5 Things you need to know about transfers in the Maldives [2023]

By admin Jan 13, 2024

1. There are 3 transfer types

There are three main ways to get around the Maldives: by boat, seaplane or domestic flight. All three of these must be booked in advance of your trip.

Boat Transfers
Hotels that are located close to Male are typically accessible by boat. Boat transfers range from about 135-800 USD. The most expensive boat transfers we have noticed is for the Waldorf Astoria, where some of the lower end properties like Sheraton are about 145 USD.

Boat transfers are typically the quickest way to get to the resort and they leave directly from outside the airport. The hotels meet guests on arrival and hands all the luggage and getting you to the boat. These transfers are not always private as the hotels will take all guests from your flight on the boat.

Domestic Flight
Domestic flights will be the most “common” way to travel in the Maldives, particularly if your hotel is on the far north or far south end of the Maldives. Domestic flights are NOT sea plane transfers. They operate just like any other domestic flight in other countries. Domestic flight transfers are also not necessarily cheaper than sea planes. They range in price from 450-1000 USD.

Domestic flight transfer costs typically also include a boat transfer (or if you’re staying at Mercure, a quick van ride). Domestic flights are typically the slowest option when it comes to a transfer because seaplanes take priority on take off and landing and the addition of a boat adds time to the transfer. Most domestic transfers end up taking a half day from arriving on Male to arriving at the resort.

Most high end resorts have their own airport lounge at Male International or they collaborate with the main lounge that offers snacks and soft drinks. The Residence properties, for example, do not have their own lounge so guests have access to a joint lounge in the domestic terminal.

Seaplane Transfers
Seaplane transfers are often regarded as the “preferred” mode of transportation and its for good reason! Seaplane transfers take off from their own terminal behind Male International and guests traveling to resorts utilizing this service are transferred to the seaplane terminal via hotel-owned luxury vehicle. Some hotels like Heritance do not have their own car service and guests are put on a packed airport bus, but its only a short distance away. Luxury properties like Soneva, Milaidhoo, Anantara and others have luxury cars like Teslas, BMWs and Range Rovers that transport guests to the private lounges at the seaplane terminal to await their flight.

Seaplane transfers are typically not less than 500 USD and can go as high as 1500 USD.

Some hotels operate their own seaplanes, like Soneva, while others utilize the two popular transfer companies: Trans-Maldivian and Maldivian Air. These seaplanes are shared and typically make multiple stops on the way to your resort. This is a fun way to see multiple hotels.

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