Maldives Diving Essentials

Some worldly-wise travel advice to make your trip effortless.

Getting Here: A quick one-hour hop by air from Trivandrum (South India) or Colombo (Sri Lanka), and just a four-hour flight from Singapore or from Dubai, Maldives is truly an escape to paradise. Located on Hulhulé Island, adjacent to the capital island, Malé International Airport (code: MLE) is the gateway to Maldives. Arriving guests are greeted by a Manthiri escort who facilitates transfer to our boat.

Passport and Visa: Arrival could not be any easier — while a valid passport or travel document, current to the departure date, is required for entry, visitors don’t need to arrange for visas. A 30-day tourist visa is issued on arrival at the Malé airport. To smooth entry and exit, we strongly advise that the name on the air ticket tally with that on the passport, to avoid delay at the Immigration counter or any travel restrictions.

Health: Maldives is remarkably safe, sunburns and falling coconuts are among the few indigenous health hazards. If you have a preferred brand of sunscreen and insect spray, add it to your suitcase as a limited selection is available on the islands. Happily, the country is free of malaria, yellow or dengue fever or any other plague, so a Certificate of Inoculation is required only if arriving from endemic regions of the world.

Safety Standards: Manthiri’s construction meets every safety standard of the Ministry of Transport and Coast Guard. Smoke detectors in every cabin and key areas, an updated alarm system and an ample supply of extinguishers secure the boat. Exiting the boat is made simple with options like the main stairway, an emergency exit to the main deck, and a back-up exit ladder.

Safety is a primary concern on both of our vessels, so oxygen and essential first aid needs, although rarely needed, are handy on both vessels. Maldives is a renowned dive destination, so a recompression chamber and a hyberbaric doctor are handily accessible in some key holiday resorts, namely Bandos Island in North Malé Atoll, Kuramathi in North Ari Atoll, and Kureddu further north in Fadippolhu Atoll.

Customs: What to leave behind? Some items are strictly prohibited, so do not attempt to import narcotics, firearms, pornographic literature or pictures, or idols of worship (indigenous religious practices make this disrespectful). Importing liquor is also prohibited so, although alcohol purchased before arrival may be left for collection at the airport, it’s best not to pack any. Manthiri is well-provided with excellent wines, included with dinner; guests also may purchase beer and liquor on board. Export of tortoise shell and coral is illegal, to protect natural resources.

Weather & Clothing: There’s a reason Maldives is a year-round resort location. Weather is uniformly lovely and mild, which makes packing as simple as tossing some shorts, t-shirts, beach shoes and a swimsuit into your overnight bag. Casual options are all you’ll need at nearly every island here, with some modest items, such as a skirt or below-knee shorts and shoulder covering for ladies, suggested for visits to the capital and smaller villages. Bring along a light sweater for sea breezes for those starry evenings on deck.

Gear: Visitors who prefer traveling light may rent quality SCUBA gear right on Manthiri.

The best tip of all? Relax and let us take care of you!