Conrad Maldives Seaplane Transfer Review

Conrad Maldives Seaplane Review

All Customers staying at the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island use a Seaplane as the transfer to and from the resort.The Conrad Maldives Seaplane Transfer takes approximately 40 mins from Male seaplane departure port to Rangali island in total.

Before departing the Seaplane Port, all guests staying on Rangali island receive Complimentary Conrad Lounge access at Male Airport. The Lounge is very welcomed after a long flight from London for us and introduced us to the start of our Conrad Maldives experience in Luxury – Read our Full Review of the Conrad Male airport Lounge by clicking here > CONRAD MALDIVES MALE AIRPORT LOUNGE

Conrad Male Airport Lounge

We only waited approx 45 x minutes in the Luxurious Conrad Lounge before a staff member made us aware that our transfer was ready to the Seaplane Port / Dock. We quickly got all our personal belongings together and was handed a complimentary Tote bag each containing two bottles of water, earplugs and some information documents. The water came in very handy on the hot seaplane journey.

Conrad Maldive male airport mini bus transfer to the Seaplane Port.
Mini Bus transfer from Lounge to Seaplane

What appeared only a few minutes on a transfer mini bus we arrived at the Seaplane Port. To be honest, it would of probably been quicker to walk from the lounge to the departure port but the Conrad look after all guests very well so prefer to transport all guests at every opportunity.

When you exit the transfer bus directly outside the Seaplane Port, you enter through closed doors into an air-conditioned waiting area where you wait In-line for your Seaplane departure allocation. There were seats in the waiting area but were all taken when we arrived so we waited in a queue for approximately 5 minutes. 

After about five minutes, a Staff member of the Port waves you on in the direction of your Seaplane Dock zone and off you go…

Conrad Maldives Seaplane port air conditioned building.
View of the waiting area – Seaplane Port

Outside the seaplane waiting zone was very hot and sunny and sunglasses definitely required. We walked down a wooden Jetty in a long queue of passengers passing lots of Parked up Maldivian air Seaplanes.

All Seaplanes have individual parking zones in the dock. The air is filled with the sounds of Propellors and the tinge in the air of diesel fumes. Whilst walking along the wooden jetty walkway we viewed a Seaplane coming into land on the water in the distance which is an exciting moment as we felt our dream Maldives experience was really about to start now.

Your luggage is transported for you to the Seaplane so once again all the little details are taken care of by Conrad for all guests.

Transmaldivian seaplane port jetty to awaiting seaplane.
Conrad Guests making their way to the Seaplane

As you arrive at your allocated Transmaldevian Seaplane, you wait In line while passengers make their way up a small set of steps into the Cabin. One of the Transmaldevian aircrew help you up the small set of steps into the planes rear cabin.

This rear door is the only entrance and exit on the plane. You have to duck your head down when your at the top of the steps in order to not bump your head.

All seats are on Transmaldevian Seaplanes are unallocated, so first come, first serve. No Business Class or V.I.P treatment here…

The Transmaldivian Seaplanes are small and probably can only transport about 18 – 20 passengers at a time. The Cabin felt humid, slightly cramped and the seats a little bit uncomfortable with two seats per side of the centre aisle. These minor points are quickly forgotten as this is part of the Maldives experience, to travel in a Seaplane to an amazing resort.

View of Transmaldivian seaplane pilots perparing for take off.

We were one of the last passengers to board the Seaplane, by the time we boarded there were only a few seats left towards the front of the Seaplane. 

We strongly recommend if you experience a Transmaldivian Seaplane to try to board the seaplane first as you can choose which seats you prefer, we would strongly recommend the rear seats of the cabin.

The Cabin is not air-conditioned, the only form of cooling within the interior are two small fans located near the ceiling at the front of the cabin pointing towards the rear of the cabin. If you sit at the front you get very little cooling as the fans are set up high and the air flow makes its way above you to the back.

If you manage to be seated towards the rear of the cabin, you receive more of the cooling airflow at the back, we also found it quieter towards the rear of the cabin.

Your luggage is stored at the rear of the cabin in full view of all passengers. Your luggage is secured in using securing ropes and a Transmaldevian crew member sits at the rear of the cabin next to your luggage for the entire journey.

The Pilots ran through a Series of Pre-Flight checks while the engines are running. This is noisy and you do start to smell the engines revving up. Lots of the passengers at this point put in their supplied earplugs.

As we were seated at the front of the cabin, we could view for the entire journey how the pilot’s operate the controls of the seaplane as there are no door to the Cockpit. The pilot’s uniform comprised off shorts and short sleeved pilot shirts and customary Sunglasses.

After about 10 x minutes off pre-flight checks and safety briefing by the Co-pilot, we started to slowly move away from the jetty zone and out into the main waters of the Port. At this point the engines died down whilst we awaited for another Seaplane to take off in view which was exciting to see through the small Windows of the cabin.

Whilst the other Seaplane was taking off, suddenly our engines burst into action, running faster then we started to make our way to the water runway area slowly at first. Then the engines revs dropped down again and it felt like we were just coasting along awaiting approval to take off. Then suddenly again, the engines burst into action, propellors rotating at full speed and we started to gain speed and a few minutes later we were facing the direction of take off.

Without stopping this time we moved across the water slowly at first picking up speed and then faster, with lots of cross checking going on by the co-pilot we gained speed and after a minute or two later the Seaplane started to lift off the water. At last we were finally taking off with everyone looking out of the windows pointing towards the port.

Transmaldivian Seaplane window view of islands below.
View from my window of small atolls /  islands below

The Conrad Seaplane transfer takes approximately 40 x minutes to reach Rangali Island. I believe that some seaplane transfers to Rangali can stop off at resorts before your final destination. We were happy to be flying direct and no Stop off’s this time for us.

For about 10 x mins into the journey we appeared to fly at fairly low altitude, this allowed us to view small islands, fishing boats and even sharks In detail. Then the Seaplane ascended to a higher altitude for the next 20 x mins or so.

View of shallow sea on sepalne
Shallow Sea Views / Coral Reefs from the window

We then descended again for the last 10 x mins of our flight. We could see more, small uninhabited islands, coral reefs and lagoons and shoals of fish. Most passengers after about 20 minutes had accustomed themselves to the seaplane journey and started to chat and take lots of pictures.

At the next point in the journey after about 35 minutes, our Seaplane banked right. We were now in view of our destination – Rangali Island. The plane appeared to bank round to the right again giving us a breath-taking view of the entire island/s, it really is a truly beautiful location what we viewed before us.

Rangali island walkway spanning between both Islands.
View of the walkway spanning the two islands

The seaplane started to descend and we were getting closer and closer to landing on the water. You could almost feel The excitement in the cabin at this point.

The landing of the Seaplane was very smooth with no bumps on the water at all. Our Seaplane then turned towards the Rangali walkway spanning the two islands and further round to come into dock.

What we observed from our window seats were the Conrad Hosts all lined up on the dock waiting to greet us. This was a first for us, to be greeted by waving Conrad hosts was an introduction to the impeccable service we received during our stay.

Rangali island Conrad Hosts greeting you.
Conrad Hosts waiting for you at the Rangali seaplane Dock.

You are assisted off the Seaplane by the Transmaldivian staff members and your Personal host is awaiting you on the Jetty. After a quick introduction by your host, we were escorted to a to an air-conditioned area on the walkway and handed a cooling iced drink.

Your luggage is taken off the Seaplane for you and transported by buggy to the main islands reception area.

Our personal host greeted us by our name with a friendly smile and inquired how our Seaplane journey experience was for us. They took our hand luggage and carried this to the main reception area for us walking along the walkway which spans between the two island’s. 

The Conrad reception area is located at the end of the wooden walkway on the main island. When you arrive at reception your host finds you a set of chairs to sit on whilst explaining details of the facilities on the two island’s and arranges for staff members to take your luggage to your allocated room. 

After about 5 minutes, we were informed by our host that our room was ready at which point your escorted by buggy right to the front door of your allocated villa.

Verdict / Opinion:

The Conrad Maldives Seaplane journey is truly an experience from the minute you step aboard, to the minute you exit. Some of the views from the window of the Seaplane are simply breathtaking and made the journey for us unforgettable.

Yes, the Seaplane could have better facilities like decent air conditioning. Yes, the seats could have been more comfortable but this is a Seaplane and we would imagine most Seaplanes are the same and basic in design.

We believe there are plans to install air conditioning to some Transmaldivian seaplanes now which would be a great benefit to all passengers.

The cost per person, return is currently $590 + taxes, expensive but this is the Maldives!

To visit the Maldives, most resorts are only accessible by Seaplane but by flying this way, this just adds to the entire excitement & experience of the Maldives.

If you ever get the chance to experience a Seaplane, you won’t regret it…

Have you ever experienced the Transmaldivian Seaplane journey, we would live to hear your thoughts & comments below.

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