Are you looking for the best liveaboard trips? Then you cannot miss out on the incredibly beautiful dive spots in the Maldives. This group of tropical islands in the Indian Ocean is famous for its secluded white sand beaches and amazing marine biodiversity.
Now I know what you must be thinking, Maldives = expensive. But that really doesn’t have to be the case. This ideal destination is the perfect place to create the most amazing scuba memories.
10 Best Maldives Liveaboard Trips
Enjoy scuba diving in the Maldives atolls with clear warm waters, colorful coral reefs, and a variety of marine animals. The main attraction for Maldives diving is swimming with whale sharks, which according to whale shark facts, are the largest of its kind.
If pristine white sand beaches, secluded islands, and whale sharks aren’t enough for you, spinner dolphins are also frequently spotted in the area since the islands are close to their hunting grounds. Book your favorite Maldives diving liveaboard from our top 10 picks to experience an unforgettable scuba diving trip.
1. Best Budget Choice: Princess Dhonkamana
The Maldives is not a budget travel destination but the Princess Dhonkamana offers you a great deal that is under $100 per day. You get incredible value for money on this smaller size luxury yacht with comfortable rooms, a hot tub, and three meals a day with this Maldive liveaboard.
Don’t worry about cramped spaces because there are a dhoni and a tender following the main liveaboard for closer access to the main diving spots. This way, there are spaces specifically for scuba diving while keeping the main yacht spacious enough for dining and lounging.
This is a great choice for scuba divers since there are three dedicated expert divers that will take you on 3 separate dives, every day. You’ll get to explore the amazing marine wildlife of the Maldives including manta rays, reef sharks, and the famous whale sharks surely the way to experience diving in Maldives.
- Separate dhoni and tender
- Family cabins available
- Naturalist guide present
- Vegan meals available
- Better suited for Italian speakers
- Meal selection could be healthier
2. Most Luxury: Ocean Divine
This luxury liveaboard Maldives style on this five-star vessel that has unique rooms with triple, double, and twin bedding, each with an ocean view porthole. The design incorporating lots of wood creates a natural and calm ambiance as the perfect accommodation to explore the Atolls.
There is a tender that takes you to the most popular dive spots in the Maldives, such as Ari Atoll and Felidu Atoll. Included in the diving package are 3 guided dives per day and 1-night dive during the 8 night/7 days itinerary.
Guests write great reviews of the dive guides, a French couple, that have excellent local wildlife knowledge. They are also very environmentally aware and teach you to do the same.
Besides the great experience of diving Maldives, you also get to use the stand-up paddleboards for free during your stay or relax in the onboard spa. You can also take in more than just the Indian Ocean since the itinerary also offers land excursions so you can soak up some local culture.
- Includes activities besides diving
- Small group, also during dives
- Freediving available
- Onboard spa
- Wi-Fi comes at extra charge
- No twin rooms
3. Designed for Diving: Nautilus Two
Another beautiful Maldives liveaboard that is perfect for experienced divers is the Nautilus Two with a dedicated diving dhoni called Dheeriya. This is the best option for those that love an adventure so the crew recommends scuba divers to have at least 40 logged dives before boarding this vessel.
This 8 days/7 nights itinerary takes you to the best dive spots in the Central Atolls, with pick-up and drop-off in the capital Male. Expect to see plenty wildlife species of the Maldives in this area which is also popular for night dives.
You get a true sense of the close relationship that this archipelago has with the Indian Ocean thanks to the interior featuring an old fishing dhoni as a buffet table and the serving of local food. However, vegetarians might feel limited in their food choices and should contact the team before booking.
- Dedicated diving dhoni
- Custom built for diving
- Water sport activities besides scuba diving available
- Limited options for special diets
- Triple rooms but only double occupancy available
4. Most Environmentally Aware: Eco Blue Liveaboard
A true scuba diver is aware of their impact on marine health and biodiversity so it is important to book a Maldives liveaboard diving trip that equally cares about the environment. The Eco Blue is an excellent example of this as they provide refill water bottles, reef safe toiletries, reef hooks, and don’t allow shark feeding.
They offer three different itineraries including 8 days/7 nights along with all the most popular spots around the Central Atolls but also the less-frequented North Atolls during a longer 11 days/10 nights trip and a full tour of the Maldives. Do note that availability is dependent on the dive seasons.
Guests were really pleased with how friendly the staff is making this a great social vacation. Some of the staff even provide live music to accompany you during drinks at night.
The onboard design is simpler compared to the many live aboard boats like the luxury vessels roaming around the Atolls but you are not missing out on comfort. The rooms are spacious and there are even upper deck cabins with large ocean-view windows available.
- Oceanview cabins available
- Family cabins available
- Different itineraries available
- Rooms are basic
- Dive sites can get crowded
5. Best for Charter: Sheena Liveaboard
Planning on a family reunion or have a big group of friends that all love to dive? Then consider booking the Sheena liveaboard as a charter and making use of all 7 cabins that fit 14 people in total.
There are two double bed cabins with ocean view windows on the upper deck and five cabins with bunk beds, perfect for friends wanting to share a room. There are also indoor and outdoor lounging spaces with four sundecks that are both shaded and unshaded.
The focus of Sheena is touring the Southern Atolls which are less crowded than the Central Atolls so you can expect more underwater space during your dives and a chance of seeing the famous sharks. Their mid-range packages offer 8 days/7 night tours that pass through Male and Filithyo.
The meals are served buffet style with the option for vegetarian dishes, as well. As is standard for Maldive liveaboards, the packages all include full-board options.
- Visits less crowded dive sites
- Designed for diving
- Includes land excursions
- Limited double rooms
- Bunk beds for twin rooms
6. Best for Nitrox Divers: Emperor Serenity
Nitrox is becoming increasingly popular among scuba divers. If nitrox has your preference then the Emperor Serenity is a smart choice for your Maldives liveaboards dive trip because the package includes free nitrox.
This vessel offers large spacious en-suite rooms that look like a hotel room rather than a boat cabin. There are several sundecks for soaking up the sunshine and an indoor lounge with a bar for friendly drinks at night.
This company only offers one kind of itinerary for 8 days/7 nights but it does take you to all the must-see dive spots in the Maldives. Even if you are not a diver, you can enjoy snorkeling with a guide or going on land excursions.
All rooms have large ocean view windows which bring in plenty of light. There is also an onboard spa if you want to get a massage for ultimate relaxation.
- Large airy rooms with big windows
- Family rooms available
- Free nitrox
- Includes airport transfer
- Limited itinerary choice
- Expensive alcoholic beverages besides the wine with dinner
7. Most Relaxing: Scubaspa Ying
Experience true comfort and relaxation on board the Scubaspa Ying – the name says it all. The staff on this large 50m liveaboard takes amazing care of you, including the expert spa therapists and yoga instructors, creating a vacation that feeds your soul.
However, you won’t forget that this is a scuba diving trip because there is a dedicated dive boat following the main yacht. Even here no luxury is spared because it is rated as 5-star PADI resort, a floating dive center.
There is always an exciting activity including stand up paddleboarding, kayaking, land excursions, yoga, and a beach barbecue. You can choose to squeeze this all in in a shorter 5 days/4 nights trip or go for the standard week aboard.
- Full-time spa therapist
- Daily yoga
- Shorter itineraries available
- Vegetarian and vegan-friendly
- Private dive guides are expensive
- Limited complimentary drinks
8. Worth-It Splurge: Azalea
If you feel a little squeezed in on a liveaboard then give yourself the joy of large spacious rooms and en-suite bathrooms aboard the Azalea. This fancy 36m yacht has 9 cabins, all with modern interior design and plenty of space for Maldive liveaboards.
The suite rooms have amazing large windows that give you the best views of the stunning environment. There are also plenty of lounge areas with both indoor and outdoor dining, television room, bar, sundeck, and a jacuzzi.
This vessel is recommended for both scuba divers and non-divers since you can make use of snorkeling gear and other fun activities like yoga, fishing, and kayaking. No matter your choice of activity, there is a naturalist guide on board to make sure that you leave the environment in pristine condition.
- Spa and yoga available
- Naturalist guide on board
- Amazing views from suites
- Only 2 double beds available
- Twin rooms don’t have a porthole
9. Best Cabins: Maldives Aggressor II
Since you will be spending more than a week on board, it is worth it finding a yacht that is comfortable and makes you feel right at home. The design of the Maldives Aggressor II ticks all the right boxes with gorgeous cabins that give you a true nautical feel.
Specially designed for divers, you will find a dive deck on board with storage lockers, a camera table with appropriate rinsing hoses, air/nitrox refill stations, and rinse tanks for your gear. Enjoy up to four incredible dives, every day, so you get to see all the amazing marine biodiversity like sweetlips, sharks, manta rays, and different fish species for a true Maldives liveaboard diving experience.
The full-board option gives a combination of both local cuisine and American fare, something for everyone’s taste buds. This includes wine with dinner and soft drinks all day.
- Designed for diving
- Great camera station
- Homey cabins
- No portholes in lower cabins
10. Best for Extra Activities: Blue Force One
If you set high standards for your liveaboard and want nothing but the best, the Blue Force One is a great choice for you. Besides visiting all the best dive spots, there is plenty of onboard entertainment for a truly fun vacation.
Examples of special activities are the disco room, supping, surfing, jet skis, and kayaking. The Blue Force One is the perfect combination of extravagance and active friendly fun.
This vessel still keeps the design modern and flamboyant with suite cabins – some en-suite bathrooms even feature a bath. Comfort is guaranteed with plush sofas, a 65-inch television room, sundecks, and two jacuzzis.
Surprisingly, you get all this excess for a still reasonable price making this well worth your money.
- Naturalist guide on board
- Lots of extra activities
- Friendly price for facilities
- Limited itinerary choice
- Most water activities cost extra