If you are looking to escape this winter, what better way to spend it sitting beneath the midday Maldivian sun and sipping on the traditional drink of sai? As a place renowned for its powers of relaxation, the Maldives’ white sand beaches and crystal clear waters are there to melt away the stresses of everyday life.Photo: @seefromtheskyThe tranquil paradise of the Maldives is a must-visit for those wishing to retreat with close family and friends to a quiet and pandemic-proof corner of the earth. Of course, there’s no better way to see the Maldives than by boat – and the team at Exmar Yachting have the perfect fleet to do so.
Read on to choose your ideal yacht and matching itinerary for an unforgettable trip to the idyllic isles.
For the eco-conscious: Searex The eco-conscious 38-metre motor yacht Searex is available all-year-round with an itinerary perfect for cruising in the region. With space for up to 16 guests on board, Searex and her crew spend their days exploring the world’s best dive spots thanks to her accompanying 19.8-metre Dive Dhoni.
For the action-packed adventure: AzaleaPhoto: Exmar YachtingThe contemporary design of the 38.75-metre Azalea makes her the perfect yacht for those who want to work out and wind down. With a layout that boasts a spacious swim platform, a slide and seapool, a sundeck with a 6-person Jacuzzi, sunpads and plenty of media and entertainment facilities – including her very own photolab – guests, especially families, will be perfectly situated to make the most of the Maldives. The 13-strong crew is also always keen to organise surf trips or exclusive yoga and dive excursions.
For wine and a total unwind: Alice If you’re looking for a boutique motor yacht, you’ll be interested in getting to know Alice. Built in 2019, the 31.2-metre yacht can sleep an impressive 21 guests across nine cabins. From watersports to wine tasting, her crew are ready to make your inter-isle itinerary one to remember for those wanting a relaxing escape to a deserted island.
For a luxurious splurge in paradise: FelicityAt 40 metres, Felicity will be the biggest local yacht in the Maldives once she is launched in April 2021. Boasting a whole range of facilities to suit island life, Felicity comes with a crew of 13 who look after all eight suites and their modern boutique designs and all the latest technology. Guests can also find a Jacuzzi, multiple outdoor lounges and sun beds, a bar and a host of toys for days out on the water. Photo: S/Y AthosDay one: South Malé Atoll
The first day of your Indian Ocean adventure begins by touching down at the international airport in the capital of the Maldives, Malé. Unlike anywhere else in the Maldives, Malé is protected by a ring of seawalls and has a fascinating cityscape that stands out in contrast to the calm Indian Ocean. Work off the jet lag by heading towards the harbour, to jump aboard your new superyacht home and cruise out to the 30 islands that make up the nearby South Malé Atoll. Photo: Exmar YachtingDay two: Vaavu Atoll
One of the islands within the South Malé Atoll is Kandooma – home to the Kandooma Thila diving spot. Known for its deep reef located at the bottom of a channel, the dive spot is home to big schools of fish, eagle rays, whitetip sharks, green turtles and grey reef sharks. During lunch, the yacht will be cruising towards Vaavu Atoll, where there are more never-ending beaches and manta rays to be seen whirling around the yacht’s hull in a feeding frenzy. After a pick-me-up at the beachside bar, there is no choice but to take advantage of an opportunity to night dive with the local sharks. Photo: Exmar YachtingDay three: Ari Atoll
After a short trip west, you will see how the area comprises a perfect ring of coral which forms the natural atoll of Ari. The almost rectangular formation of the islands covers an area of nearly 89 by 3km and boasts an incredible 37 dive sites. Have a go at spotting those that congregate around Ari Atoll’s beautiful coral, such as the unique stone and scorpionfish, white tip reef sharks, grey reef sharks, tuna, eagle rays and manta rays.
After lunch back on board prepared by your onboard chef, ask the crew to escort you to the island’s jetty for an afternoon picking up a few souvenirs at one of the island’s few shops before heading to the south of the island to relax on Bikini beach until sunset. The crew can pick all guests up from the beach for an evening winding down on board the main deck. Day four: South Ari
Further south in the chain of islands of Ari, a glittering highlight for the middle point of your week abroad could be diving in search of whale sharks or exploring a neighbouring local island. For those who are feeling daring, ask your experienced crew to help you get to grips with a new watersport. On land, you can also relax on one of the many icing-sugar sand beaches and have a BBQ until the sun goes down.Photo: @birdeyeDay five: Kanuhuraa
Wake up anchored off the lovely island of Kanuhura to get involved in the area’s cool watersports scene for the day. Start on the beachfront, as it is ideal for learning to surf or spending time out on the paddleboard or kayak. Those who haven’t quite had enough of scuba diving yet, ask to be guided around the Machafushi Wreck or Kudarah Thila sites for an adventure. Photo: Exmar YachtingDay six: Moofushi
Today will be started with breakfast on board with a fruit platter of local bananas, lemons and watermelons – all to gain the energy to be snorkelling with manta rays around the island of Moofushi. In the afternoon, Exmar’s superyacht crew can get you hooked up to the yacht’s toys for a more exhilarating ride out on the water. End up on the beach, where the crew could catch you up with a hamper of refreshments and beach games to enjoy barefoot on the sand. Photo: Exmar YachtingDay seven: Dhiffushi
Now back in the North Malé Atoll, wake up earlier to be one of the first people in the Maldives to experience the sunrise. As Dhiffushi is the most eastern inhabited island in the Maldives, those on the island get to witness sunrise first. Once the morning sun has warmed you up, take your snorkelling gear and have a refreshing dip along the few sandbanks around the island.
On land, there are plenty of restaurants selling fresh produce and cheery locals to get to know, or, take advantage of the last chance to pick up a few souvenirs from the tiny shops on one of the island’s shopping squares. After one last day in the sun, the slower, more relaxed island of Dhiffushi makes a fine charter refuge before a return to the happy mayhem of Malé.