CAN I TRAVEL BETWEEN ISLANDS BY PUBLIC FERRY IN THE MALDIVES?
Prior to the pandemic public ferries, also known as slow dhoni transfers, were a popular mode of travel for budget travellers looking to transfer from Male to a local island. It is safe to say it was the cheapest transfer option in the Maldives and also a great way to mix with locals!
Following the reopening of the Maldives border in 2020 the Safe Tourism guidelines prohibited tourists from travelling by public ferry. Until September 2021 locals living in the Greater Male area were unable to travel out of the Male area to local islands and therefore the public ferry network ceased to exist in the way it had before the pandemic.
At present ferries operated by MTCC, the national transport provider, run between the airport and Male, Male and Hulhumale, Male and Villimale and islands within the central atolls and Male.
CENTRAL ATOLL PUBLIC FERRY SERVICES
- North Ari Atoll: Male – Rasdhoo – Ukulhas – Mathiveri (09:00 Mon/Thurs)
- South Ari Atoll:Male – Mahibadhoo ( 08:30 Sun/Tue/Thur)
- Vaavu: Male -Maafushi – Fulidhoo -Thinadhoo – Felidhoo – Keyodhoo – Rakeedhoo (10:00 Sun/Tue/Thur)
- North Male Atoll: Male – Gaafaru – Kaashidhoo (10:45 Sun/Tue/Thur)
- North Male Atoll: Male – Himmafushi – Huraa -Thulusdhoo-Dhiffushi ( 14:30 Daily except Friday)
- South Male Atoll: Male – Gulhi – Maafushi – Guraidhoo (15:00 Daily except Friday)
NEW INTEGRATED NATIONAL PUBLIC FERRY NETWORK
The good news however is that the 1st phase of the “Integrated National Public Ferry Network Project” was launched on the 03 May.
The objective of this project is to connect the islands and atolls of the Maldives via a high-speed ferry network operated under MTCC the Maldives national transport provider. This project will be fully implemented in 3 Phases and Phase 1 of the project covers Zone 1 which is the first 3 atolls of the deep north, Haa Alif, Haa Dhaal, and Shaviyani atolls. The high-speed ferry network is designed to create two different networks for passenger transit and cargo ferries.
The aim of this network is to facilitate inclusive regional development by connecting people and services, accelerate social and economic growth, improve efficiency and accessibility for all citizens in all areas of the country.
According to MTCC, operations were started in five routes to 13 Island of Haa Dhaalu Atoll from 03 May onwards with four ferries with a capacity of 50 passengers.
Tickets will be sold via a designated website or mobile application. Schedules, route information and tickets can be obtained via the RTL portal.
Rates for the current routes based on a direct connection range from 75MVR to 250MVR. ($3 to $16 one way)
The modern ferries are designed in a comfortable way for travelers, each seat in the air conditioned ferry is equipped with a USB port to charge passengers’ phones. Also, toilets and an area for luggage is allocated in each ferry. In addition, passengers can also take carry-on luggage with them as well.
BOOK YOUR ISLAND HOPPING TOUR NOW!
Come and island hop with us, we offer island hopping tours in a variety of different atolls and offer private individual or group travel for people of all ages. It is not just for young adventurers, it is also for the young at heart! Our team of passionate and experienced guides are ready to provide you the best service and experiences that you deserve.
Are you ready to book now? #letusguideyou