Southwest of Sri Lanka in the Indian Ocean lie 1,190 islands, lush with tropical elements; this archipelago is known as the Maldives. The Republic of Maldives is a cultural melting pot due to its history and location. Barely noticeable on a world map, the splattering of its islands and atolls cover a 90,000 square km region in between India, Southwest Asia, and East Africa.
The Maldives are quite simply spectacular, with coconut palms arching gracefully above gin-clear lagoons, coral reefs that are ripe for snorkelers and divers, tropical scenery and mild weather with endless sunshine. Each of these islets could be labeled the picture perfect “desert island”.
The atolls, or ring-shaped coral reefs, that are found between the islands create faultless wave breaks, where surf fanatics can “ride the perfect wave”. The Maldives is also home to the worlds best dive spots. With 30 meters of visibility, there are 2,000 species of fish living in over 3,000 coral reefs.
Only 200 of the Maldives’ islands are inhabited, most of them dotted with luxury resorts. The best time of the year to enjoy a cruise is from December to May, where the weather is mild and dry.