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Marine Conservation

Environmental Awareness

Embark on a cruise of discovery and make a positive impact on the marine life of the Maldives through our unique cruise itinerary focused on citizen science and turtles. This unique itinerary is for everyone with a passion for turtles, the ocean and responsible travel. 

We have joined forces with The Olive Ridley Project (ORP) who are on a mission to protect sea turtles and their habitats, through rescue and rehabilitation, scientific research, and education. As you cruise the waters of South Male and Vaavu Atoll on board MV Felicity, you’ll not only enjoy the breathtaking beauty of the Maldives but also actively contribute to the conservation of these incredible creatures.

Your expert local tour leader together with the Olive Ridley Researcher will introduce you to the 5 out of 7 sea turtle species that make Maldives waters their home, share the challenges they face and enlighten you on the crucial role of seagrass in sea turtle conservation efforts. Participate in snorkeling data collection trips to gather valuable information on sea turtle abundance and distribution. Contribute to meaningful beach cleans, enjoy enchanting sunrises and sunsets and create unforgettable memories.

Trip Details

Trip Details


  • USD 1999 per person
  • No single supplement


  • 20th October – 27th October 2024
  • 16th March – 23rd March 2025

Start time

  • Arrival by 11:00 on day one


  • 8 days & 7 nights

Meeting point

  • Velana International Airport (MLE)

Group size

  • Minimum 6 persons
  • Maximum 10 persons


  • Travelers must have a confirmed accommodation/tour booking.
  • Travelers must have a passport or travel document valid for a minimum 30 days from date of entry to the Maldives.
  • Travelers must have a return flight ticket.
  • The online traveler declaration form IMUGA must be completed within the 96 hour period prior to arrival in country.


  • 7 Night twin/double cabin accommodation including breakfast
  • 7 breakfasts, 7 lunch & 7 dinner
  • Daily morning and afternoon snacks
  • Airport and transfer assistance
  • Return transfer of guests from the airport to boat – airport
  • Welcome drinks on arrival
  • Unlimited house tea and coffee
  • Unlimited drinking water – bring a reusable water bottle
  • Snorkeling activities
  • Local Island Tour
  • Dingy or dhoni transfer to snorkeling points and islands
  • Services of English-Speaking Secret Paradise Tour Leader
  • Olive Ridley Project Researcher
  • All Local Tax (10% Service Charge, 16% GST and $6 Green Tax per person per night)

Not included

  • International Flights
  • Travel Insurance
  • Alcoholic and soft beverages purchased on board

What to bring

  • Full details will be provided in our welcome information pack

Important note

  • Day-by-day itinerary subject to change due to weather, ocean conditions and presence of marine life.
  • Alcoholic beverages available onboard from USD $4 (payable at end of the cruise).

Carbon Footprint

715Kg of CO₂e – average carbon emission per person
Find our more about our Carbon Management here


Accompanied by Olive Ridley Project

Assist in research and turtle data collection

Learn about the unique Maldivian ecosystem and the conservation challenges

Learn how to protect the biodiversity and marine life of the Maldives

Snorkel diverse reefs and marine rich tropical waters

Encounter turtles, sharks, dolphins and more

What to Expect

Upon arriving in the Maldives you will be met by your tour leader at Male International Airport and transferred by dhoni to board MV Felicity. After settling in, set off for Maafushi in South Male Atoll where you will have your first Maldives underwater encounter. Your tour leader will provide a safety briefing on responsible snorkeling and act as your ‘spotter’ pointing out marine life that may not have caught your eye. Coral reefs are fragile ecosystems so learning how to snorkel responsibly can help minimize your impact on the marine environment and protect the delicate balance of marine life.

In the evening, a presentation focuses on the vital role of coral reefs, their biodiversity, and the threats they face due to climate change, pollution, and human activities. The Maldives is rich in marine life but unfortunately, our marine life is under threat because of activities carried out by us humans. Your Tour Leader will highlight the harmful practices that are pushing the balance in the ecosystem and what we can do to limit the impact.

Today begins with a visit to Maafushi, providing an opportunity to witness and discuss the positive and negative impact of tourism on small island nations, as well as the chance to explore a coral rehabilitation site and witness coral propagation. This will underpin the importance of coral reef restoration and the positive impact these conservation efforts can have on island nations.

We also snorkel the seagrass beds and discover their importance to the ecosystem. Despite being one of the most valuable ecosystems on the planet, sea grass is considered unsightly, and is often deliberately removed.  Gain insights into how seagrass meadows interconnect with coral reefs and marine life including sea turtles.

Back on-board Felicity for lunch, there is time for afternoon snorkeling before we cruise further south through South Male Atoll, during which time the Olive Ridley Project researcher will share information on turtle species, biology, anatomy and turtle behaviors in preparation for our encounters!

Learn more about Olive Ridley Project here

As the sun rises, we go snorkeling in search of turtles. Be sure to have your underwater camera at the ready! Photo identification is a non-invasive method to study marine population dynamics, and has been used on a variety of different marine species such as dolphins, whales, manta rays and sea turtles. The images use unique, naturally occurring marks on each creature’s body to identify different individuals. A turtle’s facial profile is unique to them, similar to human fingerprints! 

Before entering the water, Olive Ridley will share the turtle snorkeling code of conduct, ensuring the experience is memorable for both you and the turtle. As marine life in their natural habitat we have no guarantee of sightings, we may see 2 or 3 turtles in an hour or maybe only one for the whole time we are searching, but the unpredictability adds to the excitement and also to our understanding.

This morning we will cross the channel into Vaavu Atoll where we will aim to provide a further two snorkeling opportunities at reefs where turtles are commonly seen. It is not uncommon to spot a turtle on the ocean surface as it comes up to breathe but the best chance of encounters will be while snorkeling. 

When we do spot them, following the turtle code of conduct we will snorkel alongside them. A truly magical experience. As an integral part of the data capture process, you’ll actively assist the Olive Ridley Project researcher in gathering vital information like size, behavior, and markings. This hands-on involvement directly contributes to their ongoing research efforts, and later this evening you will hear more about their research efforts and how it contributes to both a greater understanding of the species and environmental decisions being made by Maldivian government bodies.

This morning we will once again go snorkeling in search of turtles. The coral reefs of the Maldives are inhabited by a diverse range of marine life and are teeming with colourful fish and corals. Keep your eyes open for sharks and rays you never know what may be in the blue! Your tour leader will act as your ‘spotter’ pointing out marine life that may not have caught your eye.

In the afternoon, we visit an uninhabited island. Islands of the Maldives provide nesting grounds for turtles and the Olive Ridley Project Researcher will take us through the breeding and nesting habits of turtles and the threats faced by nesting turtles, their eggs and also baby turtles. The island’s beaches will invite you to wander and explore their hidden corners. Unfortunately, plastic is often not hidden and we will spend time completing a beach clean-up activity, ensuring we leave a positive mark on the island.

The day concludes with a special BBQ beach dinner, under the stars.

Once again, our day will be focused on snorkeling and searching for turtles in order to gather data. The data collected will assist in understanding population size and composition, and maybe even identify critical habitats such as mating grounds, foraging areas, and migratory routes. Green and hawksbill turtles are the two most frequently spotted turtles across the Maldives, but sadly their numbers are in decline, with Greens officially classified as “threatened” and Hawksbills as “critically endangered”.

Sea turtles remain under threat worldwide and are officially listed as threatened by IUCN (the International Union for Conservation of Nature). This afternoon, learn about the importance of protecting turtle habitat, reducing bycatch, the dangers of ghost nets and how to go about the rescue, disentanglement, and rehabilitation of turtles.

We start our cruise back towards Male today, today snorkeling will provide the opportunity to continue our turtle data research, as well as to encounter a variety of fish species, and appreciate the intricate balance of these underwater ecosystems.

Late afternoon we visit the local island of Gulhi. This tiny quiet island’s main economy is fishing and it is also home to the oldest dry dock boat yard in the Maldives. Stand in awe at the size of the boats under renovation in the boat yard, chat with the ladies sweeping the streets and finally refresh yourself with a cool Kurumba (coconut). 

In the evening, a Maldivian theme night is organized on board, featuring a Bodu Beru musical performance, showcasing traditional Maldivian music and dance. This cultural immersion further deepens your understanding of the Maldives and enhances the overall learning experience.

We start the day with another snorkeling session, allowing you to further explore the marine life and habitats of the Maldives and hopefully capture the last of our turtle data. 

This afternoon we spend time ensuring all our trip data has been recorded and review our findings. Sea turtles are essential to the Maldives both ecologically and economically through tourism revenue, therefore, this information is crucial for future national conservation efforts.

The Olive Ridley Project Researcher will answer any remaining questions and maybe if we are lucky someone will have identified a new turtle to the data base and be given the opportunity to name it.  If we are not lucky there is still the opportunity to adopt a turtle, perhaps even one of those we have been fortunate to encounter!

Departure to Male International Airport.

Your Trip Accommodation


MV Felicity a wooden hull gullet consists of 6 fully air-conditioned cabins, which can accommodate 12 guests onboard at a time and is fully equipped with the required amenities.

  • Air conditioned cabins, toilets with hot & cold water
  • Salon space with bar facilities
  • Outside deck with dining facilities
  • Large sundecks with sun beds
  • Fully equipped PADI dive center
  • TV/DVD/Music Library

We require a minimum number of 6 persons for cruises to operate.

There is no minimum number for any of our land based tours.

Accommodation is offered on a twin/double room share basis.

If you are a single traveler and prefer a private single room to yourself throughout the tour/cruise, this can be arranged. A single supplement is charged on all our multi day tours except the following:

Yes, we can assist with organising pre and post tour accommodation, including a transit night in the capital area or a longer independent stay on a local island or resort island.

Like many places in the world today, the climate and weather patterns are changing and historical data is becoming less reliable as an indication of what to expect. With a tropical climate, plenty of sunshine and temperatures around 30°C throughout the year, there is never a really bad time to visit the Maldives. There are two distinct seasons: the dry season (northeast monsoon) from January to March and the wet season (southwest monsoon) from mid-May to November. ‘Wet season’ doesn’t mean it rains all the time, but during this period there is a higher probability of rain. However, in today’s world we do experience rain even during the ‘dry’ season.

More detailed weather information can be found here

The Maldives are a Muslim nation, therefore care needs to be taken regarding dress on small islands and in local communities.

While it is acceptable for men to wear t-shirts and shorts/swim shorts, women should avoid causing offence by maintaining a more conservative approach. T-shirts with sleeves that cover the shoulders, loose shorts that cover the thighs, or sundresses with a sarong around shoulders are advised.

All the islands we visit are more tolerant of guests wearing traditional beachwear, but women should NOT wear swimwear unless on an uninhabited island, sandbank, private tourist bikini beach (available on all islands you’ll stay on) or on board our cruises and snorkeling boats. Your tour leader will advise when and where this is possible.

No previous experience is needed for any of the included activities – just an average level of fitness and a sense of adventure. The activities aren’t strenuous, the only requirement is that you must be able to climb a ladder to exit the water, be comfortable in the water and be able to swim to participate in snorkeling activities.

We strongly recommend you bring along your own mask and snorkel wherever possible. Not only will you be assured the mask fits your face properly (making it more comfortable and less likely to leak), it’s also more hygienic. A mask and snorkel are small and light, so they should take up very little space in your suitcase! Due to the ocean current and wind conditions in the Maldives, the use of fins is essential for almost all snorkelling and these are included in all snorkelling activities we provide on tour. However, if you want to ensure a perfect fit, you are always welcome to bring your own.

On board our cruises we can cater to most diets providing we are advised at time of booking.  If there is something particularly you eat within your diet that you can’t live without we would encourage you to pack some and be prepared for perhaps more repetition of meals than you would be used to back home. For further clarification drop us a message.

Note to support our sustainable approach to cruises we do not offer beef products on board.

When traveling on land based tours properties can cater for vegan and vegetarian diets but it is worth noting in regard to food on local islands, over 95% of products are imported and then from Male they are transferred once or twice a week to outer islands.

Fruit and vegetables whilst available can be limited and they do not form part of the traditional Maldivian diet in the way you may be used to back home with your 5 a day! Given that tuna is a key component of our diet as vegetarians you will find your diet quite limited in comparison to what you are used to, even a potato curry is likely to have dried tuna added. On local islands you can’t just pop out to the supermarket and what you may see in the convenience store one week is not seen again for months!

Maldivians, as Muslims, are prohibited by law from consuming alcohol; hence there is a total restriction on alcohol being available on inhabited local islands, this includes the capital Male. Please do not bring alcohol through the airport as it will be confiscated and returned to you at time of departure.

Alcoholic beverages are available on our cruise itineraries and are purchased on board. Payment is required in USD cash or local currency to the boat captain.

When staying on local islands, visits to tourist resorts and bar boats in certain areas can be arranged.


Travel insurance is compulsory on all of our multi day tours. You need to be covered for medical expenses abroad, including any emergency transportation costs to the nearest hospital and any emergency repatriation that may be required due to illness/injury. We recommend your insurance covers flight delays, missing flight connections and lost/delayed luggage.

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Three woman do the peace sign on a tropical sandbank