Virgo | Maldives Liveaboard | Scuba Diving Holiday - Indian Ocean

  • Guests 18
  • Rooms 9
  • Restaurants Main deck restaurant
  • Food and Drinks Western buffets meals served on the main deck
  • Facilities30m, Spacious dhoni, Free Nitrox
  • Diving Up to 3 dives a day.
  • Diving Extras Ask about rental gear and courses on booking
  • Internet Access Wifi available onboard - local charges apply

About Virgo

Virgo sleeps only 18 divers over 30m, which has made her popular with those that prefer smaller groups on board. All diving is from the support dhoni. Cruise the heavenly atolls of Male and Ari without it costing the earth on a liveaboard dedicated to your diving satisfaction.

Virgo has a total of 9 cabins on board for 18 divers - there are 5 lower deck twin cabins, 2 main deck twin/double cabins and 2 sea view upper deck cabins. All have en suite bathrooms with shampoo and shower gel. The upper deck cabins have large windows to let all that Maldivian sunshine in. The cabins have a flexible arrangement so can also be made into a double bed.

The light wood decor continues throughout the vessel. On the main deck there is a large air conditioned saloon with welcoming sofas. Meals are served buffet style and seated at a large table. This is a fun, social boat to be on! The bar on board is fully licensed so you can enjoy your favourite tipple as the sun sinks over the horizon. The upper deck is a hub for most people in between dives, with loungers to relax on and enjoy the Maldives drifting by. Wifi access can be purchased on board and is limited by signal coverage in each area.

As of 1st September 2016, Virgo will operate as Emperor Virgo

Upper deck cabins

There are 2 upper deck cabins on board Virgo. Both can be arranged as either a double or twin cabin and have en suite and air con.

Main deck cabins

There are 2 main deck cabins, both with beds that can be arranged as either a twin or double. En suite and air con are as standard.

Lower deck standard cabins

There are 5 lower deck cabins and all can be arranged as either twin or double beds. All have en-suite and air con as standard. I cabin can be arranged as a triple with a small second bed.

Elaine Ann

2014-09-18 09:49:56

We've not long been back from the Maldives on M/Y Virgo. The dive guides, Roland, Mark and Ibu (sorry if I've misspelt) were incredible and really looked after us. We had an amazing week seeing so much sea life plus turtles (a dream come true for one of our group!) & then we had whalesharks and mantas! Although the weather wasn't great (monsoon rains) we still had an amazing week away and even had all our dive gear washed by the crew and dried in the lovely weather we had on the last couple of days. Thank you scuba travel team for yet another brilliant holiday.

Rob Thomas & Kim Thomas

2014-04-05 17:34:26

Just back from a week on Virgo we thought the trip was fantastic we saw whale shark mantas galore reef shark & plenty of macro life . We have to say the crew where brilliant & a special thanks to Mario & by his own nickname choice Lion thanks to all at scuba travel we will be back

Pieter Labruyere

2013-11-04 10:48:43

An excellent diving holiday.Well organised. The boat was superb as was the crew.The dive guides were very organised in every respect and done a great job.The food and accommodation was also very good.The dive sites were outstanding with lots of variety.All in will be booking with Scuba Travel every time starting with early next year.Well done.

Pieter Labruyere

2013-10-16 10:07:36

Returned from dive trip in the Maldives aboard the Virgo.The trip was very well organised.The Virgo is a great ship and the crew superb as with the dive guides.The dive sites we visited were next to none and seen everything including shark,manta and whale shark.A trip not to be forgotten.Well Done to all at Scubatravel. Look forward to booking with you next year.All the best.Regards.Pieter Labruyere

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 are typically quoted with Sri Lankan flights from Heathrow (via Colombo) to Male. We are however able to book most major airlines. If you would like to depart from a different 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. A supplement may apply for regional departures. Times and any applicable supplements will be confirmed by your travel consultant before you finalise your holiday. If you wish to make your own flight arrangements to Male, let us know and we can remove the cost of the international flights from your quote. We are unfortunately not able to redeem airmiles on your behalf. Please do not confirm any flight arrangements yourself before your holiday is confirmed by us.

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 Virgo 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. Orion 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. Orion 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.

Extras

Hire equipment

We offer a very wide range of rental equipment onboard Virgo. The boat is rebreather friendly and have tanks, softnolime, oxygen upon request.

Extras

Orion 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

At the moment there are no boat specific souvenirs for sale onboard Virgo. More generic Maldivian souvenirs will be available to buy at the airport.

Nitrox/Gas

Free Nitrox, We recommend all divers to dive with Nitrox when suitable.

Payments

Deposits and Balances

A typical deposit for Virgo 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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