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Updated by Joanna James on Jul 13, 2023
Headline for Modes of Local Transport in the Maldives – Getting Around Amidst the Sun, Sand & Surf
Joanna James Joanna James
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Modes of Local Transport in the Maldives – Getting Around Amidst the Sun, Sand & Surf

The Maldives is an archipelago of over a 1,000 islands, hence one does wonder about visiting the fabulous beaches and neighbouring atolls. Here are some transport options that you can use.


Public Transport

Public transport options are by far the cheapest mode of travel in the Maldives; used by locals, these options are not extravagantly expensive like the private seaplane or speedboat rides provided by hotels; although, getting to a private Maldives resort via seaplane is the most scenic option if you can afford it. There are four main modes of transport in the Maldives, which are public ferries, public speedboats and private seaplanes and speedboats.


Public Ferries in the Maldives

Ridiculously cheap fares are asked for ferry rides in the Maldives; no wonder it is the most popular mode of transport on the archipelago. For instance, a routine journey of under five hours will cost around US$2, (prices can vary) while a longer 15 hour journey to remote islands will still be cheap at around US$10 per person. The ferry system is the cheapest mode of transport and the best option for travellers on a budget; taking the ferry will help you save in order to splurge on other island delights like scuba diving, and sunset cruises. A ferry in the Maldives is called a dhoni; they are not operated on Fridays, which is a prayer day. The main ferry terminal is the Villingili Ferry Terminal in Male, the capital island.


The Public Speedboats

A more time effective solution to getting to a destination much faster, the speedboats in many instances is the only way to reach the very remote islands. Able to reach destinations in half the time of a ferry, a speedboat can carry up to 30 passengers and are well looked after. The most popular islands to offer good speedboat connections are Ukhulas, Maafushi, Mathiveri, Thoddoo and Rasdhoo. Speedboats may be pre-booked, and costs can vary from around US$ 20 to US$ 50 (at the time of writing this article).


Private Speedboats

Private speedboats can be relatively expensive and are generally run by the private resorts. The chosen option by many guests heading out to private Maldives villas and resorts from the international airport, a standard journey from the airport to resort (one-way) will cost around US$ 150 to a US$ 1,000; rates are subject to change though. Depending on where the resort is located, your journey time will vary. Resorts within easy reach of the Male International Airport, like Velassaru Maldives, are only about a 25 minute speedboat ride away.



Most of the remote islands are inaccessible via ferry, and can only be reached by booking a seaplane or a speedboat. Definitely, the most scenic route to travel across the archipelago, a seaplane ride can cost around US$ 250 to US$ 400 (again rates are subject to change). You can check the official Maldivian seaplane website or book one via your Maldives hotel or resort.

  • A true believer that the pen is a mighty weapon, ventures into reaching the minds of every reader with the earnest hope of leaving an indelible stream of thought.

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