSRP)

The region of South Ari Atoll is very lucky to have a unique year-round population of Whale sharks. Nowhere else in the world boasts Whale sharks every single month of the year and furthermore many of the sharks seen are the same individuals time after time. We spend time with a representative of the Maldives Whale shark Research Team or a local marine biologist to learn about these magnificent creatures and how identification can be made before heading out on our own Whale shark safari. We may see 1 or 2 Whale sharks in half an hour or given that they are wild creatures in their natural habitat we may not encounter one for the whole time we are searching. However the unpredictability all adds to the excitement! If we do spot them we will have the opportunity to snorkel alongside them, a truly magical experience. Whale sharks can, at times, swim very quickly – so you may need to work hard to keep up with them in the water! MV Felicity

Day 4 Morning Whale shark safari; afternoon snorkelling in South Ari Atoll

Today we go in search of Whale sharks once more and if the time of year is right (December – March) we may also encounter Manta rays. Following lunch we will be taken to one of the best snorkelling sites in this area where we may be fortunate to encounter turtles amongst the colourful corals and fish. The water conditions and currents play an important role in the choice of snorkel sites. However, it is likely that fish species such as Dogtooth tuna, Trevally's, Jacks, Sweetlips, Butterfly fish, Wahoo and Fusiliers will be encountered. When not in the water, the day is one for relaxation on board MV Felicity. MV Felicity

Day 5 Morning Manta ray snorkelling (in season); afternoon cruise back into South Male Atoll

On departures between February and April we will cruise to Madivaru, a marine protected area with two cleaning stations where we hope to encounter Manta rays. With a radio network between dive and cruising vessels, our guide and crew will do their best to encounter Manta rays but should we not be lucky enough, further snorkelling opportunities to encounter sharks, turtles, eels, octopus and rays will be offered. Out of season it is still possible to encounter solitary Manta rays and we will also make the most of a final opportunity to encounter Whale sharks. Qualified divers are offered the optional opportunity to dive within this marine protected area which boasts a number of exciting dive sites (see money section for prices of the optional diving). For those who have not dived before a Discover Scuba Diving Course is offered to learn the basic safety guidelines and skills needed to dive under the direct supervision of a PADI professional. Those who choose not to dive will be able to snorkel in this protected marine area. This afternoon we start our cruise northwards. MV Felicity

Day 6 Cruise back to Male

Cruise north before we anchor in the lagoon off the island of Hulhumale in the late afternoon. This morning there will be a final chance to snorkel these tropical waters and whilst cruising we can do as we please: relax on the sundeck, sit in the shade of the sun canopy, read a book or just watch the beauty of the Maldives pass by. Once anchored in Hulhumale lagoon there will be an optional Male city walking tour available for those who would like to stretch their legs! This evening a presentation provides an overview of the Maldives marine environment and the work being undertaken by local NGO's to protect it for the future. MV Felicity

Day 7 Disembark boat and transfer to Male International Airport; end of trip

After a light breakfast, all clients are transferred this morning back to Male International Airport in time for the group flight clients to check in for their flight back to the UK. For land only clients, the trip ends upon arrival back to Male International Airport this morning.


Checking price
Price From $ 3,149
Price Per Day: $ 450 per day
Checking price
Start DateFinish DateDouble StandardDeparture GuaranteedAvailability 
Nov-12-2023Nov-18-2023$ 3,149Yes5 spots left Reserve
Nov-26-2023Dec-02-2023$ 3,499No2 spots left Reserve
Dec-17-2023Dec-23-2023$ 3,249Yes4 spots left Reserve
Jan-21-2024Jan-27-2024$ 3,949Yes5 spots left Reserve
Jan-28-2024Feb-03-2024$ 3,949No8 spots left Reserve
Feb-18-2024Feb-24-2024$ 3,949Yes1 spots left Reserve
Feb-25-2024Mar-02-2024$ 3,949Yes6 spots left Reserve
Mar-10-2024Mar-16-2024$ 3,949Yes5 spots left Reserve
Nov-24-2024Nov-30-2024$ 3,949No8 spots left Reserve
Dec-15-2024Dec-21-2024$ 3,949No8 spots left Reserve
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Check Current Availability, prices, specials with Exodus Travels.

Prices may vary due to local taxes and trip seasonality. Click "Request Info" to inquire directly with the tour operator for the final trip price.

16,563 Exodus Travels Travel Reviews & Ratings

4.7 out of 5 (100+ reviews)
Excellent 12,341
Great 3,305
Average 616
Disappointing 136
Terrible 165

Marine Wildlife of the Maldives

A magical trip! One of my best ever!

This trip far exceeded my expectations on every level. The underwater wildlife encounters were superior to any other snorkeling I've done. There's an abundance of things to see and coupled with the chance to scuba dive and excellent water conditions - it's a top notch destination. The boat was very comfortable, the crew was excellent and took care of every need, and the food was awesome. Ranks as one of my all-time favorites!
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You can be single and do the Maldives without feeling like the odd one out!

From day one you are part of the Felicity family. From being welcomed on
board and shown your surprisingly comfy cabin, to the last breakfast on
board, you are looked after and made to feel so welcome, you will not want to
Captain Shafy, Guide Kamey And all the crew work tirelessly to get you the
best wildlife experiences. Their knowledge of the Maldives and all its
creatures is endless and no doubt why you get to see, and experience, so
Swimming for an hour and 10 minutes with Fernando the 8 metre long Whale
Shark has to be the most inspirational part of my trip.
Scuba diving after a 20 year break from it felt daunting until Captain Shafy
took charge. His patience, confidence and expertise was inspiring. This too
was an experience I’ll cherish.

The group leader Kamey has very good English and navigates you through you
Maldives experience with his laid back charm. Laid back, but hard working! On
snorkelling trips he does his best to get everyone engaged in their
surroundings. From identifying species to sorting your camera problems - he
can do it.

You need to be able to swim for this trip, and the fitter you are the more
you will get out of it. Having said that there is plenty of opportunity for
chilling out on deck with a good book. Surprisingly spacious, you can find
your own space on the Felicity should you so desire some time to yourself.
Don’t pack much. Rash vest, sunscreen, 2 lots of swimwear (one on, one
drying), flip flops for shore excursions, sun glasses and hat are a must. If
your thinking of getting a waterproof camera - do! It’s great fun and they
will help you with it! If you don’t sleep on airplanes go a night early and
stay in a hotel in Male to gather yourself before your trip (it’s well
worth it).

You and your belongings are safe on board. There aren’t any safes but you
don’t need one. I didn’t even lock my cabin door. The food on board was
outstanding- you are left wondering how do they do that on a boat. There was
a vegetarian and a celiac in our group and their food looked as good as, if
not better than everyone else’s! Nothing was too much trouble. There are so
many places to see in the world, but the Felicity in the Maldives will get
another visit.

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This was a magical ‘out of this world’ adventure that went way beyond my
wildest dreams. Dive in - a spectacular tropical paradise awaits below and
above the warm turquoise water. It was incredibly spine-tingling getting up
unbelievably close to whale sharks, manta rays, turtles, eagle rays,
dolphins, sharks and a vast array of stunning colourful fish. ‘MV
Felicity’ was THE ideal way to have these unforgettable encounters with
marine wildlife and ‘chill out’ at the same time. I can not recommend
this more highly and it totally ‘recharged’ my batteries. Captain Shafi
and crew were outstanding and from the moment I stepped aboard this gulet, I
felt at home.
Swimming along beside ‘Fernando’, a magnificent 7.2m long whale shark.

KAMEY is THE BEST, the finished article, the ‘real deal’. He is perfect
in this role - going the 'extra mile’ at every opportunity to make this the
trip of a lifetime for the entire group.

Book it!

Spend at least 1 night on deck gazing up at the stars and listening to the
waves as you drift off. It is so therapeutic.

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Don't Think About It ...Do It !!

Just stunning :0
One of the best holidays I have had and just what I needed to de-stress
Wanting to visit the Maldives and travelling on my own this is a fabulous way
of seeing it
As soon as you step out of the airport ...there it is ! absolutely stunning
turquoise sea !!
You get transferred to the gullet via boat. Stepping on board kick your shoes
off and RELAX :)
My double room was a decent size as was the bathroom
The rest of the group (5) were lovely and we got on well
All of the staff were lovely and nothing was too much trouble
The food was gorgeous and fresh and also plentiful !! You will not go hungry
Inspirational ....all of it !!
We managed to get an private showing of a whale shark after most of the other
boats had gone :)
Utterly mind blowing and blissful also the delight of watching the manta rays
gliding around so elegantly.
I have dived in the red sea and THIS knocks spots of it !!
Some of the snorkels were like swimming through an aquarium and overall what
we didn't see isn't worth mentioning quite a lot of it due to the leader
Kamay and Shafy (Captain) and also Oubi pointing things out to us that we
could of easily missed
The two presentations were interesting and great to hear such work is being
done to preserve the wildlife and the corals

Fabulous !! I thought he was warm, professional, informative and funny. He
clearly is passionate about what he does but with a relaxed attitude
I'm envious of his office :)
Overall everyone were friendly attentive and a total pleasure to be around
Let's put it this way I didn't want to come home !!

It will help to be a reasonable swimmer and wearing a rash vest or UV suit is
helpful to prevent from getting burnt also giving you a bit of warmth. Don't
get me wrong the sea is warm but if your doing a drift snorkel you can still
get chilly

If you want a holiday to kick back and relax this is the one for you
The boat is a good size with plenty of covered space and uncovered for this
who want to get that tan
It is a great way to visit the Maldives at least our island (the boat) moved
around to different places rather that being stuck on one island !!
I would do it again in a heartbeat !!

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Spectacular wildlife, wonderful crew and great fun group

What a week! Everything you might wish for and more. We spent time with whale
sharks, mantas, stingrays, turtles, and all reef life. Also had a great laugh
in a beautiful place - lovely group who looked after each other, crew were
attentive and focussed on all the details of wildlife spotting and safety. A
big bonus for me was the diving. Shafi was truly superb as dive leader (and
ships captain). Did 4 memorable dives with him.
So many. Swimming with the whale sharks, the pirouetting of the mantas,
following turtles across the reefs, floating above 15 to 20 sting rays,
laughing all through dinner, breakfast with the sunrise etc etc

Kamey was a great guide and combined great knowledge with an easy and
supportive manner. He pointed out countless sights on the reefs we would not
have spotted while quietly supporting the lesser swimmers.

Shafi was a great captain and dive leader. He has a sunny personality and
huge skill and experience in all of his roles in managing the boat. He has
done 4,500 dives and is completely first class at managing a relatively
novice diver like me.

Rash vest and go pro/tough camera are musts! Bring loads of sun cream. A
travel towel was great as an addition to my bed sheet as the air con is
efficient. Bring your favourite shampoo, conditioner and shower gel as only
hand soap provided.

Also - let the crew tell you what the best opportunities are on each day
rather than hark back to the itinerary. You will see more and better wildlife
that way! And maybe have a party night too!

A big thank you to the crew and the local guides at Secret Paradise. It was
an amazing week that I am certain we all enjoyed very much.

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Reviews from previous and similar itineraries

Marine Wildlife of the Maldives

We boarded our boat, Felicity, and set off almost straight away for a lovely
trip around the islands of the Maldives. They say it is a romantic place and
it is but it is also very suitable for any occasion for friends or even
singles. There were 11 of us, 5 singles and 3 couples, mostly British. I
would definitely recommend doing the Maldives on a boat, as you get to see
different islands and you are not just stuck on one island. There are only 7
double cabins so 14 is maximum.
We were able to go a long way in search of the whale shark and manta rays and
they took us to where they were. The sea was so warm to swim in so you don't
need a wetsuit but be careful to put plenty of SPF on the backs of your legs
and your back or wear a rash vest. Snorkel gear is provided and it was of
good quality AND one of the crew cleans it for you and makes it so the mask
doesn't fog up. I've only ever had to it myself before so that was a real
luxury. All the crew are very helpful in every way.

Our group leader spoke perfect English and was very passionate and helpful in
every way. He asked the question that we were strong swimmers and there was
one lady who said no so he kept her by his side the whole time, and let her
hang on to a ring which gave her more confidence. He took us to all the
sites where we would get good snorkelling, see beautiful fish and we also had
another crew member with us in case anyone got into trouble. All the crew
couldn't have done more to make my holiday perfect and safe. I felt
perfectly safe with all of them.

If you are worried about boats/seasickness then this probably isn't for you.
The food on the boat was very good if a bit basic and they catered for a lot
of fussy eaters (vegetarians etc). Most of the food is fish/rice based. I
put on 5lbs in a week so there is always plenty of food, so much so we felt
guilty because there was always a lot that went back, hopefully the crew ate
well too. Also lots of fruit which was good, nice fruit too, mangos, papaya,
pineapple, bananas etc as well as oranges and apples. There was nothing the
cook wouldn't do for the fussy eaters.

The configuration of the boat was superb, outdoor (under cover) eating for
every meal. The cabins were much bigger than I expected with different type
beds, I guess you just ask if you want a double or singles etc. One thing I
was disappointed though was that although it is a yacht, they have no sails
so everything is under power of the engine. So don't expect to go for a
lovely sail. Also, I found when I got there that there was no safe in my
cabin so I asked the group leader. He said everything is quite safe and I
actually put my money and passport in my suitcase and it was fine. Anything
else left out was also quite safe, no one touched anything that didn't belong
to them. That was quite refreshing.

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Flight & Transport Inclusions

All internal ground transport

Group Size

Small Group - 24 max

Maximum Number of People in Group: 12


6 nights in twin cabins on board the Felicity, all en suite facilities
Full day and half day Whale shark safari included
Dolphin safari included

A traditionally crafted and built Turkish gulet complete with sails, the MV Felicity has a length of 92ft (28m), a beam of 22.5ft (6.85m) and a draft of 8.5ft (2.6m). With two decks and six cabins, it accommodates 12 passengers comfortably. All cabins are air-conditioned with attached bathrooms including showers, small wardrobes, drawers and storage facilities, portholes and a wall fan. There is an outdoor dining area and an indoor area. The indoor saloon is furnished with a dining table and seating plus banquette seating and is equipped with a TV-DVD-stereo and an equipment-charging area. The communal open-air deck is furnished with sun mats and banquette seating. Please note: The Felicity only has six cabins with a mix of twin and double rooms; we therefore strongly recommend booking early to guarantee availability of the correct room type. If you are a very light sleeper, we recommend bringing earplugs in case it is necessary to have the generator operating at night. A single supplement is available but there is very limited availability.

Age Notes :

Min. Age: 18

Max Age: 99

Additional Information

  • Six nights in twin cabins on board the Felicity
  • Full-day whale shark safari included
  • All meals included on-board
  • 26 November 2023: Special departure in collaboration with the Maldives Whale Shark Research Programme (MWSRP)

Trip ID#:


What's excluded

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request- very limited)
  • Visas or vaccinations

Meals Included

Breakfast, lunch, dinner and afternoon snacks are all included on board. Traditional Maldivian cuisine is based around fish (tuna), chilli and coconuts. White rice and roshi (a flour-based flatbread) are also staples. Fish is normally smoked, fired, barbecued or roasted. Pork products are strictly prohibited. Typical ingredients used widely in dishes and served on board include onion, ginger, garlic, lemon and spices. Menus include European and Maldivian dishes, freshly prepared on board by our chefs who do their best to cater for most dietary requirements. The indoor saloon bar offers a wide choice of soft drinks, wine, beer and spirits to purchase. Please note, no alcohol is allowed on the islands – it is only permitted in the resorts and on the boats. Please discuss any dietary requirements with your sales representative at the time of booking.
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