The pure white sails of Soneva in Aqua unfurl to catch the winds that skim the surface of the Indian Ocean. Sail to jewel-like atolls that are home to vibrant marine life and coral reefs, the majestic manta ray and the elusive whale shark. Visit local islands where Maldivians still practice traditional arts and crafts, or get into the Robinson Crusoe castaway spirit on a deserted island with a hamper filled with a bespoke gourmet picnic. Whether you are looking for a private liveaboard experience where you can dive and snorkel at your leisure, or embark on surfing charters that take you to little-known surf breaks, Soneva in Aqua will awaken the seafaring adventurer within you.
Soneva on the open seas
Moored off of Kunfunadhoo, the island that Soneva Fushi calls home, Soneva in Aqua is a luxurious yacht that offers guests the ultimate sense of exclusivity and privacy. The 23-
metre-long and 6.40-metre-wide yacht combines Soneva’s barefoot luxury philosophy and eco-friendly ethos with the freedom to explore beyond Soneva Fushi’s house reef.
The two-cabin yacht has a maximum occupancy of four adults and two children, and comes with all of the luxuries of a Soneva villa. Your crew includes a Captain, Sous Chef, and Mr. Friday butler. A Dive Master, Massage Therapist and Astronomer are also available on request.
Take in the sights of the Maldives from the decks, plush daybeds, outdoor Jacuzzi and catamaran nets on the prow. Below decks you’ll find the library, bar and lounge, all with
WiFi connectivity. Both the master and guest cabins come with en-suite toilets and showers, while the master cabin’s floor retracts to reveal a glass-bottomed spa tub with water jets. As the sun sets keep a look out for dolphins, with a glass of bubbly in hand.
Dive and snorkel the atolls
Soneva in Aqua’s customisable charters range from one to seven-night itineraries, winding their way through the Baa, Raa, Noonu, and Lhaviyani Atolls, while you can create your own itineraries for even longer charters. These areas have countless diving and snorkelling sites for divers of all skill levels, with depts from five to 30 meters. Explore wrecks, caves, swim-throughs, overhangs, drop offs, and dives with currents ideal for drifting. Manta rays, eagle rays, batfish, Napoleon wrasse, tuna, blue-line snapper, turtles, fusiliers, giant trevallies, different shark species, and more can be spotted at various tilas (tila means ‘shallow reef’ in Dhivehi).
Soneva Fushi’s Soleni Dive Centre, run by Thomas Waelchli and Elisabetta Benini, has multi-lingual PADI instructors and small group sizes to ensure world-class diving experiences. A number of diving courses are available to choose from, including Discover Scuba, Resort Course, PADI Scuba Diver, PADI Open Water. Thomas was one of the first foreign divers to visit the Maldives over 25 years ago, and as such, has a wealth of knowledge about the area. All dives from Soneva in Aqua are run by the Soleni Dive Centre at an additional cost.
The Maldives is well-known for its larger pelagic species, with Hanifaru Bay in the Baa Atoll being one of the best places in the world to see manta rays from May until November.
Hanifaru Bay is an incredible destination because of the sheer number of mantas that congregate in those waters. In most locations you’ll only see a dozen mantas at any given
time, whereas in Hanifaru Bay they flock in the hundreds to feed on zooplankton, making this destination incredibly unusual. You might even find yourself witnessing a manta ray
feeding tornado, where they swim in a chain spiral formation from the ocean floor to the surfaces. The Baa Atoll UNESCO Biosphere’s guidelines do not permit diving in the bay, but
you can snorkel to your heart’s content. You might also spot hawksbill turtles, whale sharks and more during your trips.
Surf’s up in the Maldives
The Maldives has a surf season, and it runs from mid-February to November, meaning surfing can be easily added to dive charters. The consistency of swells around the atolls vary
throughout the season, from March to May’s clean conditions, June to August’s bigger swells and September to October’s consistent waves with variable wind conditions.
Surf 14 different locations in the Baa and Noonu Atolls where the conditions are suited to all levels of surfers, including beginners, all year round. Soneva in Aqua offers the perfect
platform for an incredible surf holiday with the benefit of your own yoga/spa therapist who can offer treatments before and after each surf session, or bask in the on-deck Jacuzzi to
release any post-surf tension in your muscles. Soneva Fushi and Soneva Jani’s Eco-Friendly Surfing is the world’s first 100% sustainable luxury surfing programme. All of the surf
equipment at Soneva, sourced from numerous brands, are made from recycled waste, and the resorts provide full usage of their surfboards, sunscreen, and rash guards.
The Baa and Noonu Atolls have several local spots in addition to Goidhoo, which is one of the most well-known areas in the Maldives for surfing. The left and right breaks wrap
around the stunning reef entrance to the massive lagoon and can last as long as 70 metres with the right swell direction. The protected lagoon on the reef’s interior provides excellent shelter for overnight visits and endless snorkelling, stand-up paddle boarding and various other water sports.
Experience the height of castaway luxury, surrounded by sparkling turquoise waters. Have an uninhabited island all to yourself for snorkelling and sunbathing in complete privacy.
Satiate an appetite fuelled by swimming after brightly coloured fish under the warm rays of the Maldivian sun by tucking into a bespoke gourmet picnic or barbecue on the powdery
sands, all prepared by your Sous Chef. Visit local islands to sample traditional Maldivian cuisine or stop by a café for a taste of the slow pace of life in the middle of the Indian Ocean. Take an excursion to the island of Maalhos, a quaint traditional fishing island with just 600 inhabitants. Get a glimpse into Maldivian history as local women weave mats and baskets using traditional techniques that have been passed down for hundreds of years.
Extend your adventure beyond Earth’s atmosphere
A glimmering starlit sky awaits. If you have searched for a unique stargazing experience, look no further than the Maldives. Its location, near the Equator, means it is perfectly
positioned to view constellations in both the Northern and Southern hemispheres. The Maldives’ low population density ensures it has little to no light pollution, so the Milky Way
really has a chance to shine. See the North Star and the Southern Cross in one sky, and hear stories from local sailors of how they used them to navigate. Your on-board Astronomer will show you constellations and delve into how cultures used to use the stars to pass down knowledge, plan their harvests and teach their children right from wrong.
Experience the Maldives and the Indian Ocean like never before, all from the comfort of Soneva in Aqua. For more information click here.