We were so lucky to be in the Maldives recently, the islands are so beautiful and it really is a magical tropical place to visit with white sand, incredible blue water and sky, palm trees and welcoming Maldivian hospitality.
While we were there we had the most exciting experience - our first time traveling in a seaplane! While there are many ways to get around the islands, our seaplane flight was definitely our favourite and added a little extra something to our trip!
Speedboat is easy and the cheapest way to move around if you’re staying somewhere nice and close to Male. You can get from Male to some islands in as little as 30 minutes, and boats to some of the local islands are as cheap as $25 - $30 per person which definitely helps if you’re doing a budget Maldives trip.
Maldivian Airlines is a really great domestic airline and travels between many islands. Usually a resort speedboat will then pick you up from the airport and take you to your island. Our flight attendant was so lovely and the airline served us snacks and water on our short flight with them to the Park Hyatt Maldives - and of course the views were amazing.
But our most favourite way of getting around was of course the Trans Maldivian Airways seaplane we took from Male to the Sun Siyam Iru Fushi resort. It was a huge thrill to have our very first ride in a seaplane and it set the tone for the fancy vibe of the exotic Maldives - you simply must arrive by seaplane dahlings!
After returning to Male from Thulusdhoo Island (our budget adventure) we were met by our friendly host and taken to check-in at the Trans Maldivian Airways counter. In fact, our awesome host handled that check-in for us while Emmie and I bolted over to grab a coffee for me and some Burger King for her. When we came back all the hard work was done and we were escorted to a courtesy car and driven to the Trans Maldivian terminal.
We waited for our connection in the lounge - it has beautiful big day beds to lounge on, a balcony overlooking the port, lovely fruit and snacks to eat and complimentary massages. It also has a KIDS ROOM with toys and games. When you see the attention to detail in the lounge you know you’re heading somewhere special. When the flight was ready to go we were escorted down to the gate and walked out onto the jetty to board the plane.
We’d been told the front seat is the best so we made sure we were the first out (hehe) and hopped into prime position.
The plane is small, on gliders and with two propellers and it boats its way out into Male Harbour before taking off across the water just like on land. It's so amazing as you rise up across the water and over the most incredible turquoise Male Harbour.
The captain and co pilot sit in quite a confined space that you can see into from your seats. I love these guys! They fly with bare feet, and there are so many buttons and knobs and bits and bobs to press and turn its fascinating watching them.
But you’ll spend more time watching out the window at the bluest blues and the amazing tiny circles of aqua spread out before you as far as you can see. It’s just spectacular, I cant tell you how amazing it is to see. You will just love watching the water and islands and it’s so hard to tear your eyes and camera away from the little windows and blue views outside.
Landings are very steep but not very bumpy. While it was sunny in Male when we left, our landing into Iru Fushi was during a storm as we couldn't land at the island, instead stopping at a pontoon about 20 minutes away where a resort speedboat picked us up.
Take off from Iru Fishi was from the island - there is a lounge out on the jetty where you wait with wifi and refreshments and once the pilot is ready passengers board and the seaplane takes off alongside the island.
We had a much less cloudy trip home and even though it was a bit stormy coming into Male the barefoot pilots are so cool and calm that I had no worries at all.
Riding in a seaplane was such an awesome experience! We loved it.