Best Budget Maldives Liveaboard: Amba

With excellent cabins and common areas plus an eco-friendly approach; Amba is the cheapest Maldives liveaboard out there yet offers awesome value for money (plus Free Nitrox!). 

The fact that this liveaboard is renovated every year is obvious as it feels very fresh and contemporary.

There’s several diving itineraries to choose from ranging from 7 – 11 nights around either the Central and / or North Regions of the Maldives. Special “Beginners Tours” are also sometimes available. 

Despite being so cheap, Amba has excellent cabins – the 2 luxury cabins even have their own private ocean view terraces!

Great for: Cheap, Value for Money, Beginners, Longer Trips.

Trip Lengths: 7 – 11 Nights. 

Max Guests: 20

Price: $ (Cheap)

Amba yacht cruising along the sea.
The Amba Liveaboard - Affordable, Modern and with incredible Diving Itineraries.

All trips with Amba include 2 – 3 dives a day (usually 3) plus 1 or 2 night dives. The friendly dive guides are very experienced when it comes to choosing the best dive sites to visit depending on the times of year and day to make sure you have the best dives. At the start of each trip, eco-friendly reusable bottles are gifted to each guest. 

Some of Amba’s trips explore the Central Maldives over 7 – 10 nights: this is the most famous Maldives region for diving and a great place to see many different shark species as well as manta rays and dolphins amidst an incredible underwater landscape comprised of numerous pinnacles and reefs coated in coral plus channels with hundreds of grey reef sharks. 

Other trips are 11 nights and combine some Central Maldives exploration with the North Region, which is more off-the-beaten-track. In general divers can expect to see similar things at the North Maldives – sharks, rays, dolphins and corals – however at the North, divers have a chance of seeing hundreds of manta rays around Hanifaru Bay. 

There’s not much in the way of extra activities with Amba – whereas more expensive liveaboards have things like beach barbaques, watersports and wellness activities; Amba trips are very much designed just for scuba diving. 

For common areas, there is a huge partially shaded sundeck on the top of the yacht, a partially shaded shadow deck and are also a couple of quieter, smaller sun lounging areas. 

Inside is the indoor saloon with an air-conditioned multimedia area with TV, DVD, HiFi, board games and a library. This is attached to the indoor dining area where guests can enjoy Maldivian, Thai and Western Cuisine whilst helping themselves to wines, beers and cocktails at the traditional bar. 

There are 10 cabins in total. The best of these are the 2 luxury cabins; they have their own private terraces with ocean views and heaps of space. There are also a variety of other cabin types with double, twin or king bed options. All cabins have ensuite bathrooms, aircon and fans. 

Also, the 2 luxury cabins feature private terraces! There are 7 standard cabins also. All cabins have the option for a double or two single beds plus AC, windows and ensuite bathrooms.

Guest Feedback:

Jonathon BSouth Africa
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"The crew was really good, especially the kitchen staff. They kept us well fed and didn't just serve the "normal" dive boat fare. We did 18 dives and each one was different from the next, ensuring that we experienced all that the North Maldives has to offer in one short week. Some advice - as the currents can be quite strong, remember to bring a reef hook along, although the boat and also provide"
Gregory FUnited States
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"The Manta dive was an awesome dive. The reefs were in very good shape for the most part and the amount of reef fish was mind boggeling!!"!
Peter WAustralia
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"Great! The Amba is currently the only dive boat operating in the Northern Maldives so the dive sites were not crowded with boats and divers. Sleeping out of the roof deck was wonderful! Great cabins too! Excellent food'

Written by:

Picture of Alex


Scuba fanatic, travel ecstatic and loveable rogue. A rootless divemaster and perpetual adrenaline-junky, Alex holds the esteemed rank of Grand Admiral of the Diving Squad; a title he most nobly awarded to himself. A scuba-junky since 2014, he's dived much of the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, Maldives, Red Sea, Ireland, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Panama. It's hard to say where he'll pop up next for he never settles; forever a leaf on the wind... or perhaps a lone bubble blasted along on the current.