The Maldives is in the Indian Ocean, a 10-14hr flight from the UK, around 370 miles southwest of Sri Lanka. It is made up of 1200 islands, stretching over 500 miles from north to south. The main arrival airport for all flights to the Maldives is Male's airport island (MLE).
The Maldives is famous for its great snorkelling, manta cleaning stations, whalesharks, shark dives and fast drift dives through channels. The water remains a constant 27-28 C year round.
Weather and Climate
Whilst there are 2 monsoon seasons (Nov-Apr & May-Oct), the diving remains excellent year round. Diving operators will changes their dive sites in each season to find the best hot spots for the big fish! Traditionally, our summer months tend to be windier with a higher chance of rain, whilst the winter months are flatter. However, the seasons are much less predictable in reality and its a fabulous place to dive whatever time of year!
Our holidays to the Maldives can be quoted with most major airlines. If you would like to depart from a regional UK airport (eg. Glasgow/Edinburgh, Manchester, Birmingham or Gatwick) or have a specific airline you prefer to fly with, simply let us know in your booking request. Times and any applicable supplements will be confirmed by your travel consultant before you finalise your holiday. We are unfortunately not able to redeem airmiles on your behalf.
If you make your own flight arrangements to Male, please check the transfer arrangements before confirming your flights. Please do not finalise any flight arrangements yourself before your liveaboard space is confirmed as being held.
As most flights are not direct, it is simple to add a stop over en route - simply ask your travel consultant for a quote.
Sri Lanka is our most popular, up coming destination - with beautiful beaches, it's a great alternative to staying in the Maldives resorts. If you are feeling a bit more adventurous, why not head into the jungle for look for elephants and leopards. Or if you are a culture vulture, we highly recommend a Kandy city tour. The choice is yours!
As we are able to book most major airlines to the Maldives, you can also add a stop to break up your flight. Popular locations include Dubai, Doha and Abu Dhabi.
Arrange before you go
UK passport holders are able to obtain a free 30 day visa on arrival. Do ensure your passport has 6 months validity from your return date to prevent any issues with immigration. It is your responsibility to ensure your passport is valid and you fulfil entry requirements. Regulations can change: please review current FCO advice: click here
Scuba Travel requires all of our customers to have diving insurance. Please make sure that you have appropriate cover for your diving activities.
We also strongly recommend you have travel insurance. It's worth taking out travel insurance once you have paid your deposit to ensure you are covered for unforeseen events and cancellation.
Find out more about our combined dive and travel policy click here
Please speak to your local GP or check out the latest NHS advice on travel immunisations: click here
Preparing to fly
You will be able to manage your booking online once you have been ticketed (after you have paid your holiday balance). Most airlines will now enable you to select your seating at this point. There may be a small charge for prebookable seating before online check in opens. Please speak to the airline for more information about charges.
As you are flying with a scheduled airline, you will be able to check in online with your airline. Please visit their website for more information about when online check in opens.
An airport lounge is a great way to start your holiday or to while away flight connections in comfort. Scuba Travel works with Lounge Pass to offer a huge range of affordable airport lounges around the world.
Prebook your airport parking to save money! If you have a long way to travel, why not also look at booking an airport hotel. These aren't as expensive as you might think.
What happens when I arrive?
On arrival in the Maldives, you will need to clear immigration and collect your baggage. You will then be met outside of arrivals by a representative from your liveaboard or resort. They will be holding a board with either your destination or your name on it.
If you have any issues at all locating your rep, please turn left from arrivals and go to the information desk at Male airport. We have an emergency contact, manned by a member of the team here in the UK. Please call 0044 7747 488 002. We will be able to help your rep locate you in the airport.
If your holiday begins in Male you will be met and taken to your boat. The transfer takes around 20mins.
Many of our Maldives holidays will include either a domestic flight or seaplane transfer. It takes approx 45mins -1 hour to clear immigration and collect your baggage at Male airport. We endeavour to keep the transit between flights as short as possible and your transfer will normally take place within 3 hours of your international arrival, but please be aware, you may have to wait at the airport between flights.
The domestic terminal is right next door to arrivals. This has AC, bathrooms and a small cafe. You will usually be met by a rep, who will assist you in moving between the terminals. The baggage allowance on domestic flights is typically 25kgs hold and 5kgs hand baggage. Excess baggage is charged locally $2-$5/kg.
The seaplane check in desk is to your right on exiting the arrivals hall. You will check your bag in here and then be transfered to the seaplane terminal by bus. This has AC, bathrooms, a small cafe and shop. The seaplanes run regularly throughout the day and due to the way the scheduling is organised, the exact time of your seaplane cannot be confirmed prior to arrival in Male. Seaplanes do not run in the dark - the fist seaplane is around 06:00 Male time and ends around 16:00 Male time. The baggage allowance on seaplane flights is typically 25kgs hold and 5kgs hand baggage. Excess baggage is charged locally $2-$5/kg.
You will be taken back to Male airport in time for your international flight. Domestic flights and seaplanes will arrive in time for you to make your connections. Typically you will arrive at the airport 1 1/2- 2 hours before your flight time.
There is currently no departure tax when leaving the Maldives.
Included in your holiday
International flights and transfers, accommodation and meals on an all inclusive basis. This includes breakfast, lunch and dinner served at the buffet, snacks, a selection of cocktails, alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks, tea, coffee and water. Use of the fitness centre is also included. Room services, smoking services, excursions, spa treatments and diving are not included. You can also upgrade to the premium all inclusive package which includes additional meal options at the grill and premium drinks. Internet is free within rooms. The mandatory green tax has been included and prepaid in your holiday.
Please refer to your booking confirmation for details on any prebooked diving services.
Local taxes on purchases apply in the Maldives (12% GST). The all inclusive package does not operate between 00:00 and 07:00. Excluded are the mini bar, room service, additional meals or drinks outside of your meal plan - some drinks/restaurants are excluded from the all inclusive programme. Additional local services such as telephone calls, laundry, smoking services, private lessons, special events and excursions are paid for locally.
You may be charged for excess baggage on the seaplane if you are above the weight limit for your hold baggage.
Tipping is entirely at your discretion. We do not make recommendations as to how much to tip. Should you wish to leave a tip for the staff and crew, it should reflect the level of service you have enjoyed.
USD are the preferred currency. Credit & debit cards accepted although a surcharge may apply.
Typically the Maldives has good mobile phone coverage throughout, although it is not 100 percent
Plugs and electricity
Either UK 3 pin or European 2 pin plugs
Kit hire can be arranged in resort and is paid for locally
Single, 2 tank, whole day, early morning and night dives can all be arranged and paid for in resort
The dive centre has a small, limited shop on site
Free nitrox for certified divers
Deposits and Balances
A typical deposit for a holiday to Ellaidhoo is £400-£600 per person, although this will depend on your exact flight option and travel class. Larger deposits may be required for some flight options (eg premium economy/business class).
Ways to pay
We charge 2% on credit card transactions but nothing on UK debit card payments. All non sterling card payments will be subject to the 2% surcharge. Alternatively, you are welcome to pay via bank transfer. Overseas transfers must add £6 to the sterling total to cover international handling fees. We are not able to accept PayPal transactions.
If you have booked as part of a group, you can still call and pay directly without needing to go via your group leader. Please have your trip reference number to hand to help us locate your holiday as quickly as possible. You will receive a transaction receipt - your group leader will forward your ATOL certificate and booking confirmation