The Maldives by boat

Jodie Love on 15 October 2017
I had always had my eye on the Maldives and found myself constantly dreaming of never-ending white sand beaches and turquoise waters. At the time I was single and not exactly rolling in money, and I thought the Maldives was just for honeymooners, couples and families who could afford to splash out on luxury accommodation. That was until G Adventures launched their Maldives Sailing trip. This was a game-changer for me and the perfect opportunity for me to at last live out my dream. I got myself booked on as soon as I could.

On arrival in Male airport I was greeted by my tour guide and introduced to the other members of the group who had already arrived. After waiting for around an hour for the rest of the group to land we were ready to go and we couldn’t have been more excited. Male airport is pretty small and right on the coast so to get to our boat all we needed to do was cross the road to the port and take a quick speedboat ride to where our lovely ship was moored. Home for the next eight days was a traditional Dhoni boat which looks like a fishing boat. There were eight people in our tour group and a crew of four. Our rooms were simple, each with a small bathroom attached, but for the amount of time we would be spending in our cabins it was perfect for what we needed. If you’re travelling alone like I was you’re automatically paired with another solo traveller on the trip to share a room, unless of course you opt to pay the additional ‘own room’ supplement to secure your own private cabin. Meeting new people was all part of the experience for me, so I was happy to share.

After a quick lunch prepared for us by our incredible on-board chef, we set sail. We were in paradise from the word go. The boat had a sundeck at the very top which was the perfect spot to take in the surroundings whenever we were on the move. There was also a seating area on the main deck at the front and back of the boat if you preferred a bit of shade. Eight days of pure bliss lay ahead and with no phone signal and no contact with the outside world (unless there was an emergency of course). It was just me, my fellow tour friends, spectacular surroundings and a stack of holiday reads. This was the stuff dreams were made of.

Over the next week we visited countless deserted islands where the sand was so white and the sea was so turquoise it was hard to believe we weren’t dreaming. We lounged on stunning beaches so out of reach that they were exclusive to just us. We snorkelled daily with turtles, eagle rays, octopus and the entire cast of Finding Nemo. We were surprised on one evening with an absolute feast on an un-inhabited island, where the crew built us a huge dining table out of sand, and we all filled our bellies whilst watching a stunning sunset. We lazed the afternoons away on the sun deck reading books and sharing travel stories. We visited local people on islands not usually open to tourism and got a glimpse into how life in paradise really looks. We were welcomed into the local community by the children who showed us some of their favourite songs and dance routines. We enjoyed three delicious meals a day as well as morning and afternoon post-snorkel snacks, cooked and prepared for us by our amazing chef who treated us to both local and international cuisine. By the end of the eight days I had never felt so relaxed and refreshed.

It truly was an amazing experience and one I will treasure and talk about forever. We might not have been sleeping in luxury but the surroundings are luxury enough all by themselves so it really didn’t matter. The privacy of the tour and the out of reach locations we visited made it all feel incredibly exclusive without the price tag of a luxury resort.