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

Maldives Scuba Tours/Sea Queen liveaboard, Jul, 2009,

by Shawn Nelson, MN, USA ( 2 reports). Report 5144.

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

Weather sunny Seas currents
Water Temp 80 to 82 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 60 to 100 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Dive your own profile
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas Squadrons
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 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 N/A
UW Photo Comments 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):

Accommodations 5 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling 4 stars
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments Maldives Scuba Tours - Sea Queen - www.scubascuba.com

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 anything.

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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