MV Orion is a 39m wooden hulled motor yacht operating high quality liveaboard diving cruises around the Maldives. Up to 24 divers can be comfortably accommodated on board.
There is a range of cabins from Standard en-suite cabins to Executive suite, each having a TV and DVD player, with the higher priced cabins even enjoying bathtubs. The MV Orion liveaboard is beautifully finished inside with wooden floors and paneling as well as high quality furnishings.
7 night trips depart from Male and from the time of collection at the airport you will be treated to the level of hospitality one might expect of a boat that forms part of the DivEncounters Alliance. With a crew of 18 you are almost guaranteed one-on-one service and for added convenience there are several European languages spoken on board.
You can choose to relax either in the air-conditioned saloon, dining area or on the large sun deck which features a whirlpool tub and massage room. The saloon is home to the entertainment system including plasma TV, DVD and music system plus computer with internet access (variable). There is also a range of books and games to keep you entertained between dives.
Diving is conducted from a separate 20m dhoni where equipment and tanks are stored and filled with air or nitrox (free of charge) from the 2 compressors. This means no noisy tank filling on board the MV Orion. All divers are given personal tracking devices and carbon monoxide analysers for use during the trip for added safety. While there are many Maldive Islands liveaboards operating 7 night dive safaris from Male, few have the luxury and style of the Orion.
Special offers: For special discounted prices, check the yellow highlighted trips in the schedule above.
Notes: Maldives Central & Southern Atolls - Participants are recommended to have 30 logged dives to join this itinerary. To get the most from the trip we suggest you are certified to dive to 30 meters and be PADI Advanced Open Water or equivalent
Cruise price per person includes: Cabin accommodation with air-conditioning, breakfast, lunch, dinner (1 BBQ on deserted island weather permitting), snacks, drinking water, hot drinks, transfers to the boat from the airport, dives, experienced English speaking divemasters (6 divers per guide), tanks, weights and weight belts, nitrox fills for enriched air certified divers, Male city tour (on request).
Cruise price per person excludes (mandatory, unless customer provides own): Scuba equipment (full set including surface marker device and dive computer US$ 336 per week, must be pre-booked), diving insurance, GST on all items and services purchased on board. Unless otherwise stated, all the listed items need to be paid on arrival, with equipment ordered in advance (cash or credit card).
Optional extras: Soft drinks, alcoholic drinks, 15 litre tanks (US$ 101 per week), Wi-Fi use on your device (US$ 22 per week). Unless otherwise stated, all the listed items need to be paid on arrival.
How to get there: The MV Orion liveaboard normally departs from Male. The first and last nights of the cruise are spent in the harbour. Your flight can arrive in Male at any time on the first day. There are 3 complimentary transfer timings from the airport to the boat on embarkation day; 11:00, 16:00 and 22:30 hrs. Guests taking the 11:00 hrs transfer from the airport to the boat have to accept that the boat will not be fully cleaned or ready for boarding until 13:00 hrs. A light sandwich style snack will be provided for lunch. Any other transfers required on embarkation day, other than the 3 stated above, can be arranged at a charge of approx. US$ 6 per person, this charge will be added to your booking. Group or full charter bookings with a minimum of 8 guests arriving on the same flight will not be charged the US$ 6 per person if an alternative transfer is required on embarking day (after 11:00 hrs).
For more information see our How to get to the Maldives section. The last dive of the trip will be at around 13:00 hrs on the second last day of the trip. Please wait at least 18 hours before flying after diving.
Non-diver rate: Non-divers receive a free snorkeling kit and a US$50 voucher to spend on board.
Single supplement (if you do not want to share accommodation): This is optional - single travelers may choose to share a cabin or pay a supplement of 80% of the published price. If there is no other same sex guest for you to share with, you will receive a cabin to yourself with no single supplement.
Dive clubs and group discounts: Pay for 10 guests and 1 extra person can join in a Standard cabin free of charge (total 11 guests). Pay for 16 guests and 2 additional persons can join the cruise in a Standard cabin free of charge (total 18 guests). Pay for 20 guests and 4 additional persons can join the cruise in Standard cabins free of charge (total 24 guests).
Whole boat charter rate (per night): Super Low Season: US$ 5,000, Low Season US$ 5,760, High Season: US$ 6,250, Super High Season US$ 7,000.
The MV Orion has a total of 12 cabins. There are 4 double/twin bed and 3 double bed Standard cabins, and a king-size Junior Suite on the lower deck. On the upper deck, there are 3 king-size Mini-Suites and an Executive double bed suite.
All the cabins have private en-suite bathrooms, and the Executive Suite has its own private deck and Jacuzzi.
All the liveaboard cabins have:
Windows (upper deck only) or portholes (lower deck)
Private bathroom facilities with hot water shower, towels, toiletries and hand basin
Bathtub (Executive & Junior suites only)
TV and DVD player
Wardrobe and shelves
Dressing table and mirror
24-hour, 220v electricity supply with 3-pin UK style sockets
Complimentary nitrox - Dhoni (see below) - Motorised dinghy - Saloon with TV, DVD, computer, wi-fi internet & music system - Book library, movies, games & magazines - Fish ID & diving books - Restaurant with bar - Sun deck with sun chairs, mattresses & whirlpool tub - Upper deck open-air shaded area with bar & massage room - Water dispenser
All the diving in the Maldives onboard the Orion is done from an accompanying 20m long dhoni. This dive boat carries all the guest's dive equipment, the compressors and scuba tanks. There is a toilet and fresh water shower on board, rinse tanks and a camera table. The dhoni also carries the emergency breathing oxygen.
Dining is taken very seriously on the MV Orion, with their food costs second only to fuel! Meals are prepared by the 2 on board chefs and the dining experience starts each day with a light pre-breakfast then a fully cooked breakfast after the first dive, and with lunch and dinner to follow. Meals are all buffet style and feature influences from the Maldives and international flavours including Italian and Thai food as well as a BBQ on each trip.
Maldivian, Italian and Thai cuisine are the mainstays of the menu, with weekly BBQs.
Main meals are served buffet-style in the air-conditioned restaurant and comprise pre-breakfast, breakfast, lunch & dinner, with snacks in between.
Snacks, bread/toast, fresh fruit, drinking water, and tea & coffee are available free of charge.
Soft drinks, beer, wine and spirits are available for purchase.
First meal served is lunch or dinner on the first day of the cruise, depending on your time of arrival.
All special diets can be catered for with prior notice.
Sample dishes: Masuni (local speciality, coconut, tuna, chili - served for breakfast with roti), Beef Lasagne, Tiramisu ...
"Transfers were taken care of, boat was in good condition, food was good. Decor is a little tired. Was surprised that none of the diving staff does photography so I couldn't buy a CD or flash drive with pictures." - Brian Lee, U.S.A., 31 December 2016 ...
"Luxurious liveaboard (best I've ever been on), comfortable rooms, lounging & dining areas, great food, good equipment, very knowledgeable and hospitable crew" - Deborah Chong, Australia, 03 October 2016 ...
"The entire arrangement from arrival to departure was perfect and very professional. Everyone did their job and knew exactly what to do and how to cater for the guests. The boat crews both on the mother boat and the dhoni were accommodating and service minded. It was obvious that they had been working with diving and liveaboards for a long time. The food was great and varied, the accommodations were pleasant and functional, there was space to hang around if you wanted to find somewhere by yourself. The dive guides/masters were all very experienced and they managed to pick the best spots for us to get the ultimate out of our time spent." - Jens Halling, Norway, 29 December 2015 ...
"Both Melissa and I had a wonderful time with the staff. The boat was clean and the staff accommodated us when our flights were delayed." - Dennis Huacon, USA, 10 November 2015 ...
"Great liveaboard with all necessary facilities. Staff were friendly and made the trip awesome." - Abdulla BuAli, Bahrain, 2 November 2015 ...
Low Budget Options
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Special discounted trips highlighted in yellow