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Amba Liveaboard Review

Diving Squad Rating:


9.7 / 10

Despite being the absolute cheapest Maldives liveaboard out there, Amba is a sleek and modern yacht with great facilities. 

Furthermore, she’s one of the only Maldives liveaboards to be stationed in the northern atolls, away from the crowds. 

Great for: Far North Cruises, Unique Trips, Off the Beaten Track Diving, Second Cheapest

Trip Lengths: 8 – 12 days

Max Guest Capacity: 22

Operates: November – May

Amba yacht cruising along the sea.


What makes the diving safaris run by Amba truly special, is that they start in Haa Alifu, the far north and most of the beaten track diving region of the Maldives, where few divers manage to reach.

Literally just a couple of other liveaboards sometimes travel here – but only Amba starts from here. The crew will meet you at Male airport to assist your domestic flight to Haa Alifu. 

The most out there of these; the “Maldives Far North Atolls” trip, explores the far northern area of Haa Alifu atoll, which offers a superb variety of wreck dives, drift dives, deep dives and epic wall dives. 

Divers can spot leopard sharks, blackfin barracudas and large congregations of manta rays around wrasse cleaning stations.

From here, Amba heads to Haa Dhaalu atoll, another collection of far northern islands in the Maldives, where countless black and white tip reef sharks await.

Amba also runs “Special Cruises” from Haa Alifu to Baa and Raa atoll where divers can see reef sharks, stingrays and a variety of other critters across pristine coral reef.

 Or you can opt for the “Classic Route”, which explores the most famous central Maldives dive sites. Various other routes are available such as the “Manta Manta” and “Special Cruise” tours. 

Completely renovated in 2016, the Amba offers spacious and comfortable areas, outfitted with fantastic amenities for it’s guests. The massive outdoor lounge has two zones, both with plenty of comfortable furniture and bean bags. 

In addition to there being one huge partially shaded sundeck on the top of the yacht, there are also a couple of quieter and more discreet sundeck areas for just two to four people. 

Plus, there is the outdoor lounge equipped with furniture and beanbags as well as partial shading. 

Inside, there is an air-conditioned multimedia area with TV, DVD, HiFi, board games and a library. This is attached to the indoor dining area which also features a traditional bar..

There are 2 luxury cabins with ocean views from their private terraces plus 7 standard cabins. All cabins have the option for a double or two single beds plus AC and ensuite bathrooms.

Honestly, it’s hard to believe that the Amba is the second cheapest Maldives liveaboard, considering that she is the only one to offer unique tours which start in the off the beaten track region of the northern Maldives.

There is also an immense range of different types of diving tour that can be underaken with the Amba. In my opinion, this is the best cheap Maldives liveaboard as she offers great facilities and next level dive trips. 

main lounge on amba

Guest Reviews:

Jonathon BSouth Africa
"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
"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
"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'

Other features:

  • Western & local food with vegetarian options

  • Camera room with table and charging points

  • Camera station with separate rinse for u.w cameras

  • Rooms with balcony

  • Warm water showers

  • Outside showers

  • English and German speaking crew

  • Daily housekeeping

  • Paid internet

Jessica B from the United States said:

“The cabins are very spacious, and even the en suite was much larger than most liveaboards. The crew is fantastic and goes out of their way to keep guests happy. The main salon is large and comfortable and there are several outdoor areas to lounge.

Our only complaint was that the smoking section was the one and only covered deck, just behind the salon. Made it difficult to find a place to hang out away from the smoke when it rained.

Diving in the far north was amazing. We didn’t have great visibility, but the life was so prolific. And we never had to share a dive site with another boat. Would highly recommend this trip!”

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Scuba fanatic. Travel ecstatic. Erratic. The name's Alex.