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  4. Maldives transfer rates: boat, seaplane, domestic airlines

Usually tourists upon arrival in another country are simply “loaded” onto a bus and taken to hotels. Things are different in the Maldives. The resort islands are scattered for hundreds of kilometers across the Indian Ocean: you cannot get to your resort by bus. You have to swim or fly. Therefore, the transfer to those same paradise islands is carried out by seaplanes and boats. 

The Maldives stretches for 800 km from north to south and has 26 atolls. Each has resorts, but most resorts are in the central Maldives, South and North Male. However, remote atolls, which can only be reached by plane, are now actively being built up: modern luxury VIP-class hotels appear on them.

  • Most flights arrive at Velana International Airport, which is located on Hulhule Island. Then the tourists will be transferred to their hotels.
  • The cost of the transfer depends on the distance of the hotel to the airport and the type of transport. Thus, if the hotel is located near Male, a group boat transfer will be much cheaper than other options. The minimum cost of a transfer to a hotel located a few kilometers from Male is about $ 200 round trip for 2 people. On average, from $ 50 / person.
  • The transfer can be group or individual. An individual transfer, of course, is several times more expensive than a group transfer. Suitable for a large company, family, celebrities and oligarchs.


Speedboat - to South and North Male

As a rule, they are taken by boat to hotels that are relatively close to the international airport in Male. These are the North and South Male atolls. 

  • The transfer can take an average of 15-75 minutes. It is carried out around the clock.
  • To find the boat, you need to leave the International Airport: the parking lot is located almost next to the exit. To the desired boat you will be escorted by a hotel representative who meets guests at the airport.
  • The speedboat can accommodate 10-40-50 passengers.
  • Speedboats travel three times faster than ferries. They are used for long journeys to resorts.
  • Often hotels offer joint speedboat trips: several hotels combine and order a transfer for their guests.
  • Weather conditions can let you down: if bad weather clears up, the transfer will have to be canceled.   
  • The hotels offer a private transfer for customer service: a private boat. It costs about $ 2,000.


Most expensive transport: seaplane

Such exoticism is rare where you will meet: a small plane can take off from the surface of the ocean and land on the water. This is one of the most expensive "pleasures" in the Maldives: the cost is from $ 200 per person one way.

  • Trans Maldivian Airways (TMA) operates about 70 hotels and operates De Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter and Viking DHC-6 Twin Otter aircraft.
  • The flight takes place at a low altitude, so on the way you can enjoy magical views, looking at the azure of the Indian Ocean.
  • Private seaplane can be ordered. This is convenient if you are traveling in a group. However, the cost of such a flight is high: about $ 16,000 one way.

Where to find a seaplane

Seaplanes depart from the maritime terminal located near Villingili International Airport. This is a three-story building with Wi-Fi, air conditioning, a cafe and a separate lounge. You may have to wait a few hours for your flight. 

Transportation rules

  • Seaplanes operate from 6:00 am to 4:00 pm daily.
  • Have weight restrictions: 20 kg of a checked-in passenger and 5 kg of hand luggage. Each extra kilogram will cost $ 5. There are requirements for the size of carry-on baggage: 20x12x7 inches. 
  • Windsurfing equipment has restrictions on transportation: you need to specify it when booking a flight.
  • During the flight, baggage is placed under the seat at the rear of the aircraft.
  • Guests of several hotels fly on a seaplane at the same time, who are dropped off in turn.
  • Due to bad weather, the flight may be canceled. 
  • The seaplane can accommodate 15 passengers. If he flies with a load, then the baggage can be delivered on the next flight.

Asad Photo Maldives
Asad Photo Maldives

What you need to know

  • If the flight is rescheduled, the hotel usually does not refund the payment for the unused night of stay. Additional costs will not be compensated.
  • If you need to get to your hotel by seaplane on the day of arrival, leave the airport no later than 15:30. Otherwise, you have to spend the night in Male. In this case, it is better to book a hotel near the airport, for example, on Hulhule Island , which is just a short drive away. 
  • To arrange a transfer by plane, a request must be submitted to the hotel at least 48 hours before the planned travel date. On wiotto.com, after booking, the manager will contact you and request flight details to arrange the desired transfer.

A seaplane is suitable if the resort is located several hundred kilometers from the airport. But if the cost is too high, then you should think about a regular plane and a speedboat. Which is better, a seaplane or a regular plane? The difference is not only in cost. It is worth considering the time of arrival in the Maldives. If you are arriving at night, the choice is obvious: an airplane.

Asad Photo Maldives
Asad Photo Maldives

Distant atolls: flying by plane

Transfer by regular flights is offered by hotels located at a considerable distance from Male. They transport passengers to airports in other atolls. Then a representative of the hotel meets the tourists and helps to make a transfer to a speedboat to the resort. One of the advantages is that you can fly by domestic airlines even at night, unlike a seaplane. 

Interestingly, the cost of air travel by domestic airlines can be cheaper than the cost of a long transfer by boat, and, moreover, a seaplane. On average, the cost of a one-way transfer is $ 250-400. Depends on the remoteness of the atoll and the distance from the hotel to the domestic airport.

Airlines Maldives

The flight is operated by Fly me and Maldivian airlines.

  • Maldivian is the country's main airline, operating to 10 inland islands as well as international flights. She flies to the following islands: Gan (GAN) Addu AtollDharavandhoo Island (DRV) in Baa AtollFuvahmulah (FVM) Gnaviyani Atoll, Hanimaadhoo (HAQ) Dhaalu Atoll, Ifuru (IFU) Raa Atoll, Kaadedhdhoo (KDM) Gaafu Atoll Kadhdhoo (KDO) Laamu Atoll, Kooddoo (GKK) Gaafu Atoll, Thimarafushi (TMF) Thaa Atoll.
  • FlyMe is a private airline that operates flights from Male to Maamigili Island (VAM), Ari Atoll and Dharavandhoo Island (DRV), Baa Atoll.

How to find your plane

Upon arrival at Male airport, guests are greeted by a hotel representative, then escorted to the domestic terminal and helping to check in for the flight. Further, upon arrival at the local airport, tourists are again met by a hotel employee and escorted to the boat, which will take them to the hotel. 

The domestic terminal is located two hundred meters from the international terminal. Inside there is a resort lounge area, which guests of many hotels can use free of charge. The entrance to the shared lounge will cost $ 25.

Asad Photo Maldives
Asad Photo Maldives

Buses, boats and yachts: alternatives

Dhoni's boat. This is a traditional Maldivian boat, without which the life of the Maldives cannot be imagined. It is necessary to get close to neighboring uninhabited islands or a reef. It can be used for transfers to Male.

Yacht. Luxury hotels located in North and South Male offers luxury yacht travel. Of course, we are talking about VIP-hotels that deliver their customers with special comfort. The cost depends on the size, class of the yacht, its capacity, the distance of the hotel from the airport. You can order as a group yacht transfer, and private. The cost starts from several thousand dollars.

Bus. They can travel from Velana airport to Male at a new location.


Going to a local island? We get on the ferry

This transfer is only suitable for guesthouses and hotels located on local islands. For a long time, there were only resorts in the Maldives that occupied the whole island. But over time, the government allowed the residents of the local islands to receive tourists and hotels appeared on the local islands. Of course, these are not luxury luxury resorts, but more budget accommodation. You can get to these hotels by ferry. This is especially true of the islands of North and South Male. 

But if you need to get to a local island located on a more remote island, the state ferry runs there on certain days. Sails for a long time: sometimes it is better to choose alternative options: an airplane or a speedboat. And already on the atoll itself, take the ferry running inside the atoll and get to the local island.

  • The fare on the state ferry is $ 2-10 depending on the distance. For example, the cost of the road from the airport to Thoddoo Island is $ 4 (70 km, 6 hours). 
  • It should be borne in mind that ferries may be canceled due to bad weather.
  • Ferry reservations cannot be made in advance. 
  • Ferries never stop at resort islands.
  • Ferries that run between the islands of the same atoll do not operate daily.
  • The ferry is on average designed for a hundred passengers and has wooden benches. Makes stops along the way. 
  • In the Maldives, Friday is a day off. The ferry crossing is closed on this day.

In addition to state ferries, there are also fruit ferries that carry cargo at night: often these are fruits grown on the islands. There is no clear schedule.


For those who are VIP: we are waiting for the transfer at the airport

The so-called VIP service operates at Male Airport. It includes a number of services: the passenger is greeted at the plane's ladder with a nameplate, he is escorted to the waiting room by car, helps to arrange immigration documents, deliver and store luggage, and escort him to the lounge where free snacks and WI-fi await him. In such a lounge you can spend time while waiting for your transfer. The cost of the service is $ 200 per person for every 3 hours plus a tax of $ 6 per person.

Examples of prices for transfers in the Maldives:

Number of stars


Transfer cost for two in 2 directions, $


Transfer by boat



SUN SIYAM OLHUVELI MALDIVES, South Male, 34 km from the airport.

$ 420 for two as part of a group. Private transfer - $ 2196 round trip. The journey takes 45 minutes. 


3 *

FIHALHOHI ISLAND RESORT, South Male, 28 km from the airport.             

$ 300, 45 minutes on the way.



GILI LANKANFUSHI MALDIVES, North Male, 12 km from the airport.

Speedboat - $ 986. Luxury yacht - $ 1239.

The road from Male Airport to the hotel will take 20 minutes.


TAJ EXOTICA RESORT & SPA, South Male, 8 km from the airport.

$ 200, private speedboat transfer costs $ 700. The road will take 15 minutes.


ONE & ONLY REETHI RAH, North Male, 35 km from the airport.

Luxury boat transfer costs $ 1780, seaplane - $ 1980. Private speedboat transfer is $ 1,700 and private seaplane is $ 7,400. A luxury yacht for your own company will cost $ 7,400. The journey will take 15 minutes by seaplane or 45 minutes by speedboat.


HUVAFEN FUSHI, North Male, 35 km from the airport.

 $ 600

Private transfer is $ 2200 and luxury yacht transfer is $ 6600.

The road will take 30 minutes.


FOUR SEASONS RESORT MALDIVES AT KUDA HURAA, North Male, 20 km from the airport.

 $ 616. You can also fly by seaplane. The cost will be $ 774. Transfer by private seaplane with 8 seats - $ 3498. Private charter transfers are $ 11,000. You can rent an 8-seater luxury seaplane for $ 16,000. The transfer takes 25 minutes by speedboat from Male Airport.


BAROS MALDIVES, North Male, 16 km from the airport. 

$ 430, on the way - 15 minutes from Male airport.


KURUMBA MALDIVES, North Male, 2 km from the airport.

 $ 198, the road will take 10 minutes from the capital Male.


Seaplane transfer



KANUHURA MALDIVES, Lhaviyani Atoll, 150 km from the airport.

 $ 1100, 40 minutes in the sky.


VAKKARU MALDIVES, Baa Atoll, 125 km from the airport.

$ 1400, in the sky - 25 minutes. You can also get to the resort by domestic airlines: $ 1200. A private seaplane costs $ 16,000 round trip.



COCO PALM DHUNI KOLHU, Baa Atoll, 124 km from the airport.

 $ 900, in the sky - 20 minutes.



$ 1180



CENTARA GRAND ISLAND RESORT & SPA MALDIVES, South Ari Atoll, 87 km from the airport.

$ 880, travel time - 25 minutes.



KUDAFUSHI RESORT & SPA, Raa Atoll, 159 km from the airport.

$ 1180, travel time - 45 minutes. Or half an hour by plane of domestic airlines, and then 25 minutes by boat.


SONEVA JANI, Baa Atoll, 113 km from the airport.

$ 2200

Private seaplane transfer costs $ 18,000. The transfer takes 30 minutes. Alternatively, take a 20 minute domestic flight followed by about 10 minutes by boat.



LILY BEACH RESORT & SPA, Ari Atoll, 80 km from the airport.

$ 850, seaplane flight takes 25 minutes from Male. You can also get there by plane of domestic airlines: 20 minutes in the sky and half an hour by speedboat. Cost - $ 520.


NIYAMA PRIVATE ISLANDS MALDIVES, Dhaalu Atoll, 161 km from the airport.

$ 1360, 45 minutes in the sky.


HURAWALHI ISLAND RESORT, Lhaviyani Atoll, 130 km from the airport. 

$ 780, flight takes 20 minutes.


ANANTARA KIHAVAH VILLAS, Baa Atoll, 134 km from the airport.

$ 1520, flight takes 35 minutes. You can also order a private seaplane transfer: the cost will be $ 20,800, the plane is designed for 8 guests. 


VILAMENDHOO ISLAND RESORT, Ari Atoll, 82 km from the airport.

$ 740, travel time - 25 minutes.



Domestic flight transfer



THE RESIDENCE MALDIVES AT DHIGURAH, Gaafu Alifu, 390 km from the airport. 

$ 880, domestic flight to Kooddoo Airport takes 55 minutes. Then it remains to get 5 minutes by speed boat.



SIX SENSES LAAMU, Laamu Atoll, 240 km from the airport.

 $ 1180. It will take 50 minutes by domestic flights to the airport and then 20 minutes by speedboat to the hotel.


EMERALD MALDIVES RESORT & SPA, Raa Atoll, 162 km from the airport.

$ 1080. 30 minutes by domestic flight, and then another 15 minutes by boat. Upon request, guests can choose a 40-minute seaplane transfer - $ 1180 for two in two directions.


HIDEAWAY BEACH RESORT & SPA, Haa Alifu Atoll, 290 km from the airport.

$ 780. The transfer takes 50 minutes by domestic plane, and then another 10 minutes by boat.


SUN SIYAM IRU VELI MALDIVES, Dhaalu Atoll, 150 km from the airport.

 $ 930. You can also order a luxury speedboat for $ 1130. 

Optionally, you can choose a seaplane: $ 800.


SOUTH PALM RESORT MALDIVES, Addu Atoll, 550 km from the airport.

$ 700. A domestic flight from Male to Gan Airport will take 70 minutes. Then another 10 minutes by speed boat to the resort. 



FURAVERI ISLAND RESORT & SPA, Raa Atoll, 150 km from the airport 

$ 700. You can also take a seaplane: $ 800.


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