No Plain Plane!
Having arrived in the Maldives after a very long flight I was unenthused by the prospect of another flight to be transferred to my resort. I could not have been more wrong, however, as it turned out to be the most exciting and scenic taxis rides of my life!
The seaplanes in the Maldives are not just a mode of transport, but are an experience in themselves.
Having had no previous encounters with these small planes I had no idea what the journey would entail, however, once I was looking down upon the turquoise ocean, scattered with dark coral reefs and white sandy beaches, it was clear I was in for an exciting trip!
The plane takes off from a small jetty just a few minutes away from the international airport at Male, the country’s capital, and can last between 15minutes to just over an hour, depending upon which resort you are going to. From take off they remain low flying, giving their passengers spectacular panoramic birds eye views of the lagoons and islands scattered across the ocean: a view you will never get bored off.
The plane will usually land a short distance away from the shore, where you will be welcomed by a member of your resort, in a boat, to escort you the last few meters to land. A few seaplanes, however, will take you right up to the water’s edge and drop you off directly onto the beach in front of your hotel. Not all hotels in the Maldives organise a plane transfer, some preferring speedboats as their mode of transport. If this is the case do not fear as ‘photo flights’ or recreational flights are available for private charter from some of the hotels
When planning your trip, you should be aware that seaplanes only operate during day-light hours, so if your flight arrives after sunset and before dawn, you may have to spend the night in neighbouring Male, before catching your sea taxi the following morning. Be sure to grab one of the window seat if you can, preferably one in the front few rows, as they offer the clearest views, hence get the best views of the entire plane (unless, of course, you are the pilot!). Bags are stored in the back, so don’t forget to take out your camera before they are placed away, so you don’t miss out on getting some unbelievable photos!
A seaplane transfer truly is the best way to travel around the archipelago, giving you a real idea of the unique layout of this spectacular country.