Diving in the Maldives is our passion

A dream Vacation? A diving Holiday? For this, the Maldives are ideal. No matter if diving or snorkelling – on one of our Maldives islands or on our safari ship MY Sheena you can expect diving holidays at their best.

And the Maldives is a dream-like destination par excellence. A must-do for diving and snorkelling. The islands in the Indian Ocean boast palm trees, white sandy beaches, peace and the gentle sound of the sea. So, what is the charm of the Maldives? What are you looking for in the Maldives? Can you tell me what the Maldives is all about? We will try to answer some of the most frequently asked questions in the following text.

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Even the landing approach to the Maldives is an experience that gives you an idea of all that awaits. Well, there it is, the picture postcard view over the island state. Small-sized islands in the middle of the Indian Ocean. Things are slower here and five minutes real time is an extensible term. This you will already notice at the airport. An international airport, which is indeed the International Airport, but in comparison to other airports it is quite small and clearly arranged. Situated right next to the capital Male, the airport island Hulhule is exactly where your dream holiday begins. You will be met by friendly Maldivians or tour guides who will send you in the right direction. On the left it goes to the transfer ships, on the right to the check-in counter of Trans Maldivian Airways and from there by bus directly to the Air Taxi Lounge and the water planes.

Looking at the turquoise water, it is bearable, and time is of no importance anymore. In a five-minute interval, the small planes take off, under the control of two pilots in shorts and flip-flops. This transfer flight to the island passes over the atolls, turquoise lagoons, sandy areas and small islands, inhabited or uninhabited, for tourists, or still indigenous.

You can already anticipate from the air what diving in the Maldives is all about. Channels, Thilas, Outer Reefs and House Reefs can be spotted from above. However, the biodiversity, the sharks, manta rays, whale sharks, the dolphins, that we often experience on the way to the dive sites and very often under water, the many shoals of fish and the beautiful coral landscapes of hard and soft corals you will only discover when you stick your head under water and descend.

Scuba diving in the Maldives is very comfortable. Drift dives or scooter dives at our fantastic reefs and thilas are a great adventure. Of course, Nitrox is free and not only recommendable for the Maldives. If you still do not have a Nitrox course, you can complete it with us at a reasonable price. The Maldives has been home to us for almost 30 years and diving in these parts is our passion.

Naturally, you can also learn diving with Werner Lau. Quite easily and relaxed at the house reef or in the lagoon, followed by a boat trip for beginners. We will take care of you and teach in small groups of a maximum of two students per instructor.

On which of the many Maldives islands shall I choose to spend my holidays?

First and foremost, the budget is important. The range includes 3-star islands as well as absolute luxury. Between them are numerous islands.

One more important point: Do I care about a house reef? You have to answer that question yourself. In most cases, divers want to have the possibility to make a third dive at the house reef. If you arrive with your partner or family, you are often more flexible with a house reef to spend time with your loved ones. Other are completely content with the boat trips offered.

We operate diving schools in the Maldives on several islands with different characteristics:

Filitheyo Island Resort, North-Nilandhe Atoll

Filitheyo is a medium-sized island with beautiful palm trees and an amazing house reef. It is situated south of Male and can only be reached by seaplane. Price range: reasonable 4-stars.

Bathala Island Resort, North-Ari Atoll

Bathala is a charming small Maldives island with some of the most beautiful house reefs around and with a very homely atmosphere. Situated west of Male, the island can be reached both by waterplane and speedboat. Price range: 3 stars plus

Hondaafushi Island Resort, Haa-Dhaalu Atoll

Hondaafushi is a big, but also very natural and almost undeveloped island at the very top of the northern Maldives. The house reef is accessible via a footbridge. The surrounding dive sites, however, still have an expedition character, and are worth mentioning. Price Range: currently still low priced 4 stars.

Medhufushi Island Resort, Meemu Atoll

Medhufushi is a long 4.5 star island with a very international audience and really great dive sites but without a house reef. Therefore there is a big lagoon for swimmers and water sports enthusiasts.

And of course, there are the ultimate luxury islands. In this case, other portals are sure to help. Most of our guests find a wonderful reef on the island to be much more important than an imposing private pool in front of their own water villa.

And what is the weather like in the Maldives in a certain month?

The weather is determined by the north-east monsoon (“dry season” from mid-December to mid-May) and the south-west monsoon (“rainy season” from mid-May to mid-December). Obviously, it’s not that simple. Climate change has also left its imprint on the Maldives and there is no longer a “real” rainy season. Nowadays, the island state is a year-round holiday destination. In fact, when it rains, it usually rains in the evening. Predictions of the months in which most rain falls have not been possible for years.

Which season are the best in the Maldives and when is the best visibility?

This question is a very straightforward one. The monsoon plays the leading role again, not the time of year. During the north-eastern monsoon, the fresh and clear water is on the eastern side of the atolls, and the main sea current is inflowing. Then, the visibility is particularly good, and much larger fish can be observed. The plankton-rich water on the western side of the atolls provides manta and whale shark sightings. There are so-called cleaning stations in every atoll, which are well known to dive centres and safari boats. During the south-west monsoon, it’s the other way around. This answers the next question ” Where and when can I spot manta rays?  

Filitheyo Wreck - Michael Putigny

Which water temperatures await me in the Maldives and do I need a wetsuit?

The year-round temperature is between 28° and 30° in any water depth. You are well suited with a rush guard or a 3 mm shorty. Only truly temperature-sensitive divers should pack a thicker wetsuit. 5 mmm is the absolute upper limit.

How to dive in the Maldives?

There are various possibilities.

As mentioned above, there are the house reefs in the Maldives, which enable independent diving with your dive buddy and which are not bound to fixed times. We also recommend night dives and early morning dives. The house-reefs of Bathala, Filitheyo and Hondaafushi offer all prerequisites and an additional shuttle service for a very comfortable access to the house-reef.

Diving from the boat, the Maldivian “Dhonies”.

At the Werner Lau dive centres, we offer daily single dives or two-tank dives to the dive sites of the surrounding area, with sailing times from 5 minutes to 1 hour. The departures are between 09.00 and 14.30, so it’s quite comfortable.

Of course, special dive sites, e.g. manta points and whale shark spots, are also approached if the journey takes more than one hour. These are the so-called day trips, which always include a generous surface interval with lunch in addition to two dives.

Jonas Gruhlke

Liveaboard Tours – with us at MY Sheena

This is where all guests live on the safari ships and travel to various locations to offer the highlights of each region. Depending on the season we tour e.g. in the south of the Maldives or take advantage of the manta season in the Male and Ari Atoll. Most of the dives are three a day and take place from the Dhoni. These dives are often a bit more demanding. That is why we recommend a minimum of 60 logged dives!

Is it possible to dive in the Maldives as a novice diver?

Absolutely YES! The Maldives offer the whole range of current rich channels and Thilas with lots of big fish to gently sloping lagoons without any current. We have therefore labelled our boats and offer separate dive boats at the Werner Lau Dive Bases for beginners and divers, who prefer to take it easy, and who call at the calmer reefs. This way everyone can enjoy the underwater world without hectic and stress.

If you enjoy diving with the current and would like to experience challenging dives, you will get your money’s worth with us on the appropriate boats.

Is it possible to learn diving in the Maldives?

Of course, you can learn to dive in the Maldives. In fact, learning to dive in the Maldives is straightforward. The advantages of diving with us are that you learn to dive in small groups in warm water in 3 to 4 days without stress and you already get to see a lot. Anyone who wants to can even learn the theory in advance at home online.

If you completed the beginner diving course Open Water Diver with us, you will go home with an internationally recognized certificate and are therefore welcome at any diving centre in the world. We offer either PADI or SSI training. The two certificates are equivalent.

But what about insurance for your trip to the Maldives? What about medical care in case of a diving accident and do I need a Recreational Scuba Diver’s Physical Examination medical certificate?

There are various international providers (e.g. DAN, AquaMed, DiveAssure, VDST). We advise the use of such insurance, as the necessary treatments are usually not covered by the customary travel insurance. Both the diving centres and the diving instructors are of course fully insured.

In the Maldives, care in the event of a diving accident is very well organised. Several decompression chambers (e.g. in Bandos) are well equipped and has excellent doctors. But the transport by seaplane and the subsequent “journeys” in the decoration chamber is very expensive. For this reason, it is strongly recommended to take out diving accident insurance. For emergency care, our dive boats and bases are equipped with oxygen, emergency radio and first aid kits. Our staff is regularly trained and knows exactly what to do and when. Thankfully, we hardly ever experience real diving accidents.

A physical examination by a diving doctor is always recommended for participation in diving courses or subsequent dives, however, in the Maldives, it is only required by law if one or more questions in the medical questionnaire are answered with a “yes”. For your own interest, however, we recommend that you have a medical examination and a certificate issued before your trip.

Alexander Kassler

Do you recommend to book diving packages or diving courses in advance?

Pre-bookings for diving packages or diving courses are, depending on the dollar exchange rate, usually about 20% cheaper than on location. You can pre-book not all, but your most important activities.

And finally, a few technical comments about reefs of the Maldives:

There are almost 1200 islands in the Maldives, spread over more than 1000 km above and below the EQUATOR and split into 26 Atolls. These ring-shaped reefs, which are about 30 km wide and 90 km long on average, are called atolls. These atolls, which are crossed at the edges of channels, the so-called “Kandus”, form the Maldives as a whole.

In the channels (Kandus), small reefs can rise. They call them Thilas. They are usually between 60 meters long and 30 meters wide and do not reach more than 5- 15 meters below the water surface.

Slightly larger reefs within the atolls, which reach to the water surface or just below, are called Giris. Mostly, they have little current, unlike the Thilas in the channels.

Farus are the long reefs that reach to the surface. They form the external borders of the atolls and the channels to the inside.

Günther Schindlmaier

Our Diving Centers in the Maldives: