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Marine Conservation in the Maldives

TERMS AND CONDITIONS

Price is based on double or twin hotel room occupancy and includes accommodation, transfers, breakfasts (full board on the FS Explorer) and some water sport activities. Please note that the FS Explorer is shared vessel (22 passengers) and most activities at these resorts are shared with other Four Seasons guests. The price of two optional activities - Ray Talk & Marine Life Snorkel Safari and Turtle Talk & Adventure Safari at Kuda Huraa - has been included in the price of this itinerary. All other optional special activities will be quoted separately. Most personal expenses, including alcoholic beverages, spa treatments and gratuities can be paid on the spot while traveling. Prices may vary depending on season, choice of accommodation and other factors.

FROM $13,400 PER PERSON
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DURATION

10 days | 9 nights

DESTINATIONS

Maldives

INTERESTS

Beaches,
Responsible

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HIGHLIGHTS

  • Contribute to marine conservation in the Maldives’ sole UNESCO-accredited Biosphere Reserve
  • Actively participate in marine conservation initiatives, such as rehabilitating sea turtles or recording the behavior of manta rays, guided by a team of marine biologists
  • Stay in luxury and sustainable Four Seasons accommodation

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The gorgeous atolls of the Maldives are paradise on Earth, home to some of the richest marine ecosystems on the planet. Yet, these low-lying, reef-ringed isles are at risk of rising sea levels and coral bleaching brought on by increasing sea temperatures.

Dive deeper into the Maldives’ underwater world and contribute to marine conservation with a stay at Four Seasons’ resorts. Educate yourself on sea life at Kuda Huraa’s Marine Discovery Centre and get involved with the Maldivian Sea Turtle Conservation Program. Climb aboard the FS Explorer for a cruise through Baa Atoll - the Maldives’ first and only UNESCO Biosphere Reserve – with a marine biologist. End with participation in Landaa Giraavaru’s Maldivian Manta Ray Project, aiding The Manta Trust in their critical research.

DAY-TO-DAY

DAY 1: Four Seasons Kuda Huraa

Arriving into Male International Airport, you’ll by met by a representative from the Four Seasons Kuda Huraa at the Arrival Hall, who will be holding a sign with your name. From here, you’ll take a 25-minute speedboat transfer to the resort, located on the private island of Hulhule in the North Male Atoll. Upon check in at Four Seasons Kuda Huraa, relax in your beachside accommodation, familiarize yourself with the resort’s luxury facilities and dining options, then watch the rich colors of your first Maldivian sunset.

DAY 2: Four Seasons Kuda Huraa

Kuda Huraa’s Marine Discovery Centre was first established in 2011, with the objective of providing an educational hub focused on marine conservation. Meet with the Marine Savers team here to discuss sea life and local conservation efforts, then put your knowledge into practice by heading out on a snorkeling excursion with a marine biologist as your guide. Board a traditional Maldivian dhoni boat to encounter reef sharks, sea turtles, colorful fish species and other inhabitants of the local coral metropolises.

Kuda Huraa also runs one of the world’s most successful coral reef transplant projects, building over 2,000 coral frames over the past 15 years and the house reef is now teeming with marine life. Consider contributing to this thriving ecosystem by donating a frame (optional) – after you leave the Maldives, you’ll be updated with its progress, so you can check up on growth and be reminded of your trip.

DAY 3: Four Seasons Kuda Huraa

Start your day with a sunrise kayak, skimming across serene waters and watching the sun peek over the horizon, bringing the island and its shores to life. Today, you’ll learn more about wildlife under the waves with activities focused around the island’s turtles. Five out of seven of the world’s sea turtle species call the Maldives home, including the endangered green and hawksbill turtles. Get involved with the protection and rehabilitation of these sea creatures via the Maldivian Sea Turtle Conservation Program; join a turtle talk with a marine biologist, then join an adventurous turtle safari to see these incredible creatures in the wild.

If you’d like an even closer encounter with Kuda Huraa’s resident turtles, join the marine team on a turtle monitoring expedition (optional – at your own expense, diving experience required). You’ll embark on dives to help identify and photograph the turtles with an underwater camera, collect data to add to the first inventory of turtles in the Maldives, plus your efforts will go towards a PADI AWARE Sea Turtle Specialty Certification.

DAY 4: Four Seasons Explorer Cruise

Today, you’ll leave land behind and board the Four Seasons Explorer, a luxury catamaran that sails between Kuda Huraa and Landaa Giraavaru. The fastest and most luxurious liveaboard in the region, this vessel not only offers a scenic three-night transfer route between Four Seasons’ island properties, but also superlative diving opportunities and other water sports. With a capacity for only 22 passengers, luxury facilities such as the upper-deck spa and an on-board marine biologist, this is sure to be an intimate and unique exploration of the Maldives’ rural blue.

*If you’re planning a visit in September, consider extending your three-night cruise to seven nights (optional - additional cost) and join Dr. Guy Stevens and his team of marine biologists on a special expedition with The Manta Trust.

DAY 5: Four Seasons Explorer Cruise

Each day you’ll experience something new beneath the waves. Not just in the diversity of wildlife you’ll get to meet up-close (manta rays, dolphins, pilot whales, whale sharks…), but also in the types of activities you’ll enjoy. Snorkel isolated reefs, dive down to the Machafushi Wreck and navigate underwater caves, coves and canyons.

 

DAY 6: Four Seasons Explorer Cruise

There’s plenty going on the surface too, as a dhoni boat (a traditional Maldivian fishing vessel) is on-hand for bottom-line and handline fishing. Water sports available include waterskiing, windsurfing, kayaking, wakeboard and tubing, while land-based activities include island-hopping, sandbank castaways and excursions to remote villages and uninhabited islands.

DAY 7: Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru

Today, you’ll disembark the Explorer and check into Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru. One of the most sustainable properties in the Maldives, you won’t find plastic straws and water bottles here, and leftover plastic is recycled to make shoes and clothes through Four Seasons’ partner, Parley. The resort’s guest rooms and electric golf buggies are powered by a RoofSolar inverter installation, the largest of its kind in the country, comprised of 3,105 solar panels. This solar installation saves approximately 300,000 liters of diesel and 800 tons of CO2 each year, which is the equivalent of 286 international flights between New York and the Maldives.

Relax and unwind in your private plunge pool and enjoy complimentary resort activities including daily yoga classes, a consultation with an Ayurvedic physician, lifestyle talks at the Ayurvedic retreat, plus water sports such as snorkeling, kayaking, windsurfing and catamaran sailing.

DAY 8: Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru

Head to the Marine Discovery Centre and chat with the team of marine biologists based there, who will fill you in on local marine life, the pioneering research currently underway at the centre, as well as the resort’s conservation projects. Learn about building coral reefs through the Reefscapers program in the lagoon, meet rescued Oliver Ridley turtles at the Turtle Rehabilitation Centre, feed the fish and learn about their breeding at the Fish Lab, and attend lectures with a marine biologist.

Take your underwater exploration one league deeper with a scuba diving program through the resort’s PADI Five-Star IDC Centre or a deep-flight adventure on a three-person submarine, which submerges you in the water and provides 360-degree views of the Maldives’ only UNESCO Biosphere Reserve (optional – at your own expense).

DAY 9: Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru

Over 2,000 manta rays pass through here in the summer months, which is why The Manta Trust has made Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru a base for the Maldivian Manta Ray Project; identifying and collecting information on these incredible creatures, making new discoveries in manta research, as well as engaging in conservation and education programs with guests.

Sign up for the “Manta-on-Call” service so that you’re alerted as soon as manta rays are spotted near the resort. Head to the dock and board a speedboat to encounter these graceful giants of the sea. Or, hop aboard The Manta Trust’s research vessel, which departs from Landaa Giraavaru almost daily during manta season to learn how to photo-ID these creatures with the help of the team that has identified more manta rays en masse than anywhere else in the world. You can also participate in citizen science by recording important ecological information, as well as working on your free-diving skills (optional – at your own expense, only available between June to November).

If you’re staying at Landaa Giraavaru outside of manta season, there are still plenty of other exciting activities to enjoy, including dolphin cruises, night snorkeling sessions, diving expeditions and a private snorkeling expedition in the Baa Atoll UNESCO Biosphere Reserve (optional – at your own expense).

DAY 10: Departure

Checking out of Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru, you’ll take a 35-minute seaplane flight to return to Male International Airport in plenty of time for your onward flight. Please note that the seaplane only operates during daylight hours and the luggage limit is 20kg, plus an extra 5kg for carry-on luggage. Excess luggage is subject to additional charges.

To further combat your carbon footprint, consider offsetting your international flights through a carbon offset program, choosing an environmental cause that speaks to you.

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