Maldives, or bust?
February 7, 2012 4:37 PM   Subscribe

Should I cancel my March 16th dive trip to the Maldives?

I was planning to go scuba diving in the Maldives for a week and a half starting on March 16. With the recent unrest there I'm wondering if I should cancel. Unfortunately the trip is soon enough that under the cancellation policy I would forfeit the entire cost of the trip ($2K+). Remains to be seen if the tour company will offer any accomodations or exceptions in light of this week's events.

Anyone have any insight? It would be a boat trip, with two nights on land (one at a resort, which I have yet to book; the other on the boat after it docks). Some news accounts seem to suggest that tourists are insulated from the events, but on the other hand the situation on the mainland does sound pretty serious.

Suggestions for what to do if the tour company refuses to give me back any of my money also welcome.
posted by eugenen to Travel & Transportation around Maldives (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
There are no U.S. State Department Embassy Notices for travel restrictions or warnings related to the Maldives more recent than 2008.

Wikitravel similarly makes no note of dangerous travel conditions (compare to, say, the DRC).

It's likewise business as usual over at Thorn Tree, the Internet's best travel forum.

I'd say you're perfectly fine for traveling to the Maldives.
posted by mykescipark at 4:44 PM on February 7, 2012 [1 favorite]

The UK has issued an advisory about travel to Male, so US may soon follow suit.
posted by likeso at 4:54 PM on February 7, 2012 [1 favorite]

If waiting won't cost you more in cancellation fees, I'd wait. Things are a bit iffy in Male now, but March is a long way off and the government is transitioning back to essentially what it was in 2008, so it's not like it's a radically new regime coming into power.

Tourism is a huge part of the economy, and it's very unlikely that either side would want to mess with that. The airport isn't even on Male itself (though it's on the next-door island) and, depending on where you're headed, you might not even go there at all-- you could be taking a ferry or speedboat directly to whichever island.

One thing to note-- the US doesn't actually have an embassy or consulate in the Maldives. US consular and diplomatic functions are run through the embassy in Sri Lanka. So US consular warnings, etc. might be somewhat delayed or outdated.
posted by charmcityblues at 5:19 PM on February 7, 2012 [1 favorite]

Here's the UK advisory against travel to Malé island, which excludes Malé airport (which isn't on the island itself, as charmcityblues said) as a point of arrival or transit.
posted by holgate at 6:21 PM on February 7, 2012

Canadian consular officials haven't updated their travel report for the Maldives either. If I were you I'd still go.
posted by fso at 6:25 PM on February 7, 2012

Best answer: I come from the Maldives and most of the key figures involved in the recent events happen to be close family friends. The situation in the capital has calmed after the resignation of the former President. I recently read that travel advisories have been issued, but if you want my honest opinion : You have nothing to worry about. Go ahead with your dive trip.
I doubt that there will be fighting and the sort over the next few months. If you have any questions feel free to Message me and i'll gladly help you out.
posted by naskar at 12:14 AM on February 8, 2012 [1 favorite]

I went to the Maldives for my honeymoon, and we flew into the airport (not on Male), and flew from there straight to our resort island. I'd think you'd be totally fine. And the scuba diving is totally awesome, and definitely worth the trip!
posted by Grither at 3:52 AM on February 8, 2012

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