What’s It Like to Take a Seaplane Transfer in the Maldives?

When it comes to airport transfers, a seaplane is up there with the most thrilling modes of transport. So, what’s it really like to take a seaplane transfer in the Maldives?

The thought of mixing the sea and planes may seem like a bad idea. But, don’t worry, it’s actually totally logical! Let’s start with the basics of how a seaplane works.

So, a seaplane is an aircraft that can set off, float and land on water. You will see floats on the bottom of a seaplane that allow it to do this. They fly low in the sky, and the cabin isn’t pressurised. This also means that there isn’t any air conditioning on board, so it can get quite hot.

Often carrying up to a maximum of 15 passengers, they hop from island to island dropping off passengers at their selected resort in the Maldives.

A seaplane transfer in the Maldives is one hell of a way to arrive in this dreamy location. Photo by Asad Photo Maldives.

Booking your seaplane transfer in The Maldives

It’s important to note that (unlike Cocogiri Island Resort) not all resorts are reachable via seaplane. So you may find that you’re not able to book a seaplane transfer.

On the flip side, even if you can reach your resort by seaplane, there can also be the option to just take a domestic flight.

Those resorts closer to the mainland sometimes don’t even need another journey in the air, and you could just be able to reach your resort with a quick speedboat ride.

We recommend arranging your transfers, along with your accommodation and flights. Or just come to Blue Bay, we can handle all this for you, so there’s no need to worry about matching up flight times. So you’re not stuck waiting for the next seaplane to come in.

Seaplane parked at a Maldives resort
Park up in paradise. Photo by Shifaaz shamoon on Unsplash

How do the operating hours work?

The coolness of the transfers is one of the main reasons people choose The Maldives vs, Mauritius. However, due to Maldivian aviation regulations, flights can only operate between the hours of 06:00 – 15:30. But, you’re not able to track departures and arrivals of seaplanes.

Instead, they are planned based on where the passengers need to go in the Maldives, what time they will be arriving in Male, and the number of passengers wanting seaplane transfers on that day. So, it’s all up to the discretion of the seaplane operator.

Remember to keep the operating hours in mind if you are planning to book a seaplane transfer, as it could mean waiting overnight in Male if you arrive outside of operating hours.

If you can’t get a flight that ensures you land within those hours, you’ll have to book a hotel within close proximity of the airport, at either Male or Hulhumale.

Seaplane landing in the Maldives
The locals don’t see too bothered by the intrusion. Photo by Muhammadh Saamy on Unsplash

Boarding your seaplane

Similar to your domestic flight, there are rules and regulations that you have to adhere to. This includes baggage allowance and checking-in.

In terms of baggage, you are allowed 20kg of checked-in luggage and 5kg of hand luggage. You may find that you are allowed a higher baggage allowance for your flight from the UK to the Maldives. So, don’t get stuck paying for extra luggage once you reach Male.

When boarding the plane, you won’t be given a seat allocation. There’s also a 1-2 seat configuration, so you can just sit wherever you please, or wherever is available. If there aren’t many people on the plane, you could be asked to sit near the front, to balance out the weight.

Hop on for unforgettable views! Photo by Asad Photo Maldives.

On the flight

Due to the size of the plane, there is limited space. Don’t expect to find extra legroom or space to wander up and down the aisle. Plus, if you’re taller, you also won’t be able to stand up straight as the ceilings are low.

If you have a larger piece of hand luggage, it’s best to store this alongside the checked-in luggage. There aren’t any overhead lockers, and you probably won’t fit it under your seat. 

It can also get pretty noisy, so it’s recommended to take some earplugs along for the ride. Don’t forget that there is also no air conditioning, so make sure you are dressed appropriately for the occasion. We recommend taking a change of clothes and freshening up after your long flight in the airport before embarking on the seaplane trip. 

It’s because of all these reasons that, if you’re travelling to the Maldives with kids, we’d probably suggest opting for the speedboat. The last thing you need at this point in the journey is a hot and tired little one adding to that engine noise. 

However, having said all of this, you will instantly forget about those little discomforts and details once you see the incredible views. Flying over the azure waters and white sands, you really get to appreciate the true beauty of the Maldives.

It’s an experience like no other, especially when it comes to the landing. Seeing the plane heading towards the water evokes a weird feeling in your tummy. But, of course, it’s all under control!

Ready for take-off?

We all deserve a break in the Maldives.  On top of that, we all deserve to experience a ride in a seaplane, at least once in our life!

If you are planning your next big break, check out one of our recent blogs to decide whether you’d be more suited to a beach or water villa. 

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