The traditional Maldivian boat is called Dhoni. An interesting feature with it is that it is steered by foot. The tiller can be lifted up when the Dhoni is not in use, thus preventing others from stealing it. Modern Dhonies have conventional rudders, and the helmsman’s position is moved forward for better forward vision. Dhonies are extensively used for public transport, for example between Male and the airport. It is cheap to rent a Dhoni for a daytrip or to travel beween islands. But it is slow and has wooden benches, so it is not comfortable for long journeys.
Cargo vessels are used for transportation of all kinds of goods between the islands.
Speedboats are faster than the Dhonies and are used by most resorts and as express service between Male and the major islands nearby. You save time, but youhave to pay more than for travelling with a Dhoni.
Upscale resorts are using yachts to transport their guests. You can also rent a yacht for your vacation in Maldives and sail from island to island. Depending on their size can they accommodate up to 30 guests. Many yacht operators offer dive tours.
Most tourists associate Maldives with seaplanes. There are two companies operating Twin Otter seaplanes from Hulhule, the island housing Male’s international airport: "Trans Maldivian Airways" (TMA) and "Maldivian". Seaplanes are more expensive than speedboats, but save you from a long boat ride and provide excellent views of the beautiful coral islands. On the backside are Twin Otters noisy (you get earplugs), not very spacious and without air condition.
Maldives has 10 airports, and more are under construction. Maldives has two domestic airline companies: "Maldivian" and "FlyMe". Most airports have 1200 meters long runways, only suitable for turboprop airplanes. "Maldivian" operates Dash-8 Q200 and Q300 with 37 and 50 seats respectively. "FlyMe" operates ATR 72 with 68 seats. The ATR is my workplace and the reason why I am in Maldives. These airplanes may not be as glamorous as the seaplanes, but they provide cheaper transportation with more comfort as they have pressurized cabin with air condition. They can also fly at night and in weather conditions leaving the seaplanes on the ground … sorry… on the sea. "FlyMe" also have a Cessna Caravan painted as a whale shark. It is based in Maamigili and used for sightseening flights.