There are very few cruises that go to the Maldives,  but if you happen to be on one of them, you are in for a treat.  The Maldives are a tropical island nation in the middle of the Indian Ocean, southwest of India and Sri Lanka.  They are known for their pristine reefs, beaches and beautiful blue lagoons.  The Maldives is also known as an exclusive paradise, a pricey and luxurious holiday experience.  And although it certainly is a paradise, you can enjoy a day taking in the sites and keeping budget friendly.  

For approximately $145 USD, you can spend a full day island hopping.  Experienced guides will take you to various villages like Huraa, Gulhi and Maafushi.  You will learn about their cultures and traditions, and be able to try authentic, local food and purchase handcrafted items.  Depending on when you go, you may be able to do some snorkeling and enjoy the tropical colors of the fish and sealife.

For approximately $59 USD, you can take the Beach Eco Tour that includes a ferry ride to the island of Vilimale.  This is a small group tour, and you can spend three of four hours relaxing and enjoying the more eco friendly areas of Maldives.  You’ll be able to explore the streets away from the busier areas, and even enjoy an afternoon tea.  Guides will teach you about the local foliage as well the conservation projects taking place.

And for a truly authentic experience, for approximately $54 USD, you can share a dining experience with a local family. You’ll get to visit local markets, vegetable markets and fresh fish markets to help with the shopping.   Once you arrive at your hosts’ home, you’ll continue with your hands-on experience, helping to prepare your meal and just spending time with the family.  When you get home, you’ll be able to impress your friends with your new Maldavian cooking techniques!

As you can see, you can really immerse yourself in the island life in just a day and without having to break the bank.