Wander Women Maldives:
A Dive + Spa Liveaboard
March 19-26, 2022
Join us for our most luxurious retreat yet — a week of unparalleled diving and indulgent spa treatments, all aboard our private charter of a floating eco-resort cruising through the best of the Maldives.
We know you’ve missed travel, so let’s celebrate its return with a unique yacht trip through the Indian Ocean. This is a once-in-a-lifetime, bucket list trip — and you deserve it!
We’ll meet up in the gorgeous archipelago of the Maldives for a blissful seven nights exploring the topside and underwater of some of the most beautiful islands on Earth. This is the most wow retreat we’ve ever offered: not only will you get to dive to your heart’s content, but you’ll also recharge along the way at the yacht’s onboard spa, the largest of its kind in the Maldives, and with our onboard private yoga instructors.
When you’re not enjoying a hot stone massage or visiting some of the world’s top dive sites, we’ll be stopping for visits to deserted sandbars, stand up paddle boarding in crystal clear water, or stargazing from the top deck jacuzzi. This boat was created specifically for divers and non-divers alike — so grab a friend who loves snorkeling and spa treatments as much as you love exploring underwater for an unforgettable week immersing in the islands of the Maldives!
Spending an afternoon on an uninhabited white sand beach wouldn’t be complete without a professional photographer to capture it — so we’ll have a true artist onboard along the way to snap photos of you all week long. Need a new profile photo diving with turtles, or if we’re lucky, a whale shark? We got you! We’ll be nabbing underwater shots too.
The Maldives need no introduction. Home to 1,190 islands, the nation is renowned for its coral reefs, year-round sunshine, and postcard perfect views. Seashells are so common that they were used as currency for hundreds of years — commemorated nowadays on Maldivian coins! This itinerary will visit the best of the Maldives, with stops on empty beaches, local villages, and idyllic sand banks. And, of course, we’ll explore underwater, whether you prefer to blow bubbles at world-class dive sites or float on the surface with breathtaking snorkeling. You’ll see it all from a luxury yacht, where you can catch every sunset with a cocktail in hand from the top deck!
This floating retreat will be held from March 19-26, 2022. The cost, which includes nearly everything for the week, starts at $4,300USD. Because of the amazing group rates we worked hard to negotiate with the operator, we are able to offer cabins at a lower price than if you booked them directly — with added bonuses like having a smaller private group, a private photographer, our own premium yoga instructor, luxury welcome gifts, and more!
Each guest will choose their preferred package type, with options listed below.
• Seven nights of accommodation on a luxurious yacht
• All meals — seven breakfasts, six lunches, and seven dinners, prepared by internationally qualified chefs
• Daily yoga classes and access to an onsite gym
• Up to eight spa treatments (depending on package chosen)
• Up to seventeen dives (depending on package chosen)
• Visits to secluded islands and sand bars
• Snorkeling, kayaking and stand up paddle boarding in the crystal clear waters
• Movie night under the stars on the top deck
• BBQ on a deserted island
• Excursions to search for whale sharks (although we wish we could, sightings not guaranteed!)
• On board wifi for multiple devices, up to 1 GB of usage (additional coverage available for purchase)
• Liveaboard taxes and service fees, typically charged separately, but covered by us
• A custom welcome bag
• Professional photos of the trip (including underwater shots!)
• Roundtrip airport transfers
• Donation to a Maldives charity (Blue Marine Foundation) that supports marine conservation efforts
What’s Not Included
• Flights to Malé (though you can skip the expensive inter-island flights normally required to explore here!)
• Alcohol not included in the itinerary
• Snacks or other food outside of the three daily meals
• Other activities not listed in the itinerary
• Dive gear (available for rental) – please note that dive computers are required in the Maldives
• Coffee and tea after breakfast (free of charge during breakfast)
• Wifi over 1GB of usage
• Mandatory dive and travel insurance
• Tips for the local boat staff
• Other activities not listed in the itinerary
• Scuba Enthusiast: This scuba package is for the diehard bubble blowers. You’ll skip the spa treatments for up to seventeen dives over the course of the week. (Spa treatments are available for purchase!)
• Scuba and Spa: Love both underwater adventures and indulgent topside experiences? Us too! Book this package for six dives and four spa treatments.
• Spa Seeker: This one is for those looking for a wellness week of total relaxation. You’ll get to enjoy eight spa treatments as well as guided snorkeling trips (gear included).
The below itinerary is a sample planned route — but as we want our trip to be unforgettable, we’ll constantly be in search of unique experiences. Itinerary is subject to changes due to season, weather conditions and circumstances. And of course, expect a few Wander Women surprises thrown in!
Day 1: Welcome to the Maldives! You’re on island time now. You’ll be picked up at the Malé airport and board the yacht where you can drop your bags and meet for a restorative yoga class to stretch out your travel kinks. Later on, we’ll gather for a safety briefing and dinner al fresco on the deck. The fun has just begun!
Day 2: Rise and shine for a sunrise vinyasa class! Then grab some tropical fruit and breakfast, and settle in for a day of diving (up to three dives) or spa treatments. We’ll visit the Rasdhoo atoll, where we’ll park for both diving and stand up paddle boarding in the afternoon. Cheers to a great second day with a happy hour at a sandbar.
Day 3: Divers can get an early start with a morning dive before breakfast, where we’ll hopefully see a hammerhead or two. We’ll spend the morning visiting a secluded beach for optional snorkeling, kayaking, or just relaxing on the white sand. Depending on your package, enjoy another dive in the afternoon or a day of pampering in the spa and we’ll meet back up for sun salutations together on another empty beach at sunset. Tonight there will also be a night dive at Maaya Thila, one the Maldives’ most famous dive sites, renowned for its rich biodiversity.
Day 4: Another day, another spectacular dive. This morning we’ll start at Fish Head, renowned for its strong current, which brings in huge schools of tuna, giant trevallies, snappers, barracuda, and reef sharks. After the morning dip we’ll practice asanas on a deserted beach, before visiting several more reefs for diving and snorkeling and stop at a sandbar for exploring, water sports or lounging. Dinner this evening is one for the books — we’ll be having a moonlit BBQ on a beach all to ourselves!
Day 5: Kick off Day 5 with a morning dive at Rangali Madivaru, also known as Manta Point, where we’ll be making some manta ray memories. The rest of the day, after our morning mediation and yoga class, is dedicated to searching for the elusive whale shark! If we don’t have luck, Plan B isn’t too bad either: snorkeling and diving at Maamigili Island. Tonight after dinner, we’ll meet up on the spa deck for a movie night under the stars.
Day 6: Today we’ll be exploring the Kudhima Wreck, a haven for photographers and macro favorites like the frog fish, real stone fish and various nudi branches. Yoga today will be stretching out with Alex on the shaded deck. Our non-scuba set will have more indulgent spa treatments and time to enjoy the vistas of the Vaavu Atoll. In the afternoon, divers will complete a Project Aware clean up dive while the land-lubbers helm a beach clean up — a Wander Women tradition — on a deserted island (so once we leave, it will be empty of trash, too!) We’ll close out the day with a night dive and snorkeling at the Alimatha House Reef.
Day 7: This morning, enjoy your last two dives along a channel where we hope for some pelagic sightings! Non-divers can enjoy snorkeling, spa treatments, and our daily yoga class — we’ll have a local instructor lead one one day partially in the local language, for fun! In the afternoon, we’ll visit a local village at Maafushi Island to shop for any trinkets to take home. We’ll then gather for our farewell cocktail and a final dinner on the al fresco restaurant on the yacht.
Day 8: Today we’ll say farewell to our beautiful home for the week. After a final breakfast, exchange photos and contact info with all your new Wander Women besties for future get togethers. You’ll have two options for your airport transfer back, depending on your flight schedule.
Where We’ll Stay and Where We’ll Eat
This isn’t your average liveaboard dive vessel! We’ll be seeing the best of the Maldives from a luxury yacht, awarded as a PADI 5 Star Dive Resort, complete with spacious rooms, an extraordinary onboard spa, a top deck jacuzzi, and much, much, more. Rooms are spread along two decks and feature panoramic windows or port lights, and all rooms have air conditioning and en suite bathrooms with shower. Double, Single, and Superior Single suites are available — read more about room types here!
When you’re not relaxing in your roomy cabin, you’ll be luxuriating and enjoying the yacht’s ample amenities. The nearly thousand square foot spa is the largest of its kind in the Maldives. The spa spans two decks, six treatment rooms, a secluded deck for open-air Thai massage or meditation and a spa lounge for relaxation. And of course, in typical Wander Women style, we’ll get our yoga on! Some days we’ll flow on the shaded deck, while some days we’ll hit a private beach for our asanas. The rest of the day, bathe in the tropical climate on the spacious sun-deck to melt away all your pandemic stress. And it wouldn’t be complete without an outdoor jacuzzi, which is the ideal spot from which to sip a glass of fizz while the sun sets on another day across the Indian Ocean.
All of your meals are included and will be prepared by internationally qualified chefs. We’ll dine on varied cuisine at buffet-style meals, complete with live cooking stations served in the spacious al fresco restaurant at the rear of the main deck. Vegetarians and vegans will be easily accommodated. For those looking to indulge further, wine and cocktails are available each meal for purchase (and between meals at the bar — let’s toast to you!).
Given that the Maldives is one of the world’s most vulnerable ecosystems, our vessel and their operators have sustainability as a top priority. All of the waste is treated with a state-of-the-art sewage treatment plants, and the boat has reduced plastic use by installing mineralized water plants, eliminating single-use plastic water bottles, and replacing plastic straws with reusable glass and aluminum ones.
The Maldives are home to world-class dive sites with rich biodiversity and incredible visibility. We chose March for our retreat dates as the sky and seas are clearest during this dry season, ranked as peak season for liveaboards. Water temperatures are balmy in the high 70s to low 80s F (26-29 C). As if one luxury yacht wasn’t enough, we’ll be hopping in the turquoise waters from a separate dive dhoni, which carries our equipment, including air compressors and state-of-the-art nitrox. The dive boat is purpose built for comfort, with plentiful seating, multiple entry points, a stern platform, and on-board toilet facilities (one of only two vessels in the Maldives awarded PADI 5 Star Dive Resort status). We’ll be diving with experienced, multilingual dive masters/instructors and boat crew throughout the week. The team cooperates closely with the Maldives Whale Shark Research Program to promote its community-focused conservation initiatives.
Mantas, whale sharks, turtles, reef sharks, and hammerhead sharks are found in the Maldives all year round. Diving from a liveaboard offers the opportunity to visit many different reefs and dive sites throughout the Maldives, so we’ll drop anchor at secluded dive spots off the beaten path. While the itinerary will be informed by weather conditions, the general idea is to sojourn to world-class locales in the North and South Ari Atolls, as well as the Vaavu Atoll. Expect swim throughs, caves, overhangs, healthy coral reefs, a wreck dive, and a night dive. Whether you’re an instructor or recently certified, there will be plenty for you to see. (Turtles galore! Hopefully hammerheads! Excited for eagle rays!) Groups will be divided based on experience level.
For those interested in continuing education, this trip is a great opportunity to take their dive knowledge to the next level! We’ll offer Discover Scuba Dive (for those non-certified and looking to try it out!), Open Water referral courses, Advanced Open Water, as well as the PADI Nitrox course. Contact us for more details on each!
Getting There and Away
We’ll meet in Malé, where you can fly in and out of Velana International Airport (MLE), the main airport in the Maldives. Airport transfers to the boat each way are included. The airport has been recently refurbished, and is full of amenities like a 24-hour health care center, free shower rooms, and even a post office.
Contact us for additional questions about booking your travel!
Travel With Us
On this trip, you’ll be traveling with Alex Baackes as your host, yoga teacher, and resident ocean hype girl.
Alexandra Baackes is the founder of Wander Women Retreats and Alex in Wanderland as well as a PADI Divemaster, an AmbassaDiver, and a Women Divers’ Hall of Fame Associate Member. She has worked in the dive industry as an underwater videographer, a writer for publications like Sport Diver and Scuba Diver magazines, and as the creator of Wander Women Retreats. She is also a RYT 200 Registered Yoga Teacher, an RYT 50 Aerial Yoga Teacher, a Buti Bands and Sculpt instructor, and a regular yoga practitioner for more than a decade — she can’t wait to practice with you.
Extend Your Adventure
Want to see more of the Maldives? Immerse yourself in our Maldives Cultural Extension, as we spend two days soaking up everything Malé has to offer. Most tourists rush through the nations capital, missing a unique opportunity to experience the history, culture, and daily pulse of this fascinating island nation.
We’ll take a guided tour of Malé’s mosques and brightly colored buildings, share a traditional Maldivian meal, and visit Save The Beach, a successful marine conservation project run by local conservationists who will brief us on the underwater world we’ll experience in the week ahead.
This retreat has limited availability of some specific accommodation styles, so we recommend booking soon to avoid missing out on your first choice! Please note, the price is the same for each package, so once you book your preferred room style we’ll reach out for your choice in package. A $750 deposit is required to hold your spot, and payment plans are available upon request.
Please note that there is a minimum booking requirement, so please refrain from booking air travel until the guaranteed departure quota has been met. You will be notified when this is a guaranteed departure.
Remember, don’t hesitate to email us at email@example.com with any and all questions or concerns over whether this luxury Maldives experience is right for you. We’d love to chat.
Is this trip women only?
This one’s for the girls! (Okay, all our trips are but…) While we considered making this a mixed-gendered liveaboard, we polled our customers who told us they love taking time to dive with just women in this male-dominated industry. We are so proud of the supportive, empowering vibe of our dive retreats and know that you’ll love them, too!
What is the refund policy?
Remaining invoices are due 120 days before departure. The $750 deposit to secure your space is non-refundable. If the trip must be postponed or cancelled due to events beyond our control (for example, a global pandemic resurgence!), you will be offered the choice between a full refund and applying your payment to a future trip.
I have a unique rooming request, how can you help me?
Email us! If you want to share a bed in a double room, want a triple with two of your besties, want to be on the waitlist for a sold out room type, whatever — we’ll do our best to make it happen via firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is the COVID situation in the Maldives?
As of April 2021, over 90% of the Maldives’ frontline workers (including tourism industry) have been vaccinated. The Maldives are welcoming tourists who are fully vaccinated, and unvaccinated travelers who acquire a negative coronavirus PCR test no more than three days prior to travel. We expect the tourism industry to be fully open by the time of this trip, and will re-evaluate COVID policies closer to the time of departure.
What dive certification do I need?
Advanced Open Water certification is recommended, but those with Open Water certification will also be able enjoy most of the dives. Open Water divers will have to skip the night dive and deep dives (and on some dive sites they will stay shallower). If you’re interested in continuing education, this is a great time to do it! All courses, including Open Water certification for beginners, will be available during the trip. Contact us for more info.
What will this trip be like for non-divers?
We chose this boat specifically for its incredible amenities that appeal to both divers and non-divers! Each guest will choose between three packages, with one being geared towards non-divers. The spa package includes eight spa treatments as well as guided snorkeling trips. The spa menu consists of more than 20 treatment options including Balinese, Thai, Filipino ‘Hilot’, Ayurvedic, Hawaiian Lomi-Lomi, Warm Bamboo, Lava Shell and Hot Stone therapies. Additionally, we have some activities planned for everyone, diver and non-diver alike, including beach and sandbar visits as well as other water sports. And of course, you’ll have full range of the yacht’s amenities, where you can take in all the views of the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean! We couldn’t have dreamed up a more relaxing trip if we tried.
Is there a price difference for non-divers or divers?
No. Non-divers will choose the spa package, where they’ll be spoiled with eight spa treatments, guided snorkeling, and all the other non dive activities listed. Our diehard scuba gals can choose the scuba package, where they can dive to their heart’s content (up to 17 dives). And, for those of us who like a little of everything, you can choose the scuba + spa package, with six dives and four spa treatments. Divers can purchase spa treatments separately and spa-goers can add on dives, too! Once you book your room type, we’ll reach out with a welcome email to lock in your choice of package.
How safe is this boat?
The safety of our guests is of utmost importance! This yacht has high safety standards, including regular fire drills, multiple exit points, fire hoses and fire extinguishers, EFR trained staff, a defibrillator, and an emergency evacuation boat. Contact us if you have more questions.
Do I need to be good at yoga?
Absolutely not. (And frankly, we don’t believe in the idea of being “good” at yoga!) We have a range of yogis from brand-new beginners to talented instructors join us on our trips. You’ll get the opportunity to sample a wide range of yoga styles, and you can opt in or out of as many classes as you wish. Some guests attend none at all!
How much money will I need to bring?
For alcohol not included in the itinerary, expect to pay around $6-15 per drink, depending on your preference for beer, wine, or cocktails. For non-alcoholic drinks, (like coffee and tea after lunch, fresh coconut juice, zero proof cocktails, or sodas) prices range from $5-10 per drink. All prices are subject to a 10% service charge and 12% GST tax.
While you’ll be fed three delicious meals per day by internationally qualified chefs, everyone has a snack hankering here and there! Snacks available outside of mealtime include smoothies ($8) and ice cream sundaes ($12) — so whether you’re feeling healthy or indulgent you’ll have an option.
For tips to the local boat crew, we recommend bringing between $200-400, whatever you feel comfortable with.
Want your travel clothes washed? Laundry is available at $5 per 1KG. Wifi is included, with up to 1 GB of data, but incurs fees after that data is used. See next question for the price breakdown.
The boat accepts cash payments in USD as well as Visa and MasterCard credit cards.
What’s the wifi situation like?
We all love some time to unplug, but we understand checking in with family or work is important, too. Each guest gets 1GB of data included in their package, and additional data can be purchased, ranging from $15 for 1 GB, $28 for 2 GB, $60 for 5 GB, or $125 for unlimited data. All prices are subject to a 10% service charge and 12% GST tax.
While it might not be exactly as speedy as home, 4G speed data (up to 15MB/S) isn’t bad for floating in the Indian Ocean. The yacht is covered with hot spots, meaning you can log on on up to four appliances at once. The range depends on proximity of broadcasting transmitters located on local islands. Good reception is available most of the time.
Can I do a payment plan and pay in installments?
Absolutely. Email us at email@example.com.
Will I need travel and dive insurance?
Yes, everyone will be required to have personal travel and dive insurance for the duration of the trip. Our affiliate, World Nomads offers coverage incredibly affordable rates. Our boat partner also offers dive insurance at $30 for the week, if you want to purchase them separately.
Is there an age requirement?
You must be 18 years old or older.
Is there a waiting list?
There will be a waiting list on a first-come, first-served basis in case spaces open up. If the retreat is full and you’re still interested, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to the waiting list.
I still have questions, or cute photos of my dog. Can I contact you?
Um, yes please! Our email is email@example.com.