- Less crowded dive sites with plenty of action.
- Foammulah; Tiger sharks, oceanic manta and thresher sharks. Oceanic Island with incredible visibility.
- Huvadhoo; Whale sharks at night, tiger sharks, silver tips, grey reef sharks and many, many more.
- Addu Atoll; WWII wreck HMS British Loyalty and majestic manta cleaning stations.
- Laamu Atoll: Beautiful fish filled channels with great shark encounters.
- This itinerary has a lot of drift diving, so it is best suited to more advanced divers.
February and March are the best times to dive the southerly Maldivian atolls and experience the shark action in these out-of-the-way dive sites between Huvadhoo and Addu (Seenu) Atolls. Spend a week away from the madding crowds and dive Fuvahmulah and Huvadhoo on the lookout for the Indian Ocean’s larger residents; tiger sharks, silver tips, grey reef sharks, whale sharks and many, many more.
From Male we take you to Huvadhoo (Koodoo) or Addu (Gan) by domestic flight to join your liveaboard, and then it is off on our adventure. Huvadhu, one of the deepest lagoons in the Maldives, the currents and channels are ideal for even more shark sightings including, hopefully, whale sharks and silkies, hammerheads and grey sharks spotted most of the time. You will dive many of the world class channels (kandus) here including; Vilingilli, Koodoo, Nilandhoo and Mareehaa. In Fuvahmulah you can expect to meet tiger, silky, silver tip and thresher sharks on the south plateaux. (note; we don’t offer the Tiger Zoo shark feeding dive). Addu Atoll hosts the WWII wreck, HMS British Loyalty, as well as popular majestic Manta Cleaning station Maa Kandu along with a more relaxing drift dive at Demon corner to either start or end the trip with too.
Please note: At Emperor, we believe in providing as authentic an experience with nature as possible. We do not believe it is appropriate to chum/bait for, nor feed, sharks and therefore will not dive or promote the experience known as “Tiger Zoo” in Fuvahmulah Atoll. We dive Fuvahmulah and regularly encounter Tiger Sharks there, as well as at other spots on our itineraries, and we believe these offer a far more natural experience.
Click dive site markers for detailed descriptions.
Dive sites & areas that we may visit are subject to weather conditions.
The most southern atoll of the Maldives, which is located south of the equator and used to be a British Royal Air Force base.
Here are some possible sites you may visit:
- Maa Kandu -
The Manta Cleaning Station in Maa Kandu is located inside the northern channel at a depth of 16-20 metres. Here the manta rays fly in to get cleaned. Divers just hook on and hover above the corals and enjoy the show. Keep an eye to the blue to spot eagle rays and white tip sharks swimming by.
- British Loyalty Wreck -
The British Loyalty is a 140m tanker that got torpedoed by a Japanese submarine in 1942 during WWII. The Ship escaped the sinking but got torpedoed a 2nd time by a German submarine despite the anti-submarine nets. It got damaged too much and finally the British sank it inside the Atoll on 5th January 1946. The British Loyalty rests on its starboard side lying on a silty bottom at 33m. The port side reaches 16m with nice hard coral growth on top.There is a descending line to make the location easier as the visibility is always poor. Divers can discover the main bridge first and then head to the propeller and rudder as they are in good condition, black coral and small marine life everywhere. The bilge passage reveals a path that can be used. Sometimes a Great Barracuda is luring there in the dark.
- Demon Corner -
Demon Corner is a drift dive along the northern reef of Hithadhoo Island. The direction of the current doesn’t matter at all for a successful dive. As usual in Addu Atoll the Top Reef is rich in corals and small reef fish, Turtles can be found there and it is not unusual a Manta Ray surprises the divers passing by. Going to the deeper part of the outside reef encounters with Grey Reef Sharks and Silver Tips is possible, always worth to keep an Eye out in the blue water at this site!
Tiger sharks, oceanic manta and thresher sharks. Oceanic Island rising from the deep with incredible visibility.
- Fuvahmulah South Plateau -
This dive is ranked the best in the Maldives to encounter pelagics like tiger, thresher and hammer head sharks. It indeed offers one of the most incredible drift dives.
Fuvahmulah Island is a unique Atoll in the Maldives without a lagoon but surrounded by great depths in the middle of the Indian ocean. The top reef is at around 10m south of the island and from there it very steeply rushes down to a fairly big plateau at around 45m. Along the the end of the slope where the plateau develops is a sandy channel where thresher sharks can be observed. The dive can be done in many different ways but best is to practise during the northeast monsoon with a water entry far in the blue water and let the current do the work passing over the top of the deep plateau. Depending on the strength and direction of the current it can be a little bit more technical and some efforts are worth it for potential encounters. It is not unusual to see hammer head sharks, thresher sharks, tiger sharks, silky sharks, silver tip sharks, grey reef sharks, barracudas, Wahoos, sailfish and even Mola Mola and Oceanic Manta Rays here.
Please note: At Emperor, we believe in providing as authentic an experience with nature as possible. We do not believe it is appropriate to chum/bait for, nor feed, sharks and therefore will not dive or promote the experience known as "Tiger Zoo" in Fuvahmulah Atoll. We dive Fuvahmulah and regularly encounter Tiger Sharks there, as well as at other spots on our itineraries, and we believe these offer a far more natural experience.
Huvadhoo Atoll, also known as Gaafu Atoll, is one of the southern and the deepest atoll in the Maldives. Here are numerous pristine dive sites filled with caves, steep drop offs and beautiful underwater landscapes, as well as breath-taking coral formations and fish life.
Here are some possible sites you may visit:
- Gemanafushi -
Gemanafushi is for divers who like to take a chance, all or nothing, a blue water dive with divers entering slightly south of the Gemanafushi and simply drifting with the current, North to South and along the long outer edge of the reef. In strong currents you can expect to travel 3-4 km. With a bit of luck and good technique, especially in the earlier morning hammerhead sharks or silky sharks may come up from the deep to have a closer look at the divers. Its common to see Wahoos, barracudas and grey reef sharks the closer you get to the reef.
- Kooddoo Kandu -
Kooddoo Kandu is a rich but technical dive south of the island. It is very good to observe sharks and other pelagics and several water entries at the north or south side of the channel are possible. The fauna is concentrated in the centre, north or south depending on the oceanic current. The channel entrance and the drift inside offer a lot of healthy hard coral, however on the southern shallow reef unfortunately a lot of waste is in the water too, thus its recommended to spend the entire dive time at the channel entrance.
- Nilandhoo Kandu -
South of the island Nilandhoo is a 300m wide channel that offers good chances to see pelagic fish. It is a top ranking site to spot sharks such as grey reef sharks, white tips, black tips, nurse and leopard sharks. barracudas, Sailfish, Tunas, Eagle Rays, Turtles and humphead wrasses are common sightings. Occasionally Tiger Sharks or Hammerhead Sharks have been observed in the blue too, all happening during incoming currents with generally good visibility during north east monsoon.
- Villingili Kandu -
This channel south of the Island Villingili offers with an incoming current a spectacular dive. Large quantities of grey reef sharks can be observed patrolling back and forth in front of the channel. North corner is a bit more steep dropping down to the channel entrance and the south corner gentle slope down to the middle of the roughly 200m wide channel bottom at 30+ meters. After spending the NDL at the channel mouth entrance divers drift with a stronger current inside, if they can keep the southern reef to the left shoulder it is possible to reach a sandy bottom area close to the southern island Kooddoo where many Green Turtles and different kind of Rays await to make it a cherry on the cake for the end of the dive.
Laamu Atoll (also known as Haddhunmathi Atoll) is an oval shaped southern atoll. It measures 48 km in length and 35 km in width and has some of the top dive sites in the world such as Guraidhoo and Ganthis Maldives Atoll is situated 32 km south east of Kolhumandulu Atoll and 95 km north of Huvadhoo Atoll. Laamu Atoll boasts numerous pristine dive sites with many different features like caves, steep drop offs, swimthroughs, not to mention the abundance of marine life and beautiful topography. Expect beautiful fish-filled channels with great shark encounters.
Here are some possible sites you may visit:
- Fushi Kandu -
The very first channel on the north east of the Atoll is the most spectacular dive in Laamu. The channel bed is very shallow at around 15 m, at the channel entrance the reef slopes down quite steeply to a sandy plateau at a depth of 35 m. The amount of fish and different species is incredible, from very common snappers and sweetlips, to Leaf fish and Barracudas and schooling Eagle Rays to some times numerous sharks, especially with incoming currents a dive that can be repeated several times without becoming boring.
- Maabaidhoo Kandu -
The second channel next to Fushi Kandu offers similar conditions with a healthy coral bed at about 20 meters. Many blue lined and yellow back fusiliers hang out in front of the channel entrance and are hunted by Dog tooth tunas and sharks.
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Check Dive & Depart Port
Once onboard there will be a safety briefing, crew introduction, complete and check dive paperwork, cabin allocation and boat orientation. Our boats moor in port on arrival day departing early next morning. The first dive is a check dive near port.
Return to Port, transfer to airport and flight to Male
On the last diving day, 1 dive is available in the morning whilst observing the rule of no diving within 24 hours of reaching altitude. We return to port at approximately 1pm and moor here overnight. There is the option of an afternoon land-visit to stretch your legs and escape the boat whilst in port. Evening-time pack up diving equipment, settle any outstanding bills ready to depart for the airport early the following morning.
Advanced, 100 dives
This itinerary is not for beginners with many dives below 18m and currents that can be unpredictable and strong. We recommend that you have 100 logged dives and require that you are a Deep Diver/Advanced Open Water Diver or equivalent to join this trip. Divers may find many dives challenging and may be asked by the Cruise Director to skip dives that are not suitable for their diving experience. Diving is from a dhoni to give precise entry and exit points.