Maldives: Becoming More Cruiser-Friendly

Historically a country that favored land-based tourists more than those arriving on their own keel, Maldives clearance costs are set to reduce substantially from 1st April 2020.

Published 3 years ago

aerial view of a reef pass and protected anchorage with two yachts anchored in deep blue water surrounded by light turquoise water
Kudafarufasgan’du, Miladhunmadulu Atoll – photo by yacht Starry Horizons

Assad Mohamed from yacht agency Real Seahawks Maldives, has been lobbying the government since 2010 to make the Maldives more cruiser-friendly. “Finally we have made it!” he reports to Noonsite. “I promised to many cruisers that we will make Maldives a cruiser/sailor friendly country. Now I believe that sailors will not hesitate to put Maldives on their ‘places to go’ list.”

Current Fees:

2010 saw the introduction of the Cruising Permit (Tourism Fee) at a cost of $325 for one month cruising in the Maldives. Once all other clearance costs are included a two-month stay exploring the Maldives would set you back approx. $1300.

Even a short 48 hour stopover to refuel and re-provision incurs clearance charges in the region of US$250.

For many yachts these high fees were just too prohibitive and so the Maldives have been given a miss by many Indian Ocean cruisers.

New Fees:

All that is about to change however on 1 April, 2020, when the following fees will be amended:

  • Customs inward and outward clearance costs will be reduced from US$130 to US$30.
  • Sanitation cost will reduce from US$65 to US$12
  • There will be no anchoring fee for the first 30 days (currently the first 6 days are free).
  • Vessels less than 15m LOA can stay up to 72 hours in the Port of Entry for refueling and provisioning without paying any government charges.
  • It is expected (but not yet confirmed) that the Ministry of tourism will start issuing free cruising permits for sailors from 1st May 2020.

Less Restrictions:

Some restrictions have also been lifted, including the requirement to rent a tracking device for the duration of your stay in the Maldives. If a yacht has AIS on board, then tracking rental will no longer be required.

Crossing the Indian Ocean will definitely be easier next season now that a short stopover in the Maldives is cost-effective, and many may well decide to stay longer and explore this beautiful archipelago once the cruising permit fee has been abolished.

For more information contact:
Assad at Real Seahawks Maldives
[email protected]

Our thanks to Assad of Real Seahawks for confirming these changes and new fees.

Related Content:

Maldives Noonsite Information

Eight Weeks Cruising the Maldives (May 2019) 

Maldives: Welcome Amendments to the Rules for Visiting Yachts (2014)

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  1. March 13, 2020 at 12:03 AM
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    sue-richards says:

    Received 10 March from Assad of Agency Real Sea Hawks Maldives:

    Still the government didn’t informed that they will not implement the new rules (reduce the fees) from 1st April but I believe that now it will be difficult for the government to make that changes/decision due to Covid-19 impacts. So, what I am saying is most probably fees will not be reduced as authorities agreed before. Plan was scheduled when we don’t have any effects from Covid-19 but now it is found in Maldives and day by day the number of positive cases are increasing. Therefore definitely the economy will be in a recession and hence then I don’t think the government will cut/reduce any fees from anywhere on this critical situation.