Maldives Transfers

How to Book Transfers from Airport to Your Hotel in Maldives

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Book Your All Inclusive Vacation and save 25% in Atmosphere Hotels and Resorts, Maldives

August, 2020

Transfers to / from the hotel usually do not fill most of us with fun, but in the Maldives everything is different. Forget about the long taxi trip from the airport, the unique location of this island nation means that to get your exclusive resort you will need to make a sea cruise or flight. A domestic flight, speedboat or seaplane transfer – depending on where your resort is located – to get you out to your island paradise. Most resorts will assist you in booking these transfers and for some it may be included in the price.

The Republic of Maldives consists of 1,192 coral islands. Some islands can be reached by boat, and some require a seaplane trip or an domestic flight + boat. Without this service, getting to your hotel is not possible.

It's amazing how to book flights to Maldives or island transfers? Want to know how to travel between the islands in Maldives? Are there any questions about taking a local ferry to the Maldives to get a budget island? Or would you be interested to know about the costs for transfers to the Maldives? This is your ultimate guide for transport in the Maldives.

When the theme is about booking transfers in Maldives, knowledge of local information is required. Once you at the paradise, you want to know exactly how to get from Velana (Male) international airport to your luxury hotel or guest house. The last thing you want to do is spend a minimum of precious time on your trip from the airport to an island! That's everything you need to know about transfers in the Maldives:

seaplane docking

Types of Transfers

The transfer options available to get to your luxury hotel really depend on where your resort is located in Maldives. Your resort will contact you to arrange all the necessary details for a perfect trip.

If your island is located close enough to Malé, you can reach an island by a speedboat. The resort organizes a private speedboat transfer to pick you up from Male International Airport and immediately following to the hotel.

For those destinations that are located in the far atolls, which are a long distance from Male, you need to book transfer by seaplane. Seaplanes operate only in the daytime, so when booking a transfer to / from Male some planning is required.

Some resorts can also offer a domestic flight option with following a speedboat transfer if the resort is located next to the domestic airport. This option is useful for those guests who are not like to fly by a seaplane; or for those who must travel outside daylight.

The cost of transfers in the Maldives really shocked you! No one says that you are spending a small fortune on your holiday - just spend another small fortune to actually get there. If you want to minimize the cost you spend to get there, I would suggest booking an accomodation that is accessible by speedboat not far from your Maldives' entry point. The cost of the transfer to the resorts directly accessible by speedboat varies from resort to resort, but much less than the cost of a seaplane trip or domestic flight.

You Must Pre-Book a Transfer

When you arrive in the Maldives, you must already have booked all island transfers (except public ferry) to get your destination, whether it is a resort or a local island (budget accomodation). At Velana International airport (Male) there are no public ferries, boats or water taxis to your hotel. It is very difficult to come to Maldives and organize on-site transfer from the airport to the island by youself. All transfers must be pre-booked to ensure a smooth transportation process and to prevent undesirable delays at the airport or even an extra night in Male. There are no public ferries (slow boats) and sharing schedules speedboat to / from resorts in Maldives.

Resort Transfers

Your resort staff will take care of all your transfers to / from the island. Guests must send arrival and departure flight details directly to the property at least 24-72 hours prior to arrival. There are three options when it comes to resort transfers: speedboat, seaplane or domestic flight. It depends on the location of your resort from the international airport, and what type of transfer you require. The resort will inform you about the best mode of transportation and time and organize a trip on your behalf.

To ensure a smooth trip from Velana international airport, do not forget to inform the hotel at least 72 hours about your time of arrival in the Maldives in order to avoid delays and undesirable costs. The last thing you want is to spend the night in Male, if there are no available places to be transported to the island. Seaplane & Domestic Flight reservations are automatically confirmed at the time of booking accommodation.

Seaplane transfer is not included in the villa rate, or are already included in the price of your stay at all inclusive resort/ Please note that in the Maldives there are no public ferries to private island resorts, since the public ferries from Male serve only inhabited islands.


Seaplane jorney

Travelling in a seaplane is an experience in itself. The ultimate in Maldivian luxury is to arrive at your resort by seaplane and come with the price tag of anything up to $250-450USD per person dependent on the distance to fly. This powered fixed wing aircraft on floats presents you with the luxury of landing and taking-off from the sea. These planes fly tourists from the seaplane port next to Malé International Airport to a variety of resorts. It is not uncommon for seaplane transfer at a cost of $ 500 per person for a short trip. However, this air travel can become the most scenic journeys in your life! The seaplane transfer to your hotel from Male’ airport impresses with breathtaking views of the Maldives’ unique scenery. The seaplane terminal is located near Male international airport. Upon arrival, guests are graciously welcomed by resort' staff and escorted to a special seaplane terminal lounge, where an array of complimentary refreshments and light snacks await a short flight away. Maldivian Air Taxi and Trans Maldivian are the two airline operators of seaplanes. Do not forget your photo / video camera!

Seaplanes operate during daylight hours only, i.e. between approximately 6.00 am and 6.00 pm (local Maldivian time). However, schedules vary depending on the arrival and departure times of all guests on that given day. You must arrive into Male before 3:30 p.m. in order to catch a same day Seaplane transfer. Guests arriving on an international flight that cannot connect to the last seaplane of the day to an island (usually departing no later than approximately 4.00 pm) may choose to overnight in nearby Male’ city at their own cost.

Seaplane Carriers are independent operators which provide the resort with schedules in the evening prior to arrival and departures. As such, all schedule timing are solely at the discretion of the seaplane management. Each passenger may carry 20kg of checked luggage and 5kg of hand luggage.

The seaplane transfers you much faster from A to B, and a boat ride of three hours is easy to reduce to a 30-minute flight. But the main reason for seaplane trip is the scenic views - a really exciting excursion and a practical way to travel 'all in one'. The seaplane terminal is just a few minutes away by minibus from Velana (Male) Int. airport and charter flights by seaplane leave at the appointed daytime. Seaplanes in the Maldives are of small capacity, and you will enjoy this experience with about 15 other passengers traveling to / from resorts in the same region. But the main focus will be outside the window, as you soar above the idyllic islands of all shapes and sizes and, rising higher you see reefs, turquoise lagoons and atolls ... before super soft water landing. MORE ABOUT SEAPLANE TRANSFERS

Domestic Flight

Meeru Island Resort & Spa

Domestic flight may be required to travel from Male international airport to a local airport located next to the island you have chosen. Domestic flights are operated by FlyMe and Maldivian Air and are often arranged through your resort. You will be greeted by hotel's staff at the domestic airport and swiftly escorted to the speedboat transfer jetty. A short speedboat journey over the turquoise waters of Indian Ocean will get you at the resort in no time and this in often included in the transfer fee. They are a great option when your resort is not accessible by speedboat and you don’t want the expense of a SeaPlane. They are also able to fly after sunset so if your international flight arrives late in the evening, you can still get to resort the same day. Prices range from $110-300USD per person dependent on distance to travel. The guest is charged at the time of check out from the resort. To ensure a domestic flight after your arrival in Maldives, guests must send arrival and departure flight details directly to the hotel at least 24-72 hours prior to arrival. Maldivian and Fly Me are two domestic airlines. Domestic airplane Operate 24 hours per day. All Transfer will be combine and schedule Transfer according to you international Arrival and departure flight. Each passenger may carry 20kg of checked luggage and 5kg of hand luggage. It is not advisable to book air tickets online on airline websites, as the ticket price will be at least twice as expensive  READ MORE

Speedboat Transfer

Meeru Island Resort & Spa

The traditional way of getting to resort, travelling by speedboat too, is, on its own a fun adventure. Available for those located relatively close to Male Airport, speedboat transfers are designed for transportation on short distances (usually up to 2 hours). On arrival, you will be greeted by Male airport representative who will escort you to jetty for that luxury speedboat transfer.

The speedboats are the most economical option of transfer and are usually included in the price of your package. The process is a hassle-free - after you touch down Maldives International Airport your boat will arrive at the pier across the road from the terminal. Step on board, feel the wind in your hair and relax / enjoy the expectation that your island will appear on the horizon. Boats are run by individual resorts and are offered in various shapes and sizes, but all offer a comfortable start to your Maldives experience. Depending on resort location you will pass other islands by the way - both resort and tiny uninhabited and inhabited - and do not forget to keep your eyes for dolphins.

Speedboat Transfer is usually quite fast and smooth, and you will get into your tropical paradise in time. Speedboats operate 24 hours per day and transfers are priced between $25-80USD per person dependent on the distance to be traveled.. These transfers will be arranged by the hotel based on your arrival/departure time.

Transfers to Guest House (Maldives on Budget)

You have three different options to get to your inhabited island: domestic flight, by speedboat or budget alternative DIY by public ferry.

  • Domestic flight is ideal transfer' option from Maldives International Airport to the airport located near your island, and in some cases directly to the island. Guests must send by e-mail Maldives' arrival and departure flight details directly to the gues house at least 72 hours prior to arrival and they will book air tickets for your name. It is not recommended to book air tickets online on airline websites, as the price will be much more expensive. Use the services of the host country! Maldivian and Fly Me are two domestic airlines. After landing, expect a short trip by speedboat / dhoni to your island.
  • Speedboats are the most popular kind of transportation to get your' guest house. Some large guesthouses have their own speedboats and the staff will welcome you at Velana (Male) international airport. Nevertheless many guest houses use public speed boats to transport their guests to and from the airport. These services are performed on a daily basis and because of their popularity boat tickets must be pre-booked. The guest house will book a ticket on your behalf and provide you with the required data and costs. Public speed boats are a much more affordable option for transportation than private boats. Tickets for public speedboats start from $ 30 / person one way, while a private speedboat can cost hundreds of US dollars for a one-way trip, depending on the distance.

Public Ferry

ferry maldives

Public ferries are the best way to save money on a budget trip and will give you a real idea of Maldives local culture. The ticket price starts from 2 USD one way, and successfully compensates for the loss of time for a long trip. An inexpensive trip by public ferry requires some organization and knowledge of local information. There are no public ferries to/from resorts in Maldives.

Since public ferries are designed specifically to transport local island communities from Male to the country's inhabited islands, each ferry makes only one trip each day in each direction. Public ferries to Male leave a local islands early morning giving the islanders time to complete their business before returning back the next day. This means that it is impossible to make a one-day public ferry trip to/from Male. Also some destinations use night ferries that leave Malé late at night, and you can sleep abord. This is a good option for a late arrival to Maldives, when you can save on a hotel by sleeping aboard the ferry.

Each public ferry routes from Male runs by schedule. The timetable can also be changed depending on the weather conditions. If you do not want to lose an extra days in Male - do not arrive/ departure to Maldives on Friday. This day in Maldives is a day off, and ferries and in some cases the speedboats services are inactive.

The direct routes for public ferries from Male cover: North and South Male Atoll (Kaafu Atoll), Rasdhu Atoll, Ari Atoll (Alifu) and Vaavu atoll. To remote northern and southern atolls ferries do not go regularly or require transfers / overnight stays at the closest to Male atolls. Your guest house can best advise you all about the ferry service. The routes, costs and schedule of public ferries you can check http: // www.atolltransfer.com

The capital city of Male is easily accessible from Velana International Airport, it is only a 10-minute trip through the canal by public ferry and the cost of 1 US dollar. Ferries to the islands depart from some places in Male, but basically start from Vilingili Ferry Terminal at the western part of the city. You may need to take a taxi to the ferry terminal as soon as you arrive in Male, but if you do not have a luggage you need less than 30 minutes, you can also catch a taxi ($ 2). In any case, allocate enough time to not be late for the ferry!

Slow Boat or Dhoni

Dhoni or Doni is a multi-purpose sail boat with a motor or lateen sails that is used in the Maldives. It is handcrafted and its use within the multi-island nation has been very important. A dhoni resembles a dhow, a traditional Arab sailing vessel.

The traditional dhoni is one of the oldest known sea vessels in the Maldives. Many of these traditional sailing vessels were, of necessity, built using coconut palm timber. The sailing dhoni was used in earlier days by Maldivian fishermen. During the industrial revolution many fisherman changed to a mechanized dhoni.

Average Prices for Transfers in the Maldives

  • Domestic flight: Maldivian is the airline based in Ibrahim Nasir International Airport and served only domestic airports within the Maldives. Air tickets price starts from 110$ per person per way
  • Seaplane: Seaplanes are often used as a quicker option by tourist resorts located atolls further from the airport. Catching a seaplane is a rare treat that adds an extra layer to your experience of the Maldives by putting its unique geography into perspective through cottony layers of cloud. Price for trip starts from USD260 per person one way trip
  • Speed Boat: Travelling by speedboat too, is, on its own a fun adventure. All boats are up-to-date. Costs from USD30 per person per way (scheduled speedboat); USD12 per noticale mile (private speedboat)
  • Public ferry: There are no public ferries to/from resorts in Maldives. Price for public ferry starts from USD 2 per person per way.

Useful Tips for Booking Transfers in Maldives

  • Please note that some property is only accessible by the certain modes of transfer
  • Transfer by domestic plane, seaplane, speed Boat or Ferry Boat are mostly fully booked on the day of your arrival, so you must contact your hotel or Transfer Provider to book your tickets minimum 3 days of your arrival.
  • By online booking your Transfer tickets and private Transfer will be secure. Your Transfer seat will be guarantee.
  • there are no public ferries (slow boats) and sharing schedules speedboat to from/resorts in Maldives.
  • Arrival/departure date,time or flight are required to ensure proper scheduling of transfers to and from the resort.
  • Domestic airplane Operate 24 hours per day. All Transfer will be combine and schedule Transfer according to you international Arrival and departure flight. Each passenger may carry 20kg of checked luggage and 5kg of hand luggage.
  • Island transfer time depends on the selected hotel. Speed boat transfers can be as short as 10 minutes or as long as 3 hours . Seaplane transfers usually take from 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  • Ferry Boat or slow Boat (dhoni) Transfer by ferry boat is the cheapest transport option in Maldives.
  • The transfer departure points is approximately 2 minutes walking distance from the airport arrival hall. The ferry pier for speed boat transfers is just outside the arrival hall.
  • Always check the current ferry schedule with information from your guesthouse, as they can change regularly.
  • Do not forget about Friday! It's a day off in the Maldives and ferries do not run!
  • Standard Seaplane Transfer Times: Daylight hours
  • Guests must send arrival and departure flight details directly to the property at least 72 hours prior to arrival. Please get in touch with the property for details on baggage restrictions. 
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