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Dive Review of Ark Royal Dive Yacht and Spa in

August, 2011, an Instant Reader Report by John Sommerer, MD, US
Sr. Reviewer   (10 reports, with 1 Helpful vote)
Report Number 6840
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
501-1000 dives
Where else diving
Carribean, Galapagos, Costa Rica, Revillagigedos, Rapanui, Micronesia,
Polynesia, Melanisia Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, rainy  
calm, currents, no currents  
Water Temp
80   to 82    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
15   to 80    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
> 2 
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  1 stars
Tropical Fish
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Small Critters
  For Subscribers Only
Large Fish
For Subscribers Only  
Large Pelagics
  For Subscribers Only
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
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Boat Facilities
2 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
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Shore Facilities  
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Limited space on the boat. Not a big problem this trip, since many people
did not have cameras. ...
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Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
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2 stars
Service and Attitude
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Environmental Sensitivity  
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Dive Operation
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Shore Diving  
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Overall Rating

Value for $$
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2 stars   
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We had never been to the Maldives, but on learning about Hanifaru Bay,
arranged this trip, on this boat, specifically for that experience. Big
mistake. The Hanifaru Bay experience publicized through National
Geographic, with massive numbers of mantas and multiple whale sharks, is
apparently very rare, and the area is totally oversubscribed. Literally
dozens of dive boats were anchored all the time in the surrounding waters.
More recently, they are apparently trying to limit numbers, but I think
it's a big risk to go there. The nearby dive sites are pretty awful,
compared to others in the Maldives, so if Hanifaru doesn't pan out, you
will have a pretty limited experience, after a long and expensive trip. We
actually had one remarkable, multi-hour whale shark encounter, plus a few
mantas in formation, at Hanifaru Bay, but only due to a sharp-eyed crew
member spotting the shark coming in, and getting us in the water at the
right place, way before the other yachts caught on. We later had multiple
whale sharks at the South end of Ari Atoll, where the overall diving was
much more interesting, so Hanifaru just wasn't ...
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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