Maldives Dhoni Cruise



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On this relaxing adventure the days are spent gently cruising among the remote atolls of the idyllic Maldives aboard a traditional dhoni. Eat and sleep on board while sailing between the unspoilt palm-fringed tropical islands of South Male, Felidhoo and Meemu. Along the way we stop at small fishing communities and some of the best reefs and snorkelling sites to see the islands\ famously colourful and abundant marine life.


  • Meals:  Breakfast: 7
                  Lunch: 6
                  Dinner: 6



6 nights simple boat
1 nights standard hotel





Our tour begins today in Male and after meeting up with our local guide and the rest of the group we walk to our hotel close to the harbour. The circumference of the island is little more than 5 kilometers so it’s very easy to explore on foot. After freshening up at the hotel we will walk down to the Mosque, to the fish market and along the waters edge to watch the ferries coming and going.

This morning we walk to the waterfront to meet our moored dhoni and crew. We take our breakfast on the boat and then begin cruising south for two to three hours, passing through the Vaadhoo Canal to the South Male Atoll – a smaller and quieter neighbour to the more developed North Male Atoll. Here, many of the islands are inhabited simply by vegetation and white sand, surrounded by clear turquoise water and reef. Heading further south we cruise to the Vavuu Atoll, where we spend time exploring the uninhabited and picturesque islands of Kudiboli and Kuda Anbaraa. When exploring this and other islands in the itinerary, it isn’t necessary to bring special footwear. Most customers seem to manage well in flip-flops, and these have the obvious advantage of being quick to get on and off – ideal for walking through sand. Our afternoon is spent snorkelling or relaxing on board. Over the course of the week, underwater fauna we are likely to see include green turtles, reef sharks and gigantic manta rays, as well as smaller sting rays and eagle rays. At each stop, we will also swim among a rainbow of small, colourful fish, including the famous Clown Fish. Our knowledgeable local guides will be able to help identify many of the underwater species that we come across.

Today, and each day, afternoon tea with freshly baked cake will be served by our talented chef.

Every meal is included on the dhoni . Menus are likely to include freshly-caught fish each day, as well curries and pasta. Drinking water, tea and coffee are readily available, with alcoholic and soft drinks available for purchase on-board. US Dollars are accepted on the Dhoni and you can pay your bill for drinks at the end of your cruise in cash or by Credit Card.

Today we sail south for a further two to three hours, crossing to Meemu Atoll – home to one of the longest stretches of reef in the Maldives. On this or other crossings, we may be lucky enough to be chased by spinner dolphins, who like jumping in our wake. We are also likely to see flying fish, sometimes leaping right over the deck of our dhoni. Meemu Atoll is made up of 34 islands, of which 25 are uninhabited. Some of the inhabited ones grow yams, and all of them are largely dependent on fishing. Here more than anywhere, we are likely to experience the true Maldivian way of life. Shortly after entering the atoll, we arrive at Fenboa Finolhu – another beautiful uninhabited island where we aim to base ourselves for the night. We will have plenty of time to enjoy the white-sand beach and to snorkel on the reef. This evening, we can look forward to a barbeque beach banquet in an idyllic spot on the island, laid on by the dhoni crew.

After a relaxed start, we head east to the inhabited island of Dhiggaru. Here, we drop our anchor by a particularly good snorkelling reef. Later in the afternoon, when it has cooled down a bit, we plan to go ashore to meet the island’s inhabitants. We may be struck by the traditional, yet relaxed, way of life in the island’s lively village. Very few tourist groups visit and we must remember to dress and act respectfully, removing our shoes when visiting a house or a mosque. In the evening, we hope to be invited to a performance of Bodu Beru (Big Drum) – the traditional folk music of the country.

Today, we head back to Felidhoo Atoll and its administrative centre, Felidhoo. With a population of about 400, this is the least populated of all the country’s administrative centres. Again, we take time to visit the village and have the opportunity to enjoy another Bodu Beru performance.

By now, we are likely to be feeling completely relaxed, as our routine of reading, sunbathing and napping between island stops and snorkelling spots has become second nature. With a subtly different name to our previous day’s stop-off, we break today’s journey with a visit to Fulidhoo Island. Once again, we meet the locals and gain more of an appreciation of their life in this tropical paradise. After a further visit to the island of Hulhidhoo, we anchor by a large reef, where we can spend time snorkelling.

Our last full day on the boat sees us cruising back towards Male. We take the opportunity for some final snorkelling and swimming, before enjoying a farewell meal with our boat crew.

Our tour ends this morning after breakfast. Once we have said our goodbyes to the crew, we disembark the dhoni and are transferred to Male International Airport.

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