Last year, Lee Holden and Maria Beard joined one of our Maldives Sailing tours — and, once it was done, they didn’t feel as though they’d gotten quite enough of the beautiful islands, so they decided to spend a couple nights on a resort there. As it turns out, the luxe digs didn’t quite stack up. We asked Holden and Beard to tell us why sailing won out over all-inclusives.
1. Why did you choose to travel to the Maldives with G Adventures?
Friends and family who had visited the Maldives had told us about the beauty of the islands. It sounded like paradise. However, we were unsure about what to book as neither of us are ones to lay on a beach for long, so we knew that a hotel island or resort would not have been right for us! Then we thought about G Adventures. We had already travelled with G Adventures, to Peru. The whole trip was great from start to finish. So when we found out that there was a boat tour of the Maldives, with the opportunity to explore a different reef each day and discover uninhabited islands, we knew we had to book it!
2. What are some of the things that you think G Adventures does differently on its tours?
From the two tours we have done with G Adventures we’ve found that they seem to provide the right balance of free time vs organized activities. The tours also provide a great platform to get to know other likeminded individuals. We are also impressed with how G Adventures gives back to the local communities.
3. What did you enjoy most about your trip?
The benefit of the boat was that each morning there was a new reef to explore, each inhabited by a variety of sea creatures, such as turtles and sharks. After hours snorkelling on the reefs, the on-board chef provided brilliant freshly prepared meals and snacks whilst the captain and tour guide talked us through the species we’d encountered during our swim. The staff really made the experience remarkable.
4. I understand you spent some time on the resorts in the Maldives. How did this compare to G Adventures?
We spent two days in a luxury water villa within a resort after the trip as were intrigued to experience the “typical” brochure-style image of the Maldives our friends had talked about. While we’re glad we tried it, it wasn’t really for us. Although living in a big luxurious space for a few days was great, the resort didn’t satisfy the adventurous side of our personalities in the same way that the G Adventures trip had done. We would probably gone a tad stir crazy if we’d stayed in one place for much longer! We’d been spoiled by a new reef each day, and while you could do day excursions from the hotel resort to other reefs, these were costly.
5. What was the most memorable moment or interaction you had on your trip?
As a “water baby,” for Lee, it was the sea life. The most memorable moment would be swimming with the turtles at one of the reefs. As with most of the reefs, it was just our group there and we were fortunate enough to follow a number of turtles from above, watching them in awe as they gracefully went about their business.
Maria, who is less confident in the sea, was worried about jumping in and swimming so close to the creatures of the reef. However, during her first moments in the sea, the captain (who was fantastic), grabbed her by the hand and helped her to swim along with a shoal of beautiful angel fish. From there her confidence built, and by the end of the trip, there was another water baby in the relationship!
Want to sail the Maldives? G Adventures can get you there. Check out our Maldives Sailing tours here.