Friday, March 7, 2014

Prince William, Kate Middleton's Vacation in Maldives Costs $10,000 for Four Nights

Five-star couple's retreat! Prince William and Kate Middleton are currently enjoying their weeklong vacation in the Maldives, which started Thursday, Mar. 6, and it's quite the luxurious getaway!

A source tells Us Weekly the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are staying at the brand-new, five-star Cheval Blanc Randheli Resort, which opened just last November, on the southern Noonu Atoll. The resort is part of the Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy luxury conglomerate, and every one of its 45 villas includes gorgeous views of the Indian Ocean and access to private white sandy beaches.
Will and Kate are kicking back in a large two-bedroom island villa, which includes a 41-foot infinity pool and sun deck. According to one insider, a four-night stay at the Cheval Blanc costs $10,000, and a five-course dinner at the resort's luxury Le 1947 restaurant costs about $500 per person -- without drinks. (Kensington Palace refused to comment on the couple's private time.)

Kate Middleton and Prince William on Sept. 16, 2012 in Honiara

While his parents are enjoying their romantic vacation, baby Prince George is staying with his matronal grandparents, Michael and Carole Middleton. The 7-month-old tot will join the Duke and Duchess when the royals embark on a public three-week tour of Australia and New Zealand on April 7. In total, they are expected to visit seven major cities in New Zealand and six cities in Australia.

"For the couple, this visit represents a wonderful opportunity on the one hand for The Duke to deepen his personal relationship with, and admiration for, New Zealand and Australia," Miguel Head, private secretary to the Duke of Cambridge, said in a press conference on Mar. 2. "And on the other, for the Duchess to experience some of the extraordinary warmth and hospitality for which the people of both countries are renowned the world over."
Baby Prince George has already has experienced one overseas vacation with his mom. In January, the baby heir to the British throne visited the West Indies island of Mustique for his grandmother Carole's 59th birthday.


Thursday, March 6, 2014

Longline training for young fishermen

A training programme has been launched in the Maldives to teach longline fishing to young fishermen.
The initiative has been launched by the Maldivian Fisheries Ministry, in collaboration with the Maldives Industrial Fisheries Company (MIFCO), reports local media.

Fisheries Minister Dr Mohamed Shainee said that, with the new programme, Maldivian fishermen would go further out to sea, reducing the share of longline fishing for foreigners, increasing the Maldives’ productivity and creating more jobs for young people.

Fishermen in the Maldives primarily fish by using the pole and line method, and Dr Shainee says that by introducing longlining it would lessen dependency on one fishing method. And Maldivian fishermen would also be able to catch lucrative bigeye tuna.

MIFCO Deputy Manager Ahmed Didi told reporters that the company’s target was to ensure that the youth who complete the training programme would have the capability to work in large yellowfin tuna fishing vessels “anywhere in the world”.

Dr Shainee also said that longlining is the most environmentally-friendly fishing method after pole and line, but additional measures will be taken to reduce the impact on the environment, including hooks that prevent the bycatch of sharks and turtles.

Ten fishermen from Haa Alif Hoarafushi were chosen for the first stage of the training programme, to be conducted by MIFCO.

- See more at:


Prince William, Kate Middleton Vacation in the Maldives Before Australian Tour

Happy holiday! In a month, Prince William and Kate Middleton will embark on a very public tour of Australia and New Zealand with their baby boy, Prince George -- but at the moment, they're enjoying a much more low-profile trip. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have escaped to the Maldives for a little vacation, a source tells Us Weekly.

Kate Middleton and Prince William on July 26, 2012 in London

The royal couple will spend a week in the islands, which are located in the Indian Ocean and have become something of a A-list destination spot. Katy Perry and Russell Brand honeymooned in the Maldives after their wedding in 2010, as did Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes in 2006. (Middleton and her husband, meanwhile, honeymooned in the Seychelles after their 2011 nuptials.)


Kate Middleton, Prince William visit the Maldives on romantic getaway

LONDON, March 6 (UPI) -- Ahead next month's whirlwind tour of Australia and New Zealand, Prince William and his wife, Kate, have reportedly touched down in the Maldives for a week-long vacation.
Though their trip has not been confirmed by the palace, People cites local news reports as confirmation that the royal couple landed in the Indian Ocean republic on Thursday.

No one is sure whether Prince George, now 7 months old, made the trip, though he will definitely accompany his parents to Wellington, New Zealand, on April 7. They'll then tour six more cities in New Zealand and six in Australia.


Love blossoms in the Maldives

I gingerly take the hand of the cabin crew member helping me down the steps of the twin-engine sea plane to a small pontoon surrounded by calm turquoise water. The glistening white sands and lush vegetation of a small island are finally within my reach.

After a 20-minute scenic flight, my husband and I have arrived at our romantic hideaway.

About 93km from Male, Maafushivaru ("maaf" means flower and "fushi" island) is on the southern tip of an ancient underwater volcano called the North Ari Atoll. It's a giant lagoon that's fringed by reefs and dotted with other remote resorts with similar palm leaf roofs, water villas and ancient Indian banyan trees planted among the coconut palms for shade.

A dhoni wooden boat gently glides into view and an outstretched hand welcomes me on board for the briefest of crossings to a wooden walkway. Perched above the reef, it's the gateway to our romantic island escape.

I'd chosen a water villa over a beach bungalow as I loved the idea of staying in a bedroom on stilts and stepping down to swim straight into the sea, with the added privacy of a sunbathing terrace not overlooked by other guests passing by.

However, the debate during our welcome cocktail is whether to opt for a "sunrise" or "sunset" villa. With the throw of a dice, we choose the latter and awake to uninterrupted views across the Indian Ocean.

Settling into this unique "one-island, one-resort" concept (there's no island-hopping in the Maldives) we feel like we've joined an elite club where everyone's friendly, the staff greet you with genuine smiles and where you can simply relax or enjoy some of the best diving and snorkelling sites in the south of the Ari Atoll.

Maafushivaru is an all-inclusive resort with a la carte dining options, 48 villas and a "No shoes. No news" tag-line. Activities can include a Sunset Cruise to see dolphins, or snorkelling excursions where you can come face to face with turtles, whale sharks and manta rays.

What marks Maafushivaru out from other resorts is its smaller neighbouring uninhabited island of Lonubo.

Guests can take advantage of a complimentary trip to the idyllic getaway, where they can spend a couple of hours swimming and sunbathing with a picnic (at extra cost). But my husband and I decide to splash out the extra $US1000 ($A1116.32) for a Robinson Crusoe-chic overnight stay.

Our adventure begins late afternoon when the dhoni boat drops us off on Lonubo and we stroll barefoot in the sand to our wooden bungalow. We arrive to find an exterior bathroom with a rain-shower, big screen TV, pink frangipani scattered on crisp white bed linen and a bottle of sparkling wine on ice.

It doesn't take long for us to head to the dead calm sea, which is 30 degrees. Waist deep with glasses in hand, we steal a kiss (even though no one is looking) and burrow our toes into the sand.

As darkness falls we lounge on the beach bed, play on the oversized sofa-swing and watch clusters of crabs building their evening home in the sand.

The dhoni boat returns and a couple of members of staff busy themselves with setting up the barbecue for a menu of grilled fish and lobster, which is served by candlelight.

Six metres from our table, another light show captures our attention. Bioluminescent plankton are performing in the sea under a blanket of darkness.

Later, alone on the island, we enjoy a peaceful night's sleep and awake to the sound of blackbirds frolicking in the palm trees.

Back at Maafushivaru, we continue the romance with a relaxing 60-minute couples massage in the newly refurbished spa. Set over the water, it offers a menu of body rituals from Indonesia, Thailand and India, and Yon-Ka face and body treatments from France.

The plunge pool overlooks the sea with gentle waves lapping beneath the day beds which are shielded from the sun by billowing sails.

That evening, after dinner, we sink into giant beanbags and watch clips from David Attenborough's marine life series, projected onto a large screen. What we'd seen snorkelling by day was being played out at night.

Seduced by the flora and fauna of the Maldives, we toast our good fortune at having been cast away at Maafushivaru. On the way back to our room, I notice a beautiful big white flower with petals splayed wide open.

During the day, I'm told, it rests, unfurling only as darkness falls.

I later discover its name is Queen of the Night, which aptly describes how I felt during my stay on Maafushivaru.


Australians usually travel to the Maldives via Singapore or Kuala Lumpur, flying either Singapore Airlines or Malaysia Airlines to Male. A 25-minute sea plane flight takes guests from Male to the Maafushivaru resort.

For details of villas, packages and facilities, go to