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6 reasons to charter a yacht in the Maldives this winter

By Steve Mandaluff   Last Updated: 22 March 2023

With 1,200 dazzlingly beautiful islands punctuating sparkling clear waters, implausibly perfect white sandy beaches lapped by warm seas, corals that are home to some of the most diverse sea life on the planet and temperatures that rarely drop below 25 degrees Celsius, a Maldives yacht charter is a truly magical experience.

Dotted amongst a 90,000 square kilometer area in the Indian Ocean, the Maldives is made up of 26 atolls and around 200 inhabited islands. Dominated by sandbars and thriving coral reefs, the country is a scuba divers' paradise with 99% of the territory that makes up the Maldives being water!

View of Maldives island from above with boat moving away from it

Maldives At-A-Glance

  • Number of islands: 1,190
  • Percentage of area made up of water: 99%
  • Average temperature: 30°C / 86°F 
  • Average sunshine hours per day: 8
  • Species of fish in Maldives waters: 2,000
  • National tree of island: Coconut tree

There is no doubt that if you were putting together a dream holiday destination, it may closely resemble the Maldives!

Drift amongst these beautiful islands and discover their mind-blowingly diverse range of sea life, or drop anchor and relax on one of their powder-fine white coral lined shores, which make up only 5% of the world’s beaches. Alternatively, hop off your yacht and enjoy a meal or some pampering at one of the numerous truly world-class island resorts the Maldives is famous for.

The fact the national tree of the island is the Coconut Palm sums up what kind of tropical treat you are in for if you visit! So let's take a look in more detail at what makes the Maldives such a pristine paradise…

1. New superyacht marinas

Surprisingly, despite being such a perfect location for a luxury yacht charter, the Maldives was without a marina for larger yachts until 2020, when Crossroad Maldives, a 30-berth marina spanning two of the nine islands, opened.

In keeping with its surroundings, a stop at Crossroad Maldives is a truly luxurious experience. Visit the boutique shopping outlet featuring top-of-the-line clothing, accessories, beauty products and of course souvenirs, experience a fusion of the world’s best flavors at a diverse range of dining outlets, or visit one of its spas and get yourself in the mood for a relaxing yacht charter before you head to your idyllic destination.

superyacht marina in maldives

To top it off Crossroad Maldives – which can accommodate superyachts up to 55m (180') – has its own 800-metre beach, and is just a 15-minute speedboat ride from Velana International Airport and a short hop to the capital of Malé.

Crossroads Maldives recently released an announcement that their world-class resorts, SAii Lagoon Maldives and Hard Rock Hotel Maldives will also start accepting cryptocurrencies as payment from 1st October 2021.

There are currently plans being made for a larger 300-berth facility, meaning yacht charters in the Indian Ocean will become even easier. Crossroad Maldives is the perfect way to start the yacht charter of a lifetime.

2. Luxury at every turn

There are well over 150 resorts spread amongst the incredible atolls of the Maldives, each island hosts its own resort and these range from the luxurious to the sublime!

This means just a stone's throw from wherever you may be drifting on your superyacht, there is likely to be an opportunity for you to step ashore for a few hours and enjoy a truly magical experience.

couple dining on the beach in the Maldives

For a culinary treat, the options are endless. Engage your tastebuds with a delicious meal in the underwater restaurant at the Conrad Hilton Maldives or visit Soneva Fushi’s award-winning Sobah’s on the uninhabited island of Mendhoo, where you can enjoy incredible cuisine in the most unbelievable setting.

And whilst we are talking about Soneva Fushi, after a delicious meal there is no better place to stargaze than their observatory; marvel at the wonder of the cosmos with their state-of-the-art telescope, and take advantage of the clear skies to see if you can catch a glimpse of Saturn and the moons of Venus.

Just a stone's throw from wherever you may be drifting on your superyacht, there is likely to be an opportunity for you to step ashore for a few hours and enjoy a truly magical experience.

In a country synonymous with luxury, Lime – the health club belonging to the private resort of Huvafen Fushi – takes things one step further. A hypnotic oasis of calm, it is the world’s first and only underwater spa and truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Enjoy soothing reef views and the ebb and flow of the currents from their treatment rooms, which may just be the most serene and relaxing location in the world.

Underwater activities seem to be a bit of a theme here, and with some of the clearest water and most incredible marine life, it is no surprise. Perhaps the ultimate way to experience it is by ‘flying’ underwater in a personal submarine! The Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru offers this amazing experience; skim over coral formations, fly through kaleidoscopic shoals of fish and meet some of the sea world’s most majestic creatures – all while keeping warm and dry.

beautiful blue waters in the maldives

Each island hosts its own resort and these range from the luxurious to the sublime!

If you are a sports fan then Velaa Private Island is definitely worth a visit. Not only is it a ‘beyond luxury’ hideaway with a focus on privacy and comfort, there is also a nine-hole golf course designed by former world number two golfer José María Olazábal. Fringed by palm trees and awash with gentle sea breezes, it offers you a chance to practice your game in paradise.

We could go on and on listing some of the amazing opportunities available to you should you want to step away from the luxury of your superyacht for a few hours, but the truth is that, from sport to shopping to gourmet cuisine to relaxation, the islands of the Maldives will fulfill your desires no matter what you want to do.

3. Incredible scuba diving and water sports opportunities

Quite simply the Maldives are possibly the best place to dive in the world. Around 240 varieties of corals have been found in the crystal clear waters of the archipelago, and what really sets the area apart from other dive destinations is the sheer abundance of marine life on display.

Each of the three atolls, the Northern, Central and Southern Atolls, have their own characteristics.

The Northern Atolls are less busy but are covered with soft corals, colorful sponges and an abundance of fish life. You may often get a dive site to yourself, something that is less common as you head south.

If you want to dive amongst larger species head to the central Rasdhoo Atoll, where you will find dolphins, hammerhead sharks, reef sharks, large manta rays, parrotfish and more.

jack fish swimming in the maldives

The great thing is, whether you’re an experienced diver or a casual snorkeler, there will be a dive site for you.

Populated by large and friendly manta rays, masked banana fish, spangled emperor fish and even some approachable sharks, you will find over 2,000 species of fish lurking beneath the Indian Ocean. In fact, the Maldives are one of the few places on Earth where whale sharks can be encountered all year round.

The great thing is, whether you’re an experienced diver or a casual snorkeler, there will be a dive site for you, making the Maldives one of the most exciting and accessible places to pop your head underwater. Even better, most of these amazing spots are most easily accessed by boat, reserving some of the most special underwater sites on the planet for you and your guests.

Popular dive sites in the Maldives

The Southern Atolls are where the most popular dive sites are. The diving here is incredibly reliable and you are almost guaranteed to view a plethora of species such as whale sharks, eagle rays, white tip sharks, blacktail barracuda, batfish and much more.

Around 240 varieties of corals have been found in the crystal clear waters of the archipelago.

Some of the top dive sites, as recommended by diving instructors and experts, include Ulkulhas Thila in the North Ari Atoll, a great place to see majestic manta rays; Kuda Tah Thila in the South Ari Atoll, a beautiful dive teeming with reef fish, even by the exceptionally high standards of the Maldives; and Kandooma Thila in the South Male Atoll, a 300m long teardrop shaped pinnacle, where you can see a whole mix of marine life from white-tip reef sharks to schools of eagle rays.

The truth is, the waters surrounding the islands are all prime spots for diving. Blessed with crystal clear blue waters and outstanding visibility, whichever reef you choose to explore in the Maldives will be a truly rewarding experience.

4. An idyllic, cyclone-free winter season

Whilst temperatures in the Maldives regularly hover between 25 and 30 degrees celsius all year round, there is no doubt the best time to visit is during the winter months.

Between December and April the climate is drier and less humid. You also get more hours of sunshine and there is much less chance of storms. February for instance is the Maldives' driest month, with only 38mm of rain, whilst from December through to March the country sees around 250 sunshine hours each month – more than the summer months when that figure is around 200 to 210 sunshine hours per month on average.

couple holding hands walking towards maldives sunset

The Maldives are not prone to cyclones, in fact they have only experienced 11 cyclones in 128 years. However they do have a storm season when very strong winds of up to 150 Km/h can be experienced. If you are looking for a luxury charter in the winter, the good news is that the storm season tends to fall sometime between June or July and run until October or November.

That means the winter months are the perfect time to relax on the sundeck of your superyacht, drink in hand and enjoy warm sunshine, blue skies, clear seas and the heavenly islands you will drift past on a regular basis.

5. A photographer's paradise

Miles after mile of beautiful white sands, magical sunsets, lush greenery and some of the clearest star-filled night skies you will ever see, the Maldives is almost one awe-inspiring photo opportunity after another!

What makes it even better is that on a luxury yacht charter the opportunities are all around you. From the deck of your motor yacht get a shot of the incredible purple fuelled sunsets, dolphins leaping from the water all around you, tiny Robinson Crusoe-esque desert islands, or just the flawless turquoise sea stretching out to a perfect blue horizon.

The Maldives is almost one awe-inspiring photo opportunity after another!

Across every island you will see hammocks swaying languidly in the breeze, not only perfect places for some rest and relaxation they also make great photo opportunities. Whether it be friends and family grabbing forty winks in the afternoon sun, or a photo from your own hammock at sunset, you are sure to end up with a collection of photos you will treasure for the rest of your life.

Pretty wooden walkways meandering to a sun filled horizon through collections of beautiful water bungalows, herons wandering without a care in the world along the white sands, sea plankton emitting a blue glow to create an amazing bioluminescent display on beaches at night - the Maldives has it all and more.

Words don't do justice to the beauty of this area, so make sure you get plenty of photos to show your friends and family when you get home, otherwise they just won't believe how incredible it is.

6. Wonderful wildlife

With mile upon mile of gorgeous sandy beaches and crisp azure water as far as the eye can see, it is often easy to forget what lies beneath the idyllic islands of the Maldives - it is home to some of the most incredibly diverse sea life on the planet, and being onboard a luxury charter yacht you will be privy to some of the Maldives best-kept secrets.

Thousands of species of fish can be found in the kaleidoscope of coral reefs surrounding the islands. These range from tiny, colorful reef fish to sharks, dolphins and whales, and everything in between. Just a few of the prevalent species include guitarfish, huge manta rays, triggerfish, barracuda, batfish and the national animal of the Maldives, the yellowfin tuna.

Colorful fish in clear water, with small tree laden atoll visible above water
Large whale shark, with scuba diver nearbyLots of dolphins jumping from the water

Thousands of species of fish can be found in the kaleidoscope of coral reefs surrounding the islands.

Heron walking along sure with deck in background at sunsetNumber of colorful fish swimming around coral
Dolphin jumping from water at sunset

There are 23 species of cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises) recorded in the Maldives, that are protected under Maldivan law. As you relax on the sundeck of your superyacht you will almost certainly see the spinner dolphin following its distinctive daily pattern of traveling to the atolls in the morning to rest and then back out at sunset to hunt.

The Maldives is also home to 14 species of sharks including the largest fish in the sea, the 12m (40') whale shark. Don't fear though, these gentle giants live on a diet of plankton and tiny fish, cruising close to the water's surface with their mouths open to get their feed.

Looking to book a luxury yacht charter in the Maldives?

yacht cruising around the maldives

With so much on offer in the Maldives it might be quite daunting trying to fit all you want to see into a yacht charter vacation. For some inspiration and advice view our Maldives charter itineraries.

If you would like to include a visit to any of the hotspots listed above, please speak with you preferred yacht charter broker.

Alternatively, if you're feeling inspired, begin planning your next luxury vacation by viewing the entire fleet of superyachts available for yacht charter in the Indian Ocean

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