Thanks to the cordial relationship between India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Maldivian President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, a direct ferry from Kochi to Malé (the capital of Maldives) is on the cards. This is going to cause a great boost in tourism for both the countries; a ferry service to the Indian Ocean archipelago has always been every traveller’s dream.

While you can take approximately two hour flights from Mumbai or Kochi to Malé, going by water should be an experience unto itself. The distance between Kochi and Malé is around 700km, and between Kochi and Kulhudhuffushi (atoll in the Maldives) is 500km, and it’s being estimated that a modern day ferry will take somewhere around 24 hours to work the distance.

A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed between the two countries for the establishment of passenger and cargo services by sea. While we first heard the idea in 2011, it’s taken 8 long years for it to materialise. However, now that the ball has been set in motion, it won’t be long before you hop onto that ferry and visit the gorgeous tropical island.

It’s not surprising that Maldives is one of the most favourite holiday destinations for Indians, and India for Maldivians. Maldives is essentially made up of 26 ring-shaped atolls. It is a tropical paradise known for its stunning white-sand beaches, blue lagoons, unrivalled luxury resorts, an amazing underwater world and extensive reefs. What’s more, it’s connected to the local life too; the capital of Malé has a busy fish market, restaurants and shops on the main road, and gorgeous 17th-century mosques made of carved white coral.

Whether you are a backpacker, a luxury traveller, or anywhere in between, this new development on the tourism front will help you make new memories in this surreal nation in due time.