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New Year trip planner: Maldives

All nationalities receive a 30-day visa on arrival in the Maldives, provided they have a valid passport, an onward to ticket to continue the journey and a reservation at a tourist facility.

November 28, 2021 / 04:19 PM IST
(Representative image) Try night fishing in the Maldives. Resorts sometimes offer drinks on the house to the first person who catches a fish or the person who catches the most fish.

(Representative image) Try night fishing in the Maldives. Resorts sometimes offer drinks on the house to the first person who catches a fish or the person who catches the most fish.

Entry guidelines: All tourists should hold a valid negative PCR test result for Covid-19 with a sample taken at most 96 hours prior to embarkation at first port en route to the Maldives. This requirement is not mandatory for children below the age of one year.

- All tourists should hold a negative PCR test result, of a test taken within 72 hours of checking-out of a guesthouse from any inhabited island.

- Tourists who have received all the prescribed doses of a Covid-19 vaccine approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) for emergency use, and is listed in Emergency Use Listing (EUL) or by the Maldives Food and Drug Authority, and have completed 14 days (prior to date of arrival) will  be allowed to check-in at a guesthouse on any inhabited local island.

Also read: New Year's trip planner: Thailand

Visa: All nationalities receive a 30-day visa on arrival, provided they have a valid passport, an onward to ticket to continue the journey and a reservation at a tourist facility or enough funds to cover stay in the country.

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New Year Accommodation packages (includes New Year celebrations on property):

Thomas Cook India (www.thomascook.in):

Centara Ras Fushi: 4 nights, 5 days starting @ Rs 1,50,189 per adult. Includes 2 nights at Ocean Front Beach Villa and 2 nights at Deluxe Water Villa; Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner; Return airport transfers by speedboat from Male Airport, Resort Green Tax; Insurance Valid for 7 days up to the age of 60 years with the coverage of USD 50,000 (excluding US & Canada)

Sheraton Full Moon Resort & Spa: 4 nights, 5 days starting @ Rs 2,37,896 per adult. Available to book for all but has special Honeymoon inclusion for newly-weds.

SOTC (www.sotc.in):

Maldives Adaaran Club Rannalhi:  4 nights, 5 days starting @ Rs 88,454 per adult. Includes Full board basis meal plan, Return airport transfers by speed boat, Meet/Greet services on arrival & departure, Green Tax

Maldives Paradise Island Resort: 4 nights, 5 days starting @ Rs 1,72, 877 per adult. Includes among other things, Return airport transfers by speed boat and full board meal plan

Also read: New Year trip planner: Dubai

Must eat:

- Experience Keyn: This is one traditional/cultural food experience in which food is served in a large circular traditional tray with a lid inside in which there is enough food to feed a group of around 12 people. The food items in the Keyn include rice, curries, side dishes, salads, grilled meat, coconut cream, banana, rice and breadfruit puddings and delights. It is, quite literally, several courses served in a mini buffet tray.

- Garudhiya is a fragrant fish soup that is usually cooked using fish, water and salt. It is served with lime, rice, chilli and onions.

- Masroshi is a chapati, stuffed with smoked tuna and coconut

- Bis Keemiya is a pastry filled with tuna/hardboiled egg, sliced onions and gently sautéed, shredded cabbage

- Fried yams

- Gulha is bite-sized dumplings filled with tuna fish, onions, chilli and grated coconuts.

- Aluvi Boakibaa is a cassava and coconut cake

- Maldivian lady, a drink made of white rum skinned, apricot brandy, grenadine, orange and pineapple juice.

Also read: New Year trip planner: Seychelles

Thrill List:

- Flyboarding: Try flyboarding, an extreme sport that shoots you up into the air as you manoeuvre over the crystalline waves. The flyboard itself is strapped to the feet of the user, and is connected to a jet ski by a hose.

- Night fishing: Night fishing in the Maldives is a party all on its own. Resorts sometimes offer drinks on the house for the first person who catches a fish or the person who catches the most fish.

- Explore shipwrecks & other sunken treasures: The Maldives is the perfect destination to dive deep and explore shipwrecks, underwater caves, and other underwater tunnels. The Shipyard is one of the biggest dive attractions in Lhaviyani Atoll. There are two wrecks in this location both of which are covered with a variety of soft and hard corals.

- Skydiving: Put on your jumpsuit, strap on your goggles and just jump, if you can handle the thrill of falling 12,000 ft over water at speeds of 200 km/hr?

- Surfing: The peak season (April to October) is a favourite period amongst surfers visiting the Maldives. You can surf all year, though - there are liveaboards in Maldives specialising in visiting the best waves all-year round.

- Diving in North Male Atoll: The Maldives Victory Wreck is perhaps the most popular wreck dive in the atoll. Manta Point is famous for its mantas which gather at the site while Nassimo Thila has beautiful caves and coral formations, HP Reef is famous for its caves and crevices, and Banana Reef for its wealth of fish and sea life.

- Explore diving with South African freedive champion Beth Neale; @onebreathbeth on Instagram

Accommodation:

Accommodation options include resorts, hotels, liveaboards and guest houses. For details, visit: https://visitmaldives.com/en

For details about hotels/yachts in operation, check this: https://visitmaldives.s3.amazonaws.com/MwL786or/6qbneuf2.pdf

Taxes:

A Tourism Goods and Service Tax (TGST) of 12% is levied on all goods and services at tourist establishments. A Green Tax of US$ 6.00 per person per day is payable for guests staying at tourist accommodations except guest houses where the Green Tax is US$ 3.00 per person per day.

Domestic transfer: Speedboat transfer is the norm to resorts close to the International Airport. The rest is covered by seaplane or domestic flight. If you are travelling to Male, you can take a taxi from the airport. Several daily flights operate from Velana International Airport to the 12 domestic and international airports in the country. Scheduled ferries also operate from Male to several atolls.

Alcohol: Import of alcohol by individuals is not permitted. However, alcohol is available at all the resorts.

Mobile services: Prepaid SIM cards are available from two mobile service providers at the airport. These SIM cards can be used for local and international calls and for data.

Official website of Maldives Tourism: https://visitmaldives.com/
Preeti Verma Lal is a Goa-based freelance writer/photographer.
first published: Nov 28, 2021 04:14 pm
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