Asia-Pacific Islands Gradually Reopening

19 April 2021 By Staff Report
Courtesy of Asia Pacific Superyachts


Visas are now open to all nationalities as long as they fit some of the requirements, which are mainly for business travel but are open to yachts and their crew.

“Port quarantine restrictions widely vary from port to port and are still in flux,” says Capt. Thomas Taatjes of Asia Pacific Superyachts. “Yachts and their crew can enter with these visas and crew can also fly in. The maximum quarantine is five nights on board for yachts arriving and five nights at a hotel for fly-in crew joining the vessel.”

He says it’s relatively easy to enter Indonesia, especially when compared to other Asian countries. For those interested in more info, Asia Pacific Superyachts is available to provide info and have also been successful in making arrangements for speedy entry.


Beginning on April 20, tourists visiting the Maldives who have received the two doses of recommended vaccine two weeks before departing are not required to have a negative PCR test result. Prior to this, yachts/crew had to present a negative COVID-19 test on arrival, Mahamed Hameed of Asia Pacific Superyachts Maldives states in a press release. Sailors are categorized as crew and not tourists, so immigration issues crew 90-day visas on arrival instead of 30-day visas issued for tourists.

Clearance is issued electronically, and more details can be found here: Using an agent is mandatory in the Maldives and some protocols include: crew can go ashore at resorts and some islands after showing negative PCR test results, and it’s not permitted to visit all islands but some inhabited islands are open to crew, including Dharavandhoo Island in Baa Atoll, islands that have guest houses, and if there’s an airport. During the pandemic, agents have to arrange permission from the island council in advance if a visit is requested.

“Also benefiting yachts is a substantial reduction in fees to enter the Maldives, a decision made in April of 2020,” Hameed says. “This has helped to make the Maldives not only a superyacht favorite, but the reduced fee also provides a viable stopover for all yachts crossing the Indian Ocean as well as a convenient stop-over for yachts bound for either the Red Sea or en route via the Cape of Good Hope.”

While rules continue to be in a state of flux, be sure to contact your agent for the latest restrictions and regulations before departing for the Maldives. 

French Polynesia

The gradual reopening of The Islands of Tahiti will begin on May 1, the president of French Polynesia and the High Commissioner of the Republic in French Polynesia announced on April 15. It will first be extended to countries identified with “limited epidemic risk,” which for the time being concerns only the United States, according to the press release.

Travel from “countries with high epidemic risk” will remain restricted to health, family, or work reasons for the time being. The health situation in France and Europe does not allow for opening at this stage.

New travelers’ health protocol will take into account vaccinated travelers and those who are immunized. The new entry requirements are still being worked out but can be found on when they become available.