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Maldives Dhoni Cruise

On this holiday, take a cruise among the remote atolls of the idyllic Maldives aboard a traditional Dhoni. You will eat and sleep aboard the boat and sail between the unspoilt palm-fringed tropical islands of the South Male, Felidhoo and Meemu Atolls On the way, visit small fishing villages and stop to swim or snorkel over the beautiful coral reefs.




Tour Highlights


7 Day Cruise - On board a Dhoni – the traditional boat of the Maldives, similar in many respects to the Arab Dhow.

Unspoilt Palm-Fringed Beaches - Time spent on some of the most beautiful beaches on earth.

World Class Snorkelling - Enjoy the warm, clear waters and unique marine life of the Maldives.

Felidhoo & Meemu Atolls - Cruise through the islands and visit the traditional fishing villages of these unspoilt atolls




Our Opinion


This is a cross between adventure and relaxation on a small boat which travels to places you just wouldn’t see otherwise.  Accommodation onboard is compact but adequate as you shouldn’t really be spending time in your cabin on this type of cruise!  You’ll have a chance to snorkel a couple of times per day and visit some incredibly beautiful beaches and islands including uninhabited places.



Full Itinerary


Day 1: Join tour Hulhule Island; Cruise to South Male Atoll

Arrive at Male International Airport.The flight into the airport here is an experience in itself with the runway taking up the entire length of the island and the terminal buildings taking up the remainder of the land space. Take the short walk directly to the waterfront to meet your Dhoni and the captain and crew. Having settled into your cabin, the boat will set sail by early to mid-afternoon. Cruise south for 2 to 3 hours through the Vaadhoo Canal to a nearby island in South Male Atoll; probably Guraidhoo, a small inhabited island and moor in (or just outside) the small harbour for your first night on board. Overnight Accommodation on the boat including lunch and dinner.



Day 2: Cruise to Ambaraa

After a relaxed start this morning, continue to the southernmost point of South Male Atoll before crossing the channel to Felidhoo Atoll. Whilst South Male Atoll is within the tourist zone, Felidhoo Atoll and the other southern atolls are not. And whereas there are about 20 resorts on the islands of South Male Atoll, there are only two in Felidhoo Atoll. The main industry is fishing and there is a chance that you will see traditional boat-building on at least one of the islands. The total travelling time will be about 3 to 4 hours, depending on how many times the boat stop off en route. You should reach the idyllic uninhabited island of Ambaraa by early afternoon, with the remainder of the day free to enjoy the beach and snorkel in the crystal clear waters around the island.

Overnight Accommodation on the boat including breakfast, lunch and dinner.


Day 3: Cruise to Fenboa Finolhu; Meemu Atoll

Today sail south for a further 2-3 hours, crossing to Meemu Atoll. As with the rest of the journey,  you are hardly ever out of sight of land (weather permitting) and you actually cruise very close to many of the islands. Meemu Atoll has 34 islands of which 25 are uninhabited. Some of the inhabited ones grow yams, and all of them are almost totally dependent on fishing. Here more than anywhere, you are likely to experience the true Maldivian way of life. Shortly after entering the atoll, arrive at Fenboa Finolhu, another beautiful uninhabited island where the boat will anchor for the night, again with plenty of time to enjoy the beach and to snorkel amongst the reefs. Overnight Accommodation on the boat including breakfast, lunch and dinner.


Day 4: At Fenboa Finolhu; cruise to Dhiggaru

After a relaxed start, head east to the inhabited island of Dhiggaru. Here, drop anchor outside the reef, a great area for snorkelling. Late afternoon is a good time to visit this lively village, which often has large dhonis under construction and very few tourist groups visiting it. Enjoy the laid back pace and traditional way of life of its people; as with all the villages that you visit it is important to remember to dress respectfully and behave responsibly. When visiting a house or mosque, shoes must be removed. You may be lucky enough to be invited in the evening to a performance of Bodu Beru (Big Drum), the traditional folk music of the country. Overnight Accommodation on the boat including breakfast, lunch and dinner.




Day 5: Cruise to Felidhoo

Today, head back to Felidhoo Atoll and its administrative centre Felidhoo. This is the least populated of the administrative centres with a population of about 400 people. Again, take time to wander through the village; every visit ashore shows something new and different about the lives of the islanders. Again, this is a great place to enjoy a Bodu Beru performance. Overnight Accommodation on the boat including breakfast, lunch and dinner.


Day 6: Cruise to Emboodhoo Finolhu

Todays journey is the longest of the trip and takes you right back through the islands of Felidhoo and the South Male Atolls. There are plenty of opportunities to stop and swim and snorkel or to explore the islands en route. Tonights destination is Emboodhu Finolhu, one of the northernmost islands of South Male Atoll. Overnight Accommodation on the boat including breakfast, lunch, and dinner.



Day 7: Cruise back towards Male

This morning we cruise back towards Male where we leave our Dhoni for the day and explore the capital.  We reboard our Dhoni in the evening for the final night on board. Overnight Accommodation on the boat includes breakfast, lunch, dinner


Day 8: Tour ends Hulhule Island.

Enjoy breakfast before heading back to the airport.



We can offer a huge range of islands in the Maldives if you wish to stay longer, we can also do multi-centre holidays India, Sri Lanka, Asia and the Emirates.



Need to Know 

Please note that from time to time itineraries may be amended, either for operational reasons or in response to feedback from customers. Please ensure you have read the latest Trip Notes before booking or travelling on your tour.Be Prepared


While our intention is to adhere to the day-by-day route as printed below, a degree of flexibility is built into the itinerary. Overnight stops may vary from those suggested.  Actual routes and overnight stops may vary due to the weather, the season, tides and especially the direction of the winds. An ability to swim is essential.


Local Representative: Please note that this trip is accompanied by a local representative plus boat crew.Please note there is no opportunity to scuba dive at any point on this tour.


Food and Drink: Typical Maldivian food is based around fish and rice and tends to be very hot and spicy. There is not naturally much in the way of tropical fruit and vegetables due to the islands not being large or fertile enough to grow much; however in recent years there has been much more imported which has meant a far greater variety of food being served. On the Dhonis breakfast tends to include bread (or chapatis), eggs, jam and fruit. Lunch is usually quite light as it is often on the move, so may be sandwiches, pasta or soup, or quite often fish. The evening meal is the big one when a large fish curry or other fish dish may be cooked, served with rice or pasta. Most meals will be based around fish, although chicken will probably be served a couple of times also. The cook on board will flavour the dishes to suit clients taste, so if you dont like hot food dont worry. Plenty of fresh vegetables and fruit are carried on board as well as some canned fruit. Fish is caught en route or bought from local fishermen. Soft drinks and bottled water are available to purchase from the crew on board the boat, as are alcoholic drinks, including cans of beer, bottles of wine and some spirits. Price ranges are 1.50USD for a soft drink or a bottle of water, 4USD for a can of beer,  20-31USD for a bottle of wine, and 2049USD for a bottle of spirits. Please note that all beverages purchased on board the dhoni are on a USD cash-only basis (no credit cards are accepted on board; no other currency apart from USD is accepted on board). Remember that the Maldives is a Muslim country and thus officially a dry country. However, tourists on island resorts and travelling by boat are permitted to purchase alcohol, but it is comparatively expensive. You should also be aware that it is an offense to bring alcohol into the country.



For more information or to book, please contact the reservations team