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Whale Shark Excursion

NSW
Level Contributor
242 posts
85 reviews
Whale Shark Excursion

We are visiting Vilamendhoo for the first time in April this year.

We really want to do the Whale Shark Excursion. For those who have been before do you recommend the Whale Shark Excursion or the Ocean Discoverer Full Day Excursion?

Should I book my excursion prior to arrival to Vilamendhoo?

Thanks in advance.

16 replies to this topic
England, United...
Destination Expert
for Maldives
Level Contributor
9,624 posts
27 reviews
1. Re: Whale Shark Excursion

Hi

Its got to be the full day Ocean Discovery excursion. Not only do you get the chance of snorkelling with whale sharks its just a fantastic luxury day out. Without a doubt its the best single day i have had in the Maldives.

Darryl

NSW
Level Contributor
242 posts
85 reviews
2. Re: Whale Shark Excursion

Thanks Darryl,

That is what I was thinking also.

Did you book prior to going to the island?

England, United...
Destination Expert
for Maldives, Disneyland Paris
Level Contributor
2,629 posts
34 reviews
3. Re: Whale Shark Excursion

Definitely the Ocean Discovery. In the spirit of full disclosure, I haven't been on it. I am, however, a great advocate of Vilamendhoo's 'overbooking cruise' and have actively booked holidays when I expect the resort to be full (these things are relative - 'full' for Vila is not like full for a Mediterranean hotel) in order to try to secure a place on the cruise, so have spent several days on Gomafolhu, the yacht they use for the Ocean Discovery, following a similar itinerary, albeit over two or three days rather than one day. I have also chartered the boat they use for the whale shark trip for a day with my family to do the ocean discovery itinerary, and while it was a hugely enjoyable day were we swam with numerous whale sharks, manta and turtles etc, a day on Gomafolhu would definitely be more luxurious.

I'd sign up for it at check in. I'd sign up for it early in the holiday just in case it is cancelled for any reason, so you can get a second chance.

Fornebu, Norway
Destination Expert
for Maldives
Level Contributor
3,359 posts
40 reviews
4. Re: Whale Shark Excursion

Ocean discovery, I absolutely loved it! Saw whalesharks, several mantas and turtles. However there is no guarantee that you will see any.

india
Level Contributor
47 posts
5. Re: Whale Shark Excursion

Hello

1) What is the percentage of Spotting Whale Sharks, Manta rays & Dolphins @ Vilamendhoo, or some trips go uneventful ?

2) On unrelated issue we are two adults booked for March 2018 we would like to know which Beach Villa & water villa rooms have the best view, fellow travelers who have been to vila can shed some light o it ?

Wynyard, Australia
Level Contributor
15 posts
25 reviews
6. Re: Whale Shark Excursion

I am planning a trip to the Maldives at the end of September this year with my adult daughter. Is this a good time weather wise to be visiting this part of the world ? Im thinking about staying at Vilamendhoo as Im reading the snorkelling is great . We are really like to do the full day Ocean discovery excursion to swim with the whales sharks , turtles etc. and so on reading this am right to be thinking we should book this before arriving ?

England, United...
Destination Expert
for Maldives
Level Contributor
9,624 posts
27 reviews
7. Re: Whale Shark Excursion

Hi

September can be mixed weather so you could get wall to wall sunshine or a total wash out. Main season is January to April but prices are much higher during this period. We have been mid October several times and have always had at least some good weather.

I would say you will be fine to book the Ocean Discovery excursion on arrival.

Vilamendhoo has some great easy to access snorkelling.

Darryl

Kent, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
789 posts
19 reviews
8. Re: Whale Shark Excursion

I'm different to everyone else - would recommend the Whale Shark excursion over the Ocean Discovery if you want the best chance of seeing Whale Sharks, as you will spend much longer in the outer atoll looking for them. The Ocean Discovery is a good day out, but they move from Manta's to Whale Sharks to Turtles so won't hang around in one spot for too long. The boats that do the Whale Shark excursions are also more geared towards the activity as you can jump in as soon as you spot the shark. On Ocean Discovery you spot the shark, clamber into a smaller boat, put on snorkel gear and then jump in, so the shark can be gone by the time you are in the water. Obviously it is all down to the luck of the day though and whether the Whale Sharks are in the mood for snorkellers!

Either trip you will likely enjoy, they are very different though so it depends what matters most to you as to which one is better suited.

England, United...
Destination Expert
for Maldives, Disneyland Paris
Level Contributor
2,629 posts
34 reviews
9. Re: Whale Shark Excursion

I would have to say that, even though she's disagreeing with me, I think all MyrtleTurtle's points are very valid!

Orillia, Canada
Level Contributor
471 posts
17 reviews
10. Re: Whale Shark Excursion

Based on the 3 times we have been on the Whale Shark excursion, it is a chaotic, free-for-all and borderline dangerous event when a whale shark is spotted and several tourist boats converge on it and try to get as close to it as possible to discharge their snorkelers all while the boat propellers are turning. Unless you are by luck let off very close to the whale shark or are a very strong swimmer, there is a good chance that you will see more fins from the snorkelers in front of you than you will get a good view of the whale shark.We have never been on the Ocean Discovery tour but some people that were said that apparently there are fewer boats in the area where the Ocean Discovery tour goes (maybe because they have more time to get to a more isolated area???) and hence it is less chaotic and once the snorkelers are in the water they actually have a better chance of actually seeing a whale shark and not just snorkeler's fins.

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