Both centre, as you might expect, on manta behaviour and conservation. The Maldives itinerary will steer towards interacting with manta-feeding aggregations, while the Andaman one will focus on identification and tracking.

The trip on June Hong Chian Lee, better known as ”the Junk”, is led by Jamie MonManeerat, founder of the Thailand Manta Project. It runs from 12-20 January next year, and takes in Hin Daeng, Hin Muang, Koh Haa, Phi Phi, the Similan Islands, Koh Bon, Koh Tachai and Richelieu Rock. 

The Junk can take up to 18 divers in six air-conditioned double, triple and quad en suite cabins, offering a choice of double cabins, triple cabins and quads. Prices start at US$1695pp (that’s for four sharing).

The Maldives Manta Expedition on board Maldives Master has been carefully timed for visiting Baa, Raa and Lhaviyani atolls. Dr Guy Stevens, the trust’s founder, is trip leader.

The liveaboard has 13 cabins including three suites and seven social areas, and the trip is more than a year away, running from 21-28 October, 2019. A place costs from US$2100pp.

thejunk.com

masterliveaboards.com