Is your heart set on the Maldives?
We went to St Helena in the South Atlantic Ocean in Feb this year. This island is one of the most remote in the world and has one of the highest aggregation of whale sharks in the world. We snorkelled with around 30 in the water around us and at least 6 really close. They were not shy at all and stayed with us for as long as we were in the water with them. There were only 4 of us on the trip. I totally guarantee you will see them! Our Maldives experience was so far from this. There was one whale shark and about 30 snorkelers.
Also, this island has a lot more than diving to do. It is where Napoleon was exiled to and has many great walks.
Please ask me for any more info.
Thinking of going back to the Maldives next year. What area is the best place to see/swim with the whale sharks please? Sooo desperate to see them.