Male to Thulusdhoo Ferry

How to Go from Malé to Thulusdhoo Speedboat & Ferries

Our trip from Malé to Thulusdhoo takes us into a different sector for the Maldives public ferries that we’re using.  This means a different ferry to use and different pricing, but it’s still the same pretty darned cheap all the same.  Thulusdhoo is in the Dhiffushi sector for the Maldives public ferries, and as an island, it’s the most popular island for surfers in the Maldives.  Us?  We’re here for a couple of days to explore and see what this is like compared to the other islands we’ve visited. Here’s our guide on how to go from Male to Thulusdhoo.


We arrived back in Malé after a fabulous resort island trip to Malahini (you can read about our experiences on this resort island here) and now we were heading back to the local islands on our Maldives Itinerary.

We’re exploring to the east now, so far we’ve visited Maafushi and Fulidhoo, but our route is now taking us to Thulusdhoo and Dhiffushi.  So here’s our guide on going from Malé to Thulusdhoo.



Book a speedboat from Male to Thulusdhoo here

You can book a speedboat from Male to Thulusdhoo here and get there in 30 minutes! The speedboat leaves from the airport.

Where is Thulusdhoo?

Thulusdhoo Island is in the Kaafu Atoll of the Maldives, it’s in the same group of islands as Dhiffushi (and I wrote about getting from Malé to Dhiffushi Island).  Thulusdhoo is 30 kilometers (18.64 miles) from Malé’s international airport.

As one of the 1,192 islands in the Maldives, Thulusdhoo is one of the 187 that are inhabited.  It lies within the Malé – or Kaafu Atoll, the same as Dhiffushi and Maafushi. It is the only Maldives island with a Coca-Cola factory on it though! You can read more about reasons to visit Thulusdhoo in our guide here.

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How to Go from Malé to Thulusdhoo – Transport Options

In this guide on how to go from Malé to Thulusdhoo, we’ll cover the fastest way to travel from Malé to Thulusdhoo, the easiest way to go to Thulusdhoo from Malé, and the cheapest way to get to Thulusdhoo from Malé.  While you can go from Malé to Thulusdhoo, you can also go directly from Malé Airport (aka Velana Airport – VIA) to Thulusdhoo.  However, if you want to do this, go directly I mean, then you’ll need to take a speedboat as the public ferry to Thulusdhoo from Malé only goes from Malé itself, not the airport.

As the public ferry system does NOT operate on Fridays, you’ll need to plan around this, if you are thinking of taking the public ferry from Malé to Thulusdhoo. If you’re thinking of taking the Maldives public ferries anywhere, then you should read our Maldives public ferry guide.  Read it carefully.

Malé to Thulusdhoo Speedboat

While the public ferry takes about 2 hours to go from Malé to Thulusdhoo, a speedboat takes just 30 minutes.  And if you’re traveling on a Friday this is your only option. 

Malé to Thulusdhoo Speedboat Timetable

There are speedboats to Thulusdhoo from Malé at 09:20, 12:20, 16:30, and 22:15.  Note these timetables change with the season and also if international flight schedules change.    There is a different timetable for Fridays, when they leave Malé at 09:20, 16:20 and 22:15

You can check times and availability on speedboats from Male to Thulusdhoo here.

These speedboats leave from both the airport AND Malé.  The best way to book these speedboats in 2024 is with your hotel in Thulusdhoo, they will ensure that you’re picked up.  You will need to pay them CASH for the speedboat, unless you book online.  They will take both US dollars and Maldivian Rufiyaa.

Thulusdhoo to Malé Speedboat Timetable

If you’re traveling in the opposite direction from Thulusdhoo to Malé then speedboats go at 08:00, 10:30, 14:30 and 19:30.  This is the timetable for all days except Friday.  On Fridays this changes to 08:00, 15:00 and 19:30

Malé to Thulusdhoo Speedboat Cost

The cost of the speedboat from Malé to Thulusdhoo is U$30 per person.  If you book via your hotel, then you’ll need to pay cash. If you book online here, then you can pay with a card.

Malé to Thulusdhoo Ferry

The cheapest way to go Thulusdhoo from Malé is to take the public ferry and you must buy a ticket first.  It is only once you are on the other islands that you buy ferry tickets on the boat.  Here in Malé, you need to buy them at the ticket counter at the Malé ferry terminal.  It’s easy to find.  I’ve marked it on the map below. 

To see whether using the public ferry to get to Thulusdhoo works for you, here’s the timetable for the Malé to Thulusdhoo Public Ferry.

Malé to Thulusdhoo Ferry Timetable

There is one public ferry a day (and this runs every day, apart from Friday) that goes from Malé to Thulusdhoo.  It’s REALLY important to note that this ferry does NOT run on a Friday. 

The timetable for the 308 ferry from Malé to Thulusdhoo is as follows:

ALL DAYS APART FROM Friday:  Leaves Malé at 14:30 and arrives at Thulusdhoo at 16:00

You can find the MTCC public ferry timetables here.   Your first read of it will be confusing, so don’t leave it until the last minute.  Read the public ferry timetable in conjunction with our guide to Maldives public ferries.

Thulusdhoo to Malé Ferry Timetable

Going in the opposite direction there is one public ferry a day and it leaves Thulusdhoo at 07:10 and arrives in Malé at around 08:40.  Actually it departs from Dhiffushi at 06:30 and that’s the only time to count on.  Ours arrived at Thulusdhoo late by about 15 minutes, despite leaving Dhiffushi on time.  We arrived in Malé at about 09:10.

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Buying tickets for the Malé to Thulusdhoo Public Ferry

You need to buy a ticket before you can get on the ferry to Thulusdhoo.  The ticket office is inside the MTCC Ferry Terminal building and the ticket sellers sit behind glass. 

If you’ve arrived from the airport on the ferry, then you need to exit the ferry terminal FIRST, turn left, and then enter from the street.

Just tell the ticket seller that you’re going to Thulusdhoo, hand over your cash take your ticket, and wait in the waiting room.

That’s right.  You’ll need cash for this ferry ticket.  Read our guide to cash, ATMS, and paying for things in the Maldives.  There is an ATM on Thulusdhoo, so you’ll be able to top up your cash reserves when you arrive.

Public Ferry tickets from Male to Thulusdhoo
Public Ferry tickets from Malé to Thulusdhoo

There is an online alternative for buying the public ferry ticket from Malé to Thulusdhoo – and that’s here via Bookaway.   It is a LOT more expensive than buying the ticket in person.  I’m mentioning it only as an alternative.

Malé to Thulusdhoo Ferry Cost

Tickets from Malé to Thulusdhoo on the public ferry cost 22MVR per person.  You’ll get a ticket that you need to hand to the boat crew as you board.  Until then just sit in the waiting room.  (there’s no A/C there but there are fans).

Waiting room Male Ferry Terminal
Waiting room Malé Ferry Terminal

Boarding the Malé to Thulusdhoo Public Ferry

You’ll be able to board the ferry to Thulusdhoo about 15 minutes before departure time.  And the crew will announce it.  There are no designated seats on these ferries, it’s first come first served, but you will have to line up to get on, they don’t like a scrum!

There’s no power charging here, so you’ll want to make sure you’re charged up before you get here – my guide to power adapters for the Maldives is here.

Hand over your ticket as you board the ferry.  Store your bags where indicated by the crew (at the back on some boats and at the front on others).  I *think* it’s at the back on this boat.

I’d advise picking a seat on the “non-sunny side” of the ferry and finding one with a window that opens.

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Arriving in Thulusdhoo on the Public Ferry

As you come towards Thulusdhoo (there are a couple of stops on the way at Himmafushi and Huraa), then one of the crew will yell out where you are coming into and they have a handy sign as well.

Signs approaching Thulusdhoo on the ferry
Signs approaching Thulusdhoo on the ferry

If you’ve bought a Maldives SIM either online or at the airport, then you’ll be able to track your progress, as there’s a mobile data signal pretty much all the way here from Malé.

The best option for data connections here in the Maldives is an eSIM, which you can buy here – it means you’ll be connected from the moment you get off the plane.

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Private Speedboat from Malé to Thulusdhoo

If you’re in a group of 8 or more, then you should ask your hotel about a private charter.  These usually cost around US$200 to go from Malé to Thulusdhoo

How to go from Malé Airport to Thulusdhoo

If you’re not in Malé City, or planning to go there, but arriving at the airport and planning to go straight to Thulusdhoo, then you don’t need to go to Malé.    You can arrange for the speedboat to pick you up at the airport.

The easiest way to confirm that you’ll get a seat on this speedboat is to book it with the hotel that you’re staying at in Thulusdhoo, but you’ll have to pay for it at the hotel with cash (either US Dollars or Maldivian Rufiyaa).

If you arrive in the Maldives on a Friday and want to travel directly to Thulusdhoo, then you have no choice, you’ll need to take a speedboat.

Malé Airport to Thulusdhoo Speedboat Timetable

There are several different companies that run speedboats to Thulusdhoo from Malé Airport, times differ depending on the day of the week, but there are usually 4 speedboats a day available for this route.  The speedboat to Thulusdhoo from Malé Airport takes about 30 minutes.  Currently there are speedboats from the airport to Thulusdhoo at 09:30, 12:30, 16:40, and 22:25.  (It’s 10 minutes after they’re due to depart from Malé).

There is a different timetable for Fridays, when they leave the airport at 09:30, 16:30 and 22:25.

Speedboats to Thulusdhoo from Malé Airport leave about 15 meters from the airport ferry ticket booth, but your guide will take you to the right boat.

Thulusdhoo to Malé Airport Speedboat Timetable

In the opposite direction you’ll find speedboats going from Thulusdhoo to the airport at 08:00, 10:30, 14:30 and 19:30.  Check with your hotel for current times.

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Malé Airport to Thulusdhoo Public Ferry

If you arrive at the airport and have time to make the public ferry to Thulusdhoo, then you’ll need to get to the Malé ferry terminal first.

Malé Airport to Malé City Public Ferry

Here’s my guide on getting from Malé Airport to Malé City but here’s the high-level information

  1. All public ferries in the Maldives are CASH only – unless you book them via Bookaway here (and yes that makes them a LOT more expensive)
  2. Leave the airport arrivals, carefully cross the road, and turn left.
  3. After about 30 meters (100 feet) you’ll see the ticket booth for the Airport Ferry
  4. Buy your 15 MVR ticket in cash and wait for the ferry
  5. The airport ferry runs every 15 minutes during the day and takes 15 minutes.
  6. This ferry takes you to the MTCC Ferry Terminal on Malé Island, which is where ferries from Malé leave to go to Thulusdhoo.

About the Public Ferry from Malé to Thulusdhoo

The boats that run this service are large, usually wooden Dhows.  They’re clean, but the engines don’t sound particularly good.  All the ferries we traveled on had windows that opened.  Most had curtains against the sun at the windows. 

Seats on the Maldives ferries were either wooden benches or plastic seats.  I didn’t see any of them broken, they were all functional.

Each ferry has several members of staff and they’re all usually wearing something with the logo of the ferry company – the MTCC – on it.  If you buy a ticket onboard (which you do when you’re starting at any island other than Malé), then you’ll get the ticket that has the price on it.  It’s cash only.

Arriving on Thulusdhoo Island

All boats arrive on Thulusdhoo Island in the same place, that’s the harbor in Thulusdhoo, which looks and feels like it’s the middle of nowhere.  There’s a waiting area.  I’d arrange with your hotel to collect you (on the Maldives’ local islands they usually do).  Here on Thulusdhoo, it’s quite a way from where the ferry (and speedboats) arrive and where most of the accommodation is.

We stayed at the Batuta Surf View (ask for the room with the view, and not the view of the stairs that we got), it’s in a great location and provides a SUPER breakfast.

Our visit to Thulusdhoo was part of our 2 week long trip to the Maldives, you can read about that itinerary and how we put it together here.

Map of Ferry Jetties for going from Malé to Thulusdhoo

You can also see full map of the ferry jetties here.

Map of How to Go from Malé to Thulusdhoo

The quickest way to get from Malé to Thulusdhoo

The quickest way to go to Thulusdhoo from Malé (or Malé Airport) is to take a speedboat and you can book your ticket here.

The easiest way to go to Thulusdhoo from Malé

The easiest way to get from Malé to Thulusdhoo is to take a speedboat.  It gets you there quicker and there are more timetabled speedboats than public ferries available.

The cheapest way to go from Malé to Thulusdhoo

The cheapest way to get to Thulusdhoo from Malé is to take the public ferry.  You will need to take a public ferry from the airport to the MTCC Terminal on Malé Island first.  There is only one public ferry a day, and you’ll need to pay cash for the public ferries.  You can alternatively buy the ticket online, this works out quite a lot more expensive than buying in person.  Check the prices here.  The public ferry to Thulusdhoo does NOT run on Fridays.

The best way to go from Malé to Thulusdhoo

If you’ve got the time (and if the timetable works for you), then the public ferry is a fabulous way to travel.   If you don’t, or if you arrive on a Friday, then you’ll need to take a speedboat.

Tips for Traveling the Maldives

Final Words on How to Go from Malé to Thulusdhoo

We had fun on this ferry in the Maldives.  It was comfortable, ran more or less on time and the sea state was flat, so we had no problems.  The public ferry on this route takes about 2 hours, if you’re in a hurry, or if you arrive at a time when the public ferry is not running (there is, after all, only one a day), then taking a speedboat from Malé to Thulusdhoo is your only option.

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