Four Seasons Explorer Motor Yacht  Spring & Summer Planning

If you tend to travel with an entourage may we suggest your spring break or summer plans include a stay at the two stunning Four Seasons Maldives resorts (see earlier posts), or cruise between the two resorts on the beautiful Four Seasons Explorer Motor Yacht.

Embark on the ultimate marine odyssey aboard the luxurious Four Seasons floating resort, the Explorer is an intimate yachting experience. A luxurious three deck catamaran that embarks on 3, 4 or 7-night cruises. Plus, leisure, surf or manta ray charters into the undiscovered Maldives. It sails between the enchanting garden island of Four Seasons Kuda Huraa resort and the pristine hideaway of Landaa Giraavaru in the Baa Atoll UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Each August it plays host to surfing’s hottest invitation only event: The Four Seasons Maldives Surfing Championship Trophy.

For guests seeking a deluxe island cruise with a difference, Four Seasons Resorts Maldives offers wholly customizable luxury private charters on the country’s fastest and most luxurious livaboard. Book an all-inclusive private cruise for up to 22 guests for a minimum of three nights. Use the 128-foot yacht as a dedicated dive, surf or leisure vessel, to visit hideaway island villages and meet secluded communities, or to host breathtaking yacht parties in some of the most pristine and remote surroundings on earth.

The boat’s master chefs create custom menus for every meal, accented with your preferred selection of fine wines and spirits. Book the on-board spa therapist for relaxing therapies in tranquil island locations. Groups can also arrange exclusive snorkeling adventures in virgin waters guided by their very own marine biologist, while the boat’s expert dive team offers 12 specialty courses plus bespoke programs for anyone who wants to improve their skills — or just admire the supreme beauty of the Maldivian reefs. In addition, Tropicsurf guides can suggest a tailored surfing itinerary that takes in the secluded outer atolls, using sophisticated web forecasting to direct you to your perfect wave, for a piece of surfing nirvana.

The Cruise Director and his team organize daily programs—from island jaunts and fishing to water-skiing to wakeboarding. Savor a delectable beachside lunch or evening barbecue under a star-filled island sky. And if that’s not enough, cruising with Four Seasons Explorer also brings a wealth of once-in-a-lifetime adventures: bow-riding dolphins, spontaneous sunset snorkeling with majestic manta rays and elusive whale sharks in hidden hotspots known by the vessel’s knowledgeable team.

The Four Seasons Explorer offers ten well-appointed 215-square-foot  State Rooms, the luxurious 484-square-foot Explorer Suite, two bars, an air conditioned dining room, a lounge, a library and two sun decks, creating a level of luxury unrivaled in the Maldivian cruise industry. Services include twice-daily housekeeping, free wireless internet and same-day laundry.

Choose from 10 spacious State Rooms and the palatial Explorer Suite, all of which are bright and airy and include the luxury and style you expect from Four Seasons Explorer.

All cabins are air-conditioned, with an ensuite bathroom that features a bathtub/shower. Curl up on your sofa, select something from the refrigerated private bar or enjoy a movie on the flat screen LCD TV, all in the comfort of your State Room or Explorer Suite.

Explorer Suite – Enjoy spectacular scenery from the expansive panoramic windows of your elegant Explorer Suite. Showered in sunlight from expansive windows, the Explorer Suite boasts contemporary teak furnishings and cool, subdued fabrics. Enjoy your ensuite bathroom with a full bathtub, separate shower, WC and vanity. It is connected to a walk-in wardrobe.

State Rooms – Bright and airy, the intimate State Rooms provide picturesque views from large port windows. Unwind in the air-conditioned room with one king bed or two twin beds, a comfortable couch, a writing desk, a DVD/CD player, an MP3 cable connection, a refrigerated private bar, a telephone and an in-cabin safe.

On board, on land or in the water, Four Seasons Explorer offers a wealth of leisure activities, all supported by their signature service. From water sports and island excursions to relaxing spa treatments, the personalized cruises feature something for everyone.

WATER SPORTS Take to the waves with waterskiing, wakeboarding, windsurfing, fun tubes and kayaking. Smaller waves between January and March offer optimal conditions for wakeboarding and waterskiing. All watersports are available on request, subject to currents and conditions.

SNORKELING During daily snorkeling excursions, guests can venture out with our marine biologist, take the plunge off the back of the vessel or snorkel off the beach at any of our numerous island stop offs.

FISHING Venture out by dhoni for some bottom-line fishing, fish from the back of Four Seasons Explorer each night or indulge in handline fishing off the vessel at sunset. Trawling by tender is available on request.

EXCURSIONS Savor gourmet Four Seasons cuisine on uninhabited islands, embark on an adventure with our marine biologist, cast yourself away on a secluded sandbank or visit remote villages for cultural experiences and souvenir shopping – even enjoy a game of football or rugby on a sandy beach.

There are quite a few Specialized Journeys –

A Tropicsurf  Surfari aboard the uber-cool Four Seasons Explorer is undoubtedly the world’s premier surfing cruise: five-star service and style, expert guides, chasing the best wave conditions, catching secluded swells, riding remote breaks and experiencing the Maldives vast and ever-changing awe-inspiring seascapes.

SURF CRUISES Surfaris are 7 or 10 days – shared or private charters – during July and August when surf conditions are at their peak.  Setting sail from Four Seasons Resort at Kuda Huraa, surfing enthusiasts will visit rarely surfed breaks in the Outer Atolls, accompanied by two expert Tropicsurf guides, enabling the group to split in two based on wave preferences and personal ability.  It’s a recreational surfer’s dream – diverse yet reliable waves give the option to challenge oneself, hone skills, or simply cruise and enjoy the ride.  No experience is necessary either: it’s the perfect opportunity to learn.

Traveling with a non-surfing partner? There are plenty of parallel activities to keep them busy and ‘blissed out’ too: snorkeling, windsurfing, stand up paddle boarding, kayaking, water skiing, deep-sea fishing, island sightseeing, beach barbecues and deserted island massages.

WAVES Sophisticated web forecasting allows the team to accurately determine swell and wind forecasts. The complex bathymetry of the atolls means there are often hidden gems that others simply do not know about.  The result: surfers get to visit remote regions, ride pure and uncrowded waves, and experience the spirit and true freedom of surfing at its sublime and soulful best.

Enjoy five-star service on the high seas, with a fully equipped, five-Star PADI Dive Centre with nitrox, a stargazing telescope, a massage by a resident spa therapist and laundry service.

The Maldives is renowned for its abundance of fish life, warm pristine waters and close encounters with pelagics such as manta rays and whale sharks.

As the country’s fastest-cruising live aboard, Four Seasons Explorer gives divers access to a wide variety of secluded hotspots, including exciting channel dives with sharks and rays, vibrant thilas, cleaning stations, wrecks and coral overhangs.

Three Nights –  Aquariums and Caves.  Embarking on Mondays, this three-night cruise from Kuda Huraa to Landaa Giraavaru may include dive sites such as the soft coral ceilings of Fares Caves, the stingray and nudibranch haven of Eboodhoo Cove, and the colorful canyons of Muthaafushi Thila, plus Thulaadhoo laquerware island. Each cruise is purposefully fluid, ensuring the best of the Maldives at any given moment – from chance mid-ocean encounters with huge pods of pilot whales to castaway experiences on remote coral islands.

Four Nights – Sharks and Shipwrecks.  The four-night cruise from Landaa Giraavaru to Kuda Huraa may include dives sites such as the grey reef shark hotspot of Rasdhoo Madivaru, the white-tip shark and octopus refuge of Maaya Thila, the whale shark haven of Maamigili Beyru, and the cargo hull of Machafushi Wreck. Each cruise is purposefully fluid, ensuring the best of the Maldives at any given moment – from chance mid-ocean encounters with huge pods of pilot whales to castaway experiences on remote coral islands.

Seven Nights – See it All.  The seven-night circuit cruise combines the three-night Northward Cruise and the four-night Southward Cruise to help you experience caves, thilas, whale shark hotspots, the swim-through tunnel of Kuda Rah Thila and the cultural lure of Dhangethi Island. Each cruise is purposefully fluid, ensuring the best of the Maldives at any given moment – from chance mid-ocean encounters with huge pods of pilot whales to castaway experiences on remote coral islands.

DIVING COURSES Four Seasons Explorer is geared towards qualified divers. It is the ideal vessel on which to hone your dive skills, increase your underwater confidence and develop specialty skills in thrilling new areas.

DAILY DIVING SCHEDULE Divers can usually expect two dives in the morning and one in the afternoon, with the option of additional sunrise, night and wreck excursions. From May to November, the currents move large quantities of plankton through the atolls, attracting manta rays and whale sharks to the eastern side of the country. From December to April, the wind reverses, resulting in 100 to 130 feet of incredible visibility and consistent, near-perfect conditions.

Dive itineraries adapt to currents and conditions, seasonal marine visitors and the diving requirements of those on board. Every cruise aboard Four Seasons Explorer is unique.

SPA Four Seasons Explorer’s resident spa therapist offers natural therapies inspired by Asia’s ancient healing principles. Retreat to the private treatment area on the upper deck – curtained for privacy yet open to the refreshing sea air – or indulge in a massage at one of the secluded beaches visited during the cruise.

Treatment highlights include the restorative and deeply relaxing Indian herbal-oil massage and the hydrating and refreshing sun-soother wrap, with fresh aloe vera and toning lavender mist.

Captain on Stand by for our Guests! Please let me know if we can answer any questions or reserve for you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Four Seasons Kuda Huraa Resort Maldives

Nightly Sunsets at Four Seasons Kuda Huraa Resort Maldives

There aren’t enough superlatives to fully and accurately describe the staggering natural beauty of the Maldives. From the air, nothing prepared me for the extraordinary glimpse of the turquoise seas, the oval halo of atolls and islands, in the middle of the vast Indian Ocean, crystal clear seas in a thousand shades of indigo, accented by white sugar sandy beaches…it was breathtaking! Color is fundamental to our experience of the world around us, you may have seen glossy photos or films, but the wonder of the Maldives is awe inspiring, nothing prepares you for the beauty.

Four Seasons Kuda Huraa Resort Maldives

You may not be on Facebook or Instagram to enjoy the colorful photos of my visit… if this destination seems far, I agree it is a bit of a Journey, however I will share why it is worth the distance to reach the luxury properties surrounded by the pristine gin clear waters. Two routings from the west coast either via Dubai or Singapore, I would advise an overnight or two and depart in the morning to Male, the capital city and gateway to the Maldives. To reach some of the resorts you then need to take an additional local flight on Maldivian airlines, who keep their own schedule i.e.- don’t count on timely flights. Seaplanes are available to some locations. Not all the resorts require an additional flight.

Like our unique fingerprints, there is a property for each of us.

The simple elegant solution: arrive at Male and in my case, met by a dazzling Four Seasons motor yacht, Ahoy, Captain! Leave a trailing foamy white wake behind as you are whisked a mere 30 minutes to the very elegant paradise of Four Seasons Kuda Huraa Resort. One barely has a minute to sip a glass of bubbly or refresh with the scented towel! Rarefied Luxury awaits! The nation of the Maldives stretches a thin 510 miles and the footprint of Kuda Huraa is not as large as their adjacent property Landaa Giraavaru, yet the grounds are a beautifully landscaped utopia; imagine fragrant plumeria, bright blooming bougainvillea and towering date and banana trees. A quiet breeze ruffles the leafy fronds all day.

Did I mention the luminous seas?

Four Seasons Kuda Huraa Resort Maldives

The arrival of course sets the stage for every visit, I was duly impressed by the genial GM meeting my plane, I was a bit bedraggled, but then, the yacht transfer…is there more? Yes! The arrival jetty was crowded with singers and drum players, I thought a wedding was in progress – no, it was my arrival team…the mood was set!

Escorted to the beautiful open-air reception pavilion, chilled drink in hand, a brief introduction and then whisked to an overwater bungalow or beach Villa for registration and settling in. My bags had already been delivered to my bungalow. Spectacular welcome notes and gifts – a bakery montage of my upcoming activities surprised me. It’s the details, darling!

Four Seasons Kuda Huraa Resort Maldives Two bedroom Royal Suite

The resort feels like a small chic village, it hums along with impeccable service and very friendly staff, multiple restaurants for dining pleasure. Choose to snooze and chill, or if you prefer action, I can attest to being slightly exhausted trying almost every activity during my visit!

Sunrise yoga to sunset fishing by hand using the traditional line and sinker, reel in that dusk nibbler by hand. In my case, my ‘fish whisperer’, Ayaa, reeled in our fish; I was content to feed any nibbler a lovely bite of fresh bait and savor a spectacular sea sunset despite my lack of luck. Dancing Dolphins may also grace you with their dizzying spinning across the bow, honestly, even if you don’t fish, you must go out for the experience! Weary travelers will be renewed by Spa retreats, a healthy diet of fresh fish and lagoon dips. SUP Yoga, I managed, give it a try! Weary travelers will be renewed by Spa retreats, a healthy diet of fresh fish and lagoon dips.

If you prefer to snooze and catch up with your reading, might as well be in the lap of luxury, wouldn’t you agree?  Contemplate Bliss.

Four Seasons Kuda Huraa Resort Maldives Overwater Bungalow plunge pool

Four Seasons Kuda Huraa Resort Maldives Overwater pool and deck

ACTIVITIES A maze of reefs passing through the Maldives provides Surfing Nirvana for the most experienced surfer devotee. Kuda Huraa is the ultimate Surf Spot, hosting the world class surf breaks of Sultans, Jails and Honkeys just a 5-10-minute boat ride away. Four Seasons has its own surf school run by Tropicsurf, an Australian company, offering surfing, sailing and SUP boards. Seaplane Surfing on your list? Endless Safari, sign up for daily surfing safari in search of mechanically peeling walls and double overhead tubes – surf lingo for waves that rise upwards to form sheer cliffs of water, you knew that, right? Or Mingle with the Masters at the annual Four Seasons Surfing Champions Trophy. Gentler waves are close by, with easy take-offs and long rides for beginners.

Internationally known as one of the world’s best scuba diving destinations, the Maldives has an abundance of dive sites with one thrilling dive opportunity after another. The waters surrounding Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa and the Baa Atoll UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, home to Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru, have consistently warm waters with outstanding clear visibility.

Four Seasons Kuda Huraa Friendly little turtle…Gin Clear water!

The Wonders of Nature can be found in abundance!  Snorkeling can be enjoyed in the lagoon or motor out with their charming very skilled team of divers. Scuba is also offered, and I took my beginner dive in the lagoon packed with manmade coral cages, embedded in rows, stimulating coral growth. An excellent area for kids to snorkel or learn to dive and understand coral reforestation. Later in the afternoon, we motored out to sea for deeper snorkeling and diving near a tuna factory, it was teeming with hundreds of fish: gliding, hovering rays shrouded by schools of bright yellow and blue surgeon fish, a very curious and friendly turtle, cautious clown fish, moray eels slinking along the sandy bottom amid the coral towers. Warm water, gentle seas and a myriad of tropical fish, I could have been under water all day!  Menu not limited to these additional offerings: Parasailing (solo or tandem); Jet Skiing; Wakeboarding; Wakeskating; Waterskiing; Kneeboarding; Fun tubes; Banana rides.Big Game fishing. Sea plane off island adventures, cooking class with famed chef in the Indian Kitchen, seaplane photo odyssey, perhaps a month stay might be on your horizon!?

Dhoni transfer to private Island Spa at Four Seaons Kuda Huraa

SPA There’s an amazing spa on its own little island, reached by an authentic wooden dhoni, the spa has seven treatment salons, all open to the lagoon and stunning vistas, gentle waves lap at the piers as a breeze wafts through the wide-open floor to ceiling doors. Private night massages on the island can be reserved, just you, the night sky and the symphony of the sea.  Separate spa post can be found here: https://www.gwenbooks.com/2018/02/tribe-of-the-spa-girl-kuda-huraa-four-seaons/

ROOMS Built in the style of a traditional Maldivian village, Kuda Huraa Four Seasons resort has 96 thatched villas scattered around the gorgeously landscaped island or chic bungalows built on stilts languidly rising from the lagoon. One aspect I loved about the over water bungalows is the ladder to the crystal clear water is a mere 4-feet, easy access to the pristine white beach or turquoise sea depending on the ebb and flow of the tide. The magnificent view from my bed was breathtaking, the outdoor deck space is grand, spacious enough to entertain a family, including hammocks that stretch above the slapping water and a plunge pool. The Ocean Villas are close to the beach and surf, intimate walled gardens provide privacy, a plunge pool and covered deck for dining or lounge reading, and of course a rainforest shower outside – I am sure you will contemplate adding one at home, after you’ve been dried by a breeze!  Suite closets are enormous as are the bathrooms. I stayed in both over water and beach villa and couldn’t decide which I adored more; the water view was very enticing from the elevated sea bungalow. It’s impossible to take your eyes off the incredible hues of the water and the distant horizon.

Baraabaru Restaurant at Four Seasons Kuda Huraa Resort Maldives

DINING Definitely order room service to enjoy the amazing views from your terrace. I loved the fine Indian cuisine at Baraabaru prepared by Chef Kapil Sharma – a Punjabi-born culinarian with a particular prowess for Sattvic, Jain, vegan and organic fare. Many of the recipes are inspired by the chef’s family. Dine on the spectacular torch lit deck over the sea or inside the beautiful dining room inspired by the architecture of Kerala.

Kandu Grill was also one my favorites for fresh fish grilled outdoors – lit by torches reflecting in a small pool and the brilliant black sky pierced by starlight. I bumped into the fun chef every day, I think he assumed I was stalking him for fresh lobster!

Cafe Huraa Four Seasons Kuda Huraa Maldives

Café Huraa was my favorite for breakfast, the buffet has something for everyone: Asian inspired, fresh fruit, omelets made to order, honestly you could graze here for hours! They also serve all day dining and dinner.

Reef Club features classic Italian food. I enjoyed a lovely breakfast here one morning, it is peaceful and offers an al fresco ocean side deck.

Part of the flawless experience lies with the hotel staff, I have honestly never met such a delightfully friendly family of staff at a hotel property. I hadn’t snorkeled in a while and Nooman, my marine guide, realized using my new underwater camera would be a distraction, he generously offered to shoot photos of me with the fish and since he is an experienced free diver, he could swim to the bottom of the reef and take shots I would never have achieved, a perceptive marine guide made my experience more than perfect…this wasn’t a singular experience at the Four Seasons. Most of my brilliant photos at Kuda Huraa should all be attributed to Nooman! He boosted my dive confidence and filled my albums full of excellent fish photos with me in the background!

Four Seasons Kuda Huraa welcome !

Taking along the kiddos?  Typical Four Seasons Kids Program doesn’t disappoint the little ones, a great Children’s Club with painting classes, table-tennis games and snorkeling. Most evenings they also have a hermit crab race at Sunset Bar, which is terrific fun, the kids and adults love cheering on the little shelled crabs as they ponderously race to the edge of the sandy circle. You will win a complimentary cocktail if your little crab heeds your cheers!

The island has a Marine Discovery Center with several friendly marine biologists, a turtle sanctuary with pools of rescued ailing turtles and a program to restore the bleached coral. Send the kids to build and adopt a coral cage, I can’t wait to see the coral growth of my sponsored cage, photos are sent by the resort. Help the marine biologist drop the cage into the sea; and after acclimatization, it will be moved to the reef scape.

I also took a visit to a neighbor island to see the local village. Many of the staff grew up here, and some live in a hotel sponsored staff apartment. I love seeing how the locals live, see the schools and visit small shops. Remember there aren’t cars on most of these islands, motorbikes and walking are the main forms of transportation.

Four Seasons Maldives Explorer

A stay at Kudaa Huraa can easily be combined with a few days on the resort’s 129 foot catamaran, Explorer. In fact, we would love to help you plan the ultimate Four Seasons trifecta – arrive to Kuda Huraa, chill and adjust to the time zone for 4 or 5 nights or longer, board the luxury catamaran and motor for 4 days or more to the other Four Seasons Resort at Landaa Giraavaru. The Explorer is a fully staffed luxury catamaran with 10 spacious staterooms, accommodating up to 22 guests…laze about the seas to swim, snorkel, surf – whatever your mood, Captain and crew at your beck and call. Full post coming soon to my website.

Idyllic Island experience, the days fly by and I would encourage you to add more time rather than less…paradise is far, but worth the Journey! I was beyond spoiled, imagine when we reserve for our VIP Clients!

 Contemplate Bliss.