Superyachts flock to Maldives as restrictions lifted

Original article: Super Yachts, Photos by: TTR Weekly
The exquisite cruising grounds of the Maldives are open for superyachts. Since lifting COVID-19 restrictions, the Maldives has attracted a number of foreign-flagged superyachts into its waters, enticed by the prospect of once again enjoying this fantastic yachting destination.
Asia Pacific Superyachts’ Director for the Maldives, Mohamed Hameed, has revealed the success of the Maldives’ reopening. Ebony Shine and Blue Shadow are two superyachts currently enjoying the Maldives, while an impending influx of vessels will include 74.5m Amels superyacht Lady E, 107m Andromeda, and 97m Vava II.
Mr Hameed also revealed that many other superyachts are enquiring about heading to the Maldives, and so the influx is set to continue. So why has the Maldives become such a haven for superyachts at the moment? Mohamed Hameed quoted one Captain as stating: “For the time being it sounds like the Maldives would be one of the easiest destinations for the yacht and guests to visit! Many other countries require quarantine periods and still limit various nationalities in general.”
The easing of restrictions and regulations has encouraged many superyachts to head to the Maldives earlier in the season, and so one can expect a hive of yachting and charter activity come the start of the season. Superyacht are helped even more by a substantial reduction in fees to enter the Maldives, making it much more attractive as a stopover for yachts making an Indian Ocean crossing or even those looking for longer term berthing.
Entry into the Maldives is a simple and relatively seamless process compared to other destinations, with arrivals and departures taking an estimated 30 to 45 minutes in process time. Hameed said that “the process is usually smooth as we guide the Captain/Crew with constant clear communication day and night. We ensure that all formalities and documents are in place prior to these proceedings.” As with most destinations, entry to the Maldives is subject to a Negative PCR result being shown, and both crew and guests will need to take the test 72 hours before departure for the Maldives.
Guests can be assured of a safe and secure stay in the Maldives, as the country was awarded a Safe Travels Stamp. By the World Travel & Tourism Council, the first ever global safety and hygiene stamp for Travel & Tourism. The Safe Travels Stamp has been designed in response to COVID-19 and is granted by the World Travel & Tourism Council for countries implementing enhanced health and safety measures.
Superyachts are then free to explore the exceptional cruising grounds of the Maldives hassle free, with the only restrictions being against going ashore to local inhabited islands. Mohamed Hameed explains, “Resort visits are based on individual permissions from respective resort managements, etc. There are plenty of exciting activities for guests to experience while in Maldives – going ashore to uninhabited islands, sandbanks, and other recreational activities on open water – such as diving, snorkelling, fishing, water sports etc.”
It is easy to see why so many superyachts are taking the opportunity to head to the Maldives, and a return to adventures on the water will be welcomed by many who have had to wait over the last months. The upcoming season in the Maldives is certain to be a busy and exciting one.
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