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44Isea& iIAUTUMN 2009 THE SULTANS WAY YACHTS The Sultans way 007, a 31.3m ( 103') Azimut, and the Sultans way 001, a Leonardo 98', can both accommodate 10 guests in a master and VIP cabin, and two twin cabins. They also boast a spacious main saloon with bar and dining area opening onto the aft deck, where there is a comfortable outdoor seating area. The sun deck/ flybridge has a further outdoor seating area, along with a Jacuzzi on the 001. Forward, both yachts have a sun- lounging/ relaxation area, and each houses a tempting array of watersports equipment, including jet skis and kayaks.

AUTUMN 2009I sea& iI45 aboardashore These coral islands were originally a safe haven for Persians travelling on their trade route from India to Indonesia; they sheltered there for months at a time waiting for the winds to change and take them home. Over the years Africans, British and Portuguese have all claimed parts of the atolls, and their cultural legacies remain today. This, along with the region's legendary underwater world, makes the Maldives an idyllic cruising ground with much more on offer than just the white sand beaches that have made it such a famous honeymoon destination. Sea for yourself Exploring the Maldives by yacht means you can easily flit from resort to resort, en route exploring the outer islands and remote dive sites and gamefish grounds that most visitors never see. Step aboard your floating resort as soon as you land in the capital of Malé and cruise away from the bustling capital ( over one third of the population lives on the island of Malé), towards the Baa Atoll. Ideally, the best boat to opt for is one that offers both luxury and the flexibility to access shallower, more remote areas. Both the Sultans way 007 and Sultans way 001 could have been made for the Maldives. High- performance motor yachts, they combine the latest technology with contemporary design features. Each offers spacious accommodation for up to ten guests and can cruise comfortably at up to 30 knots - meaning you'll get to see a fair few of those 1,200 islands. Underwater world The Maldives lends itself to a variety of activities, from relaxing and sunbathing on the beach to diving, surfing and fishing. The archipelago, comprising 26 major atolls, is home to rare underwater beauty, making this one of the most popular dive destinations in the world. Along with the ocean's bounty, you can also anchor in lagoons or alongside uninhabited islands to snorkel and dive. One place not to miss is the underwater world of Kihaadhuffaru Thila where you will find stingrays and nurse sharks swimming among schools of colourful fish. After working up an appetite in the water, your crew can arrange a picnic on the nearby, uninhabited island of Gemendhoo before you laze at anchor or ashore for the afternoon in preparation for a gastronomic feast of fresh fish under the stars and a peaceful overnight anchorage. Fishing is the way of life in the Maldives and has been the lifeblood of the Maldivians since time immemorial. From the decks of your yacht you can fish at sunrise when sailfish, dog-tooth tuna, wahoo and red snapper are milling beneath the surface. The Maldivian waters are also among the top five places in the world for spotting whales and dolphins. With over 20 different species, ranging from the mighty blue whale to the diminutive Spinner Dolphin, you can watch on deck as they go about their regular routine, feeding offshore at night and coming into the atolls in the early morning before leaving late afternoon for the open ocean. Ashore thing The Maldives nurtures a rich cultural heritage, grand architectural landmarks and a unique culinary tradition. Aboard Sultans way you can cruise towards Kudarikilu and anchor in the lagoon. Then take the jet skis to explore the surrounding islands or step ashore to discover the local island life with a visit to the village schools, shops and mosque. Here you can discover the traditional craft of mat- weaving, known as Thun'du kunaa. From the Baa Atoll, cruise towards the next stop in the archipelago, Raa Atoll, where you can visit the island of Ugulu to discover the heritage site, Redhinge Usgandu. For those who prefer to stay aboard, there are numerous anchorages around the island that double up as great fishing spots. Another intriguing insight into traditional Maldivian life is to be found on Alifushi, where you will find the most famous local village for the art of traditional boat building. Neighbouring Vaadhoo Faru is a great spot for diving, and the area is dotted with uninhabited islands that are just perfect for an afternoon of relaxation. From the Raa Atoll, cruise towards the Haa Dhaal Atoll, stoppingen route at the Shaviyani Atoll. Here you will find a famous landmark on the island of Maroshi: the historic Kaani Tree ( Cordia Subcordata) dating back to the days of the Utheemu brothers' struggle against Portuguese rule between 1565 and 1573. The Haa Dhaal Atoll introduces you to further relics ? Above, and opposite page: cruising the 1,200 islands of the archi- pelago is best done onboard the Sultans way family of yachts, in order to reach shallow areas where marine life abounds