Just imagine, a beach with crystal clear water, a sunset worth watching, and less crowd. The Maldives is one location where you can get all of this. It's often been touted as the tropical paradise on planet Earth.
You will be amazed to know that the Maldives is located on top of a huge underwater mountain range. This range has approximately 1,190 islands and sandbanks. And to top all of this, every island is encircled by a lagoon that's blessed with crystal clear water. These islands are protected by a reef structure that houses a spectacular underwater life filled with fish and corals. That's a sight worth paying for, don't you think?
Geographically, the Maldives is a sovereign archipelagic country in South Asia situated within the Indian Ocean and consists of 26 natural atolls (ring-shaped islands). There are two ways you can reach this country i.e. via air (most-preferred) and by sea (seasonal).
Like we mentioned above, flights are most preferred by the audience solely as it's available throughout the year, unlike the sea route that's open at certain times only. For residents of India, multiple national and international flights run directly or with 1-2 stops to the Maldives. There are two airports namely the "Male International Airport" situated on Hulhule Island and Gan Airport, located on Gan Island (Addu atoll).
As you enter the country, there are certain ground rules that one must follow. Here's a list of Do's and Don'ts when you enter the Maldives.
Items not allowed - Firearms, liquor, drugs, and pornography. If any of these are found in your possession, official action will be taken.
Items that are prohibited by Law - Liquor can only be brought via an official license (difficult to get). But you don't need to worry as every resort serves alcohol. FYI, Male, the capital city of Maldives is a dry city (alcohol is prohibited) as the local residents follow Islamic laws. The law for liquor also applies to dogs, pigs, and pork products. These are also considered to be illegal.
Pet License - If you have a pet and wish to enter the Maldives with them, you will need a special license.
Disease Alert 24*7 - Maldives takes the health of its residents seriously and does not harbor any disease that is bad for public health, both nationally and internationally. Hence with the huge tourist footfall every year, they are on a disease-alert and maintain a strict level of check to keep the threat of diseases at bay on every port of entry (air and sea).
Wants to be a Certified Malaria-Free nation - Such intensive surveillance is extended to all food products and animals in the country too. As the Maldives is attempting to be a certified Malaria-free nation, every incoming visitor from malaria-infected nations has to go through an in-depth inspection.
Wants to get sanitary port certification - The Maldives also wishes to get sanitary port certification and hence have employed well-equipped medical staff to maintain the level of health. Every cargo and passenger aircraft, that arrives from Yellow Fever and Malaria affected places, are screened.
Everyone loves duty-free shopping. When you enter the departure section of the Male’ International Airport, you can treat yourself to various goodies, a wide range of imported alcohol, chocolates, and indulge in retail therapy.
The Maldives is one unique island nation and hence you can use two modes of internal transportation i.e. boats and planes to reach from one location to the next. When you land at Male Airport, you can opt for a 10-minute ferry ride that will take you directly to the main city of Male.
One good part for every traveler is that no matter what time you land here, you can get a capital ferry service. This is because the Maldives has a 24X7 airport ferry transfer service available.
Dhoni ferry (From morning to midnight) - Airport jetty to Male’ every 15 minutes
Post midnight - A ferry leaves every 30 minutes.
The best way to decide your mode of transport (Private speed boats, dhonis, seaplanes, and domestic flights) will be based on the distance of the island where you stay.
For shorter distances - A slow-moving dhoni is perfect. Private resorts mostly have their speed boats for their customers.
For longer distances - Speed boats are the best option.
For even longer distances - Forget boats and opt for a sea-plane that's a once in a lifetime experience.
Please Note - If your resort is a few hundred kilometers away from the Airport, you can opt for a domestic flight that will take you to the airport that's closest to your resort.
Depending on the kind of resort you choose for your stay, the type of boat, and the sea behavior, timings will vary. If you arrive in Male post-midnight OR if the weather conditions are not favorable for transport (that's rare), there is a possibility you will have to stay in Male for the night as the Maldives follows the mantra ‘safety first’.
Hotel options at Male' - Hulhule’ Island airport hotel are the nearest option. Also, as it just takes 10 minutes to reach the capital by boat, you can stay at hotels in Male' city. There are beautiful looking hotels on the newly made Hulhumale’ island. Each of these hotels will vary costing wise too.
Seaplanes - In general, seaplanes don't fly at night. If the only mode of transportation to your resort is a seaplane, then you may/will have to share the flight with other arriving international passengers. So, there may be a short waiting period as international planes arrive at different times. This reduces the carbon footprint as well as its best to have one plane flying a group of passengers than to take one customer at a time.
Vacation in the Maldives got more convenient for tourists because of seaplanes. From the moment you step foot in this beautiful country, traveling to every location from the airport to the capital city, and other islands will be a time-saving affair with seaplanes.
As we mentioned above, geographically, the Maldives has more than 1000+ islands and it's not easy to reach each destination by road or create airports for each island. But with the sea plane’s ability to take off and land on water, it becomes the perfect vehicle for transfers from the airport and every other location.
When you choose 360 Degree World, you get the best planes and services via our network, but you also get a birds-eye-view of the most magnificent collection of the Maldives islands each time you choose to travel via a seaplane. With 360 Degree World, traveling within the Maldives will be nothing short of a dream.
On arriving at the Male International Airport, you will have to undergo the standard airport procedures. Once you clear the immigration formalities and claim your luggage, you will enter the Arrivals Hall. This is the location where the resorts and tour operators have their counters or representatives waiting for you.
As of date, Trans Maldivian Airways (TMA) is the major plane operator that's the oldest and most experienced seaplane operator in the business of plane transfers. TMA has three terminal buildings at the Male International Airport.
The airport representatives are helpful and will gladly assist you at the TMA check-in counter. After checking in and dropping off your baggage you will be transferred, by an air-conditioned minibus, to the TMA terminal.
Your next step on the journey to this Tropical Paradise!
Our team will welcome you at the TMA terminal and give you information regarding the departure time and the boarding gate number. While you’re waiting for your flight, you’re welcome to enjoy snacks and drinks (indoor and terrace seating available) at the Café.
TMA is renowned to offer comfortable transfers from the airport to the resorts. Their services also include charter flights, aerial photography, and visits to many uninhabited islands of the Maldives for a day. Buffet and Snorkeling are some value-additions that are offered on these trips.
First Departure: 06:00 hrs approx.
Last Departure: 16:00 hours approx.
If you arrive after 16:00 hours, you will have to stay overnight at the airport hotel or in Male’. If your flight is delayed and you miss your seaplane transfer to your resort, you will have to crash for the night in Male’ or on Hulhule’ Island.
Please Note: This is a cost you will have to bear. The reason for this is because the delay of an international flight is not a resort’s responsibility. Also, if you miss a night at your resort due to the late arrival of your flight to Male’, you will forfeit the cost of the night you missed at your resort.
First Departure: 0700 hrs approx.
Please Note: If your flight leaves Male’ before 0900 hrs, you may have to reach Male’ the night before.
Last Departure: 1500 hrs approx.
Please Note: You may have to book a room for the day in Male if your flight leaves early the next day.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION: For seaplane transfers, the maximum weight allowed per person is 20 kilos. You will be charged extra per kilo if your baggage is heavier than the weight allowed.
OUR ADVICE: Travel light as resorts here will provide you with everything that you will need for a beach holiday.