More and more of us want our time away from our normal day-to-day to be spent in the middle of nowhere, in a tranquil paradise. The peaceful Maldives is a place where only the sounds of lapping waves and charismatic species of marine life will disturb you. The Maldives is a repeat favourite yachting destination as guests find that they never tire of the secluded sandy beaches dotted with palm trees and colourful coral reefs drenched in delicious sunshine. For the 81.8-metre superyacht RoMEA and her crew, this isn’t their first rodeo. Together since July 2015 when German shipyard Abeking & Rasmussen delivered the new superyacht, they have cruised around the world in style. Dubbed one of the most indulgent and luxurious charter yachts in the world, RoMEA is fully stocked with everything required to spark the adrenalin of all those on board. Her impressive array of toys and three tenders – including a 9.9-metre Limousine and two windsurfers – are put into action by a crew of 23 who boast good energy, a wealth of watersports experience and knowledge of unique cruising grounds. Up to 12 guests will certainly not get tired of her sweeping sun deck, large beach club, luxury spa, and Terence Disdale interior during a week of fun in the Maldives. After burning some energy out on the water or exploring one of the many paradise islands, guests can reside in either the full-beam master bedroom with private study and two en-suite bathrooms, full-beam VIP cabin, or five additional staterooms which are all decorated in an exquisite blend of bronze, steel and glass, with stonework, rich leather and exotic woods. The bespoke, contemporary furniture is complemented by original artworks for a heightened sense of relaxed opulence whilst cruising between the 26 coral atolls that make up the Maldives. Photo: Imperial yachtsWith a new itinerary specially curated by those at Imperial, superyacht RoMEA is getting ready to charter in the Indian Ocean. Sharing RoMEA’s itinerary for the winter season, Imperial has selected seven special destinations in the Maldives covering 160 nautical miles to help make for an unforgettable charter experience.Photo: Imperial yachtsPhoto: Imperial yachtsDay one: Malé
The first day of your Indian Ocean adventure begins by touching down at the international airport in the capital of the Maldives, Malé. Unlike anywhere else in the Maldives, Malé is protected by a ring of seawalls and has a fascinating cityscape that stands out in contrast to the calm Indian Ocean. Work off the jet lag by meandering through the island’s narrow streets in awe of the surrounding mosques and colourful buildings. Head away from the hustle and bustle towards the harbour, where you can find a fruit market and a popular fish market offering the day's catch. Standing out from the crowd will be the superyacht RoMEA, who will be waiting for you with a refreshing drink to welcome all guests on board and get ready for a week exploring this wonderful tropical nation.Photo: Romea for Imperial Day two: Huvafen Fushi
Only 30 minutes away from Malé is the private resort island of Huvafen Fushi, the perfect spot for a day of ultimate glamour and relaxation. Approach the never-ending white sand beaches and spot the manta rays as they whirl around the hull in a feeding frenzy. Disembark RoMEA and head for the island’s number one attraction and the world’s first underwater spa where you can treat yourself to a morning of yoga and meditation, or sink into sensuous relaxation with one of the many first-class treatments with the sight of the local ocean creatures through the spa’s all-glass walls to keep you company.
After a pick-me-up at the beachside bar, there is no choice but to take advantage of one of the best diving sites in the world for the rest of the day. The islet of Hembadhu is located just north of Huvafen Fushi and is home to over 600 species of exotic fish, including turtles, stingrays and the occasional whale shark. For those who are feeling daring, ask your experienced diving instructor to help you find the well-known shipwreck on one of the island’s many coral reefs. Photo: S/Y AthosDay three: Rasdhoo
Enjoy the short trip west sat on RoMEA’s upper observation deck whilst enjoying a morning coffee served by the crew - a perfect spot on board to take in the idyllic scenes of the surrounding ocean which is brimming with life. Upon arrival at the island of Rasdhoo, you will see how the area is comprised of a perfect ring of coral which forms the natural atoll of Ari. The almost rectangular formation of the islands covers an area of nearly 89 by 3km and boasts an incredible 37 dive sites. Have a go at spotting those that congregate around Ari Atoll’s beautiful coral, such as the unique stone and scorpionfish, white tip reef sharks, grey reef sharks, tuna, eagle rays and manta rays.
After lunch back on board prepared by RoMEA’s celebrated chef, ask the crew to escort you to the island’s jetty for an afternoon picking up a few souvenirs at one of the island’s few shops before heading to the south of the island to relax on Bikini beach until sunset. The crew can pick all guests up from the beach for an evening winding down on board the main deck. After dinner under the stars, why not beam a favourite movie on the panoramic screen in the 5.1 cinema room to relax in preparation for the next day of high-energy activities. Photo: Imperial yachtsDay four: Landaa Giraavaru
The only UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve in the whole of the Maldives can be found in the Baa Atoll. In this chain of islands is Landaa Giraavaru, which is home to the famous Four Seasons Resort and is a glittering highlight for the middle point of your week abroad. The resort has the Atoll’s vast natural lagoon right on its doorstep and the concierge will be able to organise a day of thrilling activities that are unique to the Maldives. Start by hanging out in amongst the jungle greens and admire the tropical vegetation. Here you can spot flora and fauna such as coconut palm trees and screwpines and many animal species such as butterflies, dragonflies, geckos, frigate birds, crabs and lizards. The resort’s important contribution to conservation and preservation of these animals can be seen best in their own Marine Discovery Centre where they have helped to rehabilitate sea turtles. Here you can also meet and learn from the several full-time biologists, scientific divers and researchers.
Over a tropical lunch at the nearby beach club, make a booking for an afternoon trip in their Flying Triggerfish seaplane to get a birds-eye view of this buzzing atoll, or get inside the DeepFlight submarine for a different kind of trip underwater. Once back on land, relax on one of the many icing-sugar sand beaches that surround the lagoon and helps to shelter the area’s important hub of nature and biodiversity until the sun goes down. Day five: Kanuhuraa
Wake up in the neighbouring atoll of Lhaviyani, a place where classical villas perch on stilts above the surface of the ocean. Anchor off the lovely island of Kanuhura to get involved in the area’s cool watersports scene for the day. Start on the beachfront, as it is ideal for learning to surf or spending time out on the paddleboard or kayak. Next, the superyacht crew can get you hooked up to the yacht’s Waverunners or jet skis for a more exhilarating ride out on the water. Go speeding out far enough to reach one of the next uninhabited islets, where the superyacht crew could catch you up with a hamper of refreshments and beach games to enjoy barefoot on the sand. Recuperate back on board RoMEA and make use of the fully-equipped spa on the bridge deck, complete with a beauty salon and massage table. On the lower deck, guests can wander across the natural pebble flooring to the Finnish sauna before hopping into the Jacuzzi. After a cosy dinner, don your dancing shoes for a night at the Lhaviyani resort’s fancy nightclub.Day six: Kaashidhoo Island
Further north, the island of Kaashidhoo is a lone Maldivian island and is the fifth largest in this tropical nation. Today will be spent getting to know the culture and history of the Maldives, starting with the island’s fruit plantations. Bananas, lemons and watermelons are grown here, so take the opportunity to buy as many as you like to be prepared and eaten for lunch that day.
What makes this island so special is the excavations that have uncovered parts of a Buddhist monastery dating back to the 7th and 8th Centuries AD before the Islamic conversion. These monuments are being specially conserved, protecting them from erosion and weathering.
Before the day ends, get on board the superyacht tender to get a new perspective of the area and lay of the land as the sun goes down, amplifying the island’s beauty and blue and green colours. Photo: Imperial yachtsDay seven: Dhiffushi
Now back in the North Malé Atoll, wake up earlier to be one of the first people in the Maldives to experience the sunrise. As Dhiffushi is the most eastern inhabited island in the Maldives, those on the island get to witness sunrise first. Once the morning sun has warmed you up, take your snorkelling gear and have a refreshing dip along the few sandbanks around the island that offer some of the best snorkelling. Hours can be spent exploring the island's house reef, which is more than 10km long. On land, there are plenty of restaurants selling fresh produce and happy locals to get to know, or, take advantage of the last chance to pick up a few souvenirs from the tiny shops on one of the island’s shopping squares. After one last day in the sun, the slower, more relaxed island of Dhiffusi makes a fine charter refuge before a return to the happy mayhem of Malé.Photo: Imperial yachtsFor the first time, RoMEA is ready for charter the Indian Ocean with Imperial this winter. For more information contact Imperial directly via the information found below. Top five tips
- Drop a line, find a deserted beach and enjoy a tropical sunset barbecue.
- Dive the drop-off zone of the Ari Atoll for an astonishing encounter with some special sea life.
- Visit the world’s first underwater nightclub on the island resort of Niyama.
- Have a go and sample some of the world’s very best big game fishing.
- Swim with dolphins, sharks, whales and turtles.
This article is featured in the latest edition of the SuperYacht Times newspaper. Subscribe now to receive your copy straight to your door and never miss another issue.
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SuperYacht Times - The State of Yachting 2019
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