Scubaspa – liveaboard
I joined in November 2020 and May 2021 a Maldive liveaboard tour on Scubaspa. They call the liveaboard a floating resort and that is true in the best sense. To sum up the Scubaspa review: the vessel is stylish, cabins are spacious, food is delicious and and the scuba diving is seamlessly organized – definitely a yes! However I would always recommend the upper deck and I prefer the November experience.
The arrival on Maldives
The flights to Malé are convenient and always a reason to come back. The international Malé airport Velana (IATA:MLE) connects daily directly to Europe, Middle East and Asia. Even better the airport is located on Hulhulé the island where liveaboard sets sail. See all about Maldive scuba diving.
Indeed the welcome by the Scubaspa team at the airport terminal gate was very friendly. Just we were waiting for a bit for some other guests. Which actually did not make much sense, as the dive Dhoni (a typical steel hull motor vessel connecting to the mainboat) was waiting just a 5 min walk away at the harbor. So I could have made it by myself easily. The Dhoni then ferried us to the main boat with a nice welcome drink awaiting us.
Scubaspa Ying and Subaspa Yang are sibling vessels. They have a 50m steel hull for max. 40 guest. I personally like the modern sleek design without curlicues. However it does not appear cold but nicely combined with wooden and colorful details.
Scubaspa as most of Maldive liveaboards don’t have a dive deck and rather a dedicated maasive Dhoni. The Dhoni is a dedicated dive boat and all your equipment will remain throughout the entire tour on the boat. The Dhoni offers each diver solid work space which contributes a lot to a top dive experience.
The dining area and the bar are spacious and the food is exquisite. Good to have three dives per day, otherwise you definitely would gain weight. However the boat also offers a spa and a small gym on board. The spa was a nice distraction between dives. Still I never exercised in the gym. All cabins are cozy and spacious. In November I had a manta suite on the main deck and with the huge window in the it was just a fantastic indulgence. And during the May trip I was in bow cabin on the lower deck, the cowry suit. The suite itself was very nice with a lot a space. Just the corridor always had a bit the sticky air, which was an inconvenience.
Which route did we follow?
We followed in November and May the central tour. The route leads from Malé northwards into the North Malé Atoll. And from there to the west reaching on day 3 the Ari Atoll. Over the following days Scubaspa was heading southwards to the southern peak of Ari Atoll. From here back to the South Malé Atoll and after a week of 20 dives we returned to Malé.
November had some strong currents, while the surface was nice and clam. May was the opposite with a bit bumpy waters and less current. The water temperature were both times 30°C and allowed me to dive in shorts.
How was the scuba diving?
The Scubaspa dive experience was excellent: Efficient dive logistics and a very friendly and experienced dive guides and instructor. The briefing was supported by power point and providing all necessary information sharp and crisp.
Under water a lot of pelagic life in November with Manta Rays, Whale Sharks and various reef shark species. In May the sea had more swell while under the surface less current and therefore less pelagic activities. Just with all the abundance of sharks and rays a Maldives there is the impact of coral bleaching and particular impact in the Ari Atoll very much visible. It is such a pity to see reefs bleached into white. Nevertheless we also saw recovery on many site, which is a positive sign.