While I’ve had the honor of traveling to many beautiful destinations throughout my life, this one was certainly what I would call the trip of a lifetime.
For those of you who have been following along with my adventures across the globe, you know I try to stay at Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts whenever possible.
I’ll admit, there are times I spend hours on the Four Seasons’ website, checking their offers and scrolling through all the possibilities. And one of those times, I landed on the Four Seasons Maldives yacht.
The Four Seasons Explorer couldn’t be booked online. I was living in Bologna at the time, and had to call a number in the U.S. to make my reservation. (The yacht can only accommodate 22 guests, so it made sense they needed to arrange it over the phone.) Despite a poor connection, it was an exciting conversation, and I couldn’t wait to officially board the Four Seasons Explorer yacht.
The Maldives has always been an exclusive and exotic destination known for its luxurious accommodations and crystal-clear waters. It’s an archipelago made up of over 1,000 islands. That’s why I felt a yacht would be the best way to travel to the Maldives and experience all of its beauty.
Boarding Our Maldives Yacht
Though of course, it was technically the Four Seasons’ yacht, it felt like our own. Upon boarding the yacht with my husband, Tom, the general manager, greeted us and informed us that we were the only passengers on the yacht! We were pleasantly surprised with an upgrade to the Explorer Suite, and for five out of the seven nights, we were the only passengers on board. It was an incredibly intimate experience, and it far surpassed my expectations of Maldives luxury travel – we felt like we were in a private paradise the entire time! The panoramic views of the ocean from our wall of windows in the suite were a dream come true.
The Four Seasons Explorer Maldives yacht has ten cabins on the lower deck and a suite on the upper deck, with a maximum of 22 passengers and 20-25 crew members. We were treated like royalty from the moment we arrived, and I can confidently say that this was the most luxurious trip of my life.
Each evening, we received a handwritten card from Tom, along with gifts like sarongs, wooden handcrafted boxes, and tuna boxes. We even had a cameraman on board to film our daily dives. He would put the footage together each night to highlight the day. It was an incredibly meaningful touch.
The attention to detail was second-to-none, and the food was exceptional! From the captain’s cocktail hour and dinner to having lunch and dinner in a cabana set up just for us on each atoll, we never wanted it to end.
Once in a Lifetime Maldives Memories
I look back on our experience and can remember it so vividly. I had already had my taste of the Four Seasons experience when I traveled to the Four Seasons Costa Rica and Four Seasons Miami on our honeymoon. After traveling like this, I knew, even at 28, I would do everything I could to maintain this style of travel. My lifelong loyalty to the FS was born on that cruise.
One of the highlights of our trip was diving in the vastness of the Indian Ocean all alone. We had an instructor for each of our three dives every day, and it was an indescribable experience.
We also visited a tuna fishery, where we bought some beautiful handmade wooden boxes in Thulhaadhoo, a city in the Maldives. Artistic creations of the Maldives are made primarily from locally-sourced raw materials, and it was so special to bring a piece of the islands home with us. I’m not one to typically buy things while on a trip, but I bought three of these wooden boxes. They are beautiful and are perhaps my most treasured travel souvenir. Can you guess the color? PINK of course!
Extending Our Maldives Luxury Travel Experience
After our 7-night yacht adventure, we didn’t want to leave, so we decided to extend our Maldives experience for an extra week. The adventure continued as we took a seaplane over to the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island, and stayed in a 2-bedroom Grand Water Villa with a pool, which was probably the most beautiful hotel room I had ever stayed in. The hotel is built on several islands and connected by bridges. I’ll have to write another blog soon about our experience there!
Unforgettable and Unrivaled
Once you’ve experienced the best (the very best!), you don’t want to try it again unless you can ensure that it will be just as great.
Honestly, to experience this trip again, I think we would have to charter the FS Explorer yacht privately! 😉 It was that perfect. And that’s exactly why I continue to say yes to new destinations, especially ones with Four Seasons properties!
Unfortunately, the Four Seasons Explorer yacht is sunsetting (literally) and will stop operating in May. Knowing this does make me feel a little wistful, but I also know that you should let go to make room for something new.
If you have the opportunity at all to travel aboard the Maldives yacht for one of its last cruises, I highly recommend you do so! I promise every memory and every penny is so worth it.
*Photo credits: special thanks to Four Seasons Resorts Maldives for some of the photos for this blog!