Carpe Vita Luxury Liveaboard
When the world looks like this you know you can only have arrived in the Maldives! Those beautifully ambiguous moments staring out of the plane window preparing yourself for all that is about to unfold are the moments that we live for.
Having spent some time in The Maldives lapping up the luxury of resort life on a previous trip, this time we were beyond excited to board the aptly named Carpe Vita (the 2nd sister of the Carpe Diem fleet) that is lucky enough to navigate through some of the most majestic, 26 ring shaped atolls that make this tropical region one of the most sought after destinations on the planet.
After a swift transfer from Male airport zipping across the silky seas, Carpe Vita came into view, sun glistening off the fresh white and wood exteriors. Stepping aboard the 38 meter safari yacht, we were welcomed by wide eyes and smiles of the fully Maldivian crew, who we would come to learn are masters at their craft be it the knowledgeable dive guides, articulate chef or charismatic captain Adam who kept us on course throughout our voyage of the Northern Atolls.
Waking up on the waves, sipping coffee and gearing up ready to drop deep are exactly how magical Maldivian mornings begin. Providing 3 dives a day as standard, there is nothing quite like waking up on the water in the amphitheatre of dreams as golden glows rise above the horizon lighting up the tiny islets.
Consisting of 1,192 coral islands, the vastness of the Indian Ocean provides unrivalled scuba diving boasting glassy clear warm waters, rich and colorful coral reefs teeming with life, sunken ship wrecks and abundant varieties of marine species. The Maldives really does have it all and in a world deep down below, here you will find your adventure.
For us, one of our greatest dive adventures under the ocean floor of The Maldives was encountering majestic manta. A dream come true, we spent 59 minutes with these magical beings. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.
For those who’s flexibility allows to take a trip between the months of May and December, the Carpe Diem fleet visits the one of a kind, Baa Atoll, home to Hanifaru Bay; the largest Manta cleaning station in the World. When tide and time align, spectators are treated to a feeding frenzy where hundreds of Manta, grey sharks and sting rays congregate and whale sharks mate. A spectacle to behold and to treasure for an eternity.
Weaving in and out of the rings of coral against the backdrop of blue lagoons and marble glazed seas, we eyed slithers of chalky sand housing leafy lush palms that naturally gather and sway in unison. For the first time in 5 days we jumped aboard the accompanying small boat and darted across the salty seas making our way inland. As our feet kissed the secluded slice of paradise, our toes sank into the snow whites. We could have walked and talked the circumference of the island forever. As the sun sank beneath the horizon, the Carpe Diem Crew set about preparing a BBQ beach banquet to savor, as we ate the ultimate surf and turf to the sound of the waves dissipating against the shore under a star lit sky.
As dawn broke once more as the light penetrated our cozy cabin, (one of 10 on board including the choice of a standard, superior or VIP suite) we awoke to the gentle rock of the Indian Ocean for another day and another dive. Our cabin housed all of the modern amenities you would expect of a first class safari yacht, including elegant wood furnishings, en-suite bathroom complete with hot showers and individually controlled air conditioning.
Another day another dive. As we drank our daily dose of morning coffee, we were briefed once more in the opulent surroundings of the lounge area. A space that exudes wooden aromas, the lounge area is a large open space complete with comfy cushions, library, DVD player and more importantly a 24 hour tea, coffee and biscuit station for those in-between dive fixes. It was here where we enjoyed the company of the other guests, including special guest and marine biologist Steven Weinberg. With over 40 years of experience diving the World, Steve gave us a fascinating insight into the soft and hard corals we were eyeing in these parts of the World as well as deepening our knowledge of the Ocean world around us via presentations and visuals on the wide screen as part of the “Dive With A Purpose” expedition from Carpe Diem Maldives.
Our dive guide for the duration of our voyage was Ibbe. Like all of the crew who help to run the Carpe Diem operation like clockwork, Ibbe originates from the Maldives having over 21 years of experience diving the waters and knows the lands above and below like the back of his hand. He is one of the most intriguing dive masters we have ever had the pleasure of diving alongside. His sixth sense for the Ocean and his instinctive communication with marine life is as fascinating as the dive itself.
As the sky illuminated with pink hues we sank into the depths below in anticipation of watching the underwater world transition as the day turned into night. After gawping at sting rays, white tip reef sharks and witnessing a fascinating eel mating ritual, we popped up to the starlight filling the night sky and headed to the top deck of the boat to lap up the magical Maldivian night.
As part of the “Dive with a Purpose” trip aboard Carpe Vita, during a surface interval we were given the unique opportunity be in harmony with nature and roam one of the secluded reefs in the South Ari Atoll and participate in a beach clean up as a way to give back to the Ocean the joy and wonder it had given us over throughout our trip.
The world is waking up to the unsustainable usage of plastic and impact that humanity has on our Oceans. Carpe Diem Maldives have begun to introduce measures to reduce its plastic contribution by handing out re-usable water bottles and are also the first liveaboard to introduce fully edible straws to its guests!
In reality this clean up is literally a drop in the Ocean but imagine if every single one of us picked up a bit of litter off a beach every time we visit and made a few minimal lifestyle changes to minimize our individual plastic use. Be the change you want to see in the World.
“In a World full of seven billion people, where every inch of land has been mapped, much of it developed and too much of it destroyed, the sea remains the final unseen, untouched and undiscovered wilderness, the planets last, great frontier. There are no mobile phones down there, no e-mails, no tweeting, no twerking, no car keys to lose, no terrorist threats, no birthdays to forget, no penalties for late credit card payments and no dog poop to step in before a job interview. All the stress, noise and distractions of life are left at the surface. The Ocean is the last truly, quiet place on Earth”.
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Carpe Diem will be opening its doors to a brand new resort in November 2018. Housing an eclectic mix of over water villas and paradisiacal beach bungalows, its the perfect place to relax either side of your live aboard trip. Check out the new resort below...
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