on 8 Oct 2020
Island nation has recently opened up to foreign-flagged vessels
The Maldives has emerged as a top destination for visiting superyachts, after the island nation recently opened back up to foreign-flagged vessels and reduced visiting fees.
Mohamed Hameed, director of Asia Pacific Superyacht Maldives, has confirmed that superyachts Ebony Shine and Blue Shadow are already in the Maldives, with more on the way. “We know of [more] yachts planning to visit soon, including Lady E, Vava 2, Ulysses and Skade – there are also many others enquiring at the moment,” he says.
S/Y Ebony Shine
Hameed adds that one captain he has spoken with described the Maldives as “one of the easiest destinations for yachts and guests to visit.”
At the moment, it takes about between 30 and 45 minutes for visiting and transiting boats to complete the arrival/departure process; given that all formalities (including a health declaration form and proof of a negative PCR result for all guests and crew, conducted 72 hours before arrival) are completed in advance. Since July 15, there is no quarantine period, nor limits to entry for people of specific nationalities.
There are minimal restrictions on visiting uninhabited islands
“We are noticing that a lot of yachts are choosing to visit the Maldives quite early in the season this year, as vessels are aware Maldivian regulations are relatively easier compared to the rest of the yachting destinations,” says Hameed. “Fingers crossed, but we are potentially looking at a very successful and happening 2020/21 season ahead.”
Crew on a visiting superyacht
Cruising within the waters of Maldives is relatively hassle-free, with the exception of going ashore to local inhabited islands. “Resort visits are based on individual permissions from respective resort managements,” explains Hameed. “Most yachts still choose to be anchored near Bandos Island Resort while guests are not aboard,” he adds. “This is mainly because Bandos is closer to the airport and makes it easy for crew change, ease of receiving provisions, garbage clearance, etc.”
The Maldives Ministry of Tourism has also announced the nation has been awarded the Safe Travels Stamp by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC). The Stamp is a new global safety and hygiene initiative, designed to address tourists’ concerns over Covid-19 and other similar outbreaks in the future.