Stride climate

Trip Type : N/A
Marine Wildlife of the Maldives tour
Nature & Wildlife Wildlife viewing Marine Wildlife of the Maldives package

Marine Wildlife of the Maldives

Exodus Travels Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
4.6 . Excellent
99%
Travel Style: N/A
Physical Level: Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
Lodging Level: Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
8 days
From: $ 3,099 $ 387 / day
Checking price

Overview

Highlights

  • Spend 6 nights on a gulet in the Maldives
  • Discover unspoilt islands, pristine beaches and idyllic atolls
  • Snorkel with Whale sharks, sea turtles, a variety of marine life and Manta rays (in season)

Short Description

Awake to the sun rising over the azure ocean, snorkel areas of stunning beauty and abundant marine life including Manta rays, Whale sharks, Green, Hawksbill and Olive Ridley turtles as well as Bottlenose and Spinner dolphins. Visit unspoiled islands by day and by night relax on deck gazing at the millions of stars above you. A traditionally crafted Turkish Gulet complete with sails is the perfect way to experience the magic of the Maldives.Spectacular marine wildlife including Whale sharks and Manta rays 

Trip Type N/A
See all the highlights and popular spots on a classic tour.
Itinerary Focus Classic Highlights
Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels.
Lodging Level Value - 3 star
Flights & Transport Only ground transport
Start City Male International Airport
End City Male International Airport

Destinations

Maldives

Cities & Attractions

N/A

Activities

Wildlife viewing

Age Requirement

18

No Single Supplement
See more

Trip Includes

  • All food included whilst on board
  • All accommodation
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)

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Itinerary

Flight Inclusive

Day 1 Depart London

Depart London

Day 2 Arrive Male; board our boat, the Felicity; cruise through South Male Atoll

Following the arrival of the group flight and a short introductory briefing, we will transfer by dhoni to board by midday the MV Felicity, our home for the next 6 days, arriving in time for a light lunch.Today we cruise south to Guraidhoo in South Male Atoll. During this time you are able to do as you please, relax on the sundeck, sit in the shade of the sun canopy and watch the beauty of the Maldives pass you by and maybe catch sight of dolphins. Our crew will try to find an opportunity for you to have your first snorkelling excursion this afternoon. If the islands of the Maldives are beautiful, what lies under the water is a veritable wonder of nature. The reefs that encircle the islands and the Atolls are just as abundant in their variety of coral as the marine creatures that live in and around them. This coupled with the amazingly clear water, make snorkeling and diving in the Maldives a unique experience that you will not forget. *MV Felicity*

Day 3 Turtle snorkelling safari in South Male Atoll; cross into Ari Atoll

This morning our first stop will be a reef located on the east side of the atoll which offers the strong possibility of a number of turtle sightings. The reef is shallow but dense with corals which provide turtles with an abundant food source. As with all Maldivian reefs there will also be plenty of fish to observe including Box fish, Porcupine fish and schools of Banner fish. The remainder of the day we will cross into Ari Atoll and head south towards the island of Dhangethi. Dependent on the sailing conditions if there is time there, will be the opportunity this afternoon to take a further snorkel trip before making a visit to the local island of Dhangethi where we will take a traditional Maldivian afternoon tea. Dhangethi is a typical Maldivian fishing island with an interesting story to tell concerning the moon and a Maldives Sultan! *MV Felicity*

Day 4 Full Day Whale shark safari with the Maldives Whale Shark Research Programme (MWSRP)

The region of South Ari Atoll is very lucky to have a unique year-round population of Whale sharks. Nowhere else in the world boasts Whale sharks every single month of the year and furthermore many of the sharks seen are the same individuals time after time. We spend time with a representative of the Maldives Whale shark Research Team or a local marine biologist to learn about these magnificent creatures and how identification can be made before heading out on our own Whale shark safari. We may see 1 or 2 Whale sharks in half an hour or given that they are wild creatures in their natural habitat we may not encounter one for the whole time we are searching. However the unpredictability all adds to the excitement! If we do spot them we will have the opportunity to snorkel alongside them, a truly magical experience. Whale sharks can, at times, swim very quickly – so you may need to work hard to keep up with them in the water! *MV Felicity*

Day 5 Morning Whale shark safari; afternoon snorkelling in South Ari Atoll

Today we go in search of Whale sharks once more and if the time of year is right (December – March) we may also encounter Manta rays. Following lunch we will be taken to one of the best snorkelling sites in this area where we may be fortunate to encounter turtles amongst the colourful corals and fish. The water conditions and currents play an important role in the choice of snorkel sites. However, it is likely that fish species such as Dogtooth tuna, Trevally's, Jacks, Sweetlips, Butterfly fish, Wahoo and Fusiliers will be encountered. When not in the water, the day is one for relaxation on board MV Felicity. *MV Felicity*

Day 6 Morning Manta ray snorkelling (in season); afternoon cruise back into South Male Atoll

On departures between February and April we will cruise to Madivaru, a marine protected area with two cleaning stations where we hope to encounter Manta rays. With a radio network between dive and cruising vessels, our guide and crew will do their best to encounter Manta rays but should we not be lucky enough, further snorkelling opportunities to encounter sharks, turtles, eels, octopus and rays will be offered. Out of season it is still possible to encounter solitary Manta rays and we will also make the most of a final opportunity to encounter Whale sharks. Qualified divers are offered the optional opportunity to dive within this marine protected area which boasts a number of exciting dive sites (see money section for prices of the optional diving). For those who have not dived before a Discover Scuba Diving Course is offered to learn the basic safety guidelines and skills needed to dive under the direct supervision of a PADI professional. Those who choose not to dive will be able to snorkel in this protected marine area. This afternoon we start our cruise northwards. *MV Felicity*

Day 7 Cruise back to Male

Cruise north before we anchor in the lagoon off the island of Hulhumale in the late afternoon. This morning there will be a final chance to snorkel these tropical waters and whilst cruising we can do as we please: relax on the sundeck, sit in the shade of the sun canopy, read a book or just watch the beauty of the Maldives pass by. Once anchored in Hulhumale lagoon there will be an optional Male city walking tour available for those who would like to stretch their legs! This evening a presentation provides an overview of the Maldives marine environment and the work being undertaken by local NGO's to protect it for the future. *MV Felicity*

Day 8 Disembark boat and transfer to the airport; fly to London

After a light breakfast, all clients are transferred this morning back to Male International Airport in time for the group flight clients to check in for their flight back to the UK. 



Land Only

Day 1 Start Male International Airport; board our boat, the Felicity; cruise through South Male Atoll

Following the arrival of the group flight and a short introductory briefing, we will transfer by dhoni to board by midday the MV Felicity, our home for the next 6 days, arriving in time for a light lunch. Today we cruise south to Guraidhoo in South Male Atoll. During this time you are able to do as you please, relax on the sundeck, sit in the shade of the sun canopy and watch the beauty of the Maldives pass you by and maybe catch sight of dolphins. Our crew will try to find an opportunity for you to have your first snorkelling excursion this afternoon. If the islands of the Maldives are beautiful, what lies under the water is a veritable wonder of nature. The reefs that encircle the islands and the Atolls are just as abundant in their variety of coral as the marine creatures that live in and around them. This coupled with the amazingly clear water, make snorkeling and diving in the Maldives a unique experience that you will not forget. *MV Felicity*

Day 2 Turtle snorkelling safari in South Male Atoll; cross into Ari Atoll

This morning our first stop will be a reef located on the east side of the atoll which offers the strong possibility of a number of turtle sightings. The reef is shallow but dense with corals which provide turtles with an abundant food source. As with all Maldivian reefs there will also be plenty of fish to observe including Box fish, Porcupine fish and schools of Banner fish. The remainder of the day we will cross into Ari Atoll and head south towards the island of Dhangethi. Dependent on the sailing conditions if there is time there, will be the opportunity this afternoon to take a further snorkel trip before making a visit to the local island of Dhangethi where we will take a traditional Maldivian afternoon tea. Dhangethi is a typical Maldivian fishing island with an interesting story to tell concerning the moon and a Maldives Sultan! *MV Felicity*

Day 3 Full Day Whale shark safari with the Maldives Whale Shark Research Programme (MWSRP)

The region of South Ari Atoll is very lucky to have a unique year-round population of Whale sharks. Nowhere else in the world boasts Whale sharks every single month of the year and furthermore many of the sharks seen are the same individuals time after time. We spend time with a representative of the Maldives Whale shark Research Team or a local marine biologist to learn about these magnificent creatures and how identification can be made before heading out on our own Whale shark safari. We may see 1 or 2 Whale sharks in half an hour or given that they are wild creatures in their natural habitat we may not encounter one for the whole time we are searching. However the unpredictability all adds to the excitement! If we do spot them we will have the opportunity to snorkel alongside them, a truly magical experience. Whale sharks can, at times, swim very quickly – so you may need to work hard to keep up with them in the water! *MV Felicity*

Day 4 Morning Whale shark safari; afternoon snorkelling in South Ari Atoll

Today we go in search of Whale sharks once more and if the time of year is right (December – March) we may also encounter Manta rays. Following lunch we will be taken to one of the best snorkelling sites in this area where we may be fortunate to encounter turtles amongst the colourful corals and fish. The water conditions and currents play an important role in the choice of snorkel sites. However, it is likely that fish species such as Dogtooth tuna, Trevally's, Jacks, Sweetlips, Butterfly fish, Wahoo and Fusiliers will be encountered. When not in the water, the day is one for relaxation on board MV Felicity. *MV Felicity*

Day 5 Morning Manta ray snorkelling (in season); afternoon cruise back into South Male Atoll

On departures between February and April we will cruise to Madivaru, a marine protected area with two cleaning stations where we hope to encounter Manta rays. With a radio network between dive and cruising vessels, our guide and crew will do their best to encounter Manta rays but should we not be lucky enough, further snorkelling opportunities to encounter sharks, turtles, eels, octopus and rays will be offered. Out of season it is still possible to encounter solitary Manta rays and we will also make the most of a final opportunity to encounter Whale sharks. Qualified divers are offered the optional opportunity to dive within this marine protected area which boasts a number of exciting dive sites (see money section for prices of the optional diving). For those who have not dived before a Discover Scuba Diving Course is offered to learn the basic safety guidelines and skills needed to dive under the direct supervision of a PADI professional. Those who choose not to dive will be able to snorkel in this protected marine area. This afternoon we start our cruise northwards. *MV Felicity*

Day 6 Cruise back to Male

Cruise north before we anchor in the lagoon off the island of Hulhumale in the late afternoon. This morning there will be a final chance to snorkel these tropical waters and whilst cruising we can do as we please: relax on the sundeck, sit in the shade of the sun canopy, read a book or just watch the beauty of the Maldives pass by. Once anchored in Hulhumale lagoon there will be an optional Male city walking tour available for those who would like to stretch their legs! This evening a presentation provides an overview of the Maldives marine environment and the work being undertaken by local NGO's to protect it for the future. *MV Felicity*

Day 7 Disembark boat and transfer to Male International Airport; end of trip

After a light breakfast, all clients are transferred this morning back to Male International Airport in time for the group flight clients to check in for their flight back to the UK. For land only clients, the trip ends upon arrival back to Male International Airport this morning.

Availability

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Price From $ 3,099
Price Per Day: $ 387 per day
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Stride Featured in

Stride Feature In

12,871 Exodus Travels Travel Reviews & Ratings

99%
4.6 out of 5 (100+ reviews)
Excellent 9,050
Great 3,136
Average 526
Disappointing 111
Terrible 48
Value
4.6
Guide
4.6
Activities
4.6
Lodging
4.6
Transportation
4.6
Meals
4.6

Marine Wildlife of the Maldives

Write a Review

A magical trip! One of my best ever!

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
This trip far exceeded my expectations on every level. The underwater wildlife encounters were superior to any other snorkeling I've done. There's an abundance of things to see and coupled with the chance to scuba dive and excellent water conditions - it's a top notch destination. The boat was very comfortable, the crew was excellent and took care of every need, and the food was awesome. Ranks as one of my all-time favorites!
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Marine Wildlife of the Maldives

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
We boarded our boat, Felicity, and set off almost straight away for a lovely
trip around the islands of the Maldives. They say it is a romantic place and
it is but it is also very suitable for any occasion for friends or even
singles. There were 11 of us, 5 singles and 3 couples, mostly British. I
would definitely recommend doing the Maldives on a boat, as you get to see
different islands and you are not just stuck on one island. There are only 7
double cabins so 14 is maximum.
We were able to go a long way in search of the whale shark and manta rays and
they took us to where they were. The sea was so warm to swim in so you don't
need a wetsuit but be careful to put plenty of SPF on the backs of your legs
and your back or wear a rash vest. Snorkel gear is provided and it was of
good quality AND one of the crew cleans it for you and makes it so the mask
doesn't fog up. I've only ever had to it myself before so that was a real
luxury. All the crew are very helpful in every way.


Our group leader spoke perfect English and was very passionate and helpful in
every way. He asked the question that we were strong swimmers and there was
one lady who said no so he kept her by his side the whole time, and let her
hang on to a ring which gave her more confidence. He took us to all the
sites where we would get good snorkelling, see beautiful fish and we also had
another crew member with us in case anyone got into trouble. All the crew
couldn't have done more to make my holiday perfect and safe. I felt
perfectly safe with all of them.


If you are worried about boats/seasickness then this probably isn't for you.
The food on the boat was very good if a bit basic and they catered for a lot
of fussy eaters (vegetarians etc). Most of the food is fish/rice based. I
put on 5lbs in a week so there is always plenty of food, so much so we felt
guilty because there was always a lot that went back, hopefully the crew ate
well too. Also lots of fruit which was good, nice fruit too, mangos, papaya,
pineapple, bananas etc as well as oranges and apples. There was nothing the
cook wouldn't do for the fussy eaters.


The configuration of the boat was superb, outdoor (under cover) eating for
every meal. The cabins were much bigger than I expected with different type
beds, I guess you just ask if you want a double or singles etc. One thing I
was disappointed though was that although it is a yacht, they have no sails
so everything is under power of the engine. So don't expect to go for a
lovely sail. Also, I found when I got there that there was no safe in my
cabin so I asked the group leader. He said everything is quite safe and I
actually put my money and passport in my suitcase and it was fine. Anything
else left out was also quite safe, no one touched anything that didn't belong
to them. That was quite refreshing.


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Marvellous Maldives

4.0
Details
Value4.0
Guide4.0
Activities4.0
Lodging4.0
Transportation4.0
Meals4.0
Great variety of marine life to experience.

Turkish Gullet was an experience - not luxurious but more character than a
modern boat.

Excellent food.

Knowledgeable and trustworthy crew.

Snorkelling at 7:30 each morning before breakfast - very refreshing !!
Swimming above eleven manta rays and watching a turtle feed up close.

Sleeping on deck undermeath the stars.

Eating freshly caught fish.

Enjoying different reefs every day thus seeing something different each day.


Kamay ( nickname Angabaddy - ask him what it means ) was very knowledgeable
about the marine life, the environment and local politics and could even get
the footy results on his phone as there's no wifi available.
Moreover, as my wife is not a strong swimmer, he kept her beside him using
the life ring which allowed me to relax more during the snorkelling. Plus the
Captain brought up the rear to check we didn't lose anyone and the Dhoni was
always available if anyone needed to get out the water.
Can't praise Kamay and the all the crew highly enough including the chef
(marvellous food and catered for vegetarians) and Eddy the barman.


Take your own hair shampoo / conditioner / shower gel as it's not supplied.
Take insect repellent as only on the last night, mooring near Male, our legs
were covered totally in bites. The other nights were fine.
You don't need to take a towel - plenty available.
We bought full face masks with attached snorkels but had to switch to
standard mask and separate snorkel ( supplied by Kamay) as we couldn't
breathe properly - left the masks with Kamay for kids to play with in rock
pools.
All in one swimsuit is a good idea or rash vest, otherwise cover exposed
areas with sunscream - very hot and easy to get burnt.
AC is very loud and used with the fan can be a bit of a pain. Take a light
blanket in case you need it at night.


The whale sharks are generally young adults of about 15 years old and 5
meters in length ( I thought they would be bigger) and for us were difficult
to find. In fact we only saw one once in two days.
We then had the choice of staying to try again or moving on and being able to
experience a Maldivian feast and music / dance. We all chose the latter and
had great fun at no extra cost.

The cabins are reasonable though some found the beds a bit hard and on our
side of the boat, the toilets were sometimes rather smelly ( no paper of any
sort to go down the loo as it clogs the system!)

No shoes to be worn on deck - bare feet all the time.
Don't overpack - we took three times the amount of clothing and hardly used
any of it!!


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An absolutely fabulous trip

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
I had a fantastic time on this trip. The boat crew is great. Whether it's
serving your meal, helping you on and off the boat, or taking your hand in
the water to show you whatever's been spotted, every member takes their role
very seriously and strives to ensure that they give you the best experience
possible.

The ship's captain accompanied me on a dive and filmed it on his own camera.
He then presented me with the disk on the last day, which was so thoughtful
and unexpected.

The amount of fish, sharks, mammals etc to see is vast and the colours are
amazing. I swam with a whale shark called Fernando, who is 22ft. I also saw
huge manta rays and lots of sharks.
The members of the crew who accompanied us in the water during snorkelling
trips took the time to teach me how to dive down to get closer to whatever
was there. Not being a particularly confident swimmer, this was great and I
was soon practicing with confidence.


Kamey, the tour leader on my trip, is so knowledgeable and his passion for
marine wildlife is tremendous and he is very respectful of it.


I agree with the previous reviewer regarding the amount of other holiday
makers and boats scrambling to get to the whale shark. My first experience
was great as it was with just my fellow Exodus group but the second day was
not enjoyable due to the sheer amount of people in the water. However, I
would urge anyone considering this trip not to let this put you off as the
Maldives has so much more to offer.


This holiday has piqued my interest in cruises of this type and I'm already
looking at the Exodus site for something similar for next year.


Read more

Excellent Trip

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
The Maldives is known as paradise to some, others probably wouldn't even
consider this part of the world. This trip exceeded my expectations in more
ways than one and if your looking to do something different, then give this a
go.

I have previously done walking/hiking trips or discovery trips and didn't
think a boat trip would be exciting enough. I was wrong. I never considered
the Maldives previously as a must see destination, and had an image in my
head that said "it looks like a boring place to visit with not much to do". I
decided to book this trip due to my "give it a go" attitude, and it has been
one of my favourite trips I have done that I would go back and do it all
again. I would definitely recommend this trip to anyone that likes wildlife,
great food and good company.

The corals and reefs were so vividly clear to see and colourful. The amount
of marine wildlife was staggering.
I had the privilege to snorkel with some of the most beautiful biodiverse
creatures in the world including whale sharks, manta rays and sea turtles
which were each awe inspiring and magical. I also had the pleasure of scuba
diving for the first time in my life which is an experience I will never
forget.


Kamey was a good leader and certainly knew a lot of information about the
areas we visited. He enjoyed having fun with the group and worked well with
the ships crew to ensure all needs were met. Kamey is a confident swimmer,
snorkeler and diver, so you are in safe hands!


The Felicity has a generator that runs throughout the day and night, if you
are a light sleeper or if noise disrupts your sleep then I would advise ear
plugs for this trip.
Plugs in the cabins are English (or at least it was in my cabin).
Snorkel equipment and fins are provided so you don't necessarily need to
purchase your own.
Some of the group were cold at night due to the air conditioning/fan,
therefore it might be worth packing a blanket. Alternatively you can turn the
air con or fan off.
Beach towels and bathroom towels are provided.
Beware of stormy weather - its tropical and it happens!
The sun is very strong in the Maldives, take a t-shirt to swim in. I ended up
wearing more clothes swimming than when I was on the boat!
Take a spare pair of socks - if your fins start to rub your toes (like mine
did) just snorkel with socks on :)
Underwater camera is a must if you wish to take unforgettable shots!
Factor 50 sun cream is recommended but its up to you. I used 30 and crisped
up too much and too easily.
You need to be confident in the water. You are not swimming in a milk pond,
there are currents and you can spend a couple of hours in the water at a
time.
The water is warm day and night, even in rain.
Evenings are warm and pleasant I was unsure if I would need a wrap in case
the temperature dropped. It didn't drop much and was nice after a hot day.


Loved the trip, loved the group, loved the food. Will return in the future.


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Company Reviews

A wonderful trip!

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
I travelled with my 23 yr old daughter and we had a great time. Lots of
superlatives which have been covered by reviewers below, so I will not repeat
them, but suffice to say that this trip exceeded both our expectations in
terms of the amazing variation in landscape in the iconic National Parks
visited, and the diversity of activities - ranging from exciting hikes, to
laying on the ground in Death Valley looking at the Night Sky. Never a dull
moment - and our guide inserted little surprises at regular intervals.
Perhaps meeting our inspirational Navajo guide in Monument Valley and
learning about her childhood and culture. But lots to inspire both of us
....


Joseph Spaid was an incredible leader. He was so knowledgable, approachable,
engaging and fun. He was very interesting to chat to, and worked so hard to
make sure everyone’s needs were met. We were quite a disparate crowd of
11, some very experienced hikers, others recovering from recent injury, but
he found ways to embrace that - I wish I had his energy!


Take a brolly as sun shade for Death Valley! And rehydration tabs/powder
when it's really hot. We all used it and had no problem with overheating
even in August. You get dusty walking so plenty of walking gear - it is a
busy trip and there wasn’t much time for washing. I was pleased to have my
poles in Zion and the Grand Canyon for long (albeit beautiful) uphill
stretches.

I would definitely advise a few days in San Francisco before joining the
trip. It is an incredible city. Our flight from Heathrow was delayed by 28
hours, so we missed one of our three planned days, but we still were well
able to meet up with the Group on Sunday.

Las Vegas didn’t appeal to us, so we didn’t stay at the end, and we in
time to fly out on the same night.

The helicopter flight over the Grand Canyon was just extraordinary!


As an introduction to SW America, this trip takes some beating. It was
fantastic.

Thank you Exodus and Grand American Adventures!!


Read more

Details

Flights & Transport

Only ground transport

Group Size:

Small Group - 24 max

Maximum Number of People in Group: 12

Accomodations

6 nights in twin cabins on board the Felicity, all en suite facilities
Full day and half day Whale shark safari included
Dolphin safari included

Age Notes

Min. Age: 18

Additional Information:

  • 6 nights in twin cabins on board the Felicity, all en suite facilities
  • Full day day Whale shark safari included
  • All meals included whilst onboard

Trip ID#:

exodus-WOY

Trip Excludes

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request)
  • Visas or vaccinations

Meals Included:

Dinner: Breakfast, lunch, dinner and afternoon snacks are all included whilst on board. The traditional food of the Maldivians is based around fish (tuna), chilli and coconuts. White rice and “roshi” (a flour based flat-bread) are staple items. Fish is normally smoked, fired, barbequed or roasted. Pork products are strictly prohibited. Typical ingredients used widely in dishes and served on board include onion, ginger, garlic, lemon and spices. Menus include European and Maldivian dishes, freshly prepared on board by our chefs who will do their best to cater for most specific dietary requirements. The indoor saloon bar offers a wide choice of soft drinks, wine, beer and spirits to purchase. Please note that there is absolutely no alcohol allowed on the local islands – it is only permitted in the resorts and on the boats. Please discuss any dietary requirements with your sales consultant at the time of booking.

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  • Save up to $700 per person!*
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  • Save favorite trips
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With your free membership you:

  • Save up to $700 per person!*
  • Access private deals and offers
  • See personalized trip recommendations
  • Save favorite trips
*See Member Savings Program details
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