The Maldives may not be the first place you consider for a singles adventure holiday; after all, it's more often associated with honeymoons and romantic breaks - but it's also a great place to explore by cruise if you're travelling alone.
Cruises are a good holiday for solo travellers anyway, because they give you the opportunity to meet other likeminded people without too much difficulty. In the Maldives, the best way to sail is on a Dhoni - a traditional boat used by the islanders for centuries. So, what exactly can you expect to find as you sail around this beautiful Indian Ocean archipelago?
Stunning sandy beaches
It wouldn't be a Maldives holiday without spending a bit of time lounging on white sand in the sunshine, and you'll have plenty of opportunities to step ashore from your boat to enjoy the picturesque coast. One of the best things about joining a cruise, rather than just heading to one of the many resorts, is that you can visit islands that are completely isolated, giving you entire stretches of sand to yourself.
You'll spend the first few days of your cruise around the Felidhoo Atoll, where there are only two resorts, so you're well away from the usual tourist destinations. Mooring up at uninhabited islands, you'll have all the freedom you want to wander along empty sections of coastline fringed by palm trees.
Beautiful marine life
If you've already taken the big step of choosing to travel solo, make the most of it and try as many different things as possible during your time away. What makes the Maldives so special is its amazing reef systems that surround the coral atolls, so make sure you pull on a mask and snorkel to explore beneath the surface.
The reefs here are teeming with colourful life, with bright corals, butterfly fish, wrasse, angel fish and anemone fish among the inhabitants of this underwater world. Scuba diving is a popular pastime, but if you'd prefer to stay at the surface, you'll still have plenty to see. Manta rays are known to live in the waters around the island nation, so you could find yourself spotting one of these amazing animals as you swim.
Traditional way of life
After a few days in the Felidhoo Atoll, your boat will travel to the Meemu Atoll, where you can see how people in the Maldives have lived for centuries. There are nine inhabited islands here, some of which grow crops like yams. Many of the locals rely on fishing for their food, and you should glimpse some of the traditional fishing vessels and other tools used to bring in the daily catch by the villagers.
One stop that will fascinate you is the village of Dhiggaru, where you will often find new Dhonis being built. The people here are usually very welcoming and you'll have a unique opportunity to see how they live on a day-to-day basis when you explore onshore. A highlight of the day will be watching a performance of the local folk music called Bodu Beru - or Big Drum. Often, this also involves dancing, with one or two dancers keeping up with the rhythm of the percussion as it reaches its crescendo.
So, while the Maldives may not be a conventional destination for solo travel, it certainly has a lot to offer. A cruise like this is ideal if you're looking for a relaxing break where you can immerse yourself in a different way of life and truly forget about the stresses and strains back at home.