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What To Expect when arriving in the Maldives

A guide to arriving into Male and resort transfers



Maldives Specialist
Published on

02 Jan 2019

Updated on

17 Jun 2020

Seaplane In The Maldives


As your plane breaks through the clouds revealing the emerald islands below, prepare for one of the most exciting flying experiences. The runway of Hulhule’ airport runs parallel to the shore creating a (rather safe, of course) adrenalin rush for a second when it makes you think that the plane is landing on water. The airport is small, but well-equipped with souvenir and duty-free shops, restaurants, medical facilities, and provides banking and postal services.


Tourists are issued a 30-day visa on arrival. A passport valid for 6 months and travel documents (flight tickets) are necessary. To obtain immigration clearance it is a requirement to indicate on the landing card an address or provide proof that you have a booking at a resort, guest house or safari boat.

Importing goods such as alcohol, pork items, pornography (very broadly defined), religious materials offensive to Islam, idols of worship are forbidden. So don’t be tempted to get any duty free drinks on you way there…

Male Seaplane Terminal
Seaplane Terminal
Maldives Seaplane Arrival Jetty Near A Resort
Seaplane arrival at a resort Jetty
Seaplane Interior
Seaplane interior

Onward travel...

On arrival at Male airport you will be met by a representative from your resort and taken to check in for an onward Domestic or seaplane flight and then taken to the other terminal where you will wait in a lounge or you will be taken to you boat for transfer, if there is time to kill you will be shown where to wait (My tip is to go to the chemist in arrivals and get some travel sickness tablets, they are really cheap and can help if the sea gets rough)..

Domestic flight transfers will be as closely aligned as possible with your international flight arrival/departure timing.

Seaplane transfer is operated by a third party, Trans Maldivian Airlines (TMA). Seaplane transfer operates during the daylight hours approximately between 6am to 4pm. Flight timings are not prescheduled and will only be available in the evening prior to arrival or departure as it depends on how many guests are arriving on flights and departing to each resort, you may drop off at 1 or 2 other islands before reaching your own.

Boat transfers are done by the resort that you are staying on so you may have to wait for guests arriving on a later flight.

Speedboat Transfer
Speedboat Transfer
Gili Lankanfushi Yvonnes Transfer Yacht
Yacht Transfer
Male Speedboat
Speedboat to Resort

Yvonne’s tips...

Travel in secure shoes/sandals as these are safer than flipflops when getting on and off boats and seaplanes.

Take a change of clothes like shorts and t-shirts as you may have a while to wait for your transfers.

Take some small dollars so you can buy some water while waiting, there is a vending machine in the public area.

Again - My tip is to go to the chemist in arrivals and get some travel sickness tablets, they are cheap and can help if the sea gets rough.

Chill out and relax even if you have to wait a while for your transfer, it is worth the wait once you get to your island.

If you don’t see your representative don’t worry as they all have a desk in the arrivals area and they all help each other out so approach and ask if you can’t see your resort mentioned.

Speak To Our Maldives Expert Today

  • Alistair


    Maldives Specialist

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