The Maldives is a geological marvel stretching across the Indian Ocean at the Equator like a magnificent strand of rare pearls. Lying at 4 degrees 10 minutes north latitude and 73 degrees 30 minutes east longitude, this island nation is comprised of 1,190 small coral islands grouped in 26 atolls that extend north to south for approximately 550 nm. The exposed top of a submerged mountain ridge, the Maldives is the lowest country on earth, with an average height above sea level of just one to three meters (three to six feet).
The islands have long been a welcome sight on the horizon among mariners, positioned as they are along ancient trade routes and sea-lanes. Now, as then, sailors are welcomed by Maldivians and find shelter from the Indian Ocean among its countless protected, deep-water anchorages. Maldivians trace their roots to several different cultures including South and Southeast Asians, Africans, and Arabians.
The nation converted to Islam in 1153, but those religious beliefs are melded into the fabric of Maldivian life along with the folklore and supernatural beliefs attributed to islands’ first settlers. Cultural diversity can be seen in everything from music to boat building. Music is frequently played with a local bodu-beru, or big drum, that is quite similar to African drumming. And the Maldivian dhoni, a sailboat built locally by skilled craftsmen, is strikingly similar to a dhow, the traditional Arabian sailing vessel.
Dream Yacht Charter’s base is on the main island of Male’, which is the perfect spot to begin a sailing tour of this remarkable country. If your definition of paradise is a lifestyle stripped to the basic essentials of whether the sky is blue and the sun is shining, where the toughest question to answer is if the beach now astern is more beautiful than the one ahead, one word will suffice in describing the Maldives. Perfection.
Our itineraries will introduce you to astonishingly lovely white powder sand beaches on one island after another. Some feature local fishing villages you can tour, others are home to elegant resorts with facilities our charterers are welcome to use, and many are uninhabited. The snorkeling and diving, shelling and abundance of marine life are all beyond compare in water the temperature of a relaxing bath.
For honeymooners, sun worshipers, divers, or simply salty dogs in search of new cruising grounds, incredible memories and wonderful stories, the Maldives have everything one could want in an unforgettable sailing vacation.