Though other Maldivian resorts are seriously upping the ante by debuting over-the-top upgrades under the archipelago’s crystal-clear water, at the classically beautiful Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru (think overwater villas, glassy infinity pools, and breezy decor), science fiction is becoming reality. The Super Falcon 3S, the world’s first three-person DeepFlight submarine, has just made its splashy worldwide debut on the resort’s white-sand shores. An experience that Jules Verne himself would certainly approve of, DeepFlight Adventures will pilot up to two guests on a once-in-a-lifetime subaquatic exploration of the Maldives’ only UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, Landaa Giraavaru’s Baa Atoll home.
This exclusive launch, offered in collaboration with water sports operator Ocean Group Pvt. Ltd, allows 21st-century explorers to experience a spectacular underwater wonderland in a comfortable, pressurized, and air-conditioned cockpit. Individual viewing domes virtually disappear when submerged, offering adventurers an unparalleled 360-degree view of the aquatic environment. Looking much like an underwater airplane, the battery-operated submersible “flies” to a depth of 120 feet, gliding effortlessly above magnificent coral reefs inhabited by multitudes of brightly colored fish. Voyagers will cruise alongside the great creatures of the sea, observing dolphins, sharks, turtles, and rays cavorting in their natural habitat while the knowledgeable pilot educates them on the inner workings of the reef and its many inhabitants.
Environmentally minded explorers need not worry about negatively impacting the ecosystem. The vessel’s electric and acoustic emissions have been minimized so as not to disturb the wealth of marine life, and it cruises above—and never lands on—the fragile seabed or reefs, ensuring that the environment stays as pristine as possible. If their trip into the deep blue waters proves inspirational, guests can also participate in the property’s other conservation efforts, which include rebuilding reefs, rehabilitating turtles, and researching manta rays alongside marine biologists.
Of course, safety for the human passengers is also a priority on this one-hour excursion. A surface team tracks and monitors each dive, and if necessary, guests can speak with the pilot via an underwater communications system. Certified by Lloyd’s Register, a leading marine classification society, the Super Falcon 3S features fixed positive buoyancy and a patented thrust and lift system to ensure it constantly stays in control. If the vessel loses power (an unlikely event), it is designed to automatically float back to the surface. Young explorers aged seven and above are welcome on the voyage if they meet certain height and weight restrictions, and prebooking is essential through the resort or Ocean Travel Asia.