I need to take an international holiday. How is it possible, with no commercial flights? Do we have any destination which is welcoming Indian tourists to visit their country as tourists? and without any quarantine measures?
The answer to all of above is Maldives, your go-to destination in COVID-Era. You can travel to Maldives without quarantine, but with few important considerations:
- You get a free 30 day tourist visa on arrival.
- You need to stay at a single island resort, and cannot shift resorts during your duration of stay in Maldives.
- No quarantine or COVID testing for tourists arriving Maldives, unless they show symptoms. open link for full Q&A https://covid19.health.gov.mv/new-normal-measures-for-visiting-the-maldives/
- Testing services are available in the Maldives for tourists, as we need a -ve test report to be able to return back to India, without being subject to quarantine (as per new Govt. regulations). open link: https://www.mohfw.gov.in/pdf/RevisedguidelinesforInternationalArrivals02082020.pdf
Maldives is well-prepared and have issued a detailed document which provides guidance on public health measures to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 in the tourism sector. open link https://covid19.health.gov.mv/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/Public-health-interventions-to-reduce-the-risk-of-transmission-of-COVID-19-in-the-tourism-sector-Version-3.pdf
Next question is how do I travel? Answer is to charter your own Private Jet which can fly you directly from India to Male Velana International Airport (or an alternate island airport closest to your resort of stay), with minimum exposure and utmost comfort.
Private charter operators based in India like JetSetGo https://jetsetgo.in/ offer solutions to cater to your requests and can offer aircraft’s of varying sizes depending on your group size.
Once at the airport you will avail VIP fast-track services which will help you breeze through immigration and priority luggage, with lounge access, ensuring minimal possible exposure.
Thereafter you are Welcomed by your resort team, to transfer you to your Booked resort either in a Private Sea-Plane or a Private Yacht. It depends on your preference, and most importantly the location of your island resort from the arrival airport.
Where do I stay? I can recommend stay at either Soneva Fushi https://soneva.com/soneva-fushi or Soneva Jani https://soneva.com/soneva-jani, as they are not only the top choice of Luxury Private Island Resort in the Maldives, they are also probably the most well prepared Resort in Maldives to welcome and look after their guests during the COVID-era travel, offering highest health and safety standards without compromising on the emotional and conscious experiences they have been delivering to their guests since it’s inception. open links https://soneva.com/sonevas-response-to-covid-19 and https://soneva.com/covid-19
Even though the Govt. of Maldives will not test you on arrival (unless ofcourse you show any symptoms), but Soneva will still test you to help protect other guests, and it’s own team against possible spread of the virus entering their private retreats. This I think is a very well thought out decision, which I fully support and respect.
Also to my amazement, in case the COVID-19 test result comes as POSITIVE, as an exclusive privilege, Soneva will immediately waive the daily room rate of the villa for the next 14 days and the only charges will be meals and other incidentals.
In addition Soneva has also partially funded opening of a COVID-19 Testing Centre at N. Maafaru Airport, which is the closest international airport to it’s resort Soneva Jani (15-mins by speed boat). open link https://edition.mv/news/17739
I see a major merit in recommending Soneva for your first COVID-Era visit to Maldives, with your group of family and friends, since Soneva has the perfect inventory of multi-bedroom (One to Nine bedroom) Luxury Villas, both beach and overwater, at it’s resorts in Soneva Fushi (maximum Nine-bedroom) and Soneva Jani (maximum Four-bedroom).
This offers you a very safe environment and creates a private bubble or a luxury cocoon for your family to enjoy during your stay in Maldives, limiting your exposure and at the same time offering you quality time with your loved ones.
Finally Soneva, also offers an opportunity to hire their Private 23-meter Yacht, Soneva in Aqua https://soneva.com/soneva-in-aqua for an overnight adventure or day tripping. It offers two spacious bedrooms with en-suite shower rooms and a glass-bottomed spa tub. The crew includes a Captain, Sous Chef, Mr Friday and Wellness Therapist, plus an expert Astronomer and Dive Master on request.
All this is combined with a bouquet of rare experiences of a lifetime at both Soneva properties in Maldives. Take a look at their Experiences brochure: open link https://soneva.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Soneva-Fushi-Experiences-Brochure-Feb-20_.pdf
Hire a Private Travel Designer: In the end, you can imagine to book a trip to Maldives in pre-COVID times like a breeze, with a few clicks on your computer, and ready to fly to enjoy the paradise. But in reality as it stands today, you need services of a professional Travel Designer, to manage, coordinate, plan and book all of above, someone who has local connections and ability to execute a seamless Journey for your family.
I can recommend using Private Travel Designers at Experiential Travel Journeys http://www.experientialtraveljourneys.com/ to help you plan your trip to Maldives. They are a Boutique Travel Design company based out of New Delhi, but can cater to clients from any part of India. They are also listed as one of the World’s Best Luxury Travel Designers by Traveller Made http://www.travellermade.com/, which is a Global network of Travel Designer Community.
– Amit Kalsi, Private Travel Designer