Pelagic Magic in the Maldives

Pelagic Magic - Indian Ocean

  • Water temp 28-30C
  • Air Temp 28-30C
  • Visibility 20m
  • Good for... Pelagics! Whalesharks in South Ari plus manta and sharks
  • Suitable for beginners Confident beginners upwards!
  • Highlights This itinerary has a special focus on the whalesharks of Ari atoll. Come face to face with these gorgeous beasts as you snorkel through the warm waters. Dive with Maldives' other pelagic inhabitants - manta and sharks - at the season's very best sites

About Pelagic Magic

Pelagic Magic gets you face to face with the famous whalesharks of Ari atoll. As this itinerary devotes more time in Ari atoll, you are certain to get your whaleshark fix at Maamagili. Iconic dive follows iconic dive as you sail from Male through North Ari and then onto South Ari, your log book will fill with shark and manta sightings as well as outstanding reef dives. Then grab your snorkel and splash in to float only feet away from graceful whalesharks. Pelagics of all shapes and sizes await. What more could you ask for!

With around 17 dives as well as opportunities to snorkel with the whalesharks, this is an action packed week. The pelagic sightings start right from the beginning. Manta Point (otherwise known as Lankan Finolhu) is a cleaning station with reliable manta sightings. Just settle down and watch the manta swoop in. Hafsa thila and Maya thila are yet more iconic dive site where sharks are plentiful. Look out for baby white tips under the large table corals. But it is at night that Maya thila really comes alive. Reef sharks and marble morays hunt dinner out as morays slink between the coral blocks. As you reach south Ari keep a look out for the whalesharks. Maamagili is the place to find whalesharks at this time as they follow the seasonal currents. Manta chase plankton trails too into the nearby lagoons. Between your pelagic encounters, the reef dives will not disappoint. Discover the lush corals and schooling fish at the likes of Reethi thila and Kuda Rah.

Pelagic Magic is a great itinerary for everyone. No matter what your experience level this is a Maldives itinerary you can enjoy. There can be some drift diving so some experience of diving in currents in advisable. Don't forget to take your reef hook to make shark watching all the easier. As so many of the best whaleshark encounters are snorkelling, everyone can feel the thrill of seeing these graceful sharks in their natural environment. Pelagic Magic runs when the pelagics sightings are at their optimum in North and South Ari. Don't delay - discover the biggest inhabitants of the Maldives for yourself!

Carpe Novo

Carpe Novo is a luxury liveaboard built by divers for divers. From the moment you step on board, you know you're in for an incredible trip, where your every whim is catered for. Lovingly crafted, no detail has been overlooked. ... MORE

Carpe Vita

Carpe Vita is a well loved and popular liveaboard with divers and snorkelers, combing great value with on board expertise. At a generous 38m of living space, 20 guests can enjoy the best the Maldives has to offer with a crew that ... MORE

Pelagic Magic is a seasonal itinerary that only runs during the South West Monsoon when the whalesharks really appear in Ari Atoll en masse.

Emperor fleet embarks and disembarks in Male

Carpe Novo, Carpe Diem & Carpe Vita embark and disembark in Male.

Trip Duration
All of our Pelagic Magic trips run for 7 nights with 7 nights spent on board your liveaboard.

On average there are 3 dives a day with a total of approx 17 dives over the course of the week. There will also be several opportunities to snorkel with the whalesharks around Maamagili.

If your trip departs from Male you will be met on arrival from your international flight and taken directly to the boat. This is a short boat transfer and takes approx 20 mins. The boat will not normally sail on the first evening so there is time to settle into your cabin and get your dive kit set for the action to begin the next day.

A normal Pelagic Magic itinerary will dive at the following areas, but the exact dive sites will vary depending on diver experience levels, local conditions and where the best sightings have been

North Ari
The beginning and the end of your trip will dive in North Ari. Here the action is predominately centred around manta and sharks. The famous manta cleaning station Lankan Finolhu (otherwise known as manta point). The reef itself slopes gradually away to deeper water so it is a great place to look for eagle rays, flying in formation. But it is the cleaning station in the shallows that attracts the great big manta. Just sit back and enjoy the show. No trip to North Ari would be complete without a dive at Maya Thila. This small reef top is home to one of the most exhilarating night dives out there with white tips, big marble rays and morays all out hunting over the reef top. Dive here in the afternoon to orientate yourself and then watch the action unfold. Hafsa Thila is another thila dive that is a firm favourite and a great spot to hook into to watch greys and white tips circle. There are often baby white tips hiding under the giant table corals.

South Ari
The sublime dive sites carry on as you move into South Ari. Reethi Thila is just a beautiful dive, packed with the large schools of fish that are so characteristic of the Maldives. Kuda Rah can be a stonking drift dive with deep walls and sharks. The more sheltered sides are home to bat fish and puffer fish. There is even a small swim though. Off to the eastern side of the atol there are several lagoons which draw manta in, following plankton trails.

Maamagili is the place to find whalesharks in Ari! There are several locations right on the southern point of South Ari atoll where the whalesharks cruise up and down, looking for their next meal. If you are lucky you can see them passing by whilst you are diving. However, most of the encounters will be snorkeling so don't forget your gear!

Experience levels
No minimum number of dives needed but you should be comfortable with drift dives as currents can be strong. Many of the dives on the Pelagic Magic itinerary is suitable for all levels of divers, however, unpredictable and strong currents are to be expected in certain areas. Inexperienced and beginner divers may find some dives challenging and may be asked by the Cruise Director to skip dives that are not suitable for their diving experience. On some dives the recommended depth is below 18m therefore advanced or Deep Diver training is advised. Carpe Fleet require an AOW certification. All diving is from dhonis to give precise entry and exit points. Experienced divers can dive in a buddy pair unguided.

You will normally leave the boat after breakfast on your last day and be transferred to the airport to begin your journey home. Please do speak to the travel consultant at the time of booking to confirm the exact last day arrangements.

Alternatively, why not add an extension at one of the many beautiful resorts in the Maldives or even a second liveaboard.