At this destination we propose dives with air and/or .
Without a doubt the Maldives offer the most complete diving in the Indian Ocean. Coral reefs rich in colour and life, dense fish populations and frequent encounters with pelagic fish has made this one of the finest dive destinations in the world for many years.
Many different styles of diving are found here: drift dives looking for pelagics, vertical drop offs and walls, wrecks and the tranquillity of exploring the coral gardens. The best way to discover the archipelago is undoubtedly on a cruise. It is therefore natural that ABYSS has put in place this formula specifically to preserve the feeling of exclusivity for our voyages. With an average of 3 dives a day you will have the opportunity to see 7 species of sharks (grey, leopard, white tip, black tip, hammerhead, guitar, whale), 4 species of rays (manta, stingrays, leopard and eagle), 450 varieties of hard and soft coral, more than 1200 species of fish, shells and invertebrates.
PLEASE NOTE: The Extended South and Extended North Cruises offer a great number of infrequently visited dive sites. We are often exploring non listed dive sites which increases the sensation of discovery and of unexpected encounters. Having said this, we need you to clearly understand that some of these dives may not be up to the standard that we had originally anticipated in a classic itinerary. The Far South abounds with exuberant hard corals and massive numbers of fish life. We know 2 or 3 canyons teaming with schooling grey sharks. The Far North is particularly rich in soft corals with an increased density of fish life but far less sharks. At both far ends of the Maldives the encounters with whale sharks and manta rays are usually less frequent than the classic itinerary. However, there are still reefs and zones yet to be explored which is both challenging and exciting.
Due to numerous drift dives in the Deep South, we request a minimum experience of 100 logged dives.
Diving in the Maldives with ABYSS is available to experienced divers holding a Level 2 or PADI Advanced Open Water certification with a minimum of 50 dives. Marine currents in this zone are very frequently stronger than other locations: the drift diving between reefs requires a certain experience to take full advantage of the beauty of the sites in total safety. Certified Nitrox divers will find all the facilities on board for a small supplement.
The peak of this large pinnacle is found at 16 meters in the middle of a channel. Drift dives can be done both ways to provide a 40 minute dive with a dense concentration of fish life: grey sharks, barracudas, batfish, green turtles and occasionally a solitary hammerhead, the "mokoran". On this site there is also a beautiful cave covered in soft corals.
A large channel visited by tuna, grey sharks and eagle rays. The end of the dive is done as a drift inside the reef.
Cleaning station for manta rays, situated outside the reef on the southern side of the atoll. A beautiful drop off permits a descent to 30/35 meters and shelters ghost pipe fish, clown fish, shrimps, tiger and porcelain crabs. A leopard shark relaxing on the bottom of the coral garden has frequently been observed.
This site is located on the outside of the reef and is ideal for finding whale sharks. Standing on the roof of the "diving-dhoni" our Maldivian mariners search the surface of the ocean to find the largest fish of the world. Once spotted you can swim in their company as long as they will allow you. An unforgettable moment on your Maldives cruise.
Located in the centre of the atoll this pinnacle commences at 7-9 meters in depth and offers an underwater spectacle: depending on the period thousands of juvenile fish take shelter above the reef and are chased relentlessly by fusiliers, jack fish and grey sharks. Occasionally a silvertip shark will come for a visit. A local of the site, the napoleon, nicknamed Mustapha by the divers, will certainly come and say hello. Stone fish, turtles and morays hide in the coral formations. A final drift away from the pinnacle will signal the end of the dive.
Not to be missed this pinnacle rich in fish life guaranties divers a fantastic spectacle. The top of the reef is situated in 5 meters of water and is patrolled by barracudas, stingrays, leaf fish, batfish, tuna and grey sharks. A night dive on this site remains unforgettable due to the feeding hunt of the white tip sharks.
The channel of Rasdhu, a small atoll situated between North Malé and Ari, is a site from where you will regularly see a large number of hammerheads in the big blue, particularly at sunrise. But there is more: grey sharks, enormous tunas, big barracudas, mantas, mobulas and eagle rays make this dive very enjoyable. A classic dive with emotional encounters.
A beautiful atmosphere dive on this very colourful site. Located at 17 meters you will find a cave covered with light blue sponge corals, where multicoloured fish evolve in an impressive light show.
Renowned for being a manta ray cleaning station in spring, this site also permits us to observe jacks, white tip sharks, stingrays, crayfish and occasionally even a frog fish.
This site is known for being a cleaning station for manta rays and is situated 15 meters below surface, around a 15 to 19 meter large bommie. It is very rare not to see this amazing dance. By snooping around you will probably find some ghost pipe fish. On the edge of the outside reef large numbers of parrot fish patrol constantly. The luckier ones will see a swordfish swimming in the big blue.
This dive is a North facing channel with beautiful caves (around 30/35m) on the exterior of the reef providing an extraordinary atmosphere amongst superb corals. When diving early in the morning it is possible to see hammerheads sharks, grey sharks, eagle rays, surgeon fish and swordfish... If diving at the end of the day and drifting down the channel it is sometimes possible to encounter approximately 50 dolphins leaving the lagoon in search of their dinner.
This dive is a South facing channel where a squadron of 20 eagle rays is regularly observed. Along the exterior reef the wall is covered in yellow sponge corals which is how the site received its name. Just opposite, in the deeper blue, pelagic fish (hammerheads, jacks, grey sharks...) are out cruising. In the channel there are also many stingrays. After these discoveries, we come back up from 15 to 5 meters through a chimney in the coral reef. On an incoming tide, this site can be a real "washing machine" with deceptive currents. Our guides will choose the appropriate moment for an optimal dive.
If you are looking for animation, this one is for you! On this dive hammerheads, grey sharks, eagle rays, tuna and barracuda will assure a great show.
A beautiful wreck where the bow is in 15 meters and the propeller is 35 meters. She provides refuge to a number of species such as ghost pipe fish, morays and snapper . A few shrimps offer their services at a cleaning station on the upper deck. Around the edges of the wreck jack fish seem suspended just above garden eels. On the pinnacle that supports the wreck we see giant clams, anemones, scorpion fish, stone fish, turtles, leaf fish, napoleons, frog fish and ghost pipe fish. This is a superb dive for passionate photographers and lovers of rare fish.
A South facing channel where a succession of terraces covered in blue and yellow soft corals is found on the western side. This dive creates a very particular atmosphere. Towards the end of the dive as we ascend to 5 meters we find a magnificent coral garden where, in addition to the multitude of reef fish, we find eagle rays and hump head parrot fishes swimming amongst the beautiful hard and soft corals. This is the type of dive that you never want to end.
A beautiful channel with a sandy bottom which can be dived on an ebb or flood tide. On the reef exterior we regularly encounter large hump head parrot fish swimming amongst a multitude of multicoloured fish. Near the bottom of the channel we frequently come across a ballet of manta rays.
|Minimum diving level required:||PADI Advanced, Level 2 or equivalent|
|Mininum number of logged dives required:||100 Dives minimum for the Deep South and 50 dives minimum for the other cruises. Experience in drift dives highly recommended.|
|Documents required:||Certification card, log book and proof of repatriation insurance. Valid dive medical within last 12 months.|
|Number of dives included:||13 to 27 dives minimum depending on the duration of the cruise.|
|Diving boat(s):||1 diving-dhoni|
|Type of tanks:||12 litre aluminium - single exit international and DIN style tank valves. 14 litre aluminium tanks available : USD 25 for 1 week and USD 37 for 2 weeks - depending on availability - reservation required).|
|Mandatory equipment :||Dive computer, safetu sausage, torch|
|Recommended diving equipment:||5mm wetsuit recommended|
|Nitrox diving:||Yes - on request at time of booking: USD 7.5 per 12L tank and USD 10 per 14L tank USD 1 extra per tank for Extended South and North Cruises.|
|Closest recompression chamber :||Bandos, Kuramathi|