The Maldives offers a wonderfully warm year-round climate, world-class beaches, and stunning coves and lagoons. Chartering in the Maldives is ideal during the Northern hemisphere’s winter months and provides a unique and exotic alternative to the Caribbean. The Maldives is also reputed as one of the best diving destinations in the world, with innumerable species of coral and colourful tropical fish cohabiting with morays, turtles and sharks.
On 7 November 2022, Yacht Story held their first Familiarisation (FAM) Trip for 25 worldwide brokers to introduce their fleet in The Maldives. This was a 5-day event conceived by Jill Zwaans, founder of Yacht Story, to showcase cruising through the atolls of the Maldives on board 3 of Yacht Story’s impressive fleet, each a minimum of 35-metres. The yacht chosen for this article was the stunning four-deck M/Y ALICE. She was built in a local Maldivian shipyard and launched at the end of 2019. Designed in an eco-style, she hosts up to 20 guests over 10 spacious cabins.
Diving is conducted from the yacht’s own dive dhoni ‘White Rabbit’, which cruises in tandem with ALICE for ease of access to the reefs. A Dhoni is a traditional multi-purpose sail vessel with a motor or lateen sails. The diving facilities are PADI registered and dives are guided by experienced local PADI certified instructors or dive masters. Amazing scuba diving, game fishing and plenty of other activities can be experienced daily.
This FAM Trip took ALICE and her guests to several stunning islands including Huvafen Fushi, Rasdhoo and Alikoi Rah. They also visited the Machchafusi and Keyodhoo shipwrecks, Rihiveli Dolphin Lagoon, Bird Island and the Alimatha Sandbank. During the 5-day itinerary, guests were able to experience dreamy white sands and spectacular snorkelling in pristine mirror-like waters. They saw turtles, floating rays and fabulous schools of fish in every shade imaginable. Also a variety of shark species including Nurse Sharks, Reef Sharks and Whitetip Sharks were encountered.
The wrecks of an impressive cargo freighter and a half-submerged Indonesian vessel offered opportunities to see beautiful house reef and an array of healthy corals and schools of fish, including table corals, clownfish and sea anemones. Experienced free divers were able to swim through the captain’s cabin and even strike a pose on the iconic bicycle attached to the hull! Then there was the chance to swim with dolphins in the Rihiveli Dolphin Lagoon – an absolutely incredible experience for all.
The guests were treated to fabulous food served on board and evenings filled with magical sunset beach cocktails and BBQs. Ending the trip at Crossroads, only 15 minutes away from the capital city of Malé, the guests were able to stroll around the luxury marina, upscale dining places, shopping areas and spas.
The Indian Ocean is becoming more and more popular as a yachting / cruising destination and this trip made it evident to see why.
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