Some people travel for adventure, others for relaxation. Scubaspa – a floating luxury resort in the Maldives – offers a bit of both, taking guests from dive site to dive site, pampering them with onboard treatments along the way.
The Week Portfolio caught up with Mohamed Shamoon Ameen, Scubaspa’s diving manager, to find out what makes diving in the Maldives special.
Where are the best places to dive in the Maldives? What are your favorite stops?
I would say the South – Atolls such as Huvadhu or Fuvahmulah. They are definitely some of the most unique places on earth, these atolls include dive spots such as “Maareha Kandu” or “Villingili Kandu”.
What are some of the best sightings you have had with guests?
The list is endless, but a couple of my most memorable were; an encounter with big school of hammerheads in a south atoll or diving at night in an extraordinary spot in the Thaa atoll where whale sharks showed up around us.
Do you find any sea creatures particularly interesting? What do you find intriguing about them?
Manta rays are definitely the most majestic of all creatures – it’s like they dance under the water.
The Maldives are known to have the biggest manta ray population in the world, with more than 4000 different individual mantas found here.
What does Scubaspa do differently to other Maldives holiday destinations?
I think it’s all about the concept. Scubaspa is a totally unique concept, equally focused on many departments – they’ve matched the floating resort and great restaurant with the only five-star Padi dive centre liveaboard in the Maldives. As well as their fully equipped spa, which has a very high service standard.
After day full of emotions and excitement you can find peace in luxurious and spacious cabins.
How much has the marine life in and around the Maldives been affected by climate change? Are your corals (and other sea creatures) suffering from the warming waters?
The Maldives are the new victim of climate change. Although I didn’t notice any noticeable affects in the sea creatures, the coral reefs here however, are highly vulnerable to climate change. About 60% of the once-pristine coral reefs of the Maldives have been bleached and in some areas this figure reaches up to 90%.
What makes scuba diving interesting for you? Why did you want a career doing it?
Scuba diving is not only my career but also my greatest source of joy, confidence and strength. Over the past 18 blissful years of diving I have had many wow moments, but yet I still know that there is so much of the ocean left to explore, and that’s exactly why I love scuba diving!
Aside from the Maldives, where else in the world do you enjoy diving?
I have had a number of diving experiences across the globe but I haven’t had a better experience than the Maldives. It is the most appealing dive destinations in the world, with its year-round warm water. If I had to choose anywhere else to dive, I found the Philippines to be great for macro diving.
What would you say to someone who is curious about scuba, but is apprehensive about giving it a go for first time?
I would say nothing on the surface comes close. When you are down there it is like you are on another planet – full of beautiful and diverse “alien” life! It’s as if time slows down and you can just drift and relax because no matter how many times you dip beneath the waves, you never know what you’re going to see, or when you’ll see it.
Sail with Floating Resort by Scubaspa from £1,635 per person based on a seven-night stay, excluding 12% GST and green tax. Guests choose from a Scuba Holiday package (including 15-17 dives per week), a Spa Holiday package (eight spa treatments) or a combined Scuba & Spa package including six dives and four spa treatments. For more visit scubaspa.com