• December 24, 2019 at 4:15 am #43319
    Abs & Anj

    Our favourite holiday destination by far has so far been the Maldives, we have been every Feb for the past 5 years, obviously we are aware of the limitations re alcohol covering up etc, what is your actual experience with cruising Maldives, booking in/out anchorages etc.

    December 24, 2019 at 10:26 am #43327

    The Maldives is a great cruising destination. The further north and further south you go from Male, the better the coral and the fewer the tourists. We thoroughly enjoyed our time there.

    Checking in is expensive. The first month was around $600, the second month a further $300, and so on. Max stay is three months, though I’m not sure if this for your boat as well as you. Checking in at Uligam in the north or Gan in the south is recommended over Male as that can be more expensive. You have to use an agent to do so.

    There are three distinctions between the islands: inhabited (by locals), uninhabited, and resort. The uninhabited are so for a reason but you can find some great anchorages and desolate beaches. The inhabited are great, often with good coral around, but we found them all a bit samey. They’re laid out the same, have the same kind of shops/buildings etc etc. Locals are friendly enough though.

    The resorts got all the best islands and many are privately owned. Often there’s a lagoon with good protection for anchoring, great reefs and stunning beaches. The problem is getting permission to anchor off of them. Some refuse any access, some require phoning in advance and some will charge a landing fee. One resort we visited and got permission to land on wanted $50 just for the dinghy! We left quickly. There are a couple of resorts that are yachtie-friendly. One even has a purpose-built jetty, but at $200 a night we opted to take one of their mooring buoys instead 😉

    Getting boat parts is good in the Maldives. It’s a nation of sea-farers after all. There are even haul-out facilities with well-equipped chandleries.

    Navigating using satellite image is essential as there are many uncharted reefs.

    Peace and fair winds!

    December 24, 2019 at 11:17 am #43331

    We wrote about our time in the Maldives in the blog, including the haul-out on Thilafushi (Rubbish Island). Start here and keep pressing ‘next’ to get an idea of what we discovered there… 

    We were there in 2013, so formalities may have changed, but I still reckon Jamie’s probably right, it’s much easier and cheaper to check in at either Uligan or Gan. In Male they were charging an additional $100+ just to come to the boat (you can’t check in on land), whereas in Uligan that bit was free. We paid just under $1000 to cruise for the maximum three months. As Jamie says, the longer you stay the cheaper it becomes.

    Peace and fair winds!

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