Maldives Association of Yacht Agency (MAYA) has revealed that nine cruise ships carrying 12,000 passengers will be arriving in the Maldives this year.
MAYA stated that the cruise industry is slowly recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic and that cruise ships have scheduled trips to the Maldives. As such, MAYA stated that nine cruise ships with capacities of 300-3,000 passengers will be arriving in the country and that the ships are expected to bring in 12,000 tourists based on their capacity.
In November last year, the first cruise ship arrived in the Maldives after the opening of the border following the COVID-19 lockdown in 2020. The ship from Malta arrived in the Maldives with 420 tourists. The second cruise ship arrived in December, carrying 688 tourists, and three more cruise ships arrived later that month, carrying 200-600 tourists each. In total, over 3,000 tourists arrived in the Maldives via cruise ships last year.
MAYA highlighted the challenges in bringing cruise ships to the Maldives, such as the guidelines banning entry and exit of vessels when or if a passenger tested positive for COVID-19. The agency cited other issues such as the lack of docking areas for cruise ships in Male’ and stated that it is holding discussions with the relevant authorities on developing a cruise terminal in Hulhumale’.