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Dive Review of Maldives Scuba Tours/Sea Queen liveaboard in
Maldives/Huvadhoo Atoll

July, 2009, an Instant Reader Report by Shawn Nelson, MN, USA (2 reports)
Report Number 5144
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
101-250 dives
Where else diving
Cozumel, Roatan, Dominica, Palau, Cocos Island, Maui, Grand Turk,
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

Water Temp
80   to 82    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
60   to 100    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Dive your own profile  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  4 stars
Tropical Fish
3 stars  
Small Critters
  3 stars
Large Fish
5 stars  
Large Pelagics
  5 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
4 stars  
Boat Facilities
3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
3 stars  
Shore Facilities  
There was large area in the back of the salon for cameras. We had many
photographers and 2 professional videographers with huge set-ups and there
was plenty of room. A dedicated rinse tub was available on both the support
boat and live aboard.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
5 stars
5 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
5 stars
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
4 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars    
3 stars   
5 stars    
Maldives Scuba Tours - Sea Queen -

We loved our trip to the Maldives. The journey was long but well worth it.
There are several ways to get there but we chose to go to London first and
then on to Male because at the time of booking the flights were somewhat
cheaper than going the other direction around the world and the flight
times were comparable. This dive operation (Maldives Scuba Tours) came
highly recommended (the best in the Maldives) by some friends from the UK.
While we took their word for it, we were not disappointed. Maldives Scuba
Tours were excellent to work with. They very promptly answered any
questions I had and were quick to set everything up for us to ensure a
great experience. The yacht (Sea Queen) is probably not as luxurious as
other's in the area but the crew (all locals), dive masters (husband/wife
from the UK) and food were awesome. The cost of booking this great live
aboard was significantly less than other's too and we were there for the
diving not the plush rooms.  All dives are done from a large well thought
out support boat with giant stride entries. The layout of the yacht was
similar to other's that we've been on with a comfortable salon for dining
(although most meals were under a canopy in the bow of the boat), relaxing
and dive briefings. The rooms and head were plenty large and comfortable
for our needs. Even though our rooms were fine, Jackie and I chose to sleep
under the stars several nights on the huge top sundeck. The air temp was
perfect, the water was like glass, and there were no bugs to bother us. One
morning we were awakened at dawn by a large pod of dolphins that stayed
around to play for a while. There is room for 12 guests but we had only 10
(from Finland, UK, and US) on this trip. 

The dive masters Dave and Lisa work great together.  They are very
professional.  They made the trip fun with their upbeat and enthusiastic
attitudes.  They are personal with guests in making the trip special and
memorable.  Safety comes firstand then they allow you to dive your own
profile.  Dave plays a mean guitar and sings as well. They both went out on
every dive with us and you could tell they loved their jobs. The briefings
were always conducted by Lisa and were very thorough. There are not a lot
of little creatures to point out but they made sure we didn't miss

We chose the Huvadhoo atoll (Southern most atoll of the Maldives) trip for
our vacation which offered some very unique diving in the area. This
itinerary is not dived very much (the dive masters told us this area has
been dived less than 1000 times). We were the only divers in this area the
entire week. Because of it's location we had to take a small airplane from
Male to get here. This was no normal puddle jumper but a very nice plane.
We even received certificates to commemorate passing over the equator.
Because of the timing of our flights we needed to stay overnight in the
Maldives before and after our live aboard trip. This was not cheap but was
extremely enjoyable. We stayed at the Bandos resort which encompasses the
entire Bandos island. The rooms were just steps from the beach and were
awesome. This really helped with jet lag and the snorkeling in front of our
room was the best we've ever experienced anywhere in the world. 

We fortunately had great weather during our stay but this time of year is
hit or miss. The diving was almost everything we hoped it would be. By
'almost' I mean we didn't see any whale sharks - maybe next time. The first
dive was with 5 Mantas at a cleaning station at 100+' and was magical -
setting the bar for the rest of the dives here. Sharks, rays and turtles
were abundant. On one dive 4 dolphins played around with us during our
surface interval. The reefs were very healthy and colorful. Reef hooks are
necessary here. Almost all dives had some serious current - more so than
we've ever experienced (that includes Palau and Cocos Island) but as long
as you're hooked on or going with the 'flow' it wasn't a problem. Taking
photos was sometimes a challenge. The quantity of dives is less in the
Maldives than any other live aboard we've been on but because of their
depth and time we were not disappointed. There was just one night dive.
Nitrox was recommended and used on most dives. We were also given several
chances to visit nearby uninhabited islands.
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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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