- The Male international airport also called Velana international airport is located on a different island from the main island where Male city is located. The airport is on Hulhule island a small island located northeast of the city island. Velana international airport is the main gateway for getting into the Maldives. The only way to get from the airport to the city is by private boat transfer or public ferry.
Pre-arranged Private Boat Transfers
- If you've made reservations with hotels in the remote islands, they'll most likely have already organized direct boat transfers from the airport to the hotel. Most of these pre-organized boat transfers do not stop at the city, they tend to head straight to the island where the boat is located.
Private boat transfer from the airport
- There are many private boat transfer booths in the departure area after exciting customs and immigration. I wouldn't recommend taking a private speedboat since they are unnecessarily expensive. Each company has its fare quotations that differ from each other significantly, prices may range anywhere from USD 10- 100.
Private speedboat transfer booths in the arrivals hall
Taking the Public ferry
- Walk past the boat transfer booths, the public ferry booth is outside the airport close to the water and the ferry boarding area. Ferries are the most commonly used means of transport from the airport to Male City. They carry only around 50 passengers and are essentially "large speedboats".
- Ferry tickets cost MVR 10 which is less than USD 1. Ticket prices depending on time. From 6 am to midnight tickets cost MVR 10. From midnight to 6 am tickets cost MVR 20.
Frequency: There's a ferry every 10 minutes throughout the day.
Ferry trip duration: Each trip from the airport to Male city takes about 15 to 20 minutes.
Luggage: You can only carry three pieces of luggage into the ferry for free. You have to pay MVR 10 for every additional bag/ suitcase.
- Ferries arrive at the Hulhulmale ferry terminal in Male. Once you get off the ferry, numerous taxis await passengers and you can catch one to your final destination.
- Some hotels in Male may send someone to pick you up at the airport and help you buy ferry tickets. There's no need to panic in case yours doesn't, Male airport is small making it easy to navigate and locals here are friendly and help a lot.
This is how public ferries in Male look like