First, you would need to take a flight to Male International Airport (also known as Velana International Airport) on Hulhule Island. The airport was previously known as Ibrahim Nasir International Airport.
From the airport, there are two ways to get to Maafushi Island: by Ferry Service or Speedboat. Personally, Evan and I prefer the speedboat because it is a lot faster and there are more timings available. However, the ferry service is a lot cheaper.
Method 1: Getting to Maafushi Island by Ferry Service
1. Airport to Male Island
From the airport, you would need to take a ferry or speedboat to Male Island. The ferry terminal is situated near the Domestic Terminal. The ferry ride costs only 1 USD and takes 10 minutes. The speedboat costs $2 and takes just 4 minutes.
2. Male Island to Maafushi Island
After reaching Male Island, take a taxi to Jetty 1 or the “Maafushi Ferry”. The taxi ride costs just 25MVR (around 2 USD) and will take around 10 minutes. From the jetty, you can take the ferry service to Maafushi Island. The trip takes 90 minutes and costs around 3 USD per pax. It is not possible to book the ferry tickets online, so make sure you arrive at least one hour in advance to buy your tickets. Make sure that you have some food and water with you for the long ride as these are not available on-board.
Below is the ferry schedule. Do take note that there are NO ferry services on Fridays!
|Days||Male Island Departure Time||Maafushi Island Departure Time|
Method 2: Getting to Maafushi by Speedboat
Option 1: Airport to Maafushi Island
From the airport, you can take a direct speedboat to Maafushi Island. We recommend booking the speedboat through iCom Tours. You can do so via their email. It runs a number of rides every day from 8am to 7pm. You can view the entire schedule on the iCom Tours website. The site even lets you check the availability of the various timings by letting you know how many seats are left. The speedboat ride costs 20 USD per pax, but the price goes down to 15 USD if there are more people. The ride takes just 45 minutes.
Option 2: Male Island to Maafushi Island
As we had a late flight, we needed to spend the night at Male Island before catching the next day’s speedboat to Maafushi. After touching down late at night, we took a four-minute speedboat from the airport to Male Island. The transfer was arranged by our hotel, Hotel Jen Male.
iCom Tours also operates speedboat transfers from Male Island to Maafushi. The timings are from 8am to 7pm daily too, and the price is also 20 USD (goes down to 15 USD if there are more people). The trip takes around 40 minutes.
The next morning, we walked to the iCom Tours speedboat pickup point (near Bank of Ceylon). It is just a 2-minute walk from Hotel Jen Male. At the pickup point, the friendly iCom crew verified our identities before helping us to load our luggage onto the boat. After a comfortable and fast ride, we reached Maafushi Island!
Getting to your Hotel on Maafushi Island
Once you reach the Maafushi Island jetty, your hotel representative should be there to pick you up, assuming that you have liaised with the hotel prior. If not, the island is very small and you can get to your hotel probably within 5 to 10 minutes. You can simply ask the locals for directions as many of them speak decent English. We stayed at the Velana Beach Hotel, which is a fantastic boutique hotel that is just a 5-minute walk from the jetty.
Speedboat or Ferry?
We highly recommend taking the speedboat to Maafushi Island as it was a super comfortable and fast ride for us. Our speedboat had cushy seats and was quite spacious because all the passengers’ luggage were kept beneath the boat. Therefore, even though we had to pay a premium, we felt that the price was entirely worth it for the comfort and efficiency.
This article is part of our completely free and fantastic Ultimate Maafushi Travel Guide. Why spend days researching when all your holiday information is simply a click away? 🙂