2 places left | 2-9 April 2017
MALDIVES OVERVIEWIf you love the sea, The Maldives is probably on your bucket list. If it’s not, it should be. With a relaxed atmosphere, year-round warm water and a kaleidoscope of marine life, in The Maldives you will find yourself swimming over teeming coral reefs, floating over schools of fish, mingling with mantas and soaring with rays. If you’re lucky, you may even bump into a pod of playful dolphins.
ABOUT EMPEROR VIRGOThis tour has been designed as a live-aboard to give us the best possible access to The Maldive’s incredible atolls. Your home for the week will be the impressive MV Emperor Virgo. At 32m length, you will have plenty of space to rest, relax and socialise. All cabins are ensuite with towels, shampoo, shower gel a DVD player and air conditioning. Upper deck cabins have large windows giving amazing views to the ocean and islands beyond. Decorated in light wood and contemporary style, the main deck has a large saloon with comfy sofas. The bar is fully licensed so you can enjoy your favourite tipple as the sun dips below the horizon. The upper deck has loungers for sun bathing, kicking back or sunrise yoga. Click on the ‘accommodation’ take for more information.
- Duration: 8 days / 7 nights (arrive and depart on the Sunday)
- Sea temperature: approx. 28oC – 32oC
- Daily swimming distance: 1.5km, building up to 4km towards the end of the week (tailored to the ability of each individual)
- Swimming ability: confident swimming in open water
- Are non-swimmers welcome? Yes, Virgo is a beautiful live aboard and non-swimming guests can enjoy relaxing and soaking up this incredible part of the world too.
- Accommodation on the liveaboard MV Emperor Virgo
- Full swimming itinerary
- One-to-one swim coaching and video analysis
- All meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) – BBQ dinners on local island as per schedule (weather allowing)
- Afternoon snacks
- Unlimited drinking water, tea and coffee
- Safety boats
- Swim guides
- Snorkling equipment
- Swim feeds and wet boat refreshments
- Transfers to and from Male airport
- Government taxes and bed tax
WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED?
- Travel to and from Male airport
- On board extras
- Purchase of any alcohol / soft drinks
- Single room supplement (if you wish to stay in a room of your own - see ‘accommodation’ tab)
SINGLE SUPPLEMENTS / CABIN UPGRADESIf you wish to book your own, private cabin, cabins for sole use are charged at the normal rate + 80%. Children aged 10 or under sharing with 2 x adults in the family cabin are charged at 50%. Otherwise, bookings are based on a share basis. Rooms are priced as below: Lower deck room share £1,989pp Main deck room share £2,109pp Upper deck room share £2,139pp
SWIMQUEST LIVEABOARD - MV EMPEROR VIRGOThis tour has been designed as a live-aboard to give us the best possible access to The Maldive’s incredible atolls. Your home for the week will be the impressive MV Emperor Virgo. At 32m length, you will have plenty of space to rest, relax and socialise. All cabins are ensuite with towels, shampoo, shower gel a DVD player and air conditioning. Upper deck cabins have large windows giving amazing views to the ocean and islands beyond. Decorated in light wood and contemporary style, the main deck has a large saloon with comfy sofas. The bar is fully licensed so you can enjoy your favourite tipple as the sun dips below the horizon. The upper deck has loungers for sun bathing, kicking back or sunrise yoga. Click on the ‘accommodation’ tab for more information.
SINGLE SUPPLEMENTS / CABIN UPGRADESIf you wish to book your own, private cabin, cabins for sole use are charged at the normal rate + 80%. Children aged 10 or under sharing with 2 x adults in the family cabin are charged at 50%. Otherwise, bookings are based on a share basis. Rooms are priced as below: Lower deck room share £1,989pp Main deck room share £2,109pp Upper deck room share £2,139pp Get a better idea of what MV Virgo is like by watching this video from our Maldives colleagues (yes, we know, we will be swimming - not diving!)
THE SWIMMINGN.B. There are two planned swims per day based on how you progress during the week. Please realise that what we have detailed below is only a rough guide to the week and that we will adapt the week carefully for each individual and the prevailing weather. All swim activities are planned with safety as the paramount concern. Open water swimming is always governed by tides and weather; so planned swims may need to be changed, depending on the prevailing weather conditions at the time. Swim guides will advise you each day on what is best for you.
Please remember:Swim distances are adaptable and because of our extensive boat cover we can deal with all abilities on this tour, whether you would like to swim 5m or 5km!
Our representative will meet you in the arrivals area of Male International Airport. A dhoni boat will then pick you up and transfer you to MV Emperor Virgo, where we assemble in the ship’s lounge for the safety briefing.
mondayIn the morning, the Ships anchor will be lifted and Emperor Virgo will cruise south from North Male Atoll, crossing the short “Vadoo Kandu” channel down to Gulhi in South Male Atoll. After breakfast, we will start with an easy swim within and around a large lagoon reef. Whilst you kick back and enjoy lunch, Emperor Virgo will venture further South to Vaavu Atoll. In the afternoon we will attempt a lagoon-to-lagoon swim.
In the evening we will finish off the day watching the nurse sharks, stingrays and giant treveally under the famous Alimatha Resort Jetty.
In the morning, Emperor Virgo will venture further South into Vaavu Atoll to the famous Fotteyo Kandu. Today we will swim and motor around one of the longest reefs in the Maldives, from Fotteyo Kandu, past the island of Fotteyo and around to Rakeedhoo. After breakfast, we will swim from Fotteyo Kandu to Fotteyo Island. This reef is approximately 24 Nautical Miles (45 km) when navigated inside the Atoll, so we will motor over lunch to make up the ground. The afternoon swim is really up to you to challenge yourself, as Emperor Virgo, its dhingy and its dhoni will be following you ready for you to signal you are ready for a pick up at anytime. After dinner if you have energy left, feel free to join in with the crew for a spot of night fishing around Rakeedhoo.
In the morning Emperor Virgo will venture further South from Rakeedhoo Kandu in Vaavu Atoll to the small Atoll of Vattaru. This morning we will swim from south to north of Vattaru Atoll. Whilst you are having lunch, Emperor Virgo will take us to the Northern Tip of Meemu Atoll. After lunch, we will swim across two of the northern channels of Meemu Atoll, surrounding Dhiggaru Island. In the evening, sit back and enjoy a sundowner while reviewing your technique with our swim guides.
thursdayThis morning after breakfast we will swim in a different section of North Meemu Atoll. After lunch we cross back north to Vaavu Atoll’s Western edge for a relaxing swim or time relaxing on one of the many uninhabited islands or sandbanks. Enjoy the sunset with a drink, and dine the night away with a desert island BBQ dinner.
fridayTwo swims on the western side of Vaavu Atoll are the order of the day. In the morning we will swim on the outside of the atoll, followed by a more relaxing swim in the afternoon in a large lagoon inside the atoll.
This morning Emperor Virgo will venture further north back to South Male Atoll. Today we will swim the lagoons of the west coast of South Male Atoll, from Rannalhi Island resort up to Vittaveli Island Resort. In the afternoon, Emperor Virgo will cruise back to North Male Atoll, where you will have the chance to get off and explore the capital island of Male, returning to enjoy your final dinner and night onboard.
One final breakfast on board before saying goodbye to the crew, and a short dhoni ride back to Male International Airport for your flights home or transfers onto other resorts.
Maldivian Terms: kandu = channel, dhoni = traditional shaped boat used for Fishing, diving and general transportation.
FLY TO MALEGuest are advised to fly to Male airport. Guests arriving at Male Airport on the check-in day (Sunday) will be met by a representative, wearing an Emperor Maldives T-shirt and holding an Emperor Maldives sign. The meeting point is beside the Help Desk. Information about Male Airport: If you do have to wait for one of the transfers on arrival then the airport is reasonably comfortable and has a shop for local SIM cards, a post office, money changer, and a few decent coffee shops / restaurants Inc. Thai Express, Burger King and a New Noodle. On departure you could use the airport hotel 24hr aircon coffee shop with Wi-Fi in the reception area.
TRANSFERS TO THE LIVEABOARDTransfers to and from the liveaboard: Transfers from the airport to the boat run at 11:00, 16:00 and 22.30 and are free of charge. A light sandwich style snack will be provided for lunch on transfer day. Please contact us to discuss options if your flight is either very early or later than the transfer times shown as we may be able to arrange an extra transfer for €5 EUR per person paid locally. If you are already in the Maldives you should make your way to the airport for the 16:00 transfer. The boat moors near Male and departs early on the morning following the check-in day.
CHECK OUTCheck out is at 07:00 and 09:00 on the last day of the cruise. Guests will be in the airport by 07:30 and 09:30 accordingly. For guests continuing their holiday in the Maldives at a resort, hotel or another liveaboard, your on-going transfers need to be arranged by you from the airport. We will not be able to arrange direct transfers from the liveaboard to resorts.
What do I pack?
- At least 2 x swimming costumes
- Lightweight skin suit or rash vest for sun protection (optional)
- 2 x pairs of swim goggles – one clear and one tinted
- Beach towel(s)
- Small daypack/rucksack to use for your personal equipment/clothing during the day (although you will receive a SwimQuest dry bag)
- Sandals / aqua shoes / flipflops – for getting wet
- Suitable walking shoes
- Insect repellent (lemon based non-deet repellents are good)
- Fleece or warm jumper
- Sun hat, sun cream and glasses
- Ear plugs
- USB stick for photos / videos (optional)
- Waterproof watch (optional)
- Training fins (optional)
- Insurance details (you will need to show these to your guides at the safety briefing) N.B. Evenings – there is no formal dress order on board, but we would appreciate smart casual clothing for dinner
READY TO BOOK?We're excited about meeting you in The Maldives! To book your swimming holiday, simply fill in the booking form below. Once you have submitted the form, Charlotte (our bookings co-ordinator) will be in touch to request payment and to help you with any additional requirements. A deposit of 30% is required to secure your place, and the final payment is due 8 weeks prior to departure. Payments can be made by debit / credit card, by cheque, or by bank transfer. SwimQuest is a proud member of the Travel Trust Association, the only travel network in the UK to guarantee 100% financial protection to the consumer, ensuring total consumer confidence.