Travelling by Speedboat in the Maldives

June 23, 2024

When planning a holiday in the Maldives, it's important to consider how you'll get to your destination. The Maldives is made up of over 1,200 islands, with around 200 inhabited and another 200 as resort islands.

If the resort or inhabited island you plan to visit is close to Velana International Airport, you can book a scheduled speedboat transfer. This guide will explore the benefits and considerations of travelling by speedboat in the Maldives.

Where Can You Go by Speedboat in the Maldives?

Crew docking a speedboat in the Maldives

Resort islands near Velana International Airport (MLE) usually offer speedboat transfers. Hotels and guesthouses near Malé, the capital city, also have regular speedboat transfers.

You can travel to almost all the atolls in the Maldives by speedboat, depending on the weather and the size of the boat. Smaller speedboats (under 30 feet) are suitable for travel within an atoll, while larger boats (over 30 to 40 feet) are more stable in rough seas and are better for long-distance travel between atolls.

How to Arrange a Speedboat Transfer from Velana International Airport to Your Resort

If your resort is close to Velana International Airport, you can arrange a speedboat or similar boat transfer. Some resorts offer luxury speedboat or yacht transfers.

Resorts in the following atolls often use speedboats for transfers:

  • North Malé Atoll
  • South Malé Atoll
  • North Ari Atoll
  • South Ari Atoll
  • Vaavu Atoll
  • Faafu Atoll

Check with your holiday provider if your booking includes resort transfers. If not, you may need to pay for transfers separately upon arrival.

Booking your speedboat transfer is straightforward. Contact your holiday provider with your international arrival and departure flight details a few days before you travel.

The resort will then schedule your speedboat transfer from Velana International Airport to the resort based on your arrival details.

A resort representative will meet you at the airport, holding a sign with the resort's name, logo, and possibly your name.

If your flight is delayed or cancelled, inform your holiday provider, and they will reschedule your speedboat transfers accordingly.

When you book a holiday via Maldives.com, your speedboat transfer is always included.

How to Arrange a Speedboat Transfer from Velana International Airport to Your Local Island Guesthouse or Hotel

If your guesthouse or hotel is on a nearby island to Velana International Airport, you can arrange a speedboat or travel via a ferry.

Guesthouses or hotels in the following atolls usually offer speedboat transfers:

  • North Malé Atoll
  • South Malé Atoll
  • North Ari Atoll
  • South Ari Atoll
  • Vaavu Atoll
  • Faafu Atoll

Before booking, check the airport transfer options. Ensure they offer either their own speedboat service, a daily scheduled service through a third-party provider, or private transfer options.

Contact your guesthouse or hotel to arrange same-day transfers, ensuring they can accommodate your international arrival and departure times.

If your flight lands without a scheduled transfer, you might need to stay overnight near the airport or arrange a private transfer.

Make sure your booking includes airport transfers. If not, arrange your own private speedboat transfer or contact your guesthouse or hotel for the best available scheduled speedboat transfer.

Email your guesthouse or hotel with your international arrival and departure flight details to schedule your speedboat transfer.

Why Should You Travel by Speedboat in the Maldives?

  • Cost-Effective: Scheduled speedboat transfers are more affordable than domestic or seaplane flights.
  • Flexible Timing: Unlike seaplane transfers, you can arrange speedboat transfers at any time of day.
  • Luggage Capacity: You can bring more than 20kg of luggage per person when travelling by speedboat.
  • Direct Transfers: Most inhabited islands offer direct speedboat transfers from the airport.
  • Dolphin Sighting: While we cannot guarantee a sighting, there is a chance you may catch a glimpse of dolphins during your speedboat trip.

Things to Know for Speedboat Travel in the Maldives

  • Shared Transfers: When travelling to a resort, you usually share the boat with other guests arriving at the same time.
  • Rescheduling: If you miss your flight, contact your booking provider to reschedule your speedboat transfers.
  • Service Availability: Guesthouses and hotels often don't have their own airport transfer service, unlike resorts.
  • Frequency: Inhabited islands usually have twice-daily speedboat transfers, though not all do.
  • Alternative Routes: If an inhabited island doesn’t have a daily direct speedboat transfer to the airport, you’ll need to find alternative routes or book a private transfer.
  • Overnight Stays: If you miss the last scheduled transfer, you'll need to book an overnight hotel or private transfer.
  • Origin Points: Some speedboat transfers to inhabited islands may start from Malé or Hulhumalé rather than the airport.
  • Travel Time: Transfers outside of North/South Malé Atolls may take over an hour.

Private Speedboat Transfers and Charters

Speedboat crew loading luggage onto the boat

If you prefer to travel at your own pace, consider booking private speedboat transfers. Although they are more expensive than shared transfers, you can choose who to travel with and departure times.

Here are the reasons to book a private speedboat transfer or charter:

  • VIP Experience: Enjoy a VIP experience with friends, family, and loved ones.
  • No Scheduled Transfers: If there are no scheduled transfers to your destination on your travel day.
  • Island-Hopping Adventure: For an island-hopping adventure.
  • Missed Flights: If you miss your domestic flight or seaplane and need same-day transportation to the airport, depending on your distance to Velana International Airport.

Weather Considerations

Bad weather can cause travel disruptions, so it is important to plan accordingly. We recommend avoiding sea travel during stormy weather, especially if you are travelling in a smaller boat.

Additionally, get travel insurance before your trip to the Maldives. This will protect you against unexpected issues such as lost, delayed, or damaged baggage and delayed or cancelled flights that could affect your travel plans.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if my resort offers speedboat transfers? Check with your holiday provider or directly with the resort.

What should I do if my flight is delayed? Inform your holiday provider to reschedule your speedboat transfer.

Can I arrange a speedboat transfer upon arrival? It’s best to arrange transfers in advance to avoid waiting or overnight stays.

Are private speedboat transfers worth it? Yes, if you prefer a more flexible and private travel experience.

How much luggage can I bring on a speedboat? Generally, more than 20 kg per person.

What if my guesthouse doesn’t offer direct transfers? You may need to book a private transfer or find an alternative route such as travel by ferry.


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