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Located upon a tropical island in the North Huvadhoo Atoll, this beachfront resort is truly a tropical paradise featuring palm coconuts, banyan trees, tropical flowers, and is surrounded by marvelous beaches. Offering the ultimate Maldivian experience, Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa is the first eco-friendly resort that is awarded the Green Globe certification in the construction and resort operations.

The property boast 50 villas that are beautifully designed to cater to the needs of all their guests. Offering an excellent variety of villas including Park Villas, Park Villas with Pool, and Park Water Villas, each unit has a private deck, living area, private garden, outdoor shower and bath, entertainment system, and TV.

The resort offers two excellent dining venues, The Dining Room and The Island Grill, offering excellent cuisine with imported beverages. A magnificent place of stay, the Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa will give you a memorable one.

Apply before June 07, 2016

CV’s sent with an application for another suitable position within the resort will not be considered.

Villingili – Malé’s Hidden Treasure

On the quiet side of the Maldives’ capital, Male, lies a well-kept secret. Hidden from the million plus visitors who land on Hulhule island each year, Villingili is the hidden gem of North Male atoll.

BuggyArriving on the island from the bursting capital city 7 minutes away, as the ferry’s engines idle and you glide past shaded restaurants into the harbour, your hearing takes time to adjust to the contrasting calm.

Where raised voices and revved engines dominated your senses across the water, in the leafy suburb island the only raised voices are those of the cuckooing Koels up above, and the battery-powered buggies humming down the lanes.

Historically an area of private recreation for sultans before a period as a prison island in the 1970s, Villingili became one of the Maldives’ first resorts before being incorporated (as Villimale) into the insatiable greater Male area in the 1990s.

view of MaleAs the overflow from the teeming Male focuses largely on the artificial Hulhumale island to the north, savvy travellers and residents alike head west to enjoy the perfect hybrid of island and urban life in the Maldives.

The embodiment of this character comes in the form of a fleet of electric buggies, recently introduced as the local transport network on an island that maintains its long-standing restriction on motorised vehicles. For five rufiyaa ($0.3), the buggies can take take you to any one of the three guest houses on the 0.26 square km island.

Villingili Guest HousesBut even during the heat of a Maldivian midday, Seahouse Topdeck hotel and the recently opened Villingili Inn are just a sandalled stroll from the ferry terminal. Further on, past towering palm trees and streets lined with netted joali chairs, the City King guest house sits on the western side of the island.

Guests at all three sites can enjoy spacious air-conditioned rooms, wifi, television and private bathrooms. The largest of  the three, Seahouse, also provides massage treatments. Seahouse and City King have cafe’s on site while visitors to the Villingili Inn can enjoy exclusive access to the nearby McRooster restaurant.

Numerous canteen cafes scattered across the island offer local basics such as fish curry, devilled chicken, and afternoon savoury snacks known as short-eats. For striking views of the chaotic capital, however, Xie Xie restaurant and Marimba cafe are recommended, with the latter situated on the beach itself.

On foot or by bicycle, the small island can be circumnavigated in the 15 minutes it takes to travel to the city and back. Villingili’s visitors can dive into Male’s maelstrom to see the heart of the modern Maldives before heading back to enjoy its spirit, reclining on swings let down from the sheltering trees and swimming in the clear blue waters.

Alternatively, those looking for a little more action can take a trip to the opposite side of the island, where the team at Liquid Watersports will be happy to show you their backyard, providing a range of activities, including jetskis, windsurfing, and their signature speciality – flyboarding!!

The underwater delights of the atoll are easily accessible from Villingili, with the experienced team at the Diver’s Lodge offering the aquatic experiences to divers of all levels. The country’s first whale submarine company also operates from the channel between Male and its sleepy neighbour, providing a unique trip around the reefs and channels in air-conditioned comfort.

In addition to this, the island’s guest houses are happy to arrange snorkelling, fishing and local island visits, while day trips to one of the many nearby single-island resorts can easily be arranged.

Visitors to Villingili will feel that they have stumbled upon an unexplored treasure island, and in many ways they have. Maintaining island calm in the shadow of the world’s most densely populated island is some achievement, and those choosing to stay in Villingili will feel the rewards.

Kurumba Maldives Celebrates International Children’s Day 2016

For the fourth consecutive year, Kurumba Maldives celebrated International Children’s Day 2016 by welcoming 30 Maldivian children from the orphanage “Kudakudhinge Hiyaa” residing in Villingili island. Aged 9 to 16 years old, the children enjoyed an exciting afternoon at the Resort.

Kurumba Maldives - International Children's Day 2016After a fun speedboat ride from Villingili island to Kurumba, the children were welcomed at the Conference Hall by Kurumba Maldives’ Bodu Beru team, who performed a few songs for them. Then the children enjoyed a delicious buffet and sweet treats prepared by Kurumba’s team of chefs, whilst some of our team members sang and danced for them. This encouraged the children to do the same in return. This was then followed by a Magician Show and fun team games, accompanied by Kurumba’s mascots.

Kurumba Maldives - International Children's Day 2016Ali Farooq, Assistant Food & Beverage Manager of Kurumba Maldives stated: “Kurumba Maldives endeavors to support our local community through events and projects like this. This year, we combined Maahefun – celebration marking the beginning of the Ramadan – and International Children’s Day for the kids to enjoy.”

Kurumba Maldives - International Children's Day 2016The Kudakudhinge Hiyaa orphanage, located on Villingili and Hulhumalé islands, hosts children between the ages of 6 months and 21 years old. This is a self-supporting service that requires help from the community and industry in order to continue providing a caring, safe and educational environment for these children.

IMG_8128Kurumba Maldives has an ongoing commitment to Kudakudhinge Hiyaa and over the past 2 years has provided numerous improvements to the orphanage’s residential areas. These include upgrades to the kitchen, laundry, play areas, CCTV and installing new computers, along with providing ongoing consumables such as linen, cleaning equipment, toys and complimentary repairs and maintenance.

Kurumba Maldives - International Children's Day 2016For more information on Kurumba Maldives’ CSR program, please check www.kurumba.com/maldives-csr-activities

For more information about upcoming events in Kurumba Maldives, please check www.kurumba.com/maldives-event-calendar

About Kurumba Maldives

Kurumba Maldives is set on a tropical island in the North Male’ Atoll, conveniently situated a brief 10 minute speedboat ride from the airport. Dotted with coconut trees that are the island’s namesake, Kurumba was the first private island resort in the Maldives. Beautiful gardens, palm fringed white sandy beaches and a vibrant house reef is the hallmarks of this classic Maldivian resort.

The resort offers an array of nine styles of accommodation, ranging from comfortable Superior rooms to the spacious Royal Residence, spread amongst the island’s lush tropical gardens with easy access to the beach. With eight different restaurants to choose from Kurumba Maldives will charm you with its unparalleled choice of dining experiences and a wide range of recreation activities and entertainment. All while maintaining idyllic refuges and quiet spaces of relaxation to create the perfect balance for a holiday in paradise, perfect for honeymooners and families alike.

Over the years, Kurumba has played host to a variety of foreign dignitaries and Heads of State, including Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, and former US Presidents Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush. It has also been the recipient of numerous accolades and awards, including Maldives Leading Hotel (World Travel Awards) in 2010 and 2011, and Trip Advisor’s Travellers’ Choice Awards for Best Service and Luxury (2013) as well as the number one All-Inclusive resort in Asia (2014 and 2015), and number one best All-Inclusive resort in the world (2015).

An Island to call your own: Introducing Four Seasons Private Island Maldives at Voavah, Baa Atoll

Off limits to everyone; limitless to you

Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, the world’s leading luxury hospitality company, today announced Four Seasons Private Island Maldives at Voavah, Baa Atoll, the first private island in the company’s portfolio and the world’s only exclusive-use UNESCO hideaway located in a World Biosphere Reserve.

Opening in late 2016, this secluded five-acre (two-hectare) oasis transcends the private island experience. “Entirely yours” from the moment of booking, the island’s seven bedrooms, Beach House, Dive Centre, Oceans of Consciousness Spa and 62-foot (18.9-metre) yacht extend the spoils of the Maldives’ only UNESCO Biosphere Reserve to up to 22 guests on an exclusive basis.

Truly capturing the imagination, Four Seasons Private Island Maldives at Voavah couples legendary care with limitless living. Alongside the Four Seasons Private Jet and the company’s array of Extraordinary Experiences, the island showcases the company’s commitment to offering the world’s most discerning guests the best of a destination, while surrounded by the personalised service and attention to detail that are the hallmarks of Four Seasons.

“Four Seasons Private Island Maldives at Voavah will redefine exclusive luxury, opening as a tropical haven for those who seek an unprecedented experience of private luxury alongside Four Seasons legendary service,” said Mike Crawford, President, Asia Pacific. “As the latest addition to our Extraordinary Experiences collection, the island speaks to the company’s commitment to perfecting the guest experience and our ability to re-imagine the limits of luxury travel in creative and innovative ways. It’s just one of the many ways we’re constantly evolving our offerings to deliver the kind of memorable, fully-customised and exclusive experiences our guests want and value.”

“At Four Seasons Private Island Maldives at Voavah, guests can design their own experience,” commented Armando Kraenzlin, Regional Vice President and General Manager, Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru. “They can treat the island as a space to spend captivating moments with family and friends; a place to play to the extreme and explore to their heart’s content; a secluded sanctuary to retreat and spa; the most exclusive VIP venue to celebrate and party; or an inspiring landscape to meet and motivate.”

Maldives Private Island at Voavah, Baa Atoll
Maldives Private Island at Voavah, Baa Atoll

Many experiences – from year-round manta ray sightings to mind-expanding kids’ activities – focus on the surrounding UNESCO territory, guided by a team that has already spent a decade protecting it. Indeed, Four Seasons developed Voavah in close coordination with local environmental consultancies to ensure proper maintenance of the balance between man and nature, culture and conservation – in keeping with the prerequisites of the Atoll’s UNESCO Biosphere designation.

Voavah days revolve around the double-storey Beach House and adjacent white sands, crystal waters and abundant reef – all exemplary even by Maldivian standards. The Beach House hub offers an open-air living room, dining room, kitchen, pool deck, gym, library and loft lounge, while seven bedrooms span three separate locations: on the beach, over the lagoon or elevated in panoramic Mezzanine Suites.

As are all aspects of Four Seasons Private Island Maldives at Voavah, dining on the island is tailored to the mood of island guests, meal by meal, from poolside to The Beach House dining room, at the water’s edge or on a sandbank. A 62-foot (18.9-metre) private yacht – Voavah Summer – invites exploration of a dazzling and undisturbed UNESCO territory. From diving with whale sharks to snorkelling with year-round manta rays, swimming with neighbourhood turtles, fishing for dinner, visiting local islands, surfing unknown breaks and cruising into breathtaking Baa Atoll sunsets, the possibilities on Four Seasons Private Island Maldives at Voavah are endless.

Expanding horizons, The Oceans of Consciousness Spa offers bespoke over-water spa therapies and rituals; yoga, meditation and pranayama classes; high-end beauty treatments; and Rossano Ferretti hair consultant on call.

In the mood for a party? On Voavah, there are no neighbours, no paparazzi and the possibilities are endless. Groups can create one-of-a-kind birthday surprises and celebrations, fly in big name acts or create their own mini music festival or beach party, all perfected with a sprinkling of Voavah magic.

Maldives Private Island at Voavah, Baa Atoll
Maldives Private Island at Voavah, Baa Atoll

The island is accessible via a 40-minute seaplane transfer from Malé International Airport, or a 20-minute speedboat ride from Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru. Four Seasons Private Island Maldives at Voavah will be the fourth addition to the company’s Maldives collection, including Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru, Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa, and Four Seasons Explorer.

Four Seasons explorer near island
Four Seasons explorer near island

The experience of Four Seasons Private Island Maldives at Voavah will set the benchmark for private island travel, both due to the transfixing natural beauty of the island and the highly bespoke, privacy-protected service that epitomises Four Seasons. It is the very definition of an Extraordinary Experience. Such offerings invite travellers to see the world differently, with a level of access that is otherwise unavailable. The current collection of Four Seasons Extraordinary Experiences includes a wide range of unforgettable options, including those in:

  • Maui – Guests will soar by helicopter above towering waterfalls, rainforested peaks and a dormant volcano before touching down on Hana Ranch for a private tour and foraging expedition through the working ranch and organic farm. Guests will then enjoy a private lunch prepared by Four Seasons Executive Chef Craig Dryhurst and Hana Ranch’s Chef Jon Watson featuring ingredients freshly picked from the farm. 
  • San Diego – Armed with a waterproof camera and wetsuit, guests will capture the beauty of coastal California from sea to sky through an underwater photography expedition with Aaron Chang, considered by many to be the creator of modern surf and ocean photography. Following a morning of diving, guests will join Chang in a helicopter tour above the San Diego coastline to capture the perfect aerial shot of the breaking shore.
  • Cairo at Nile Plaza – Guests will relive the 7,000-year history of Egypt and the Pharaonic Empire by enjoying a spectacular sound and light show of the Pyramids at night. Narration and light displays will bring the history and mystery of the Egyptian empire to life, recounting the legends of ancient Pharaohs and the majestic Sphinx.  Set against the backdrop of the Great Pyramid, guests will then enjoy a private dinner under the stars while listening to the gorgeous strains of the private Cairo Symphony Orchestra. 
  • Cap-Ferrat – Guests will enjoy a private tour of Villa Santo Sospir, the legendary French Riviera estate that formerly belonged to socialite Francine Weisweiller and was once the favourite gathering place for celebrities, writers and artists such as Coco Chanel, Marlene Dietrich and Pablo Picasso. After exploring the Villa and taking in its many whimsical mosaics, murals and frescos, guests will enjoy a private dinner, prepared by Michelin-starred Chef Didier Aniès, overlooking the Mediterranean on the estate terrace. 
  • Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru – Guests will channel their inner Jacques Cousteau during a journey of discovery in the underwater world of manta rays and whale sharks. Led by some of the world’s leading experts on manta rays, guests will cruise the turquoise waters of the Baa Atoll UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, learning to spot the creatures in the water and helping to record essential environmental information and take identification photos. Taking their oceanic study to new depths, guests will then free-dive into the Indian Ocean to observe the manta rays and whale sharks in their natural habitat.

    Sunset Water Villa, Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru
    Sunset Water Villa, Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru
  • Hangzhou – Guests will journey back in time on a traditional Chinese rowboat ride through one of Eastern China’s most lush and fabled lakes, taking in majestic mountains, ancient temples, traditional pagodas and graceful bridges while sipping premium Hangzhou tea and sampling local delicacies from Four Seasons Hotel Hangzhou at West Lake.

Guesthouses in Maldives – Island Value

Telling colleagues that you are taking a holiday in the Maldives will prompt groans of jealousy around the office. Co-workers will lose themselves in daydreams in which coffee at the desk becomes kurumba on a deck chair, and the computer’s glare is replaced by the Indian Ocean sun.

But, snapping out of this reverie, they will then ask themselves if you’ve had a pay rise they weren’t aware of.

Kaani Beach Hotel
Kaani Beach Hotel

Renowned the world over as the home of luxury island tourism, the Maldives has strived to develop a reputation for decadence over the past 40 years. This brand now brings over one million visitors to the country each year, with 80 percent still heading directly to one of over 100 single island resorts spread across the atolls.

But the industry is changing, with budget guesthouses springing up across the country at a phenomenal pace. From 23 registered properties in 2010, there are now more than 300 guesthouses situated on around half the country’s inhabited islands.

Beach, Whiteshell Island Hotel & Spa
Beach, Whiteshell Island Hotel & Spa

While the advent of commercial tourism in the 1970s brought the delights of the Maldives’ rich reefs and pristine lagoons to the outside world, the society of those who call paradise home remained largely off limits.

Stories of intrepid backpackers making it as far as the isolated islands were rare before fears of ‘hippy-types’ prompted the government in 1984 to shut down the few unofficial home-stays outside the capital, Malé. Small fishing communities were this cut-off from the outside world for a further quarter-century.

Photo Credit: Naj
Photo Credit: Naj

After legislative changes in 2009, however, the massive potential of the guesthouse sector has been unleashed, with floods of resort workers investing their money and their considerable hospitality experience in local islands.

Akhmeem Razzaq, managing director of local publisher Maldives Getaways, believes that the industry’s development will create financially empowered communities as well as raising social and environmental awareness across the islands.

“Maldives is not just about beaches, sun and sea. It’s also about people and a very unique culture history and traditional language,” Akhmeem told Maldives.com.

Beach, Kaani Beach Hotel
Beach, Kaani Beach Hotel

Indeed, the sea-change in the industry has opened up a unique prospect of affordable holidays that can offer unparalleled beaches alongside the opportunity to experience a culture largely untouched by the outside world.

Initial fears that the island’s Islamic culture would be incompatible with budget travel have proven unfounded, with the industry growing by more than a third in the past 5 years. The absence of pork and alcohol is more than offset by the opportunity to experience Maldivian lifestyle – fishing, diving, snorkelling – for a fraction of the usual price.

Snorkeling, Kaani Beach Hotel
Snorkeling, Kaani Beach Hotel

But those who wish to swap the lilting call to prayer echoing through the sandy island streets with the music of the cocktail bar are welcome to do so. Most guesthouses are happy to arrange day trips – and even short-stays – on the resorts, so visitors can experience the other side of paradise.

While transport between 1,192 islands spread across 42,000 square km will always be challenging, more and more guesthouse visitors are utilising local public transport to island hop, embracing the unique experience of a ferry ride around atolls.

Back in the office, envious teammates can now hear stories of sun, sea, and sand accompanied by tales of life in the Indian Ocean and the Maldivian community. But the best news of all is that that the cost of a holiday in the famous atolls is now within their reach.

Anantara’s Coral Protection and Regeneration Programme

Anantara has launched their latest coral protection and regeneration programme, aiming and provide a safe environment in which life on the reef can thrive.

Named, ‘Taking A Holistic Approach To Reef Protection’ – HARP – the 5-year scheme is headed by marine biologists from Coral Reef CPR – conservationists, biologists and ecologists whose mission is to reduce threats and promote sustainable management of reef ecosystems.

“Some reefs in the Maldives are experiencing unusually high water temperatures which is causing coral bleaching,” explained the organisation’s lead scientist Dr Andrew Buckner.

“These coral animals contain symbiotic single-celled algae within their tissues, which provide the coral with up to 90% of its energy. Once stressed, the coral expels these algae, causing them to turn completely white.”

Snorkelling with fish, Anantara Kihavah Villas
Snorkelling, Anantara Kihavah Villas

Dr Bruckner noted that, despite the bleaching of the reef in the Maldives, the coral can recover. The atoll archipelago suffered extensive bleaching as a result of the intense 1998 El Nino, while the recently ended El Nino was said to have been the strongest in 20 years.

In addition to monitoring the water conditions at 10 points in South Malé and Baa atoll this year, the HARP programme saw the removal of the harmful Crown of Thorn starfish from around Anantara’s three South Malé atoll properties in 2015. Following this project, Anantara have produced and distributed a manual outlining best practice for other resorts to follow.

As a result of this year’s observations, Coral Reef CPR have discovered that temperatures on the reef have exceeded 30°C, rising as high as 32 – 33 °C in lagoonal environments.

“Under normal conditions, sea water temperatures should be 3-4 degrees cooler at depth but these high temperatures are extending beyond 35 metres depth,” noted Dr Bruckner.

As well as being caused by the recent El Nino, Dr Bruckner noted that the sea has been unusually calm, allowing UV light to penetrate further down the reef.

“Due to stressful conditions corals in some areas in the Maldives began to pale in colour at the beginning of April and several sensitive species bleached white. By mid-April between 60-80% of corals on the reef we were monitoring were fully bleached or a very light yellow in colour.”

Aerial, Anantara Kihavah Villas
Aerial, Anantara Kihavah Villas

On a more positive note, however, the researchers have discovered some corals that appear to have adapted to higher temperatures, with further plans made to analyse and encourage the wider growth of these so-called ‘super corals’.

The HARP programme is set to build upon Anantara’s award-winning conservation work, which has included coral regeneration programmes in place since 2011. Guests at Anantara Dhigu, Anantara Veli, Anantara Kihavah Villas or Naladhu Maldives can join the marine biologists on excursions as well as help to fund the project through the company’s ‘Dollars for Deeds’ initiative.

The scheme sees guests invited to donate one dollar for each night of their stay, which is then matched dollar for dollar by Minor Hotels. Subsequent funds raised in the Maldives are committed over the next five years to the key areas of marine and coastal environment protection, environmental education, and community welfare.

Maldives is Italy’s Favourite Beach Destination

The Maldives has been named the best beach destination at the 2016 Italian Travel Awards, held in Rome.

Considered the most prestigious award in the Italian tourism industry, the Maldives fended off competition from the Seychelles and Polynesia to win the prize.

A total of 43 awards were given out from 15 different categories, in the spectacular Acquario Romano in the centre of the Italian capital.

Founded by pioneering Italian investors in the 1970s, the Maldivian tourism industry now sees

1.2 million visitors arrive each year. Italy remains a strong market, with more than 65,000 Italian tourists representing 5.3 percent of the total.

After Italian visitors increased by 13 percent in 2015, Italian hotel chain Baglioni Hotels recently revealed plans to launch its first Maldives resort in early 2017, on the island of Maagau in Dhaalu atoll.

The Maldives was also the recipient of the best Indian Ocean beach destination at this year’s World Travel Awards, leaving it in the running to be named the world’s best beach locale at the global awards to be held in Maldives this December.

Arena Lodge Maldives

For travelers who want to take in the sights and sounds of the Maldives, Arena Lodge Maldives is the perfect choice. The excitement of the city center is only 17 km away. Visitors to the hotel can take pleasure in touring the city’s top attractions: Cocoa Thila Dive Site, Guraidhoo Kandu South, Last Stops.

At Arena Lodge Maldives, every effort is made to make guests feel comfortable. To do so, the hotel provides the best in services and amenities. A selection of top-class facilities such as free Wi-Fi in all rooms, 24-hour room service, room service, airport transfer, babysitting can be enjoyed at the hotel.

In addition, all guestrooms feature a variety of comforts. Many rooms even provide internet access – wireless, internet access – wireless (complimentary), non smoking rooms, air conditioning, wake-up service to please the most discerning guest. Throughout the day you can enjoy the relaxing atmosphere of the water sports (motorized), water sports (non-motorized). Whatever your purpose of visit, Arena Lodge Maldives is an excellent choice for your stay in the Maldives.

MATATO Maldives Travel Awards 2016

Maldives Travel Awards by the Maldives Association of Travel Agents & Tour Operators (MATATO) will be organized and hosted by Think Advertising, on 22 May 2016 at Hotel Jen Malé Maldives

The (MATATO) Maldives Travel Awards is a recognized label initiated with the idea of MATATO providing the tourism sector of Maldives with recognition for their facilities and service excellence provided to guests.

Awards are presented to nominees in different categories on various sector and standard basis. The Maldives Travel Awards aim to encourage & raise service standards within the Maldivian Tourism industry.

Award Categories:

Resorts

LEADING LOCAL HOTEL/RESORT BRAND
LEADING FAMILY RESORT
LEADING LUXURY RESORT
LEADING ALL INCLUSIVE RESORT
MOST ROMANTIC RESORT
LEADING F&B RESORT
LEADING SURF RESORT
LEADING DESIGNER RESORT
LEADING DIVE RESORT
LEADING BEACH RESORT
LEADING ACTIVITY / WATER SPORTS CENTRE

Travel / Technology

LEADING MARKETING PROGRAMME
LEADING CSR PROGRAMME

Hotels

LEADING TOURIST GUESTHOUSE ISLAND
LEADING BUSINESS HOTEL

Wellness / Spa

LEADING WELLNESS & SPA RESORT
LEADING WELLNESS & SPA BRAND / CHAIN

Liveaboards

LEADING LIVEABOARD BRAND
LEADING LIVEABOARD

Aviation / Transport

LEADING DOMESTIC TRANSPORT PROVIDER
LEADING DOMESTIC AIRLINE

Dive Centers

LEADING DIVE SCHOOL / CENTER

Costa neoClassica to cruise into the Maldives this December

The new and exclusive two-week itinerary of Costa neoClassica to discover the colors of India and the beaches of the Maldives, for a unique and intense experience of culture and relaxation.

Departures from December 15, 2016 to March 10, 2017 with flights to Malé and Mumbai, and the possibility of dividing the cruise into two distinct 7-day segments.

Costa Cruises sets its sights on the Indian Ocean, announcing the arrival, in the 2016-2017 winter season, of a totally new itinerary in the array of cruises and package tours involving this destination. From December 15, 2016 to March 10, 2017, Costa neoClassica will depart from Malé or Mumbai—easily reached via flights —on an exclusive two-week journey in the Indian Ocean, around the Maldives, Sri Lanka, and India.

Created for all those travelers who prefer exotic and fascinating destinations and who seek new worlds and cultures, the “Colors of India, between Yin and Yang” itinerary will provide a unique and intense experience to those who wish to rediscover a closeness with nature and with the spirituality of ancient and different cultures, in the comfort and security of a cruise. Not just an escape from winter towards warm and sunny beaches, but an authentic cultural experience.

The cruise offered on board Costa neoClassica includes leisurely stops and overnight stays in order to allow our guests to enjoy a complete and intense experience, with the possibility of more than one excursion in the same location. It is the perfect cruise for discovering the fascinating contrasts of faraway destinations, beautiful beaches, and unchecked nature in a land that is a crossroads of religions and spirituality.

The itinerary starts out in the Maldives, where the ship will remain for two days at Malé, among the white atolls, shimmering beaches and blue waters of the coral reef. From Malé, thanks to Costa excursions, guests will be able to sail to Paradise Island Resort, an island wholly dedicated to well-being, beauty and relaxation.

Dolphin Pool, Paradise Island Resort & Spa
Dolphin Pool, Paradise Island Resort & Spa

The next stop will be Sri Lanka, the island nation also known as Ceylon. Guests will go ashore at Colombo, where they will visit the Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage, one of the best-known attractions of the island: a 25-hectare park that the government of Sri Lanka has set aside for the care of elephants abandoned in the forest, of which there are more than 60 today.

From Colombo we head to India, with its thousand-year-old culture and its intense colors. The first stop in India will be Goa, known worldwide for its spectacular beaches and for its Portuguese colonial architecture. This territory, which is visited every year by hundreds of thousands of Indian and foreign tourists, is considered one of the 21 hotspots of biodiversity in the world. Guests will be able to choose a number of excursions, including a tour of the old city and of the capital, Panjim, and a visit to the Basilica de Bom Jesus, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Costa neoClassica will then head for Mumbai, where it will stop for two whole days in order that its guests might fully savor the distinctive contrasts of the city. This fascinating and chaotic metropolis, capital of the state of Maharashtra, has the highest population of all of India’s cities: here Costa guests will be able to admire the main attractions, including the Banganga Tank, an immense basin fed by the underwater river Bhogwati, where the faithful go to pray.

Heading back down the Indian coast, the journey will continue to New Mangalore before arriving at Cochin, in the federal state of Kerala, one of the main maritime ports in the country, where the ship will stop for two whole days. Among the possible excursions to choose from are a visit by tuk-tuk to the village of Kumbalangi and a houseboat ride in the Kerala Backwaters, in amongst the tropical canals of the Cochin hinterland, an incredibly vast system of lagoons rich in mangrove swamps and rainforests. Costa neoClassica will then return to Malé, ending the itinerary back at the Maldives, where our guests will be able to catch their flights back to Italy.

Once again, Costa Cruises confirms its ability to create exclusive itineraries in order to satisfy the needs of its guests, who will also have the choice of dividing the cruise in two separate weeklong segments. The complete itinerary offers the additional option of embarking at Mumbai, with all the same calls.