Found in the Indian Ocean, about 600 miles south of India, the Maldives is understood for spectacular white-sand beaches, impossibly clear blue waters and dozens of over-the-top high-end resorts.
If you’re believing about a Maldives journey, you’ll want to look carefully at these resorts, some of which assure indulging and privacy of a sort found in couple of other locations on Earth. Numerous of them, consisting of the recently examined JW Marriott Maldives Resort and Health Club and the W Maldives, feature overwater cottages– a signature feature of high-end properties here.
However there is another, lesser-known method to check out to the Maldives that you might wish to a minimum of think about: A cruise.
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The Maldives is certainly not a significant destination for cruise ships. Those that do typically arrive as part of uncommon, long-distance schedules that will let you check out not simply the Maldives but other locations in the region such as the Seychelles and Sri Lanka in a single journey– all while just having to pack and unpack once.
Cruise lines that sail to the Maldives
T he lines operating cruises to the Maldives vary every year. Seabourn Cruise Line, Crystal Cruises, Princess Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Line likewise have actually sent vessels to the Maldives just recently, or have at least one ship arranged to check out in 2020 or2021
In some cases, the vessels are just passing through the region while in the middle of epic, around-the-world voyages. Holland America’s 1,380- guest Amsterdam, for instance, will visit the Maldives in April as part of a 128- day, globe-circling sailing out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, that began in January.
Other vessels stopping in the Maldives are on Indian Ocean-focused itineraries. One example is a seven-night Costa Cruises trip beginning in Male, the capital of the Maldives, on Feb. 22 that includes two days in the Maldives, a day in Sri Lanka, and three days in India.
The line that generally has used the most extensive voyages around the Maldives is Ponant, a France-based company that specializes in upscale, small-ship trips to unique areas. It often runs trips that are practically entirely centered on the Maldives and consist of visits to half a lots of the archipelago’s 26 atolls.
Planning a trip to the Maldives? See TPG’s Maldives location center for more stories about taking a trip to the region on points and miles, where to remain and what to do while there.
The benefits and drawbacks of a cruise to the Maldives
If it’s a traditional Maldives experience you yearn for– days invested relaxing on beautiful beaches, swimming, snorkeling, diving and splurging on health club treatments– a cruise is normally not the best option. You’ll wish to fly to the Maldives and invest extended time at one or more of its numerous island resorts instead.
Most of the times, cruises that touch the Maldives just consist of a quick stay at the island nation– and we suggest quick! Many ships that drop in the Maldives as part of wider Indian Ocean cruisings just do so for a single day. Others will remain for two days, which isn’t better if your goal is to get a true sense of the archipelago’s amazing beaches, coral reefs, diving spots and other attractions. Much more unusual are cruises that feature approximately a week in the location.
In general, cruises that consist of the Maldives are best for tourists who just desire a fast sampler of the location and other hot spots around the Indian Ocean such as the Seychelles and Goa, India, in one easy-to-book, easy-to-manage trip. On a cruise, you sometimes can go to 3, 4 and even five places in the region in simply a week or two, with someone else figuring out all the logistics.
The disadvantage, naturally, is that you’ll get very little time in any one location.
For the coming year, the only major cruise line that has trips with extended time in the Maldives on its schedule is Ponant. Including sees to half a lots destinations around the archipelago, the line’s Essential Maldives journeys use tourists the chance to see more of the destination in a week than would be possible staying at a land resort.
Another more extensive “cruise” around the Maldives is a multiday trip on among several liveaboard diving boats that call the Maldives home.
Here, we take a closer look at the best cruises and cruise-like travel plans to the location:
The “Vital Maldives” with Ponant
Without a doubt the most intriguing Maldives travel plan presently on the marketplace is the eight-night Necessary Maldives routing provided by Ponant. Almost every day of the schedule brings a stop at a various Maldivian atoll– six in all– for snorkeling, scuba diving, beach-going, wildlife viewing and other pursuits. The routing therefore provides a wider exploration of the Maldives than you can receive from remaining at any one land resort or even a number of resorts.
The travel plan includes a day at Baa Atoll, one of the island chain’s wildest corners. Noted as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, Baa is understood for its internationally considerable biodiversity including stony and soft corals, reef fish, marine turtles, manta rays and whale sharks.
There’s also a day scheduled for Rasdhoo Atoll, a hot spot for scuba diving and snorkeling where passengers can see hammerhead sharks along with rays and turtles. The four other atolls on the schedule are Noonu, Ari, Mulaku and Male.
Ponant normally runs simply a couple departures of the itinerary each year on one of its little, yacht-like Explorer Class ships.
Ponant presently has just two departures of this Maldivian travel plan open for scheduling, beginning on Jan. 25, 2021, and Feb. 2, 2021, respectively. The trips are one-way between Colombo, Sri Lanka, and Male in the Maldives. Fares start at $4,410 per person, not consisting of $900 in port taxes. For more details, call 888-400-1082 or visit us.ponant.com
Related: The best credit cards for booking cruises
A brief see to the Maldives with Oceania Cruises
Ships operated by high end line Oceania Cruises typically drop in the Maldives 2 or 3 times a year as they move between Europe, Africa and Asia.
Normally, these Oceania vessels only will stay in the Maldives for two days– usually in the capital, Male– as they make their way throughout the Indian Ocean. As a result, travelers on the cruisings just get a small taste of the destination.
On the flipside, these cruises offer a possibility to see not just a slice of the Maldives but likewise multiple places around the Indian Ocean in one reasonably fast and simple journey.
Oceania’s 684- guest Nautica, for example, will visit Male for 2 days in February 2021 as part of a 30- day trip from Cape Town, South Africa, to Singapore. In addition to four drop in South Africa and a see to Mozambique, the cruising will consist of calls at such Indian Ocean draws as Reunion Island, Mauritius and the Seychelles (for 2 days). Drops In Sri Lanka, Thailand and Malaysia round out the trip.
Fares for the Nautica trip start at $8,299 per individual, consisting of federal government charges and taxes. To find out more, call 855-335-2609 or see oceaniacruises.com
A fast journey to the Maldives with Holland America
One of the more unusual Indian Ocean voyages on the schedule for the coming year is a 20- day Holland America cruising out of Singapore.
The round-trip travel plan sets four drop in Malaysia and a single day in Phuket, Thailand, with a multiday check out to Sri Lanka and the Maldives.
As holds true with the Oceania sailing discussed above, the Holland America voyage just includes two days in the Maldives. But there’s a twist to the see: In addition to a day drop in the capital of Male, the stopover consists of a day in Utheemu, also referred to as Haa Alif Atoll. The latter is seldom visited by cruise liner.
The voyage will take place on Holland America’s 1,258- passenger Maasdam. It kicks off Jan. 24, 2021.
Fares start at $2,999 per person, not including up to $210 in taxes and fees. For additional information, call 855-932-1711 or check out hollandamerica.com
A diving cruise on a drifting 4 Seasons
If you’re a diving enthusiast, one of the top ways to cruise around the Maldives is a trip on the private Maldives diving private yacht run by Four Seasons (Yes, that Four Seasons.)
Called 4 Seasons Explorer, the 11- cabin catamaran cruises 3- and four-night trips between two 4 Seasons resorts in the Maldives: The 4 Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa and the 4 Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru. Customers likewise can string together the two travel plans to produce a seven-night loop.
Featuring drop in the Baa Atoll UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, the trips are aimed particularly at scuba divers, with chances for 3 dives each day, plus occasional night and dawn dives.
Four Season Explorer is billed as the fastest and most glamorous dive vessel in the Maldives. Capable of bring as much as 22 travelers, it has its own PADI Five Star diving center, comfortable cabins with en suite bathrooms, a primary dining-room and luxurious open-plan lounges. In addition to diving during sailings, guests can register for health spa treatments on uninhabited isles and take part in island barbecues, stargazing, sunset fishing and water sports.
Four Seasons Explorer cruises can be integrated with a stay at among the 4 Seasons resorts in the Maldives to develop a prolonged Maldivian vacation. Keep in mind that the health spa at the Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru just made our list of the seven finest medspas in the Maldives
Fares start at $2,550 per individual for a three-night cruise, not including a 12%goods and services tax and 10%service charge. To learn more, call 800-819-5053 or visit fourseasons.com
Related: How to prepare a cruise with points and miles
A cruise from the United States to the Maldives
Yes, you can get all the way to the Maldives and back from the United States by ship. There are simply 2 big cautions: First, you require to block out more than 100 days for the journey. Second, the chance doesn’t come up really frequently– generally simply once every year or more.
The chance develops when a cruise line unveils an around-the-world trip start and ending in the U.S. that includes a visit to the Maldives.
Since the publishing of this story, there are simply 2 such trips open for bookings:
- Oceania Cruises plans a 196- day around-the-world cruising from Miami departing on Dec. 21, 2021 that consists of a one-day call in the Maldives. The trip, on the 684- guest Insignia, ends July 5, 2022 in New York.
- Crystal Cruises has set up a 116- day around-the-world trip from Miami leaving on Jan. 17, 2022 that also includes a one-day call in the Maldives. The trip, on the 980- passenger Crystal Calmness, ends in Miami on May 13,2022
Smaller sections of both trips likewise are offered for booking.
No one goes on these around-the-world voyages just to see the Maldives, of course. The common around-the-world cruise consists of stops at lots of countries on several continents. If you’re looking to include the Maldives to your country count while visiting a selection of other nations, too, all while never boarding a long-haul flight, these 2 cruisings are the cruises for you.
Planning a cruise for 2020? Our preparation guide begins here:
- The 8 most exciting brand-new ocean ships of 2020
- The most amazing new river ships of 2020
- 6 new cruise schedules you must reserve right now
- The best cruise lines for solo tourists
- Comparing Carnival, Disney and Royal Caribbean for households
- 5 cruise lines to try if you just can’t stand being around kids on trip
Featured image courtesy of Four Seasons