An adventure to the other side of the world

NOTE: The Maldives Dancer is no longer part of the Dancer Fleet, they are now on their own and called the Ocean Divine.  Given the owner and his wife live aboard I will assume the quality of service will remain high. 

Getting There

From the West Coast of USA it is a +36 hour trip that will require at least a stay of one day when arriving and departing at a hotel to make flights.  So you will have a minimum of 3 days of travel.


The hotel recommended by the Dancer Fleet office was the Bandos Island Resort and Spa.  It is a solid 3 star hotel with nice rooms, beaches, fair food and decent snorkeling on the house reef.  At $500/night, does include breakfast, so it is not inexpensive.  But welcome to the Maldives. The Maldives are incredibly beautiful and are worthy of their vaunted reputation in many travel magazines.  It was hot, pond flat and the water was over 80 degrees every day.


The Vessel

The Maldives Dancer/Ocean Divine

The boat is beautiful, rooms are large and comfortable.  The food was excellent, with more of a European/French flair.   The vessel was hand made by the owner and local shipwrights and they did a wonderful job.  Plenty of room in the saloon, covered decks, and sundecks to relax.  Plus there is a masseuse on board.


The Diving

Diving was well organized, done from the very comfortable Dhoni.  The Dhoni is a 36 foot long boat that travels along with the main vessel.  All you gear stays on it throughout the trip.  The only disappointment here was we only did 3 dives per day.  This is due to dealing with the currents in the area, a very common issue in this region


Guides were good and with time gave you freedom to dive at your pace but you should know how to deploy a surface marker.  Many sites do have current and divers can get spread out.   The Dhoni drivers are quite good but on occasion you may be on the surface for 5-10minutes as they pick up your fellow divers


Marine life was quite good, in fact better than expected.  There were dense schools of anthias,  large schools of several species of angle and butterfly fish. There are good schools of fish but you do not have the variety of species you see in Indonesia.


Like many we had heard about the coral bleaching that happened in 1998 and were concerned.  In general the top of the reefs are coming back with large plate corals and other hard coral species.  Once once you started moving deeper there was some fantastic walls of colorful soft corals in a rainbow of colors. In addition the region has great topography that made for excellent wide angle photography. 


There were several dives that had significant currents of the strength that you just need to tuck in the camera and go with it.  Otherwise while currents are part of diving the Maldives the reefs provide plenty of protection to move at your own pace.   So this is an area that can accomodate a range of diving ablilites.


Of course this area is known for whalesharks and mantas.  We did see mantas at several location often in groups of 3-4.  In the Maldives whale sharks tend to be juvinles, so cute, for a 13 foot shark.  We did see one during a safety stop.


For Europeans the Maldives is an obvious choice even at the fairly high cost.  For those of us in North America it is a tough call.  Frankly we feel SE Asia is better diving the Maldives and at ½ the price.  Now if you have “been there, done that” the Maldives has some excellent diving.

Coming Soon...

Share this by email
Enter your search terms below.