Amba | Maldives Liveaboard - Indian Ocean

  • Guests 20
  • Rooms 10
  • Restaurants al-fresco dining area on main deck.
  • Food and Drinks Western buffets meals served on the main deck
  • Facilitiesbar, audio & video entertainment
  • Diving Large dhoni, 2 Guides, nitrox
  • Diving Extras Ask about rental gear and courses on booking
  • Internet Access Wifi available onboard - local charges apply

About Amba

Amba has pioneered diving in the more remote northern atolls of Haa Alifu, Haa Dhaalu, Baa, Raa and Noonu. Here the reefs are devoid of other dive boats. This is dive escapism at it's very best in the Maldives with an experienced crew that know where the best marine life in the region can be found, whatever the season.

Amba sleeps 20 divers across 3 different room types. All of the cabins are a generous size with en suite and air con as standard. There are 7 lower deck cabins, with both twin bed or double bed options. There are a further 2 standard cabins on the upper deck, with a bunk or double bed arrangement. The master suite is also on the upper deck, with a queen double bed and it's own private sundeck, looking out over the glorious blue seas.

Amba prides itself on an exceptional service standard on board. Thanks to her clever design, she is also an incredibly stable liveaboard... you would hardly know you at at sea! Amba boasts not 1 but 2 tender boats. All diving is done from the spacious dhoni, but there is also a fast speedboat to zip you between the islands. Back on board, soak up the sun on the sun deck or curl up with your book in the shaded areas. There are even windbreaker screens for your optimum comfort. Head to the saloon and you will find a fully stocked bar - so pull up a chair at the end of day and trade stories with your fellow divers. There is a TV, stereo, board games and on board library.

Luxury cabin

The luxury cabin is the largest of the two and has it's own small sun bathing area outside with panoramic windows. A supplement applies for this cabin.

Standard cabin

The standard cabins are on the lower deck. There are 5 standard cabins that have a double bed with single bed alongside. A further 2 standard cabins have twin beds.

Bunk cabin

Cabin 8 is on the upper deck and sleeps 2, with a double bed and bunk above.

Upper deck cabin

Cabin number 9 is also on the upper deck, alongside the luxury cabin

Caroline Wells

2014-07-15 09:48:20

Amba is a well run liveaboard offering a great change from the mass tourism of the Central Maldives. Dives are mainly deep thilas and there's some beautiful soft coral. It's the only liveaboard up north so feels like Maldives 20 years ago! Worth the internal flight up but try to take Emirates or Qatar for better connection times at Male.

Barbara Neville

2014-07-15 09:47:47

I had a great time on Amba, diving on pristine reefs - there was only one dive where we saw other divers. Plenty to see, including mantas and eagle rays. Marco and Nicole are extremely knowledgeable and caring and run the boat very efficiently. The local crew were very helpful on the dive deck and kept the spacious cabins immaculate. The food was excellent and plentiful. The boat was only around half full when I was on it, so peaceful and plenty of room to spread out. The other guests were almost all German speaking, but very friendly. Recommended for divers who want to get off the beaten track and who don't mind some current.

Frequently Asked Questions

Location

The Maldives is in the Indian Ocean, a 10-14hr flight from the UK, around 370 miles southwest of Sri Lanka. It is made up of 1200 islands, stretching over 500 miles from north to south. The main arrival airport for all flights to the Maldives is Male's airport island (MLE). The Maldives is famous for its great snorkelling, manta cleaning stations, whalesharks, shark dives and fast drift dives through channels. The water remains a constant 27-28 C year round.

Weather and Climate

Whilst there are 2 monsoon seasons (Nov-Apr & May-Oct), the diving remains excellent year round. Diving operators will changes their dive sites in each season to find the best hot spots for the big fish! Traditionally, our summer months tend to be windier with a higher chance of rain, whilst the winter months are flatter. However, the seasons are much less predictable in reality and its a fabulous place to dive whatever time of year!

Travel

Flight options

Our holidays to the Maldives can be quoted with most major airlines. If you would like to depart from a regional UK airport (eg. Glasgow/Edinburgh, Manchester, Birmingham or Gatwick) or have a specific airline you prefer to fly with, simply let us know in your booking request. Times and any applicable supplements will be confirmed by your travel consultant before you finalise your holiday. We are unfortunately not able to redeem airmiles on your behalf. If you make your own flight arrangements to Male, please check the transfer arrangements before confirming your flights. Please do not finalise any flight arrangements yourself before your liveaboard space is confirmed as being held.

Stopovers

As most flights are not direct, it is simple to add a stop over en route - simply ask your travel consultant for a quote. Sri Lanka is our most popular, up coming destination - with beautiful beaches, it's a great alternative to staying in the Maldives resorts. If you are feeling a bit more adventurous, why not head into the jungle for look for elephants and leopards. Or if you are a culture vulture, we highly recommend a Kandy city tour. The choice is yours! As we are able to book most major airlines to the Maldives, you can also add a stop to break up your flight. Popular locations include Dubai, Doha and Abu Dhabi.

Arrange before you go

Visa requirements

UK passport holders are able to obtain a free 30 day visa on arrival. Do ensure your passport has 6 months validity from your return date to prevent any issues with immigration. It is your responsibility to ensure your passport is valid and you fulfil entry requirements. Regulations can change: please review current FCO advice: click here

Insurance

Scuba Travel requires all of our customers to have diving insurance. Please make sure that you have appropriate cover for your diving activities. We also strongly recommend you have travel insurance. It's worth taking out travel insurance once you have paid your deposit to ensure you are covered for unforeseen events and cancellation. Find out more about our combined dive and travel policy click here

Immunisations

Please speak to your local GP or check out the latest NHS advice on travel immunisations: click here

Preparing to fly

Seating

You will be able to manage your booking online once you have been ticketed (after you have paid your holiday balance). Most airlines will now enable you to select your seating at this point. There may be a small charge for prebookable seating before online check in opens. Please speak to the airline for more information about charges.

Check in

As you are flying with a scheduled airline, you will be able to check in online with your airline. Please visit their website for more information about when online check in opens.

Lounge

An airport lounge is a great way to start your holiday or to while away flight connections in comfort. Scuba Travel works with Lounge Pass to offer a huge range of affordable airport lounges around the world. click here

Parking

Prebook your airport parking to save money! If you have a long way to travel, why not also look at booking an airport hotel. These aren't as expensive as you might think. click here

What happens when I arrive?

On arrival in the Maldives, you will need to clear immigration and collect your baggage. You will then be met outside of arrivals by a representative from your liveaboard or resort. They will be holding a board with either your destination or your name on it. If you have any issues at all locating your rep, please turn left from arrivals and go to the information desk at Male airport. We have an emergency contact, manned by a member of the team here in the UK. Please call 0044 7747 488 002. We will be able to help your rep locate you in the airport.

Transfers

If your holiday begins in Male you will be met and taken to your boat. The transfer takes around 20mins. Many of our Maldives holidays will include either a domestic flight or seaplane transfer. It takes approx 45mins -1 hour to clear immigration and collect your baggage at Male airport. We endeavour to keep the transit between flights as short as possible and your transfer will normally take place within 3 hours of your international arrival, but please be aware, you may have to wait at the airport between flights. The domestic terminal is right next door to arrivals. This has AC, bathrooms and a small cafe. You will usually be met by a rep, who will assist you in moving between the terminals. The baggage allowance on domestic flights is typically 25kgs hold and 5kgs hand baggage. Excess baggage is charged locally $2-$5/kg. The seaplane check in desk is to your right on exiting the arrivals hall. You will check your bag in here and then be transfered to the seaplane terminal by bus. This has AC, bathrooms, a small cafe and shop. The seaplanes run regularly throughout the day and due to the way the scheduling is organised, the exact time of your seaplane cannot be confirmed prior to arrival in Male. Seaplanes do not run in the dark - the fist seaplane is around 06:00 Male time and ends around 16:00 Male time. The baggage allowance on seaplane flights is typically 25kgs hold and 5kgs hand baggage. Excess baggage is charged locally $2-$5/kg.

Departures

You will be taken back to Male airport in time for your international flight. Domestic flights and seaplanes will arrive in time for you to make your connections. Typically you will arrive at the airport 1 1/2- 2 hours before your flight time. There is currently no departure tax when leaving the Maldives.

Info

Included in your holiday

Included in your package are 7 or 10 nights on board Amba on a full board basis (3 meals daily plus in between dive snacks), drinking water, tea and coffee. You will have 3 dives/day except for the arrival and departure day, 12lt tanks, air fills, weights and belts. This will typically include 1 or 2 night dives. Dives are guided. Airport transfers will be provided and advised locally. The local green tax is prepaid.

Excluded

Excluded from your package are any rental kit hire, nitrox or on board souvenirs. Soft drinks, speciality coffees and alcohol are all available on board - the boat will run an honesty tab to pay at the end of the trip. Please see the on board extras tab for a more comprehensive list of local charges.

Tipping

Tipping is entirely at your discretion. We do not make recommendations as to how much to tip. Should you wish to leave a tip for the guides and crew, it should reflect the level of service you have enjoyed.

Currency

The official currency of the Maldives is the rufiyya. However, we generally recommend you take USD as this is the preferred currency for most transactions. Amba will accept euro payments, Do ensure you have smaller denominations handy as larger notes can be difficult to use. Notes should be in good condition. Credit and debit cards can be used, but do be aware of currency conversions and card surcharges. There is a 12%GST (sales tax) applied to all local payments.

Phone coverage

The Maldives has good mobile phone coverage throughout. You can purchase a local SIM card at the airport if you prefer. Amba offers free wifi (where there is phone coverage) but this can be slow. If you need internet, we recommend you make arrangements with your provider in the UK.

Plugs and electricity

Electricity is 240V - UK 3 pin plugs are commonplace, but we do also recommend taking a 2pin European adaptor for some sockets.

Extras

Hire equipment

Kit hire must be prebooked but is paid for locally onboard. Reg: $50 per week, BCD: $50 per week, computer: $65 per week, wetsuit: $40 per week and complete dive kit $220 per week

Extras

Carpe Novo can teach a wide range of courses on board. These must be prebooked and are paid for on board. Please speak to your travel consultant for current course prices and options

Souvenirs

There is an on board boutique selling a wide range of souvenirs including tshirts, jewellery and marine art. All stock items are subject to availability.

Nitrox/Gas

12lt - $10per dive or 15lt $15 per dive. For 7 night trips, 12lt nitrox is $100 per week and 15lt nitrox $150 per week. For 10 night trips, 12lt nitrox is $150 per trip and 15lt nitrox $200 per trip.

Payments

Deposits and Balances

A typical deposit for Amba will be £600 for a 7 night trip or £800 for a 10 night trip. This will be due once your holiday has been confirmed. Your balance will then be due 90 days before travel.

Ways to pay

We charge 2% on credit card transactions but nothing on UK debit card payments. All non sterling card payments will be subject to the 2% surcharge. Alternatively, you are welcome to pay via bank transfer. Overseas transfers must add £6 to the sterling total to cover international handling fees. We are not able to accept PayPal transactions.

Group Payments

If you have booked as part of a group, you can still call and pay directly without needing to go via your group leader. Please have your trip reference number to hand to help us locate your holiday as quickly as possible. You will receive a transaction receipt - your group leader will forward your ATOL certificate and booking confirmation

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