Manta Madness with liveaboard Carpe Novo - Maldives
Known for its luxury and comfort, the Carpe Novo liveaboard is ready to take you on a diving adventure like no other. This beautiful liveaboard is specially designed to take avid divers to the finest dive sites in the Maldives. Whether you opt for a 7-night stay (this trip) or the more extensive 10-night trip (ask about options), the Carpe Novo ensures that every second on board is an experience.
Manta Madness is not just a name for an itinerary; it describes exactly of what to expect during this diving vacation in the Maldives. Manta rays. Indeed, from June to October, manta rays are seen almost daily at the famous manta spots and in the picturesque lagoons, including the famous Hanifaru Bay in Baa Atoll. This carefully crafted liveaboard itinerary will take you to places where the majestic manta rays dance and play.
But the Manta Madness is only part of what this dive trip has to offer. You’ll also dive at some of the most iconic sites of the Maldives’ central route. You will dive among vibrant coral reefs, with nurse sharks and make wreck dives. You’ll also enjoy cozy beach BBQs. Each of these dive sites offers a unique experience, whether observing whale sharks or drifting with the current on a drift dive. The itinerary is designed so that you experience a mix of the best that the Maldives has to offer, all from the comfort of the Carpe Novo Liveaboard.
Best travel time: The best travel time for Manta Madness is during the summer months, from June to October.
Wetsuit advice for the MaldivesAll year round you can dive here with a 3mm.
What will you experience on this trip?
View itinerary here
Day 1 & 2 | Flight to the Maldives
Today you begin your journey toward the enchanting Maldives. Your adventure begins with an overnight flight that takes you to Malé, the bustling capital of the Maldives. Are you flying from Europe? There are interesting flights from europe. We are happy to advise you on the best departure airports based on your preferences and location.
The second day you will arrive in Malé. Now two scenarios can take place. 1. Your liveaboard departure point is from the port of Malé or 2. You continue flying by small plane to Dharavandhoo (Baa Atoll) and board the liveaboard there. Scenarios 1 & 2 alternate. If you start in Malé you end in Dharavandhoo and if you start in Dharavandhoo you end in Malé.
Starting at 2 p.m., you are welcome to check in on the boat. The crew of the Carpe Novo will pick you up at the airport. Given regular flight arrival times, this often fits seamlessly. Of course, we take this into account when selecting flights for you.
Once on board, you can install yourself in your cabin, prepare your diving equipment and then relax. Take time to acclimate and enjoy the surroundings. Tomorrow you dive into the adventure!
Day 3 & 4 - The Baa & Raa Atoll
During the Manta Madness itinerary you sail past the “standard” atolls of the Central Route plus the Baa and sometimes the Raa atoll.
Located in the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, Baa Atoll is known for its vibrant marine life and stunning coral reefs. Divers can explore a diverse range of dive sites, including thilas (underwater pinnacles), channels and coral gardens. Expect encounters with manta rays, whale sharks, turtles and a variety of colorful fish species.
Diving on the Raa is equally fantastic. Divers can also encounter a diverse array of animals here, including manta rays and sea turtles. The atoll features a range of dive sites suitable for all experience levels, from gentle drift dives to exciting deep dives.
Day 5 - Rasdhoo
From shallow lagoons and gentle reefs for beginners to challenging, channels and dramatic landscapes for the advanced. With an unusually large selection of extraordinary marine life, Rasdhoo Atoll offers the complete diving experience. Surely the highlight of Rasdhoo are the hammerhead sharks, you need a little luck but it would be great if you spot them! Rasdhoo Madivaru, a horseshoe-shaped edge, is patrolled by gray reef sharks, whitetip sharks and schools of eagle rays. Looking over the edge into the depths, you can see large sea fans and black coral hanging from the wall, while thousands of anthias flutter around you. Back in the shallows, you are greeted by schools of reef fish such as oriental wrasse, fusiliers, goatfish, snappers and many others. Add in the occasional spotted eagle ray or a school of large barracuda and you have all the ingredients for a near-perfect Maldivian diving experience.
Day 6 - North & South Ari Atoll
South Ari is known for its stunning underwater topography and spectacular marine life. Reefs affected by climate change are recovering and the visibility of iconic species remains reliable. At the South Ari Marine Protected Area, if you’re lucky, you’ll encounter a whale shark. Manta rays are also spotted at Madivaru, better known as Manta Point, especially during the northeast monsoon. In central Ari are classic thilas like Kudarah Thila, a natural wonder filled with marine life and colorful corals. Fish Head, a top diving spot worldwide, is known for its rich diversity of fish species and is home to sharks. The most common species in this area are scorpion fish, barracudas, moray eels, and blue-striped snappers. Also on display are numerous black corals, sea fans and anemones.
Day 7 - Vaavu
The channels of Vaavu Atoll are a special diving location. Devana Kandu is one of the channels where people love to dive. The channel is divided in the middle by a reef 250m long. With an incoming current, divers can do some fantastic drift diving here. On the outer reef, there are caves and overhangs that drop vertically from 30m to the depths. Gray reef sharks, turtles, eagle rays and pelagic species are seen around the entrance to both passages. Many reef fish have colonized these rocks, and it is not uncommon to see blue-face angelfish, valentine pufferfish and reef lizardfish. As divers drift dive the mile-long channel, the northern and southern passages merge along the way.
Day 8 - South Male
The South Male Atoll is known for its current-fed channels. The underwater landscape of South Malé, famous for its steep walls, ledges and small caves, is rich in reef fish, as well as plenty of macro life and several manta ray cleaning stations.
Kandooma Thila, often known as Cocoa Thila, is one of the most famous dive sites in the Maldives. It lies in a wide passage guarded by gray reef sharks, and chances are you will also encounter schools of eagle rays, sea turtles and colorful reef fish that cover the entire reef here. Guraidhoo Corner is another wonderful location. This large marine protected area is home to a huge concentration of reef life, including sharks, schools of trevallies, rays and sea turtles.
Day 9 & 10 - Return home
The beautiful diving trip in the Maldives is over. Don’t you want to go home yet? Then be sure to check out the options for extending your stay at a resort. Or maybe you’ll still go south to the tiger sharks?
Are you flying early in the morning? Then you probably land in Europe on day 9 as well. Are you flying late afternoon/evening today? Then you may be home a day later. In that case, we can also definitely look at a day hotel, so you won’t be waiting too long at the airport.
The boat and cabins
Liveaboard Carpe Novo
The Carpe Novo is the newest addition to the Carpe Diem fleet and symbolizes luxury and comfort at sea. This 43-meter yacht accommodates up to 22 guests and is designed to offer a diverse range of activities, including diving, surfing and fishing.
Accommodations on board:
Upper Deck: Here you will find four stylish Junior Suites called Whale Shark, Hammer Head, Tiger Shark and Thresher Shark. This deck also features an open-air restaurant and bar, and provides access to the bridge area.
Main Deck: On the main deck are two Single Suites – Manta Ray and Eagle Ray. This deck also houses several common areas, including the lounge and dive briefing room (with air conditioning), a camera room, dive equipment room, an office, a common toilet and an outdoor area to sit and relax.
Lower Deck: The lower deck features six standard cabins and crew accommodations.
Sun Deck: The height floor of the boat, above the upper deck. An ideal place to relax; this deck offers a comfortable outdoor area and lounge chairs, perfect for sunbathing or just enjoying the view.
Each cabin is spacious and equipped with all modern conveniences, so guests can truly feel at ease during their stay on the Carpe Novo. In addition, the friendly and professional crew team is always ready to ensure that the adventure at sea is an unforgettable experience.
What is included
This travel package is €2379 per person based on two people in one room. The trip can be extended as desired. A number of things are included by default in this travel package.
Prices are subject to price changes, increases or changing exchange rates. Flights are always based on the cheapest possible booking class.
Want to know more about the possibilities? Get in touch with us!
Included in this trip, from €2379, p.p.
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Frequently asked questions about this diving vacation
You will dive from the Dhoni, the small dive boat that sails with the liveaboard. Among other things, you will make drift dives.
The liveaboard sails as close as possible to the dive sites. Then you sail the last few minutes (often really 1 to 5 minutes) to the dive site.
Except for the arrival and departure day, you will make 3 dives per day + 1 or 2 night dives.
Yes indeed, including the manta night dive is fantastic.
There are 11.5L and 13.5L tanks
Diving with Nitrox is free, but only possible for certified divers.
Yes, you can rent equipment. Price upon request.
Yes, cost approx. 25/30 USD
It depends. Aboard the Novo are two single cabins (Manta Ray & Eagle Ray). You can also stay in a standard or junior suite, but these are shared cabins.
The dives are from the Dhoni.