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Four Seasons Explorer Yacht

One of the absolute best ways to visit the Maldives is on board the Four Seasons Explorer yacht, especially if you’re into snorkeling or diving. But to do so doesn’t mean you have to give up the spa lifestyle. Our on-board masseuse, Shyju Valappil from India, took exceptional care of us and the other 20 passengers on our four-night voyage, with everything from Balinese and Thai massage to an exceptional foot reflexology, according to a guest from Canada. Three-night and seven-day sailings are also available.

As I (Kathy) settled onto the massage table, “It’s a Wonderful World” came on the speaker system. I cracked open one eyelid enough to see the varied shades of the starkly gorgeous Indian Ocean’s expanse from my reclining perch and think to myself, Mr. Louie Armstrong certainly was right.

When Shyju began working the kinks out of my upper back, the soundtrack switched to “Imagine.” Then the full effect of Shyju’s Bali Dreaming Massage started to kick in to the point that, 10 minutes later, I didn’t even hear the clanging of the anchor doing its downward migration.

Shyju’s draping and wrapping reiterates it’s still a Four Seasons experience - thank goodness.

Post-massage, the last tune I could recall was “Over the Rainbow,” especially apropos since a lovely double rainbow emerged over the tiny island where we’d just anchored.

(Update 2018: These 10 years and 76 countries later, the Maldives is still our absolute favorite destination!)

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