Maldives informations
Maldives informations
Map of Maldives
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Frequently Answered Questions

Frequently Answered Questions

Maldives | Travel Advice | Resorts | Diving | Live aboard
Rates, Reservation and Payment

Maldives

1. What is the Maldives ?
2. Where is the Maldives located?
3. How do we reach the Maldives?
4. What is the Airport like?
5. Do I need a Visa to visit the Maldives?
6. What is the currency used?
7. What is the time difference?
8. When is the best time to visit the Maldives?
9. What vaccinations should I have?
10. What is the capital of the Maldives?
11. Are there any hotels in the capital?

1. What is the Maldives ?

The Maldives is an independent country in Asia. The country consists of a network of beautiful coral islands and the sea between them, with a land surface area of 1% of the country’s territory.

2. Where is the Maldives located?

The Maldives is made up of a small island group scattered across the equator in the middle of the Indian Ocean, roughly 500 km from the southernmost tips of Sri Lanka and India. The country’s territory covers an area of 90,000 square kilometres and consists of approximately 1,200 coral islands. Average temperature on the Maldives is 29 degrees Celsius.

The Maldives is represented in the Common Wealth and the United Nations. The country is a democracy and has a population of circa 290,000 citizens. The closest neighbouring countries are India and Sri Lanka. Only 200 of the 1200 islands are inhabited and individual resorts and hotels occupy only 88 of these.

The Maldivian capital Male’ is only 10 minutes by boat from the international airport.

3. How do we reach the Maldives?

You can reach the Maldives by sea or by air. The international airport is located on the island of Hulhule. There are international scheduled flights including: Sri Lankan Airways, Qatar Airway, Singapore Airlines, Emirates, Indian Airlines, Balkan, Bulgarian Airlines, LTU, Condor, AOM French, Austrian Airlines and Malaysian Airlines. Some of these airlines fly daily, weekly or twice weekly and connect the Maldives to many major centres around the world.

The Maldives are also visited by regular charter flights including, Britannia Airways, Balair, Monarch Airlines, Lauda Air, Air Europe of Italy, Sterling Airways, Air Holland, South African Airways, Air Tours International.

4. What is the Airport like?

As the airport is situated on a long and thin island, from above it looks somewhat like an aircraft carrier.

This international airport is regarded as one of the safest airports in the world. The reason is that there is only one runway and therefore only one plane can either land or take off at a time.

The airport is located some 4 kilometers/2 miles from the capital island Male’ on a nearby island.

5. Do I need a Visa to visit the Maldives?

A visa prior to arrival in the Maldives is not required. All tourists from all countries are granted a free 30-day visa upon arrival. However, all visitors need to have a valid passport. If a passport expiry date falls within 30 days of arrival, tourists cannot extend their stay beyond the passport’s expiry date. Working or engaging in employment while visiting with a tourist visa is prohibited. The Ministry of Human Resources Employment and Labour can provide work visas.

6. What is the currency used?

In the Maldives the currency is called "Ruffia" or Rf. One US dollar is equivalent to 12.85 Rf.

All resorts, liveaboards and most souvenir shops accept major cards and cash payments in US dollars.

7. What is the time difference?

The Maldives are five hours ahead (GMT +05:00) of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).

8. When is the best time to visit the Maldives?

The most popular period to visit the Maldives, therefore also the peak season, is between December and April. During these months, hotels and resorts tend to get fully booked with prices and rates that are higher than during the rest of the year.

Christmas and New Year is the busiest and most expensive part of the peak season period. Between May and November it's still warm, but the skies can be cloudy, humidity is higher and rain is more likely. This is the low season with fewer tourists and lower prices.

The transition months of November and April are considered to have increased water clarity with better visibility for divers.

9. What vaccinations should I have?

Normally, authorities in the Maldives do not require vaccinations. However, if you are from a Central African or South American country, or if you have travelled through these areas before arriving in the Maldives, you need to have a valid certificate indicating that you have been vaccinated against yellow fever. Other than this exception, you do not need any specific vaccination certificates to visit the Maldives.

If you want to be extra careful, do consult your personal physician for his or her recommendations. Visitors should check with their carrier when making reservations, as health regulations may change with short notice.

10. What is the capital of the Maldives?

The capital of the Maldives is Male’ which is pronounced "Maaley".

Male’ is considered one of the smallest capitals in the world in terms of geographical size. One third of the country’s population, about 75,000 Maldivians, live in Male’. Male’ is different from any other island in the country as it is a city of high-rise buildings and paved roads. While the government offices are located in one area, the main streets are lined with shops and offices. This is the base for all economic activity. The capital also has a number of places of historical interest.

11. Are there any hotels in the capital?

Male’ has a number of hotels offering high quality accommodation and a number of guesthouses offering affordable accommodation and services. Most of these hotels are only a few minutes walk from the jetty, where all ferryboats arrive from the airport. Hotels on Male’ are also used by expatriates coming for business and as transit hotels for tourists coming on evening flights and travelling to resorts that do not offer night transfers.

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Travel Advice

1. Do we need a Visa to enter the Maldives?
2. What is the flight ticket procedure in the Maldives?
3. Can I use my Visa credit card or debit card to get cash from the banks?
4. Where is the best area to stay?
5. Can I travel alone?
6. Will I be expected to pay tips?
7. Can I bring alcohol and liquor into the Maldives?
8. Will I be able to use my electrical equipment in the Maldives?
9. Is the Maldives safe for visitors?
10. Is the water safe to drink?
11. Is there anything you recommend visitors to bring from home?
12. Is English widely spoken?
13. Do I need to pay Departure Tax?

1. Do we need a Visa to enter the Maldives?

If you are coming to the Maldives as a tourist, you do not need a visa. Upon arrival, you will be issued a 30-day tourist visa at the immigration counter. If you wish to stay more than 30 days, you will have to fill a special application for the extension of your tourist visa and there will be an extension fee.

2. What is the flight ticket procedure in the Maldives?

There are certain scheduled flights such as Malaysian Airlines and Indian Airlines that require passengers to reconfirm their return flight 72 hours before departure.

The airlines urge you to reconfirm your tickets by getting a reconfirmation stamp from the airline agent in Male’. This means you cannot reconfirm over the phone and the physical tickets must be taken to the airline office or travel agent. You can however hand over your tickets to the your local travel agent or resort representative, who will safeguard your tickets and reconfirm them for you in time. The tickets will be handed back to you at the airport on the day of your departure.

3. Can I use my Visa credit card or debit card to get cash from the banks?

Most shops and souvenir boutiques on the capital island Male’ accept major credit cards and traveller's checks. None of these shops are, however, able to provide you with cash from your credit card and there are currently no ATMs or cash machines in the Maldives.

There are two or three merchants that can provide you with limited cash. This is only possible during weekdays and you need to visit the merchant in order to get cash.

4. Where is the best area to stay?

Generally all islands in the Maldives provide immense natural beauty and all resorts offer their own unique style. All resorts are located on private islands with rooms around the island that offer a high standard of service. Returning visitors do not need to choose the same resort twice thinking that their first was the best. Most resorts on the Maldives are truly beautiful and enjoyable.

5. Can I travel alone?

Yes, you can travel alone. In the Maldives, we go out of our way to make our visitors feel welcome from arrival until departure. And because we respect your personal space, you will never be disturbed unless you wish to be. It is very common for singles travelling alone to enjoy a far from lonesome holiday.

6. Will I be expected to pay tips?

Tipping is very common among travellers visiting the Maldives. Even if you don’t tip, you will not be discriminated against, as tipping is not compulsory. Taxis drivers are not tipped.

7. Can I bring alcohol and liquor into the Maldives?

You are not allowed to bring liquor to the Maldives. If you have bought liquor, beer and related items containing alcohol from a duty free shop while on route to the Maldives, these products must be bonded in the airport’s customs department upon arrival. These goods will be returned before departure.

However, all resorts and hotels – other than hotels in the capital Male’ – offer world famous brands of liquor, beer, and other alcoholic beverages. Again, hotels in the capital Male’ do not offer liquor, beer and related products containing alcohol.

8. Will I be able to use my electrical equipment in the Maldives?

The voltage in the Maldives is 110 or 220 volts, depending on your location. Bringing an adapter is recommended for appliances you bring with you. Most major hotels provide hair dryers and other amenities.

9. Is the Maldives safe for visitors?

Yes, the Maldives is probably one of the safest places to visit in the world with an extremely low crime rate.

10. Is the water safe to drink?

The water is drinkable and most hotels also offer bottled water.

11. Is there anything you recommend visitors to bring from home?

If you desire, you can bring cigarettes (up to two cartons) and film (up to ten rolls).

Don't forget an extra bottle of your preferred suntan lotion, hats, sunglasses, water socks (for reef walkers) and any common insect repellent. If, however, you do forget to bring any of these items, you will find most are available at hotel and resort shops.

12. Is English widely spoken?

Yes, almost all people living in the Maldives understand and speak English. Communicating with people in the Maldives will be hassle free.

13. Do I need to pay Departure Tax?

If the airport tax has not been paid beforehand, you may need to pay USD 12 at the airport. Only cash US dollars are accepted.

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Resorts :

1. How are the resorts built?
2. Why are resorts on the Maldives uniquely different from resorts in other countries?
3. What activities and sports are available on the islands?
4. We want to spend our honeymoon on the Maldives. Can you suggest any resorts?
5. Can you recommend a few dive resorts?
6. Can you recommend any surf resorts?
7. Where can I find resorts with water bungalows?
8. How are transfers arranged to and from the resorts?
9. Can you arrange night transfers?
10. What water activities are available on the islands and resorts?
11. For which water sports do we have to pay?
12. Are there resorts offering baby-sitting facilities and day care?
13. Will there be anyone to meet us at the airport when we arrivel?

1. How are the resorts built?

Some of the uninhabited islands in the Maldives have been developed as resort destinations. Each island represents one resort that offers one hotel. These islands vary in size and shape. Some are only 40 meters wide and others are 1 km in width. The number of rooms varies from 8 to 350. All rooms are built a few meters from the beach and provide individual bungalows and room blocks of 2 to 4 accommodations each. Some resorts also have rooms built on concrete or wooden stilts in the lagoon. These water bungalows are very popular.

2. Why are resorts on the Maldives uniquely different from resorts in other countries?

The Maldives offers an exclusive and unique holiday experience.

In addition to resorts being built on small individual islands, most resorts are developed with environmental conservation in mind. Protecting the fragile eco-system surrounding these islands is extremely important to both resort owners and an increasingly important aspect for their guests.

3. What activities and sports are available on the islands?

All island resorts offer comfortable relaxation and tranquility.

Most resorts also offer a wide range of activities, including volleyball, beach volley, snooker, billiards, table tennis, badminton, football, squash, tennis, swimming, etc.
Available water activities include wind surfing, wave surfing, catamaran sailing, day and night big game fishing, parasailing, banana raft riding, jet-skiing, etc. Almost every island has a certified dive centre.

4. We want to spend our honeymoon on the Maldives. Can you suggest any resorts?

We have selected a few dedicated resorts for honeymooners. These resorts are mostly small resorts offering individual bungalows and water bungalows.

For couples looking for high quality accommodations, services and facilities that provide an abundance of spa and sport activities, Vermillion Travels has a wide selection of suitable resorts to choose from.

5. Can you recommend a few dive resorts?

All the resorts in the Maldives provide their own dive schools with internationally certified and qualified dive instructors.

Some of the most famous dive spots in the world are located in the Maldives – often only a few minutes away from your island.

As some resorts specialize in diving, please contact us so that we can provide you with in-depth diving information.

6. Can you recommend any surf resorts?

During recent years, surfers from around the world have begun to show great interest in the Maldives. The surf spots are located on the east edge of the Male’ atoll and can be reached by speedboat in just 20 minutes. The resort islands near these sites offer boat service to the breaks and some resorts have their own surf break with direct access.

7. Where can I find resorts with water bungalows?

The best way to get a list of available resorts offering water bungalows is to contact us either by e-mail or fax. You can also view resorts with water bungalows on our site, www.vermillionmaldives.com

8. How are transfers arranged to and from the resorts?

At the moment, the main transport method is by motorboat, speedboat and seaplane.

Most resorts located in Male’s atoll are accessed by speedboat. Resorts in other atolls further from the airport, offer speedboat and seaplane transfer services.

The speedboat jetty is only a 2-minute walk from the arrival terminal and to catch the seaplane, guests take a 5-minute bus ride to the other side of the airport island. There are also independent seaplane companies in operation.

9. Can you arrange night transfers?

There are no night transfers available to resorts far from Male’ or the airport. No transfers are available to resorts in Ari and other atolls at night. Guests arriving on evening flights will have to stay a night in one of the hotels in Male’ or at the airport hotel.

The capital Male’ is approximately 10 minutes by boat from the airport island and we will help arrange a stay at a hotel there if necessary.

10. What water activities are available on the islands and resorts?

Most visitors enjoy the native lagoons, just as the locals do.

Swimming and snorkelling in the warm turquoise waters is by far the most popular water activity. Other available sports include canoeing, sailing, wind surfing, parasailing, deep-sea fishing, jet skiing, ringo riding, banana raft riding, water skiing etc.

The Maldives islands are world renowned for superb scuba diving and snorkelling. Most resorts offer a very wide range of water activities. Please view our website for more information.

11. For which water sports do we have to pay?

Most resorts charge only for the use of motor driven water sports while others have a rental fee for wind surfing equipment, catamaran sailboats, etc. We will shortly be including these details on our web site under the resort pages.

12. Are there resorts offering baby-sitting facilities and day care?

A few resorts cater to family holidaymakers and others offer a baby-sitting service. These resorts include, Bandos Island, Sun Island and Royal Island.

13. Will there be anyone to meet us at the airport when we arrivel?

When you book your holiday with Vermillion Travels, either one of our representatives or a member from the resort you will be staying at will meet you at the airport.

When you arrive and proceed from the main gate, after clearing customs and immigrations, please look for a representative holding a sign with your name on it.

You can also go to the Resort Hotel counter or contact our representatives at the airport. The representative will assist in transferring you to your resort. If your reservation includes a night in Male’ or the airport hotel, this will also be arranged by the representative. If you do stay for a night at the airport hotel, or in Male’, you will be transferred the following morning to your resort from the airport.

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Diving :

1. What sort of diving spots are available in the Maldives?
2. What is the normal water temperature?
3. What thickness should my dive suit have if I choose to bring it with me?
4. How deep can I dive in Maldives?

1. What sort of diving spots are available in the Maldives?

In the Maldives, there are three categories of dives. Diving inside the atolls, diving outside the atolls, and diving inside the channels.

Passes follow the same order and are generally classified by different skill-levels. A diver should therefore be able to dive from the shore, from a motorboat as well as being able to handle a drift dive.

2. What is the normal water temperature?

Ocean temperatures rarely vary beyond 27 - 30° C. Thermo clines can, however, sometimes be experienced at depths below 20 meters.

3. What thickness should my dive suit have if I choose to bring it with me?

Lycra 3 mm wetsuits are popular in tropical waters but some divers prefer a 5 mm suit when diving more than once a day.

4. How deep can I dive in Maldives?

The maximum allowed dive depth is 30 metres. Making all your dives safe, no-decompression dives.

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Live aboard :

1. Why is liveaboard more suitable for divers?
2. How much of the Maldives do liveaboard companies cover?
3. What sort of trips are liveaboards normally used for?
4. Can we experience both liveaboard boating and a resort?
5. May we visit any atolls while on the vessels?
6. How big are the liveaboard vessels and what is the accommodation on them like?
7. How are the liveaboards organized and do they run on a set schedule?

1. Why is liveaboard more suitable for divers?

Taking a diving cruise is certainly the best way to experience the allure of the Maldives’ magnificent archipelago. This allows divers to explore the most pristine seabeds, often unreachable from tourist-populated villages.

The boats used on these tours are comfortable wooden motor-yachts of at least twenty meters (about sixty-five feet) in length, with well-ventilated double cabins, toilets with showers, and plenty of living space.

These hotel-boats are capable of comfortably accommodating ten passengers. A support boat equipped with a compressor, weights, tanks and related gear, accompanies each passenger boat.
A relaxed diving holiday on a liveaboard boat makes scuba diving both safe and easy to enjoy.

2. How much of the Maldives do liveaboard companies cover?

You can cruise wherever you wish by chartering an entire boat for your dive trip. Most boats have itineraries of 7 days or 14 days allowing you plenty of time for exploring a wide range of dive sites.

3. What sort of trips are liveaboards normally used for?

Liveaboard boats are not limited only to diving. These vessels can also be used purely for leisure, study tours to the inhabited islands, fishing and surfing trips or shorter snorkelling excursions.

4. Can we experience both liveaboard boating and a resort?

There are many tourists who enjoy having both. They usually spend their first week on a liveaboard, diving or just relaxing and getting pleasure from just being near the sea. The second week is then enjoyed at a resort.

5. May we visit any atolls while on the vessels?

Yes, you may visit within any area of the Maldives.

6. How big are the liveaboard vessels and what is the accommodation on them like?

Over the years, the sizes, range of facilities and services provided on these vessels have changed substantially. There are now vessels ranging from 17m in length for groups of 6, to vessel as large as 45 meters and capable of comfortably accommodating groups of 20.

7. How are the liveaboards organized and do they run on a set schedule?

Today, smaller vessels are mostly used for leisure, and fishing tours, while larger vessels now operate as dive centres. These run on a 7 to 14 day schedule and mostly roam from one atoll to another. Divers join them by speedboat or seaplane, depending on location.

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Rates, Reservation and Payment :

1. How do I get resort rates?
2. How do I make a reservation?
3. I want to know the availability for a particular resort?
4. Can I make a booking directly to the hotel’s reservation office?
5. When will my booking be finalized and confirmed?
6. Are hotel and resort rates per person or per room?
7. How much is charged for children?
8. Can you arrange flights as well?
9. How do I cancel a confirmed reservation?
10. I want to make some changes to my reservation?
11. I would like to make a late reservation. Can you help me?
12. How do I pay for my holiday?
13. Can I pay by credit card?
14. I am not happy paying via credit card. Is there any other payment method available?
15. Which credit cards do you accept?
16. Can I pay in cash upon arrival?
17. Do I receive a confirmation letter or voucher after I book the holiday?
18. If I have lost the voucher, what do I do?

1. How do I get resort rates?

Resorts on this website have rates listed where available. Please contact us for a full holiday quotation including transfers, excursions and other related inquires.

2. How do I make a reservation?

Reservation requests are generally made here on this site using our reservation form.

We also accept reservation requests via email. Please ensure all required information is provided, including home and office phone numbers, to complete any reservation using this method.

You can also send your request via fax or call us.

3. I want to know the availability for a particular resort?

If you only want to check availability, just send us an e-mail or mention this when you fill in the reservation form. Regardless of how you contact us, be assured that we will reply to you within 24hrs.

4. Can I make a booking directly to the hotel’s reservation office?

Should you choose to make your reservation with a hotel or resort of your choice, please contact them directly.

However, be prepared to pay rates of 10% to 50% more than making your reservation through Vermillion Travels.

Our rates are only valid for users of this website. Rates published here are not available when contacting the resort or hotel directly.

5. When will my booking be finalized and confirmed?

We have direct contracts and agreements with most resorts and hotels featured on our website.

We have allotted rooms with many of the most popular and exclusive resorts and hotels in the Maldives. This enables us to provide you with immediate confirmation of your booking and offer you the Maldives most competitive accommodation rates.

We will notify you by return e-mail with confirmation or notice of unavailability within 24 hours. You can also check your booking status directly with the resort or hotel when we provide you with the hotel’s telephone number along with your booking reference number.

6. Are hotel and resort rates per person or per room?

All of our listed rooms rates are per room and per night. Transfer rates are per person return transfer.

7. How much is charged for children?

Children below 12 (11.99) normally pay 50% of the adult rate. (Children’s date of birth must be informed at the time of booking to validate children rates). Infants below 2 (1.99) pay government bed tax of USD 8 per person per day. Some resorts charge USD 12 per infant per day. You will be informed of these rates at the time of your booking.

8. Can you arrange flights as well?

Yes, we can. However, we advise you to contact your nearest airline ticketing agent and request a special fare to the Maldives. Since we do not have many clients using round trip tickets that leave from the Maldives, airlines do not offer us special ticket prices.

We advise you to contact your local ticketing offices of, for example, Emirates, Sri Lankan Airlines, Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines, Malaysian Airlines, Air India, Euro fly, Condor, Air Europe and other carriers serving the Maldives for flight and ticket information.

9. How do I cancel a confirmed reservation?

A reservation can be cancelled only by email or fax (written cancellation). Applicable cancellation charges will apply.

10. I want to make some changes to my reservation?

Any amendments to a reservation must be sent to us in writing. We will do our best to accommodate your request for change. We reserve the right to charge a nominal fee depending on the resorts policy and how close the change is to your arrival date.

11. I would like to make a late reservation. Can you help me?

We are happy to help you with late reservations. All requests should be submitted using our reservation form or by email and include all necessary details to avoid further delaying your reservation.

All late reservations must be paid in full and immediately upon confirmation.

12. How do I pay for my holiday?

With the confirmation of your reservation, we will send you a full quotation for your holiday along with payment instructions.

All reservations have to be reconfirmed within 24 hours to avoid automatic cancellation. You can either pay using your credit card or wire transfer the amount to our account. Upon confirmation, we will charge you a non-refundable reservation fee of EURO or USD 100. The remaining balance must be paid 30 days before your arrival, or, immediately if your arrival is less than 30 days from when you received confirmation of your booking.

13. Can I pay by credit card?

Yes, you can pay by credit card. We accept Visa and Master cards only. To make payment via credit card, you will need to fill out an authorization form and send it along with other relevant documents including a photocopy of your passport and credit card.

We will send you a formatted credit card authorization form.

14. I am not happy paying via credit card. Is there any other payment method available?

Yes. You can make payment via bank transfer or arrange a money transfer through Western Union.

15. Which credit cards do you accept?

At present, we accept Master and Visa cards.

16. Can I pay in cash upon arrival?

We accept cash on arrival for very late bookings.

17. Do I receive a confirmation letter or voucher after I book the holiday?

Once you have paid, we will send you the resort or hotel reference number for your booking and you can contact the resort or hotel directly and check the status of your booking.

Also, if you wish, we can send you a copy of your service voucher. Please bring this voucher with you when you arrive. We will, upon your arrival, present the original voucher to the hotel reception.

18. If I have lost the voucher, what do I do?

No problem. Just mention your name. The resort or hotel is expecting you to arrive and all you need to do is fill out the hotel Check-In form and start enjoying a most memorable vacation!

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