Dates: November 23-December 1, 2019
Price: 1,795.00. Please see PRICE AND PAYMENT TERMS for additional details
Group Leader: Eduardo
Number of Spots: 20
For the diving package, CLICK HERE
What are you doing for Thanksgiving this year? Well, call your family, call your boss or call whoever you need to call to tell them that this year you are going to paradise on Thanksgiving. You are going on a tropical vacation to what is possibly the most beautiful tropical place in the world: The Maldives!
The Republic of Maldives is a chain of almost 1200 islands, literally in the middle of nowhere in the Indian Ocean. The closest major land mass is Sri Lanka, 1000 kilometers away. Only about 200 islands are inhabited by the local people. The highest point in the Maldives is just 8 feet above sea level! The weather and conditions are just about as perfect as they can get: sunny days, breezy nights, average temperatures in the mid 80's, breathtaking sunsets, water temperature between 80 and 84 year round, white sandy beaches with calm clear water and friendly people.
We will be taking advantage of the holiday so that we only have to take three days off but go on a 9-day, 8 night vacation where we will be enjoying some of the most beautiful beaches in the world and doing activities such as snorkeling, paddle boarding, jet skiing, and one of the best things you can do on the most beautiful beaches in the world: nothing! :-D Just laying on the fine white sand as the sun kisses your body, and swimming in the warm clear water of the Indian Ocean.
We found an amazing beachfront boutique hotel on the Island of Dhigurah, at South Ari Atoll and we can't imagine anything being better than that.
Here are some of the amenities of Boutique Beach Club:
- Every bedroom features a camera work station with a charging area with USB ports. Usually a great amenity for divers, but also great for us to work on our snorkeling other great pictures we will take every day and post them online so everyone hates us, dying with envy! :-D :-D :-D.
- Large comfortable beds with deep back support mattresses, luxurious cotton sheets and feather or fiber pillows.
- Magnificent sunsets and dinner under the stars on their rooftop restaurant with fresh local and European food prepared by skilled Sri Lankan chefs.
- Full board: breakfast, lunch and dinner included.
- Unlimited water, soft drinks, tea and coffee.
- Local fresh juices and mocktails during mealtimes.
- Welcome drink on arrival - “Maldivian young coconut”.
- Complimentary Molton Brown bathroom products.
- Free wifi in hotel rooms and hotel area.
- Daily excursions to different beaches, islands and sandbanks.
We won't have a set schedule of what day we will be going to each location or doing each activity, since it those will depend on the conditions each day. Instead, every evening, the team will meet with the group and determine the activities for the following day. Here are some of the outings and activities we will be doing:
- Boat outings to one of the many islands and around in the South Ari Atoll, including a lunch on a sandbank (included in our package).
- Boat outings to some of the 5-star island resorts in the area, such as Maafushivaru, Diamonds Thudufushi, Constance Moofushi and Mirihi where we can spend a 5-star day but not have to spend 5-star prices to stay for the night. ;-) (Additional cost of 10.00 USD for each).
- A Dolphin cruise (included in the package)
- A Whale Shark safari (included in the package). South Ari Atoll has Whale Sharks year round so we will very likely be able to encounter this amazing fish. For those of you who don't know, Whale Sharks are completely harmless (they have no teeth) but are the biggest fish in the ocean and can be as big as 30 feet! Look at this!
- Water sports such as jet skiing, paddle boarding, water skiing and wake boarding, fun tubbing, banana boat, kayaking, and of course snorkeling in what is considered by many the most beautiful atoll in the world (additional cost. Cost depends on the activity).
Yup! This is going to be the perfect tropical Thanksgiving vacation…
OPTIONAL RESORT ISLAND WATER VILLA AND SEAPLANE EXTENSION!
For those of us who want to take things to the next level and experience one of Maldives' unique attractions, we will have the opportunity to spend two days and one night on an exclusive resort island in a water villa and fly out on a seaplane!
Resort islands are those small private islands, where the island itself is the whole resort and your room is a villa over the water (yes, the ones where you can jump in the water right from your room!).
This is going to be a super, super cool and unique experience, and because we will be spending just two nights, it will actually be pretty inexpensive.
We will be staying at Vakarufalhi Island Resort and Spa, an award-winning resort, and one of the nicest at South Ari Atoll.
We will head up to Vakarufalhi in the morning of December 1 (the last day of the regular trip) on a short boat ride spend the next three days and two nights at the resort, and leave on a seaplane (yes!) to Malé on December 3.
PRICE and PAYMENT TERMS
- A deposit of 450.00 (non-refundable) starts your reservation. Once we receive your deposit, we'll send you a questionnaire and a contract that will need to be returned to us within 72 hours to guarantee your spot. Once we have the questionnaire and contract, we also will send you an invoice for the remaining amount. You will have until August 23 (three months before departure) to finish making your payment.
- This price is for cash, check, bank transfer, or any direct form of payment. We can take the deposit via credit card, but if you want to pay for the remaining balance with a credit card, we'll have to pass the 5% credit card processing fee (for this trip, 125.00) along to you.
- When you make your deposit, you will be asked for your email. MAKE SURE YOU LIST AN EMAIL YOU CHECK DAILY WHEN YOU MAKE YOUR PAYMENT. THAT'S WHERE YOU'LL RECEIVE YOUR INVOICE, QUESTIONNAIRE AND ALL THE EMAILS IN REGARDS TO THE TRIP.
- Full payment is only due on August 23, 2019, three months before the trip. So you have a lot of time to pay. You can make payments in any way you prefer so long as you are fully paid by the due date.
- The cost for the resort island villa extension will be 895.00 and will include transportation in and out of Vilamendhoo (including the seaplane) and all you the meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner). Because the seaplane is included, you won't need to buy a return FlyMe flight out of Dhigurah, which will save you 150.00.
- If you make payments or pay in full before the due date, your payments (minus the deposit) are refundable before the due date ( August 23, 2019). After that, all payments are entirely non-refundable. We STRONGLY suggest that you get travel insurance to cover you in case you need to cancel your trip for any reason.
- All the hotel stays at double occupancy (please see ABOUT OCCUPANCY below). At Boutique Beach Club or one of their adjacent hotels. Depending on the size of our group, they might have to put some of us (or all of us in order to keep us together) in one of their adjacent hotels of the same caliber.
- Transportation to and from the landing strip at Dhigura to the hotel if you arrive within the guidelines on FLIGHT GUIDELINES below. If arrive or leave at a different time, you’ll have to arrange your own transportation or pay extra for our operator to transport you.
- Daily excursions.
- Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily at the hotel. Depending on what time we arrive, we might not get breakfast on the first day.
- Flights (see FLIGHT below).
- Optional activities (jet ski, water ski, paddle boarding, fun tubbing, etc.).
- Meals other than breakfasts, lunches and dinners at the hotel.
- Travel insurance (highly recommended). We do offer Travel Guard travel insurance and will send you a link to purchase it once you pay your deposit. You can also get insurance with any company you would like.
- Tips to guides, drivers, staff, etc.
- Souvenirs or anything extra you would like to get.
- Any activity not described in the itinerary.
- Especial or further outings and excursions. We will definitely have a different great included in the package every day. Now, it seem like there are A LOT of different options of outings and excursions and some of them might cost extra if we decide to do them.
- Double occupancy: you will be paired up with someone of the same gender as a roommate. Unless you have someone that you are already coming with, of course.
- Single supplement (if you want a room for yourself): 995.00
- The last people to RSVP and pay the deposit MAY have to be put in triple occupancy rooms (if we end up with an odd number of men or women).
Flights are NOT included. Flights are very easy to book nowadays on your own and some people want to do side trips, so it gets really unpractical to include flight. Besides many of you can use miles or other ways of making your flight free or saving money if you book it by yourself. So instead of including air, we will give you guidelines so you can go to Kayak.com, Cheapoaire.com, Expedia.com, Orbitz.com, or any booking website and book your own. The best time to book a flight is usually 2-3 months before departure (the best day is Tuesday and the best time is between 12:00 and 3:00 PM). We will book ours at that point and e mail the group telling you what we got. If you do book the same flight, we’ll meet at LAX. If not, we’ll just meet you there.
Flights from the U.S. arrive at Malé International Airport. From there you have two options to get to Dhigurah:
FLYME: A 20 minute flight to Maamigili Island and then a 10 minute speedboat to Dhigurah. Round trip cost : 300.00. Both flight and the speedboat are included on the 300.00 and they are coordinated together so as soon as one arrives, the other one departs. They have several departures daily.
SPEEDBOAT: A 2 hours speedboat ride. Round trip cost: 140.00. The boat is a clean, comfortable boat with bottled water and a bathroom. They have one departure daily each way: at 4:00 PM from Malé to Dhigurah, and at 6:30 AM from Dhigurah to Malé.
Our hotel can arrange the Maldives part for you (NOT the international flights into Maldives) for either one of the above options and you pay the hotel when you arrive. Just forward us your international flight information at least 60 days before your arrival, and they will coordinate your flight or speedboat ride.
IF YOU CHOOSE FLYME:
- Arrives in Malé (MLE) no later than 8:00 PM on November 23. The last Flyme flight out of Malé leaves at 11:00 PM.
- Leaves Malé (MLE) on December 1 no earlier than 10:00 AM and no later than 11:00 PM. The first Flyme flight to Malé leaves at 6:00 AM and arrives in Malé at 6:30 AM. The last Flyme flight to Malé leaves at 8:00 PM and arrives in Malé at 8:30 PM.
IF YOU CHOOSE SPEEDBOAT:
- Arrives in Malé (MLE) no later than 2:00 PM on November 23. There is only one speedboat from Malé to Dhigura, and it leaves daily at 4:00 PM. Keep that in mind if you find a flight that will arrive too early, as you will have to wait until 4:00 PM to take the boat.
- Leaves Malé (MLE) no earlier than 12:00 PM on December 1. There is only one boat from Dhigura to Malé, and it leaves daily at 6:30 AM, arriving at Malé at 8:30 AM. Keep that in mind if you find a flight that leaves late, as you have to wait since 8:30 AM for you flight.
IF YOU ARE DOING THE RESORT ISLAND EXTENSION:
- Leaves Malé (MLE) on December 3, no earlier than 3:00 PM.
SOME OTHER IMPORTANT THINGS TO KNOW
- Is seems like there are lots of taxes in the Maldives. We strove to figure out all the taxes so we could include them in the price and we think we did. However, we might be surprised with some additional taxes that we did now know of that were not include in the price. If that’s the case, they will be charged directly to you, but they won't be much. Again, most likely there won't be anything , but we just like to mention every possibility so there are no surprises.
- Maldives is a Muslim country. As almost every single Muslim person, or as almost every single person of any religion for that matter, they are peaceful, loving and welcoming. However, they observe Muslim laws, which include alcohol abstinence. In other words: they don't serve alcohol in the inhabited islands such as Dhigurah. They do serve alcohol, however, at the island-resorts such as the ones we can visit as daily excursions. What does that mean for us? It means that while we are at our hotel or anywhere on Dhigurah, we cannot drink or have any alcoholic beverages with us. We can drink as much as we want every time we go to any of the island resorts but can't bring any alcohol back with us. Please keep that in mind and please be respectful of the country we are visiting.
- Because of the adventurous nature of our trips, our itinerary and some locations are subject to change due of weather, tides, road conditions, logistics and other unforeseen circumstances. It’s not likely, but it could happen. Whenever we make a change in the itinerary, we will do our best to keep the integrity of the trip.
- Passport is required, of course, as in all international travel. Your passport must be valid for 6 months after our return date of December 1, 2019; therefore it must be valid until at least June 1, 2020. If you don't have a valid passport or if you passport expires before June 1, 2020, make sure to get started on a new one ASAP. Here's the link for the Department of State Passport section: http://travel.state.gov//content/travel/en.html
- As of the time of this posting American Citizens don’t need a visa for Maldives. We can't guarantee that this won't change, but that's the case right now. Now, if you have a foreign passport, you may need a visa. Here's the Maldivian Embassy website so you can look into that: http://maldivesmission.com/
If you need to take care of any those issues, make sure to get on them ASAP so you don't get held up because of some unexpected delay. We've had people missing trips and losing their money because they waited too long, had unexpected issues come up, and couldn't take care of them before the trip started.
LEGAL DISCLAIMER AND RELEASE OF LIABILITY STATEMENT
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This is an adventure event and some of the activities you will be participating in will be physically demanding. You are discouraged to join this event if you are not in good physical condition. By signing up, you represent that you are qualified, in good health and in proper physical condition to join all the activities, and assume all responsibility for any situation that can arise from you not being physically prepared.
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