Snorkeling Conservation Cruise

$1,899 pp

  • Duration

    8 days
  • Departure Date

    Nov 9, 2024
  • Trip Style

    Small Group
  • Country

    The Maldives
  • Physical Rating



Liveaboard a Turkish gulet and cruise the island paradise of the Maldives to experience the ultimate in island hopping, marine conservation, and snorkeling adventures.

Snorkel with majestic whale sharks and learn about these gentle giants from the Maldivian Whale Shark Research Program Coordinator, who will travel with us. As you discover life under the sea at the South Male and South Ari Atolls, you can assist in data collection, identify individuals, and maybe even take measurements underwater!

If you are passionate about ocean life, this trip through the Maldives is a perfect fit!

This experience can only accommodate 12 guests and has 3 departure dates per year, so secure your spot early. Carbon removals are included with your booking!


  • Experience the magic of snorkeling with whale sharks and assist in data collection
  • Spot turtles, colorful fish, sharks, and dolphins through ~10 vivid underwater encounters
  • Snorkel the coral nursery maintained by Save the Beach and watch coral propagation firsthand
  • Learn about the Maldivian ecosystem, seagrass, conservation challenges, & protective measures
  • Savour exquisite local cuisine by sampling "hedika," sweet and savory small bites
  • Experience local traditions such "Boduberu," a tribal dance to drum music
  • Intrepidly roam through an uninhabited island and help clean up its beaches

This unique, hand-curated cruise itinerary is for couples, solo travelers, and families with a passion for the ocean and responsible travel. Discover the charm and natural beauty of the local islands of Dhangethi, Dhigurah, and Gulhi, both above and below the surface.

In addition to snorkeling alongside the whale shark research team, meet with a local NGO (Save the Beach), visit a coral nursery, and learn about the local efforts to regenerate coral reefs and how you can assist the process. Your expert tour leader will teach you about the importance of the humble seagrass in sea turtle conservation efforts. Embark on a tropical forest walk, visit deserted sandbank islands, complete beach cleans, watch mesmerizing sunrises and sunsets, and of course, kick back and relax as you sail your worries away, onboard the lovely MV Felicity gulet.

Your tour leader will also familiarize you with all things Maldivian. From tours of the local islands and villages, to sampling afternoon tea snacks known as "hedika," to enjoying a Maldivian theme night featuring a traditional "Boduberu" musical drumming and dance performance, you'll see a special and unique side to these wonderful islands!

Departure Dates

  • Nov 9, 2024 - Nov 16, 2024
  • Feb 2, 2025 - Feb 9, 2025
  • Mar 2, 2025 - Mar 9, 2025
  • Dec 21, 2025 - Dec 28, 2025

Group size: Min 6, Max 12

  • November 9th, 2024 departure: 3 spots already booked!
  • February 2nd, 2025 departure: 3 spots already booked!
  • March 2nd, 2025 departure: 2 spots already booked!

Seasonal Notes

With a tropical climate, plenty of sunshine, and temperatures around 86°F (30°C) throughout the year, there is never a bad time to visit the Maldives. The Maldives has two distinct seasons:

  • January - March: This is the dry season as the northeast monsoons are more common.
  • Mid-May - November: This is the wet season, as southwest monsoons are more common. Wet, however, doesn't mean rain all the time, it just means we see more rain during this period than during the dry season. This may be a daily heavy shower, but it's very rare to have days and days of rain in succession or even a full 24 hours of rain. There is usually more wind during this period, but this helps keep the temperature at a nice level and you can still expect plenty of blue skies and sunshine.

The rare thunderstorm in the Maldives (especially around the southwest monsoon months) can be a welcome respite from the sun. Cloudy skies, slate grey seas, and crashing thunder make for lovely reading weather. The warm temperatures will allow you to go for a walk in the rain, a thoroughly enjoyable experience. For extra exhilaration, take a swim in the rain - the sea will be extra warm.

There can be heavy rain showers pretty much any time of year, but they tend to be short and cannot be accurately predicted seasonally (in other words – don’t worry too much about them – you will quite possibly experience some rain showers, but the majority of the weather should be great, and you will be unlucky to get several consecutive days of heavy rain). Like many places in the world today, the climate and weather pattern is changing, and historical data is less reliable as an indication of what to expect in the here and now.


Day 1 Male Airport [the Maldives] (arrival day) & Snorkel in Maafushi

Upon arriving in the Maldives you will be met by your tour leader at Male International Airport and board the MV Felicity. After settling in, set off for Maafushi in South Male Atoll where you will have your first Maldives underwater encounter and enjoy sunset from a sandbank!

Your tour leader will provide a safety briefing on responsible snorkeling and act as your ‘spotter’ pointing out marine life that may not have caught your eye. Coral reefs are fragile ecosystems so learning how to snorkel responsibly can help minimize your impact on the marine environment and protect the delicate balance of marine life.

In the evening, you will have a presentation by Save the Beach, a local NGO focusing on the vital role of coral reefs, their biodiversity, and the threats they face due to climate change, pollution, and human activities. The Maldives is rich in marine life but unfortunately, our marine life is under threat because of activities carried out by us humans. Save the Beach will highlight the harmful practices that are pushing the balance in the ecosystem and what we can do to limit the impact.

Accommodation: Turkish gulet
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 2 Coral Nursery & Sea Grass Beds in South Male Atoll

Today begins with a visit to Maafushi, where you have the opportunity to explore a coral rehabilitation site and witness coral propagation. This will underpin the importance of coral reef restoration and the positive impact these conservation efforts can have on island nations.

We also snorkel the seagrass beds and discover their importance to the ecosystem. Despite being one of the most valuable ecosystems on the planet, seagrass is considered unsightly and is often deliberately removed. Gain insights into the interconnectedness of seagrass meadows, coral reefs, and the diverse marine life they support. Back on board Felicity for lunch, there is time for afternoon snorkeling before we cruise further south through South Male Atoll.

Accommodation: Turkish gulet
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 3 Snorkeling in South Ari Atoll & Local Island Visit to Dhangethi

As the sun rises we begin our cruise to South Ari Atoll, known for its exceptional snorkeling opportunities. There will be two snorkeling opportunities today to observe marine life and to compare the coral reefs with those experienced in South Male Atoll.

A late afternoon visit to the local island of Dhangethi provides a taste of local culture and Maldivian cuisine. Enjoy traditional Maldivian snacks known locally as "hedika," - kind of like Maldivian tapas!

Before dinner, we are having a Maldives Whale Shark Research Project (MWSRP) talk about the conservation of whale sharks preparing you for our whale shark safari tomorrow! Learn about the biology and behavior of whale sharks, ongoing research efforts, and the importance of protecting these gentle giants.

Accommodation: Turkish gulet
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 4 Whale Shark Safari in South Ari Atoll & Beach Clean Up

Today marks the highlight of the itinerary with a dedicated whale shark safari!

South Ari Atoll is well known for the possibility of encountering whale sharks, particularly on the reefs behind Dhigurah. There is only one way we can spot them and that’s the old-fashioned way of being out on the boat and looking! We may see 2 or 3 sharks in half an hour, or maybe only one for the whole time we are searching, but the unpredictability all adds to the excitement! When we do spot them, following the whale shark code of conduct, we will snorkel alongside them. A truly magical experience!

As part of the data capture process, assist the MWSRP team in collecting valuable information about the whale sharks, such as size, behavior, and markings. This hands-on experience contributes directly to their ongoing research efforts.

In the afternoon, we visit an uninhabited island. As you step onto its shores, you will feel like an intrepid explorer, discovering a place that feels like it belongs only to you. The island's beaches will invite you to wander and explore their hidden corners. Unfortunately, plastic is often not hidden and we will spend time completing a beach clean-up activity, ensuring we leave a positive mark on the island.

Accommodation: Turkish gulet
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 5 Whale Shark Safari & Forest Walk on Dhigurah Island

We start cruising early morning to Rangali Madivaru (manta point), where we will snorkel before breakfast. While never guaranteed, we may be lucky enough to encounter manta rays, and we will follow the manta ray code of conduct if we are lucky enough to encounter them.

Following breakfast, we venture on another whale shark safari and data capture session, building upon the experiences of yesterday. Late afternoon, immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the tropical vegetation on the local island of Dhigurah. Learn about the forest ecosystem and the important role vegetation plays in the Maldives. Be ready to get hot and sweaty - your reward will be a beautiful sunset and, if you wish, a refreshing dip in the ocean.

Accommodation: Turkish gulet
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 6 Snorkeling & Local Island Visit to Gulhi

We start our cruise back towards Male today. Two snorkeling activities provide an opportunity to observe different coral reef formations, encounter a variety of fish species, and appreciate the intricate balance of these underwater ecosystems.

In the late afternoon, we will visit the local island of Gulhi. This tiny quiet island’s main economy is fishing and it is also home to the oldest dry dock boat yard in the Maldives. Stand in awe at the size of the boats under renovation in the boat yard, chat with the ladies sweeping the streets, and finally refresh yourself with a cool Kurumba (coconut).

Accommodation: Turkish gulet
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 7 Snorkeling & Villimale Visit

We start the day with another snorkeling session, allowing you to further explore the marine life and habitats of the Maldives. Keep your eyes open for turtles, sharks, and rays - you never know what may be in the blue!

En route to Hulhumale, we visit Villimale, home of Save the Beach, where we witness how the broader socio-economic factors and development are affecting marine conservation in local communities.

Accommodation: Turkish gulet
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 8 Male Airport (departure day)

Departure to Male International Airport.

Route Map

A route map showing the islands visited during the Snorkeling Conservation Cruise: Maafushi,

Inclusions & Exclusions

  • 7 nights' accommodation in a standard cabin

  • 7 Breakfasts, Lunches, Snacks, High Tea, & Dinners

  • Welcome drinks on arrival

  • Unlimited house tea and coffee

  • Unlimited drinking water – bring a reusable water bottle

  • Dingy or Dhoni transfer to snorkeling points and islands

  • Snorkeling activities

  • Local Island Tours

  • Hedika Experience

  • Cultural Dinner

  • Special BBQ Dinner on the beach (weather permitting)

  • Music and movies library

  • Services of English Speaking Tour Leader

  • All local taxes (10% Service Charge, 16% GST, & $6 Green Tax pp/night)

  • International Flights

  • Alcohol and soft drinks

  • Diving

  • Personal Expenses

  • Gratuities

  • Travel Insurance


Prices exclude flights to/from the destination.

Prices are for double room occupancy unless indicated otherwise.

Price is the same even for solo travelers.

  • Deposit per person

    $100 pp

  • Shared Room - sleeps 2 - price per person


Optional Add-ons

  • Additional services on board, including alcohol, can be requested and are to be paid in cash.


Sustainable and Responsible tourism has been an integral part of our business model since 2012. We are mindful of ensuring we promote local tourism in line with Maldivian culture and traditions. Through the education of our team, guests, and locals, we aim to protect the environment and limit wherever possible any negative impact on local life.

As a team, we aim to inspire, inform and demonstrate to our partners, guests, and the tourism industry as a whole, that we are committed to ensuring we offer only responsible and positive travel experiences. We believe that people, communication, and education are the foundation of Sustainable Tourism. This is the reason that we have built our business on four communities:– Our Guests– Our Team– Local Islanders– NGOs and charity organizations.

We understand that success requires focus, adaptation, and long-term thinking. Change does not often happen overnight but is a gradual process. Surely in a destination such as the Maldives, it is our responsibility to make that difference.

Environmental Initiatives
Through learning experiences with our guides, we provide guests with awareness of corals, marine life, seagrass, mangroves, waste management, and plastic pollution. We brief all guests participating in snorkeling activities on the Green Fins Code of Conduct, this improves their knowledge of what they can do to help protect the ocean and coral reefs. We follow the Codes of Conduct produced by international marine organizations when encountering manta rays, whale sharks, and turtles while snorkeling and diving.

We collaborate with the Maldives Whale Shark Research Program, a charity founded to learn more about the life cycle, population dynamics, and habitat usage of the Maldives whale shark population. This enables us to educate our team, provide guests with marine education and spread the importance of whale sharks.

Plastic waste reduction is also paramount for us. Stemming from this belief, we do not provide any single-use plastic bottles to travelers, so we advise that you bring your own reusable bottle.

Sociocultural Initiatives
We ensure that our tours include opportunities to engage with locals and learn about the local way of life. By facilitating interactions between travelers and the local community, we aim to provide enriching and authentic experiences. These not only benefit the travelers by offering a deeper and more meaningful connection with the destination, but they also have a positive impact on the local community. By actively participating in cultural interactions, travelers contribute to the preservation of local traditions, ensuring their endurance over time. Additionally, these interactions have a positive economic impact on the community economy, as they provide opportunities for income generation and sustainable development.

Economic Initiatives
We choose locally owned and operated infrastructure as well as services developed and managed by locals to contribute to the local community's economic development. By doing this, we provide job opportunities for locals making the wheels of the economy spin. In this same line, we opt not to have our own fleet of vehicles but rather use public means of transportation or private locally owned ones. This decision not only supports the sustainability of the local transportation sector but also ensures that the economic benefits of tourism are distributed among the community, promoting more inclusive and balanced growth.

Health & Safety

Be sure you have traveler´s insurance.
You can travel safely in the knowledge that you are in capable hands, all our guide team are certified in the care and safety of guests holding First Emergency Response and Lifeguard certifications.


What does the physical rating of "Average" mean for this trip?

As the Maldives can have strong currents, in order to better enjoy and be safe throughout the whole experience, you should be able to swim confidently and unaided and be able to climb a ladder to access the boat from the water.

What are the accommodations like?

You will be staying aboard MV Felicity, a traditionally crafted and built Turkish gulet complete with sails. It has a length of 28m, a beam of 6.85m, and a draft of 2.60m. With two decks and 7 cabins, Felicity accommodates 12 passengers comfortably.

Features: All cabins are air-conditioned with an attached bathroom including a shower, small wardrobe, drawer and storage facilities, portholes, and a DC wall fan. Comfortable, but not luxurious, is how we would describe the cabins.

There is an outdoor dining area and an indoor area just in case of rain. The indoor saloon area is furnished with a dining table and seating, plus banquette seating, and is equipped with a TV-DVD-Stereo area and equipment charging area. The communal open-air deck space is furnished with sun mats and banquette seating.

Can we drink alcohol?

As a Muslim country, alcohol is not available on any local island. Hulhule Island Hotel located on the airport island does have a bar serving alcohol.

Alcohol will be available on board our gulet for purchase, to be paid in cash.

What's the dress code on local islands?

On board our gulet, it is acceptable for guests to wear bikinis. Please read below for normal dress considerations in the Maldives.

Care needs to be taken in relation to the dress code on local islands. Whilst it is acceptable for men to wear T-Shirts and shorts or swim shorts; females should avoid causing offense by maintaining a more conservative approach to clothes by wearing T-Shirts with sleeves that cover the shoulder, loose shorts that cover the thigh, or sundresses with a sarong around shoulders. Whilst the islands we visit are more tolerant of guests wearing traditional beachwear, females should NOT wear bikinis and swimwear unless on an uninhabited island, Picnic Island, sandbank, screened-off tourist bikini beach, dive boat, or resort island.

More recently the level of acceptance can vary from island to island and between the central atolls and those in the Deep North or Deep South. The key point to remember is to consider you are a guest in another country and dress not to cause offense.

Whilst the law restricts the wearing of bikinis on local islands, all guesthouses provide a private tourist sunbathing area on the beach or on the terrace of the guesthouse, your guide will advise when and where this is possible. It is a common practice by both locals and visitors for females to swim from local public beaches wearing a t-shirt or rash guard and shorts or leggings. When visiting the home of a local family or during the Male City tour where we may have access to mosques shoulders and legs should be covered fully by both men and women out of respect for local customs.

Do I need to bring my own snorkel mask & fins?

While we do provide equipment on all our tours where we are snorkeling, and snorkeling equipment will also be available to rent at resorts and guesthouses, we would advise to bring along your own mask and snorkel. Not only will you be assured the mask fits your face properly and is comfortable and less likely to have leakage, it will also lower any health associated risks. We find that peace of mind goes a long way! A mask and snorkel is small and light and should take up very little space in your suitcase.  

Fins, which are the cumbersome part, are available to rent or, if you have booked a snorkeling tour with us, will be included within the package. While renting or using fins we supply means you won’t have to try and find room for them in your bag and leaves you space for other essentials, it may also mean that we are unable to provide a 100% comfortable fit. If snorkeling is going to form a large part of your holiday, then the comfort of your equipment will also add to your overall enjoyment of the activity.

Due to the ocean current and wind conditions in the Maldives, the use of fins is essential in almost all snorkeling locations and especially during pelagic marine life encounters where you will be surprised at the speed a whale shark can swim! We understand that you may have snorkeled elsewhere in the world without fins, but they are a necessity in the Maldives to make the most of your experience. Should you wish to check we have correct fin sizes available for you, or would like the opportunity to purchase fins from a reputable dive store, please let us know prior to your arrival in order that we can make the appropriate arrangements.

Do I need a visa for the Maldives?

A free 30-day tourist visa will be granted to all tourists upon arrival in Maldives providing all entry requirements as detailed below are met.

Inquire Now

Departure Dates

  • Nov 9, 2024 - Nov 16, 2024
  • Feb 2, 2025 - Feb 9, 2025
  • Mar 2, 2025 - Mar 9, 2025
  • Dec 21, 2025 - Dec 28, 2025

Group size: Min 6, Max 12

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