The archipelago nation has reopened its borders to international travellers and is adjusting to the new normal. The approved transit tourist facilities are adhering to the guidelines given by the Health Protection Agency (HPA) and the Ministry of Tourism. There are a number of rules and regulations for both, the tourist authorities and tourists. Every instruction should be followed if you want to have a safe vacation in the island nation.
In this article, we present important details about transfers in the Maldives via public ferries. If you are travelling to the country anytime soon, then go through these details to have a better understanding.
What is a public ferry boat transfer?
Also known as slow dhoni transfer, transfers via public ferry boat is the cheapest among all transfer modes in the Maldives. The fare for this transfer ranges between $5 to 30 USD per head one way from Male to the selected local island. You should know in advance that these ferries provide transfers to only local islands and not to the Maldives resorts. The slow ferry dhoni is actually quite slow compared to a speedboat. For instance, if a speedboat takes half an hour to reach a place, then a dhoni will take nearly one hour and thirty minutes.
Government base company MTCC operates public ferries for the locals around the island nation. It connects only local islands. It is the oldest type of mode of transfer in the island nation.
Basic technical details of dhoni
What does public ferry dhoni look like?
A multi-purpose sailboat having a motor or lateen sails, dhoni or doni (pronounced d?ni) is extensively used in the Maldives. Resembling a dhow, a traditional Arab sailing vessel, its usage within the multi-island nation has been quite crucial. The traditional dhoni is one of the oldest known sea vessels. Many of these were built with coconut palm timber. In earlier times, the sailing dhoni was used by Maldivian fishermen. Many of them switched to a mechanised dhoni during the industrial revolution.
Maldives ferry booking
Public ferries cannot be booked online. You have to directly make a booking at the ferry counter in Male city. In case you want to book an advance, then you can contact your local guesthouse or hotel to reserve tickets for you. There may be extra charges for that as owing to the demands of the local people, most of the ferries may be fully booked.
Frequency of Maldivian public ferry schedules
The public ferries operate on several atolls and islands. These are- North Male atoll, South Male atoll, North Alif atoll, Vaavu atoll, and South Alif atoll area. These ferries do not sail to any resorts in the Maldives. However, some guesthouses come under its network. The public ferries operate mostly three to four times a week, and it is very difficult to fulfill the requirements of all tourists. They run infrequently and also, there may be a lot of cancellations owing to the bad weather conditions. Thus, it is not ideal if you are there for a vacation.
Getting around the Maldives
From Male, public ferries operate four times a week to some islands in the capital city and Alif atoll. Most of them are inter-atoll ferries, that is, ferries running within the atoll. For instance, you will not find apublic ferry to Baa atoll from Male but inside Baa atoll, but inter-atoll ferry connections will be available.
Things to keep in mind before choosing a public ferry boat
List of islands connected by Male and inter atoll ferry islands
Male atoll north and south area island ferry routes
List of atolls inter atoll ferry to islands (do not connect to Male City)