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Faq

Here you will find all the answers to your questions.

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THE DIVING

There are typically 4 to 5 divemasters on each liveaboard.

3 daily dives (except check-in day and the last 24 hours before the flight), included 1 night dive for the week trip and 2 night dives for the 10 nights trip (so the day of the night dive, the dives will be 2 during daytime + the night dive). The dives will occur on our comfortable diving dhoni. Tanks, belts and weights are included. 

The first dive usually takes place between 6-7 am. Before the first dive we serve dry biscuits with coffee or tea. After the first dive, a big breakfast buffet is served, followed by a period of relaxation or activities such as diving lessons. The second dive usually takes place between 10-11 am, followed by lunch. After lunch, guests have some time to rest before the third dive, which usually happens between 2-3 pm. After the third dive, the program varies. Sometimes including an extra dive, a night dive between 5:30-6:30 pm, or activities like happy hour on a sandbank or a desert island, a walk on a local island, a tour of the capital Malè, or biology talks with our experts and dive guides.

Yes, Nitrox is available at an extra charge.

NITROX usage:

PRINCESS MAANI: NITROX FREE OF CHARGE;

SACHIKA:

  • 70 USD x 7 night trip,
  • 80 USD x 9 night trip,
  • 90 USD x 10 night trip,
  • 100 USD x 12 night trip.

The liveaboard does not allow solo diving. Instead, they provide knowledgeable dive guides who are familiar with the dive sites and currents, and they always try to organize group dives. The ratio between dive guides and divers is convenient, with at least 4 dive guides on board. The liveaboard is flexible underwater and aims to meet the expectations and needs of all guests, but they expect reasonable behavior towards marine life and other divers.

Guests will dive from the Diving Dhoni, a boat entirely dedicated to diving activities, which always accompany the main liveaboard and provides tanks, belts, and weights.

Yes, there are ladders on the tenders/RIBs.

The Maldives experience two distinct seasons: the southwest monsoon (wet-season), which typically extends from mid-May to November, and the northeast monsoon (dry-season), which extends from January to March. The months of December and April are considered monsoon transitional periods. Sharks, manta rays, and whale sharks can be seen during both seasons. The major difference lies in the chances of rain and unstable weather, which are higher between May and November.

 All dives are conducted from dhonis to provide precise entry and exit points. Strong and unpredictable currents can occur at any time, especially during new and full moons, so it’s important to be comfortable with drift diving. Top Class Cruising requires all guests to hold an Open Water Diver certification or equivalent. For some dives the recommended depth is less than 18m, so we recommend that guests have Advanced or Deep Diver training. Please check the itinerary for each cruise to see the minimum number of dives required.

We offer various diving courses and specialty courses onboard Top Class Cruising liveaboard. Please contact us for details. Course availability is subject to itinerary and it is better to communicate the intention of taking a course certification at least 7 days prior to the starting of the cruise.

Students under the age of 18 must have a parent or guardian sign the course documents.

Mostly English, Italian and Dhivehi (Maldivian).

We offer well maintained rental diving equipment of top notch brands and snorkeling equipment for additional costs, if required. The rental of a 15 lt steel tank requires extra charge and it is better to communicate the intention at least 7 days prior to the starting of the cruise.

The dive dhoni has plenty of storage space for your equipment and dive towels are provided. We recommend that you bring your own mask, snorkel, fins, boots, wetsuit, regulator, BCD, SMB (with at least 5 meters of line for safety stops) and dive computer with spare batteries. A torch is also required for night dives.

All the above equipment is available for rental onboard. The average water temperature is 27-29°C, so we recommend a 3mm shortie or wetsuit. If you need to hire equipment, please pre-book with Top Class Cruising before you arrive to ensure availability.

We require your normal height, weight and shoe size in order to properly prepare the equipment. For safety reasons, all divers must use a dive computer and SMB, carry reef hooks (distributed Free of Charge onboard,if needed) for every dive and bring a diving torch for night dives. If you need assistance with your equipment, please ask about what’s available on board.

THE BOAT

The maximum capacity for Sachika is 22 to 23 passengers while Princess Maani can accommodate up to 28 passengers.

Yes, children are permitted on the trip, however, they must be supervised by a parent or a designated responsible adult at all times while on board.

Several activities are available for non-diving guests, including visits to desert islands, sandbanks, barbeque dinners, kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, fishing trips, local islands, happy hours, and karaoke, among others. On the last day of the Central Atolls trip, guests can visit the modern and bustling city of Malè in the afternoon.

Yes, smoking is strictly prohibited in any internal spaces of the boat, including cabins and restaurants. However, smoking is permitted in the designated outdoor/open-air areas of the boat.

The cabin layout depends on the specific boat as they may have different configurations. Please refer to the liveaboard’s specific information to obtain all the necessary details about the cabin layout.

The engine room is situated on the lower deck, at the stern of the boat.

Yes, some cabins are suitable for single bookings, but an additional fee may apply. Please consult the liveaboard’s specific information to obtain all the necessary details about the cabin layout.

Yes, air conditioning is available in the restaurant/main hall and all cabins on the liveaboard.

All cabins have en-suite toilets. Additionally, each liveaboard has, at least, one public toilet available.

Yes, we provide both beach towels than toilet towels to our customers. Towels and bedsheets are changed once during the week, but extra changes can be done on request.

Each liveaboard has a charging station area where customers can charge their cameras and computers.

We offer well maintained rental diving equipment of top notch brands and snorkeling equipment for additional costs, if required. The rental of a 15 lt steel tank requires extra charge and it is better to communicate the intention at least 7 days prior to the starting of the cruise.

GENERAL QUESTIONS ABOUT MALDIVES

To enter the Maldives, your passport must be valid for at least one month after your arrival. Tourist visas, valid for 30 days, are issued free of charge to all nationalities on arrival at the immigration desk at Maldives International Airport. All visitors must have a return onward ticket. We recommend that you keep your Top Class Cruising or Tour Operator/Agent voucher handy in case it is requested by airport security as proof of accommodation. In addition, all travelers must complete the online Traveler Declaration form (https://imuga.immigration.gov.mv/ethd) within 96 hours of their flight time, both on arrival and departure.

If you are waiting for a transfer on arrival or a connecting domestic flight, the airport is reasonably comfortable and has a shop for local SIM cards, a post office, a money changer and a few cafes/restaurants including Thai Express, Burger King and New Noodle.

5 hours ahead of GMT. Daylight saving time is not observed in the Maldives.

The Maldivian currency is the Rufiyaa (MVR), which is closely linked to the US dollar at a rate of 1 US dollar to 15.42 Rufiyaa. Most resort islands and local tourist shops accept US dollars, so there’s no need to change money into Rufiyaa. Major credit cards, including Visa, MasterCard and JCB, are accepted at most resorts, hotels, liveaboards and souvenir shops. Prices are usually quoted in US dollars. There’s a local bank branch in the arrival terminal of the international airport where you can exchange your currency for US dollars. Please note that traveler’s cheques are not accepted at any bank or resort island in the Maldives.

We accept payment in cash, Euros and USD and by credit card, Visa and MasterCard only. Credit cards are charged in USD plus a 4% surcharge. Please ensure that you are authorized to use your credit card outside your country of origin.

UK 3 pin (type G) electrical sockets using 220 volts AC 50Hz.

THE FOOD

Our culinary team endeavors to accommodate all dietary restrictions and preferences. We kindly request that you inform us of any special dietary requirements or allergies at least 7 days prior to the cruise.

Our package includes self-service access to drinking water, Nescafe, and tea, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. However, soft drinks are not included in the package and are available for an additional charge.

We offer an extensive selection of wines, beers, and spirits on board, which are available for an additional charge.

EXTRAS

Yes, our package includes transportation to and from the airport on the scheduled cruise dates.

For certain trips, such as the “Untouched Northern Edge” tour and the “Northern HighLights” tour, there may be marine park fees that must be paid directly onboard.

A mandatory service fee is required to be paid onboard.

“SERVICE FEE”:

  • 130 USD/PERSON per 7 nights trip,
  • 165 USD/PERSON per 9 nights trip,
  • 185 USD/PERSON per 10 nights trip,
  • 220 USD/PERSON per 12 nights trip.

 

This amount needs to be paid CASH in US DOLLAR onboard before departure.

Top Class Cruising does not charge any credit card fees for advanced bookings, which can save customers 2.5% or more. However we accept Visa and MasterCard for the payments on board, adding a 4% surcharge to the prices, which are all in US dollars. Customers should check with their banks for any international charges and exchange rates.

Before participating in activities such as diving, snorkeling, or swimming, all guests must sign a self-declaration medical form upon check-in. If a guest has any of the medical conditions listed in the form, they need clearance from a doctor valid within 12 months of their planned trip. Guests taking a PADI course must sign a Diver Medical form before starting the course. Parents or guardians must sign all paperwork for guests under 18 years old. It is recommended to arrange doctor’s clearance before arrival to avoid any delays, additional costs, or missing the trip.

Marine life is abundant around coral reefs with schools of reef and pelagic fish, few species of sharks, turtle, mantas rays, eagle rays and stingrays: they all are usual companions of our dives, with playful dolphins making appearances, every now and then. With 26 atolls, the diving is varied, with channel dives attracting marine life from the deep, fast drift dives and relaxing reefs.

Water temperatures are usually between 27 – 29°C

A 3mm or a Lycra wetsuit is fine for tropical waters, but some divers prefer a 5mm wetsuit. It really depends on how you prefer to dive, but we’re happy to advise.

We are equipped with both, DIN and INT.

Sorry, this service is not available.

Most diving schools recommend 24 hours prior to a flight, therefore for your safety Top Class Cruising requires you to have 24 hours free time prior to a flight.

If you are a PADI, SSI or TDI-SDI diver, don’t worry, we can find you in the online database.

Yes, as long as you can prove you’re a diver. We may ask you to do a check dive or scuba review before you arrive or on your first day. This will depend on your level, how many dives you think you have and when your last dive was.

All the above equipment is available for rental onboard. The average water temperature is 27-29°C, so we recommend a 3mm shortie or wetsuit. If you need to hire equipment, please pre-book with Top Class Cruising before you arrive to ensure availability.

We require your normal height, weight and shoe size in order to properly prepare the equipment. For safety reasons, all divers must use a dive computer and SMB, carry reef hooks (distributed Free of Charge onboard,if needed) for every dive and bring a diving torch for night dives. If you need assistance with your equipment, please ask about what’s available on board.

Your diving experience with Top Class Cruising depends on your level, number of dives and when you last dived. For safety reasons we recommend that you follow your agency’s recommendations. If it’s been more than six months since your last dive, many agencies recommend a Scuba Review.

If you are planning to join a liveaboard, please arrange this in advance or at home before you arrive in the Maldives.

During your trip with us, we’ll conduct a check dive at a local and protected dive site, regardless of your qualifications or experience.

Our experienced guides will provide advice and feedback to ensure you have the best possible diving experience.

In the Maldives, the maximum depth you can dive to is 30 meters when diving with an equally qualified buddy. Your depth limit will depend on your level of training and experience. Please make sure you check your insurance coverage for diving depths before you arrive as this is your responsibility.

Generally 45 minutes; this is to ensure that we can accommodate all divers.

At Top Class Cruising we prioritize the environment. Wearing gloves in Maldives is not allowed. Please also refrain from touching, riding, feeding, catching or harassing any underwater creatures. During the safety stop you should have at least 50 bars left in your tank. We usually enter the water with negative entries (BCD empty).  Solo diving and decompression diving are not permitted and we ask that you exercise good buoyancy control in every moment of the dive, especially when using cameras. By following these guidelines we can all enjoy an excellent dive while preserving our environment. 

Check in is from around 10.30/11.00am onwards.

On the day of check out, guests will check out at around 07.00/07.30 and will arrive at the airport at around 07.30/08.00. However, for guests with early departures on the day of check-out (around 09.00 or earlier) we can arrange a special early check-out before 07.00. If you are planning to continue your holiday in the Maldives at a resort, hotel or another liveaboard, please arrange your own transfer from the airport as we cannot provide direct transfers from the liveaboard to resorts. If you need a room for the day, there are hotel/guest houses available in Hulhumale. Our boat manager will be happy to assist you with these arrangements and payment will be made on site.

All our transfers to/from our liveaboard boats on the day of check-in (usually Saturday, but days may vary for 10 night trips) will be met at Male (Velana) International Airport by a Top Class Cruising representative wearing a Top Class Cruising uniform and holding a Top Class Cruising sign with the name of the boat. The meeting point is in front of the International Arrivals gate. A contact number for the Top Class Cruising airport/liveaboard representative will be provided in your booking email.

The complimentary transfers arranged by Top Class Cruising from the airport to the liveaboard are available from approximately 10.30/11.00 onwards, on the day of check-in, depending on the guest’s arrival time.

Yes, taxis are available at the airport for approximately $15.

If you are already in the Maldives prior to joining your liveaboard cruise, you should make your way to Male (Velana) International Airport for Top Class Cruising’s dedicated transfers. The time should be arranged with Top Class Cruising management or liveaboard cruise manager.. Your hotel will be able to assist you with the transfer from the hotel to the airport.

All our liveaboards are equipped with Wi-Fi and internet is available when a mobile signal is available. This service is for limited internet browsing and connecting to communication applications. Upload/download is very limited so we ask guests to refrain from transferring large files. Signal strength may vary, resulting in intermittent and/or slow connections, depending on the local mobile operator. If you are a heavy internet user, we recommend that you purchase a local data SIM card at Male airport on arrival; your Top Class Cruising representative can assist you with this.

Wi-Fi internet access:

  • 30 USD/PERSON per 7 nights trip,
  • 35 USD/PERSON per 9 nights trip,
  • 38 USD/PERSON per 10 nights trip,
  • 45 USD/PERSON per 12 nights trip.

The importation of alcoholic beverages is prohibited under Maldivian law and will be confiscated by Customs on arrival and returned to you on departure, which can be a lengthy process. Alcohol is available for purchase on board; a beer costs around USD 4-6, a bottle of wine between USD 30-130, spirits between USD 5-8 and cocktails between USD 10-12.

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