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Yasawa Princess versus Atoll Explorer - 2013

Sydney, Australia
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Yasawa Princess versus Atoll Explorer - 2013

Hi everyone,

Through my research it seems both the Yasawa Princess and the Atoll Explorer shut down in 2012, and both reopened in 2013 to new management.

I would be very grateful for any recent reviews and thoughts, as i'm looking at old reviews that might not be relevant.

In particular i think the intineraries on these boats have changed, maybe not for the better?

I'm looking to travel at Xmas / NY 2013, coming from Australia.

We are avid snorkelers, so the quality and number of stops is most important to us, and to be valued as snorkelers, rather than second place to the divers.

So not sure which one to book?

Many thanks


Newcastle, United...
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1. Re: Yasawa Princess versus Atoll Explorer - 2013

Hi Claire

Try this link :- www.scaevolatravel.com

They are the new owners of the Atoll Explorer !


Greenford, Middx.
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2. Re: Yasawa Princess versus Atoll Explorer - 2013

Plenty of YP reviews on this post.


I've not done the AE but have done the YP twice in Feb 2012 & Feb 2013. I can't really comment on snorkeling as I'm a diver. But speaking to the other guests who were snorkelling, they all had a great time & said the reefs & marine life were amazing.

Both ships are very popular but I think the AE is slightly more expensive than the YP.

Either way, which ever cruise ship you choose, you'll have an amazing time.

I'm already planning my next trip back to the YP for Feb/March 2014.

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3. Re: Yasawa Princess versus Atoll Explorer - 2013

I cannot compare the two cruises now under new Management but it appears that all things seem to be going well for both looking at the reviews. I have however been on the YP 4 times in the past and AE countless times and for me A.E. has a few more comforts than YP. The cabins have duvets, have bathroom amenities including shower gel, shampoo, body lotion. You have better showers, and it feels more homely than the YP. As I said I haven't been on the YP since new ownership (I've visited the Atoll), but it seems YP is more modern than before, going by the pictures. Whereas the Atoll the restaurant looks nicer and overall a more cozy feel about it.

Whilst some people may not like the in door bar on the Atoll is nice to go in there to cool off and use the internet and have a pre-dinner drink. But I like the outdoor seating on the YP at the back of the restaurant for an after dinner drink or two.

Both boats are excellent, it just depends what kind of atmosphere you want and I personally think the Atoll gives you a more home from home feeling.

Sydney, Australia
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4. Re: Yasawa Princess versus Atoll Explorer - 2013


Thanks for your feedback, that's great,

I've got prices through now for both boats, so i can look at that, and then people's photos, and then make a final decision,

Getting very excited!



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5. Re: Yasawa Princess versus Atoll Explorer - 2013

Hi Claire, I am going through the exact same process. Favour the YP I think which also works out the best price. for me, the AE itinery for the week I want to go isn't quite what I wanted.

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6. Re: Yasawa Princess versus Atoll Explorer - 2013

If you're wanting to cruise for just a week (which you stated in another thread) then I've found the following info about changes to the Atoll Explorer on the purelymaldives website:-

Important Notice

As from 28th October 2013 (Westward Alifu Cruise) Atoll Explorer will commence 2 weekly cruises. You can still join a cruise for just 7 nights - however either at the beginning or end of your cruise you will take a seaplane journey to/from the international airport charged at $222 per person.

This change will allow Westward Alifu cruises to spend more time in South Ari Atoll - and the Vaavu cruise will now commence from Athuruga in South Ari before proceeding eastward into Felidhoo/Vaavu Atoll and proceeding northwards through South Male Atoll.

This is going to make a 7 day cruise even more expensive on the AE, though a seaplane transfer is brilliant as you fly over loads of islands.

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7. Re: Yasawa Princess versus Atoll Explorer - 2013

Oh dear and then another plane journey to the island you wish to go to on your 2nd week.. Thats just changed my plans for 2014!!

Destination Expert
for Somerset, Solo Travel, Exmoor National Park
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8. Re: Yasawa Princess versus Atoll Explorer - 2013

Could all have changed again by then Charlie - don't panic ;-)

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9. Re: Yasawa Princess versus Atoll Explorer - 2013

How about a week on AE followed by a week on Ath?

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10. Re: Yasawa Princess versus Atoll Explorer - 2013


I would like to just to throw a positive slant to the mandatory seaplane cost as from October.

The reason for the change is to allow more time snorkeling and enjoying the sandbanks - rather than at the moment if you are on a 14 night cruise occupants can feel like they have become residents of Male Harbour as they drop anchor for nights in the middle of their cruise to say 'goodbye' and then 'hello' to the 7 night cruisers.

Hope this gives some food for thought as Atoll Explorer have made the change with the best of intentions.


Richard from PurelyMaldives