Emperor Virgo

Emperor Virgo Liveaboard Dive Trips To The Maldives

Emperor Virgo is part of the “Constellation Fleet” – a guarantee for professional cruise management and safe diving. At 105 feet long and 30 feet wide, the Emperor Virgo has plenty of space for the 18 guests she carries.

The Maldives is warm and fascinating and provides rich marine life with coral reefs teeming with activity, visited by schools of fish and playful dolphins.

With 26 atolls consisting of outer and inner reefs, The Maldives is one of the most diverse scuba diving destinations in the world. Amazing channel dives draw animals from the deep, which will leave you spellbound. Mountainous pinnacles (thila) rise from 35m and taper to 8m, which makes them ideal for those slower, more relaxing dives.

The average water temperature is 27C (80F) and current can be strong at about 1.5 knots, which is ideal for shark and manta ray encounters. Fasten your seat belts and glide into the blue for the most awe-inspiring experience of your life.

Join Emperor Virgo with the mantas & whale sharks in the sunny Maldives.

 

Book The Ultimate Liveaboard Dive Vacation Aboard The Emperor Virgo Liveaboard with The Ultimate Dive Travel Agency

Emperor Virgo offers 6 different itineraries throughout the year, to all areas of The Maldives. All itineraries are 7 nights long.
 
The Best of the Maldives
Rasdhoo Atoll, North & South Ari Atolls, Vaavu Atoll, North & South Male Atolls
 
Deep South & Southern Sharks (February & March)
Laamu Atoll, Huvadhoo Atoll, Foammulah Island, Addu Atoll
 
Sharktastic (January-April)
South Male Atoll, Vaavu Atoll, South Ari Atoll, Meemu Atoll
 
South Central Atolls (January-March)
North & South Male Atolls, Vaavu Atoll, Meemu Atoll, Thaa Atoll, Laamu Atoll
 
Hanifaru & North (July-October) 
Baa Atoll, North Male Atoll, Lhaviyani Atoll
 
Pelagic Magic (April-July)
North & South Ari Atolls
 

Best of the Maldives - and it delivers exactly that. This is where you dive the best and most famous dive sites of the Maldives in a week of wonderful liveaboard diving across Male and Ari atolls.
 
Enjoy a dive holiday that gives you all you could wish for from the iconic sites of North Male, South Male, and Ari Atoll. Awaiting you are channels, drifts, and pinnacles where you have every chance of meeting mantas, whale sharks and mesmerizing marine life of so many varieties. We don't follow an exact itinerary; flexibility is the word so that no matter what time of the year you visit, this underwater world is yours (and ours) for the exploring.
 
This itinerary gives you a marine mix of big fish such as shark and manta dives as well as reef dives, reef fish, morays and the abundant macro life. Get up close at the cleaning stations without disturbing the locals! One of the best-known dive sites is Maaya Thila; this pinnacle is approximately 30m in diameter and falls away to reveal sharks and fish aplenty.
 
A night dive from sheltered moorings here is a must! And the boat will also aim to find whale sharks so you can get in the water and snorkel with them...as long as they stay around long enough!

The Deep South and Southern Sharks trip is available in February and March, which are the best times to sail to the southerly Maldivian atolls and dive into the shark action in these out-of-the-way southern dive sites between Huvadhoo and Addu (Seenu) Atolls.
 
Spend a week away from the madding crowds and dive Foammulah 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 Laamu (Kadhdhoo) or Addu (Gan) by domestic flight to join your liveaboard, and then it's off on our adventure. Laamu is an oval shaped southern atoll, which has some of the top dive sites in the world such as Guraidhoo and Gan. In Foammulah you can expect to meet tiger and silvertip sharks. At Huvadhoo, one of the deepest lagoons in the Maldives, the currents are ideal for even more shark sightings including, hopefully, whale sharks and silkies, hammerheads, tiger and grey sharks spotted most of the time.
 
There are swift channel dives with several kandus; Vilingilli, Nilandhoo, Mareehaa, and Kondeey. Addu Atoll hosts the WWII wreck, HMS British Loyalty, as well as popular majestic Manta Cleaning stations with more relaxing sites to either start or end the trip with too.
 
This itinerary suits experienced divers (100+ dives) looking for 'away from it all and different diving' with quite a focus on drift diving.

Hanifaru & North. This itinerary runs around the New Moon phase when tidal ranges are greater resulting in a greater flow of plankton into the world famous Hanifaru Bay, where the massive majestic mantas venture in for a feeding frenzy between July and October each year.
 
We sail from Male to the northern atolls of Lhaviyani and Baa (Hanifaru Bay) and back taking in the renowned sites of Kuredu Express, Kuredu Caves.
 
As well as mantas, you can get close to turtles, grey reef sharks, and whitetip reef sharks. One of the big attractions is the chance to encounter mantas feeding and cleaning.
 
Thanks to the currents that sweep plankton into the shallow lagoons, mantas follow in vast numbers to feed. Although diving is not permitted in the UNESCO World Heritage site of Hanifaru Bay, we are allowed to go in and snorkel with these gentle giants in the lagoon. After a manta has had its feed it needs to get cleaned, so we will take you to known manta cleaning stations in both North Male, Lhaviyani and Baa Atoll. So hopefully these will give you sightings all week long. Of course, sightings can't be guaranteed but diving at this time means your chances are high.

Pelagic Magic trips are available April to July and sell out early! On this route, we take you on a manta and whale shark journey to the North & South Ari Atolls having crossed over from Male. Exact dive sites will vary depending on diver experience levels, local conditions and where the best sightings have been.

 

Pelagic Magic gets you face to face with the famous whale sharks of Ari Atoll. As this itinerary devotes more time here, you are certain to get your whale shark fix at Maamagili. Iconic dive follows iconic dive as you sail from Male through North Ari and then onto South Ari; your logbook will fill with shark and manta sightings as well as outstanding reef dives. Then grab your snorkel and splash in to float only feet away from graceful whale sharks. Pelagics of all shapes and sizes await.

 

With around 17 dives, as well as opportunities to snorkel with the whale sharks, this is an action packed week. The pelagic sightings start right from the beginning. Manta Point (otherwise known as Lankan Finolhu) is a cleaning station with reliable manta sightings. Just settle down and watch the manta swoop in. Hafsa Thila and Maya Thila are yet more iconic dive sites where sharks are plentiful. Look out for baby white tips under the large table corals. But it is at night that Maya Thila really comes alive. Reef sharks and marble morays hunt dinner out as morays slink between the coral blocks.

 

As you reach South Ari keep a lookout for the whale sharks. Maamagili is the place to find whale sharks at this time as they follow the seasonal currents. Manta chase plankton trails too into the nearby lagoons. Between your pelagic encounters, the reef dives will not disappoint. Discover the lush corals and schooling fish at the likes of Reethi Thila and Kuda Rah.

 

This is a great itinerary for everyone. No matter what your experience level this is a Maldives itinerary you can enjoy. There can be some drift diving so some experience of diving in currents inadvisable. Don't forget to take your reef hook to make shark watching all the easier. As so many of the best whale shark encounters are snorkeling, everyone can feel the thrill of seeing these graceful creatures in their natural environment. Pelagic Magic runs when the pelagic sightings are at their optimum in North and South Ari. Don't delay - discover the biggest inhabitants of the Maldives for yourself.

Sharktastic trips are available from January to April. In this period the clean ocean water flows in from the eastern side of the Maldives. That means currents running from Sumatra, Indonesia to the Maldives bring with them not just fantastic visibility up to 120 feet but also a variety of pelagic surprises coming to the reef for a quick feed.

 

The Channel dives of the eastern coast of the Maldives are the main order of the day. These Kandus, as they are known in the local language (Dhivehi), attract grey reef sharks, dogtooth tuna and eagle rays as standard but look out into the blue and you never know what surprises await. The outer walls and corners of the channels in Vaavu and Meemu have the added bonus of beautiful overhangs draping in the blues, yellows, and pinks of the majestic soft coral.

 

After the adrenaline pumping channel dives of eastern Maldives, we cross over to South Ari Atoll to look for the whale sharks and mantas at Maamagili and Rangali Madivaru (Dhivehi for Manta Place) among other great sites such as Kudarah Thila and Kudimaa Wreck known for its potential leaf fish and frogfish.

South Central Atolls. Looking for action? Speedy drift dives, mantas, sharks and diving several atolls? Our guides and crew make it their business to make sure you see mantas and sharks as well as potential magical creatures coming out from the depths of the blue.

 

January to March is the time to join us as this is when the current in the Kandus is largely incoming from the east. There's a good variety of diving from thrilling channel dives to more relaxed diving inside the atolls on Thilas or Giris.

 

The best thing? There are few other boats as we visit atolls that have very few resorts and lots of uninhabited islands so liveaboard competition is low.

 

Hammerheads are often found in Thaa as well as whale sharks who visit our boat at night attracted by the krill, which, in turn, are attracted by the lights. When the currents are running well, the channel dives here are outstanding. Abundant with schooling snappers, jacks, barracuda, white tips and greys, grouper, Napoleon wrasse, turtles, eagle rays and more.

 

You will either join your liveaboard in Male or Laamu (Kadhdhoo) and then it's off on our adventure.

 

This itinerary has a lot of drift diving so it's best suited to more advanced divers. With visibility being really good in the southern atolls, this is ideal for photographers and videographers looking for larger Pelagic action.

 

Fancy an extended trip? South Central matches up perfectly with Deep South Southern Sharks. Stay on board for a second trip and join us in the southernmost atolls of the Maldives for even more exciting channels and adventures with pelagics from the blue.

MV VirgoMV VirgoMV Virgo

Name: Emperor Virgo
Type: Wooden hull
Length: 105 feet
Beam: 30 feet
Engine: 500 HP Caterpillar
Water Makers: 9500lt/day
Navigation and Communication: VHF radio, GPS chart plotter, Telephone, Mobile
Compressors: 2 x Coltri + Nitrox
Nitrox diving: FREE
Dive equipment rental: Full range on offer, must be arranged before arrival. SMB, dive computer and reef hooks are required on all dives. For your safety, both SMBs and reef hooks are offered complimentary.
Safety: Oxygen/Medic First Aid Kit
Dhoni: Large diving dhoni, fully equipped with compressors, tanks & oxygen kits
Camera facilities: Charging stations, air gun, rinse tanks & camera table
Accommodation:
* Upper deck: 2 double/twin.
* Main deck: 2 double/twin.
* Lower deck: 5 double/twin (1 available as a triple with a small single bed).
All cabins: Ensuite, with individually controlled air-con and fan. Hairdryers available onboard by request.
Main deck: Comfy sofas, bar, loungers
Sun deck: Loungers
Life jackets & life rafts
Towels: 2 towels per guest
Special diets catered for on request
Guests: Maximum 18
Crew: Dhoni Crew: 3 Diving Guides: 3

What are the water temperatures?
Water temperatures usually stay between 27 - 30°C although thermoclines can sometimes be found at depths below 20 meters.
 
What wetsuit should I bring?
A Lycra 3mm wetsuit is fine in tropical waters but some divers prefer a 5mm suit if doing more than one dive a day. It's really how you prefer to dive but we're happy to advise.
 
Do you use DIN or International tanks?
All tanks are fitted with 5/8's DIN valves. We strongly advise divers with M26 regulators to note that when traveling outside Europe tanks with M26 valves or adapters to fit M26 regulators to 5/8's DIN tanks may not be available. These adapters cannot be purchased in countries such as Africa, Asia, etc and we have limited stocks available for rent. Please remember to either bring your own adapter with you or check with us regarding availability at the time of booking.
 
What is the maximum dive time?
Generally 60 minutes; this is so we can account for all divers.
 
Are there any specific rules I need to adhere to?
Emperor is extremely environmentally aware and asks that you refrain from taking knives or gloves when you dive. Do not touch, ride, feed, catch or harass anything you find underwater.
Do not come back on the boat with less than 30 bar in your tank, ascend or descend very close to the reef or ascend or descend down the mooring line.
No solo diving, no decompression diving, use good buoyancy control when using cameras. And that means we all have a great dive.
 
How many dives per day will I be able to do?
There will be no diving on your first day and 17 dives offered per week (2-3 dives per day). You must ensure that you leave a minimum of 24 hours between their last dive and their flight departure (or going to altitude)
 
Itineraries & Dive Sites
All itineraries and dive sites are subject to various unpredictable changes including weather conditions and changes in Maldivian Government approval. Whilst Emperor Maldives makes every effort, we cannot guarantee diving at specific sites. In adverse weather conditions, the guides and captain of the boat will have the final decision about which dive sites to visit to ensure that the guests, staff and boat safety is not compromised in any way. If in the unfortunate event that dives are missed, or dive sites are not reached due to weather conditions or other unforeseeable changes, Emperor Maldives will not offer a refund or compensation.
 
Food & Special Dietary Requirements
The meals onboard are usually buffet style with a variety of local and international dishes to suit everyone.
Local food is traditionally a bit spicy, fish is available onboard, mostly frozen with a few fresh catches along the way.
For any special dietary requests, such as vegetarian or any allergies, please inform us prior to arrival.
We source items locally, therefore items such as, but not limited to, wholemeal pasta or flour, gluten-free products or soya substitutes are not typically available.
 
Internet
All our liveaboards are equipped with Wi-Fi and internet is available when a mobile signal is present, usually only nearby or in port. This service is for limited internet browsing and to connect with communication applications. Upload/download is very limited, therefore we ask guests to refrain from transferring large files. Signal strength can vary, which can result in intermittent and/or slow connections, depending on the local mobile provider. If you are a high level internet user, we advise that you purchase a local data SIM at Male airport upon arrival; your Emperor Maldives representative can help you.
 
Alcohol
Importing of alcoholic beverages is prohibited under Maldivian law and will be confiscated at Customs on arrival and returned to you at departure; this can be quite a time consuming process. Alcohol is available to purchase onboard; a beer is around 5 USD, spirits between 6-10 USD and a bottle of wine between 30-50 USD.
 
Diving typology - definitions
The Maldives offers different types of diving areas, all characterised by medium to strong currents making them rich in marine life. Here's a quick overview of the definitions:
Thila
An underwater island that can be both so small that you can dive all around it or so large that you'll manage to see only one side during a dive. A Thila within a Kandu is usually the diving area where the strongest current is but also the ones that have the most interesting sea life.
Kandu
A channel or pass around the border of the atoll where when the tides change the water flow in and out of the atoll. Perfect places for drift dives and where you can see big pelagics like sharks, tuna and mantas.
Lagoon
Each island in the Maldives has its own lagoon, usually not very deep. It can reach around 20 metres and is mostly sandy. These places are protected from the current so the ideal spot for scuba diving courses and snorkelling but not as interesting from a marine life point of view.
Electricity
UK 3 pin electrical sockets using 220 volts AC 50Hz.
 

Maldives Map

Emperor Virgo
FAQ

Most frequent questions and answers

Water temperatures usually stay between 27 – 30°C although thermoclines can sometimes be found at depths below 60 feet

A Lycra 3mm wetsuit is fine in tropical waters but some divers prefer a 5mm suit if doing more than one dive a day. It’s really how you prefer to dive but we’re happy to advise.

All tanks are fitted with 5/8’s DIN valves. We strongly advise divers with M26 regulators to note that when traveling outside Europe tanks with M26 valves or adapters to fit M26 regulators to 5/8’s DIN tanks may not be available. These adapters cannot be purchased in countries such as Africa, Asia, etc and we have limited stocks available for rent. Please remember to either bring your own adapter with you or check with us regarding availability at the time of booking.

Generally 60 minutes; this is so we can account for all divers.

Emperor is extremely environmentally aware and asks that you refrain from taking knives or gloves when you dive. Do not touch, ride, feed, catch or harass anything you find underwater.
Do not come back on the boat with less than 30 bar in your tank, ascend or descend very close to the reef or ascend or descend down the mooring line.
No solo diving, no decompression diving, use good buoyancy control when using cameras. And that means we all have a great dive.

There will be no diving on your first day and 17 dives offered per week (2-3 dives per day). You must ensure that you leave a minimum of 24 hours between their last dive and their flight departure (or going to altitude)

All itineraries and dive sites are subject to various unpredictable changes including weather conditions and changes in Maldivian Government approval. Whilst Emperor Maldives makes every effort, we cannot guarantee diving at specific sites. In adverse weather conditions, the guides and captain of the boat will have the final decision about which dive sites to visit to ensure that the guests, staff and boat safety is not compromised in any way. If in the unfortunate event that dives are missed, or dive sites are not reached due to weather conditions or other unforeseeable changes, Emperor Maldives will not offer a refund or compensation.

The meals onboard are usually buffet style with a variety of local and international dishes to suit everyone.
Local food is traditionally a bit spicy, fish is available onboard, mostly frozen with a few fresh catches along the way.
For any special dietary requests, such as vegetarian or any allergies, please inform us prior to arrival.
We source items locally, therefore items such as, but not limited to, wholemeal pasta or flour, gluten-free products or soya substitutes are not typically available.

All our liveaboards are equipped with Wi-Fi and internet is available when a mobile signal is present, usually only nearby or in port. This service is for limited internet browsing and to connect with communication applications. Upload/download is very limited, therefore we ask guests to refrain from transferring large files. Signal strength can vary, which can result in intermittent and/or slow connections, depending on the local mobile provider. If you are a high level internet user, we advise that you purchase a local data SIM at Male airport upon arrival; your Emperor Maldives representative can help you.

Importing of alcoholic beverages is prohibited under Maldivian law and will be confiscated at Customs on arrival and returned to you at departure; this can be quite a time consuming process. Alcohol is available to purchase onboard; a beer is around 5 USD, spirits between 6-10 USD and a bottle of wine between 30-50 USD.

The Maldives offers different types of diving areas, all characterized by medium to strong currents making them rich in marine life. Here’s a quick overview of the definitions:
Thila
An underwater island that can be both so small that you can dive all around it or so large that you’ll manage to see only one side during a dive. A Thila within a Kandu is usually the diving area where the strongest current is but also the ones that have the most interesting sea life.
Kandu
A channel or pass around the border of the atoll where when the tides change the water flow in and out of the atoll. Perfect places for drift dives and where you can see big pelagics like sharks, tuna and mantas.
Lagoon
Each island in the Maldives has its own lagoon, usually not very deep. It can reach around 20 metres and is mostly sandy. These places are protected from the current so the ideal spot for scuba diving courses and snorkelling but not as interesting from a marine life point of view.

UK 3 pin electrical sockets using 220 volts AC 50Hz.

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