Maldives vacation, wildlife cruise

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Date
Price
Basis
23 Dec 2016
US $ 2485
excluding flights
Full
 
28 Jan 2017
US $ 2585
excluding flights
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04 Feb 2017
US $ 2585
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18 Feb 2017
US $ 2585
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Full
 
04 Mar 2017
US $ 2585
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18 Mar 2017
US $ 2585
excluding flights
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25 Nov 2017
US $ 2585
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09 Dec 2017
US $ 2585
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23 Dec 2017
US $ 2635
excluding flights
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13 Jan 2018
US $ 2745
excluding flights
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27 Jan 2018
US $ 2745
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03 Feb 2018
US $ 2745
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03 Mar 2018
US $ 2745
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17 Mar 2018
US $ 2745
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24 Nov 2018
US $ 2745
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08 Dec 2018
US $ 2745
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22 Dec 2018
US $ 2785
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Vouchers
Accepted
Vacation type

Small group vacation

Small group travel is not large group travel scaled down. It is modelled on independent travel – but with the advantage of a group leader to take care of the itinerary, accommodation and tickets, and dealing with the language. It’s easy to tick off the big sights independently – but finding those one-off experiences, local festivals, traveling markets and secret viewpoints is almost impossible for someone without the insider knowledge gained from years in the field. If you’re heading off on a gap year your, perhaps – but for those with a two-week vacation, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.

The leaders are not guides – they’re not there to shepherd you around. Instead, they’ll let you know which local restaurant serves great value food – without running the risk of travelers’ tummy. They’ll allow you to avoid hour-long queues at train stations and attractions.

We like to think of small group travel as the Goldilocks option. It is independent travel without the fuss, worry and bunk beds – and organised travel without the coaches. And it’s cheaper than a tailor made tour. It’s sits somewhere in the middle – and we think it’s just about right.

What are the main benefits?
Big experiences
Have big, life-enriching experiences that would be impossible to organise without lots of time and insider knowledge.

Simplicity
Make the most of your vacation time by letting someone else do the hard work and boring logistics!

Peace of mind
Small group tours take care of the security aspects – and provide a safety net should anything unexpected happen.
Who is it ideal for?
Travelers who are short of time
If you don’t have three months to spend exploring, small groups trips let you cover more ground in less time. Your days are not spent queuing for tickets or finding hotels – so you can squeeze more into your vacation.

Solo travelers who’d like company
Likeminded travel companions plus peace of mind for those traveling alone. Single supplements are usually available – providing privacy if you want it.

Less confident travelers
Stray from the tourist trail without worrying about getting lost, and meet local people without dealing with the language barrier.
Mythbuster
“I won’t get any privacy!”
Couples and friends have private rooms, and you can choose to eat alone or not. Single supplements give solo travelers their own room.

“There won’t be any free time”
Free mornings or afternoons let you explore on your own, or just relax.

“The accommodation will be basic”
Trips are as high or low end as you like. Though off the beaten track destinations won’t have luxury hotels, this is all part of the adventure.

“I won’t like the other travelers!”
Tour operators try to create groups with a similar demographic – age, families, activity levels... Chances are, you’ll even make new friends.

“Will we be following an umbrella?”
No.
Valerie Parkinson
Meet a group Leader
Name: Valerie Parkinson

Story: The first British woman to climb Manaslu, Valerie climbed Everest for her 50th birthday. She’s spent fourteen Christmas Days trekking to Everest Base Camp, and is involved insetting up Responsible Tourism initiatives in the Himalayas.
Roshan Fernando
Meet a local guide
Name: Roshan Fernando

Story: Roshan has led over 130 trips – he adores showing travelers around Sri Lanka. He won the company Leader Award in 2010, but his career highlight was working on their Tsunami Project – which earned him a responsible tourism award.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Maldives vacation, wildlife cruise

Accommodation & Meals:
You will spend the first night in a local island guesthouse. We predominantly use small businesses for accommodation in order to keep investment local and benefit the communities we visit directly. Almost all meals are provided and whilst much produce has to be imported to the destination the MV Felicity will endeavour to use local produce wherever possible. Meals might include bananas, water melon papaya and plenty of fresh fish!

Community:
We only use locally owned and operated guesthouses, dive schools and excursion providers all of which have been developed by locals. This ensures that profits go back into the hands of the local community. We also support businesses indirectly through associated services and activities. These include laundry services, local fishing industry, speedboat operators, cafes and supermarkets.
We provide employment, good working conditions, a fair wage and performance reviews for local employees. Our guides are Maldivian and with the exception of the Sales Director, our operations team are Maldivian. Not only does this ensure our guests get a real insight to Maldivian life, our guides achieve personal development through interaction with guests from different cultures and backgrounds. They also have the opportunity to participate in tour leader development programs available from our international partners.

Wildlife:
“A treasure trove of marine life” is perhaps the best way to describe the Maldives, however this ecosystem is fragile. A single touch can kill coral or infect marine life. We encourage safe and responsible snorkelling and diving practises and guests can expect information and demonstrations on correct snorkelling/diving practises throughout the trip. For example, we do not touch underwater creatures (including coral) or pollute the water with litter.

Awareness:
The Maldives struggle to eliminate all the rubbish produced by over 1 million tourists per year and whilst educating locals in waste management is all part of a larger project, we encourage our guests to support this in a number of ways. Lead by example and don’t drop rubbish, reuse or refuse plastic bags in shops and we encourage it as a point of conversation between our guides and the local community with guests.

Local Craft and Culture:
Although this trip is largely nature and water based, we make time to stop at locally inhabited islands where you will have the opportunity to explore Maldivian culture and to support the local economy. Traditional handmade souvenirs include coconut wood carving and woodware, lacquer ware and woven products. We encourage clients not to buy any crafts made from animal parts, including shells.

Charity:
On this trip, the main organisation we support is the Maldives Whale Shark Research Programme (MWSRP). The Maldives Whale Shark Research Programme (MWSRP) is a research-based conservation charity dedicated to studying the Whale shark and fostering community-focused conservation initiatives in the Maldives and the greater Indian Ocean. What initially began as a scientific expedition in 2006, has grown to become the only long-term organization dedicated to study the iconic, yet vulnerable Whale shark species in the Maldives. Their goal is simple: they seek to advance the field of Whale shark knowledge and to advocate for sound conservation policy in the Maldives. By encouraging and valuing community and industry stakeholder participation, they are able to leverage the scientific research to safeguard the rich biodiversity and fragile marine ecosystems that are the basis for not only Whale sharks, but also life, livelihood and culture in the Maldives.

UK office:
It all starts at home so we have first worked at reducing our carbon footprint in our UK offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment. We support various projects all over the world to try and give something back to the places we visit.

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