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Dive Review of MV Orion in
Maldives/Southern Maldives

MV Orion, Mar, 2014,

by robert kopki, VA, US (Sr. Reviewer Sr. Reviewer 7 reports with 1 Helpful vote). Report 7580.

No photos available at this time

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 4 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 2 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments We went on the "Deep South, Southern sharks" nine day, one way
itinerary, in mid March 2014. This required taking a flight back to Male after disembarking the MV Orion.

Accommodations were good, although there was a re-occurring odor
of mildew in our cabin, despite the fact that I requested that they do something about it. The Orion is a very large boat and there was plenty of room for the 24 guests onboard. Diving was done from a Dhoni,as is the case for all liveaboards in the Maldives. The Dhoni was well equipped & the Dhoni crew were very helpful & attentive. There were 23 divers, and they were split into 4 groups, each with a divemaster. Dive briefings were thorough and good.

The food onboard was average to OK, and plenty of it. The boat had a pay bar onboard, which was a nice spot to get together at night.

The diving ranged from ok to excellent. The goal of the itinerary was to see sharks, so we spent a lot of time doing deep channel dives
in fairly strong currents. This itinerary was not for novice divers.
The MV Orion has several other itineraries that are probably better suited for novices. On some of the channel dives we only saw a few sharks, on others we saw 30+ sharks. That's the nature of diving, hit and miss. After several channel dives & seeing plenty of reef & white tip sharks, my son & I wanted a change of scenery, so we came up early from the channel and did some 30 ft reef diving, which was OK with our DM, as long as we advised him what we were doing. The reefs ranged from very nice to incredible, particularly in the Gaafu Alifu Atoll
area which was as far South as we went. In the G.A. Atoll, the diving was pretty incredible. The channels were loaded with sharks, and the reefs were fantastic. Some divers saw 6 sailfish while diving, others saw a large pod of dolphins while diving, and we saw a leopard shark, which was a treat for me. We saw 7 turtles on one of our reef excursions. I would like to spend 9 days down there. On some of the channel dives in the South we saw schools of snappers, fusiliers & jacks that had to be several hundred fish each. The place was loaded with fish.

Overall, it was a very good trip, & I would go back to the Maldives for another trip ( it would be our 5th). Of course, it's a very long trip from the US East coast, but well worth it. There aren't many places left on earth with the numbers of fish in the Maldives.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving palau, Yap, Indonesia, Maldives, Mexico, Hawaii, all over the Caribbean
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas choppy
Water Temp 80-82°F / 27-28°C Wetsuit Thickness 1
Water Visibility 60-80 Ft/ 18-24 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions 110 ft max depth
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas 1 or 2
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks 1 or 2
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish 4 stars
Large Pelagics 5 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Camera Table & camera wash bins on diving vessel.
Plenty of electrical charging stations on mother ship.
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Subscriber's Comments

By report author: robert kopki in VA, US at May 07, 2014 20:18 EST  
We boarded the MV Orion in Male & disembarked in Kooddoo. Yes, the diving around Kooddoo was extraordinary, among of the best I've seen anywhere & that includes Palau, the Sea of Cortez, & Indonesia. We've also done 4 roundtrip liveaboards in the Maldives, all on the Aggressor, and those trips were good too. We live on the East Coast of the USA. We've found that the easiest way to do it is thru London. We fly direct to London & then take the direct BA flight from London to Male....only 2 (but long) flights. Whenever possible, we overnight in London & have a good meal, so we arrive in Male rested. You can get the prices for any cruise option on the MV Orion on
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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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