Emperor Virgo 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.
Baa Atoll, North Male Atoll, Lhaviyani Atoll
North & South Ari Atolls
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.
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.
Generally 60 minutes; this is so we can account for all divers.
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.
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.
UK 3 pin electrical sockets using 220 volts AC 50Hz.