Tuesday, February 22, 2011

And people like visiting here?

I have been checking out various requirements and restrictions for entering the Maldives -- prepping for our arrival there around the first week of March.  The following is posted on under Customs regulations for the Maldives:

'Prohibited imports are:- pornographic material; materials deemed contrary to Islam, including "idols for worship" and bibles; pork and pork products; and alcohol.'

And under health:

'Dengue fever is endemic.
Vaccinations for Hepatitis A and B, Tetanus, Typhoid and a booster for polio are recommended.
Yellow fever certificates are required if arriving from an infected area.'

As for the first restriction, we don't have a Bible onboard so that won't be a problem.  Actually wish we did have both a Bible and a Koran onboard as I would like to study both.   And we are doing our best to consume all the frozen pork before arriving in Male.   Alcohol might be a problem, but surely that can be bonded as I don't want to throw out our limited selection of wine.  Trying to consume much of that prior to arrival as well, and thoroughly enjoying doing so.

Which brings us to the "idols for worship."  I'm thinking they mean things like crucifixes and rosaries, or even just plain crosses.  That's okay; we are not carrying any of those either.  However, I do have a little tabletop God of Peace statue carved from wood from the Kingdom of Tonga.   This little statue was a gift from a grandmother in exchange for the cartons of UHT milk I gave for her grandchildren when we were in Vava'U.   Surely the Muslims won't get upset over a little South Polynesian carved statue.  I will leave it on the table in full view when we clear in and hope it does cause any ire.  I find this all so very silly.

And how do you like those health warnings!  We have the standard yellow International Health Card which reflects all our immunizations -- with all boosters up to date.   These warnings make Maldives sound like a place that should be avoided, rather than the ultra-expensive resort area that it is supposed to be today.  Why would anyone, no matter how rich they are, want to spend thousands of dollars per night for a hotel room in an area that is so unhealthy?  I must be missing something about the desirability of travel to this country.

To clear into the Maldives will cost $680 USD.  The breakdown is:   $400 for a 30-day cruising permit, $200 agent fee, $60 for a boat to come out and meet us before entering the channel (mandatory) and $20 port fee.  If a yacht takes on additional crew members or discharges any crew in the Maldives, that costs an additional $20 per person.   If the transport ship is delayed and we end up having to stay in the Maldives 31 days instead of 30, then we must purchase another $400 cruising permit.  And, yes, the cruising permit is mandatory even though we will be sitting at anchor in one place during our entire stay in the Maldives.  One of the boats being transported even offered to stay on his boat the entire time, flying the Quarantine flag, if they would exempt him from the cruising permit.  Nope; it is $400 for each 30 day period just for having your boat in Maldives waters.

NOTE:  Each yacht must also have a de-ratting certificate.  Or pay a fee to obtain one after arrival.  I can only imagine what that would entail.  Thank goodness, we already have such a certificate.

Others we know in the Maldives now have told us that going ashore to the resorts normally costs $50 per person per day just to land your dinghy.  One resort wanted $200 per person per day just for the privilege of stepping on their land.  And one resort uses midnight as the dividing time between days -- so if you anchor overnight for 1 night only, you still must pay for 2 days.

Does any of this sound inviting?  Not in my book.  We would not be going there if the transport ship did not require us to do so.

The Maldives are supposed to be beautiful.  And obviously this country is actively discouraging cruising yachts from visiting.

BTW, the shipping contract is signed and submitted and the invoice is paid.  Still waiting to learn the name of the ship that will be transporting S/V BeBe to the Med next month.

1 comment:

  1. Not inviting at all! I does seem that they are discouraging cruisers. So glad that you've decided on having s/vBeBe transported.


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