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
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.”
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.
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.
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
Our thanks to Assad of Real Seahawks for confirming these changes and new fees.
Eight Weeks Cruising the Maldives (May 2019)
Maldives: Welcome Amendments to the Rules for Visiting Yachts (2014)
Related to following destinations: Addu Atoll, Alif Dhaal Atoll, Ari Atoll, Dholhiyaddhoo, Dhonakulhi, Gan, Haa Alifu Atoll, Khuludhufushi, Maldives, Male, Noonu Atoll, North Male Atoll, Rangali Island, Uligamu, Upper North Province
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.