Trip of the Year: The Maldives

Surf Remote Atolls

North Male Atoll in the Maldives     Photo: Robert Harding/Digital Vision

Surfers have long known that polar storms churning their way into the southern Indian Ocean create some of the planet's most consistent swells by the time the waves bash into the Maldives, 300 miles southwest of India. With about 1,200 islands and 20 atolls, finding the best breaks means living on a boat—in this case, one helluva boat. Australia-based outfitter Tropicsurf raises the bar on live-aboard surf safaris this month with the launch of Tropic Breeze, a 113-foot, three-deck yacht that's stuffed with so many accoutrements even kooks who love Point Break will want to sign up. There are eight cabins (each with a private bathroom), plasma-screen televisions, a library, a tender for surfboards, a bar, two cushy lounges, and a captain who knows how to locate the tubes. After embarking, up to ten surfers can set out to find swells pounding remote, secret atolls. You'll likely have breaks like the Peak to yourself, where deep-water channels make for safer exits from glassy faces up to 18 feet high. (Beginners can take longboards out at Betties for 300-yard-long rides on head-high waves, and onboard guides are always out in the water to give pointers.) At the end of the day, crash on the couch with a cold Tiger beer and watch videos of yourself to perfect your cutback. Yellowfin and mahi-mahi are reeled in, then transformed into sushi and curry dishes. When your shoulders can take no more paddling, learn to tow-in surf behind a Jet Ski, go snorkeling, or get a massage from the onboard masseuse. OUTFITTER: Tropicsurf; tropicsurf.net PRICE: From $5,556, for seven- to ten-day trips DIFFICULTY: Moderate WHEN TO GO: April–October

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