MV Amba offers nitrox diving and is the only Maldives liveaboard that operate tours in the areas of the Haa Alifu and Haa Dhaalu atolls, meaning that there will be very few other divers in the area, and you will feel like you have the whole underwater paradise to yourself.
All 10 cabins onboard Amba feature air conditioning and en-suite facilites. There are 2 standards of cabin to choose from - Standard Staterooms and a 25 square metre Deluxe Suite on the upper deck which affords you breathtaking panoramic views.
The spacious saloon offers comfortable sofas from which to take in a movie or simply discuss the best dive of the day. There are ample sundecks for those wishing to top up their tan or find a quiet corner to relax, and the upper deck sundeck even has its own bar so there's no need to interrupt the sun worshipping to order an after-dive cocktail!
Quite unusually for the Maldives, the languages covered on the M/V Amba include English, German and Italian. Amba caters mostly, but not exclusively, to German speakers so you can expect a mixed range of nationalities on board.
Cruise price per person includes: Cabin accommodation with air-conditioning, breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, drinking water, hot drinks, return transfers to the boat from Hanimaadhoo Airport, dives (as detailed in the tours above), experienced English-speaking divemaster(s) (10 divers per guide), tanks, weights and weight belts, Maldivian Bed Tax and GST.
Cruise price per person excludes (mandatory, unless customer provides own): Scuba equipment and torches (not available for rent on this boat), dive insurance. Green tax (from 1 November 2015 onwards, approx. US$ 6 per person per night) to be paid in advance, GST on all items and services purchased on board. Unless otherwise stated, all the listed items need to be paid on arrival: (cash only).
Optional extras: Snacks, soft drinks, alcoholic drinks, nitrox fills for enriched air certified divers (approx US$ 54 per trip), dive computer. Unless otherwise stated, all the listed items need to be paid on arrival: on board payments in cash (Euros and US dollars) not credit cards.
How to get there: Amba diving safaris depart from Hanimaadhoo. It is necessary to organise return domestic flights from Male to Hanimaadhoo and this can be done by the operator or using Maldivian. The above trips run from Sunday to Sunday but you can book Saturday to Saturday at no extra charge or any other day of the week with an additional transfer price. For more information on the Maldives see our How to Get to the Maldives.
Non-diver rate: 13% off the published price for cruises departing between November and April, 9% off for trips departing between May and October.
Single supplement (if you do not want to share accommodation): This is optional - single travellers may choose to share a cabin or pay a supplement of 65% of the published price.
Dive clubs and group discounts: Pay for 11 guests or more and receive 10% discount (doesn't apply to whole boat charters.) See whole boat charter price below.
Whole boat charter rate (per night): Low season 2014: 18 guests - US$ 2,994, 20 guests - US$ 3,332. High season 2014: 18 guests - US$ 3,522, 20 guests - US$ 3,772.
There are 7 Standard Staterooms with portholes on the lower deck, and 2 Standard Staterooms with windows and 1 Deluxe Suite with panoramic windows on the upper deck. The Deluxe Suite is suitable for families and friends as it can sleep up to 4 guests.
Enriched air nitrox - Motorised wood hull dive tender and dinghy - 50m² saloon with bar, TV, DVD player, music system, internet facility, books and magazines - 70m² shaded area - 50m² sundeck with sun chairs - Water skiing / wakeboarding available at extra charge
There are either 1 or 2 diving dhoni tenders accompanying the Amba on each trip. These dhonis are equipped with rinse tanks and camera tables, and also carry oxygen. All the dive gear is kept onboard the dhonis for the duration of the tour, with the compressors being onboard too. These boats will drop you at the dive sites and return you to the liveaboard afterwards.
Amba also has an additional tender for safety that doubles as a watersking / wakeboarding boat to while away those surface intervals!
With its modern 20 square matre Nirsoat kitchen and large storerooms, the Amba is certainly not a liveaboard boat that you will go hungry on. The meals are a mixture of international favourites (steak, pasta, roast chicken) and local cuisine, with plenty of fresh vegetables and tropical fruits. Once a week, provided the weather is suitable, you can venture ashore on to an uninhabited island to enjoy an unforgettable beach barbecue.
International and Maldivian main dishes.
Breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks.
Buffet service in the indoor saloon - 2 main dishes with vegetables and rice or noodles.
Vegetarians can be catered for with advance notice.
Cakes, biscuits, soft drinks, bottled water and alcohol are available for purchase.
"The dive operator was great with wonderful dive sites. The boat was clean and spacious. The operation was first class and I would consider this liveaboard again for another vacation. The only issue was lack of non-fish menu items, though the crew tried to help accommodate." - Nick Campbell, USA ...
"Amba is a nice, large, clean boat.. good food + crew; easy diving! Current was zero to light ... mantas were there, as advertised!" - Earl Engan, USA ...
"The German couple running the vessel are an excellent team providing guests with an exceptional scuba diving experience on a safari boat. Their staff are very helpful and friendly and overall the boat is also in very good condition with all the amenities which one can expect. In addition the food was of the highest quality with grilled fresh fish being served nearly every day, lots of vegetables and fruit etc.
The dive sites selected were extraordinary with untouched corals as far as the underwater visibility allowed for. It was one of the holiday experiences which one could repeat over and over." - Mathias Eick, Germany ...