With so many liveaboard choices in the Maldives, why choose Emperor Explorer? Here is what our own Melissa found out on her recent trip.
First of all, they offer 4 dives per day, the only boat to offer this out of the ones we sell. The first dive would be around 6:30 am and the last would either be a sunset or night dive between 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm. Plus free nitrox on all dives apart from the check dive. This is great for anyone looking for a full-on dive holiday.
The cabins are very spacious with plenty of storage space. You have a wardrobe, bedside table, large cabinet with a safe in, large drawers under the sink and a mirrored cabinet on the wall above the sink. The bathroom is spacious with a large shower and 2 showerheads. I was in one of the smaller cabins under the stairs but it would be fine for 2 people.
The Saloon area is large with 2 sofa areas, a bar and a dining room. One of the sofa areas towards the front of the boat is somewhere cosy to sit and read a book or have a chat. The sofas by the briefing area are facing each other so great for socialising.
Every meal there is an option for either a meat or fish plus potato, noodles, soups, pasta and more. There is always something to eat and they cater to all types of dietary requirements. At breakfast, you can have your eggs cooked how you like.
In the middle of the week, the guests are treated to a BBQ dinner on the beach. The island they use is owned by someone who rents out the beach and keeps it clean. It is lovely to walk around and a great way to meet people from other boats. Other Emperor crews were there so nice to see the guides catch up with each other. It is a special evening and good to get off the boat and go for a walk on the super-soft sand. If the weather is bad they will try to find another island.
The Dive Dhoni is spacious, as big as other Maldivian liveaboards. Plenty of room if the boat is full. You can prebook additional equipment, just let us know what you need at the time of booking.
Contrary to Emperors website, there is no spa onboard but treatments can be requested.
Explorer offers 3 itineraries, Best of the Maldives, Northern Highlights and Deep South.
As a quick guide, Best of the Maldives is good for Mantas, Whale Sharks, Nurse Sharks, Grey Reef and Whitetip sharks, Huge shoals of Snappers, Bat Fish, Morays plus more. Dives can be deep and certain times of year currents can be strong so I would recommend at least Advanced divers who have experience with currents. Open water qualified divers can go on the trip but they won’t get the most out of it. They may be asked to skip dives.
Northern Highlights is good for soft and hard corals, turtles and channels, in Atolls that are usually quiet. Some sights are Manta cleaning stations. Again, currents can be strong but fine for advanced divers.
Deep South is all about strong currents and sharks. Threshers, Mantas, Grey reef, Whitetips, Blacktips, Hammerheads, the odd Tiger Shark and if you are extremely lucky Great Hammerheads as well. This only runs between Jan – March when currents are at their strongest. I would recommend Advanced divers only for this one with a good experience of currents.
Gaby, Maria and the rest of the crew were great! Nothing was ever too much trouble. They were all fun and entertaining, we all had a fab time on board. As soon as I stepped foot on the boat I was made to feel welcome. Perfect for anyone travelling alone.