Planning to take a ship to Andaman? Read our detailed destination guide to know timelines, cost and what to expect on the way.
The exotic Andaman Islands nestled in the southern tip of India is a great vacation spot any time of the year. The island paradise is home to historic sites, white sand beaches, lush rain forests and amazing water adventures. While planning an
Andaman trip in itself is an adventure, taking a ship to Andaman will take it on a whole new level all together. Here is all the information you need if you plan to take the sea route to reach Andaman.
There are three ports in India from where you can sail to Andaman – Kolkata, Chennai and Vishakapatnam / Vizag. Each comes with different time durations. If you are not a resident of these cities then you’ll need to factor in costs for getting here. You may also need to factor in costs for a minimum of 2 days stay in the city depending on your ship’s schedule.
There are five ships operating between the main land of India and the island.
These are M. V. NICOBAR, M.V.NANCOWRY, M.V.AKBAR, V.HARSHAVARDHANA and M.V.SWARAJ DWEEP.
On an average, you’ll need 55-70 hours when taking a ship to Port Blair. The time varies depending on your location of origin.
- Chennai to Port Blair: About 60 hours
- Kolkata to Port Blair: About 66 hours
- Vishakapatnam to Port Blair: About 56 hours
Distance by Sea (In Kilometers)
- Between Port Blair & Chennai 1190
- Between Port Blair & Calcutta 1255
- Between Port Blair & Visakhapatnam 1200
The journey fare on the ships range between Rs. 2000- Rs. 8000+ for tourists depending on your location and the type of stay you choose for your journey.
Here are your options on the type of ‘stay’ onboard
- Deluxe Cabin:- Two persons in a one Cabin with T.V., Fridge on the top floor
- First Class:- Four persons in a one cabin
- Second Class:- Six Persons in a one Cabin (Common toilet)
- Bunk Class:- Just like First Class train coach in the ground floor of the Ship
The ship fares differ for islanders and non-islanders too. Here’s a quick look at the
2016-17 per berth rates: http://www.andaman.gov.in/web/guest/mainland-ship-fare-details
Procedure for purchasing ship tickets to Andaman
Direct ship ticket booking via STARS (Ship Ticket Advance Reservation System)
Ship tickets to Andaman are available on a first come first serve basis. There is one sailing from each port every week (may differ for Vizag). Most ticket bookings open a month in advance. You can either personally visit the port office in the cities from where you plan your journey or take the help of an expert tour operator who can purchase it for you at a great rate and right time. You’ll need two passport size photos, photo id proof, address proof, a full advance payment and the entry form duly filled out for submission.
For booking ship tickets from Kolkata to Port Blair: Visit the office of the Shipping Corporation of India at Shipping Hosue,#13, Strand Road, Kolkata-17. You can also reach them via phone on (033)284456
For booking ship tickets from Vishakapatnam to Port Blair: Booking of both cargo and passengers is done by an agent of the Shipping Corp M/S A.V. Bhanoji Rao Garuda Pattabiramaiah & Co. Ltd. At the private ticketing counter. You can visit them at Posr Boz no-17, Visakapatnam
For booking ship tickets from Chennai to Port Blair: There are two locations in Chennai for ship ticket bookings depending on the ship you plan to take.
For MV NANCOWRY and MV SWARAJDWEEP go to the office of the Dy. Director (Shipping Services), Chennai adjacent to Gate No.1 of Chennai Port, Opposite Customs Office, Rajaji Salai, Chennai-1.
For MV NICOBAR, MV AKBAR and MV HARSHAVARDHANA go to the office of the Shipping Corporation of India(SCI) situated at Madras(chennai) Port Trust,Rajaji Salai, Opposite Customs Office, Chennai-1. You can also reach them on phone at (044)5231401
Sea sickness and the ship journey
Although it may not sound like much to someone suffering from sea sickness, the intensity of the problem varies according to the time of the year you are travelling.
- Months with very little sea sickness: January, February, March, April, November
- Months with mild sea sickness: May, October, December
- Months with average sea sickness: June, July
- Months with high sea sickness: August, September
Ship travel to Andaman: Factsheet
The aforementioned ships are passenger ships and not cruise ships and hence have no entertainment options on board. You’ll be going aboard to mainly enjoy the sea view.
Carry reading material and indoor games to keep yourself entertained during the journey. A mobile loaded with movies is also a great way to pass your time.
Some ships offer limited choices in food so it is advisable to carry biscuits, fruits and even some pickle to add to your stash.
MV Akbar is the oldest ship among the lot
In the 1950s, SS Maharaja was the only public mode of transportation to Port Blair. It made about 18 voyages a year or roughly one trip every three weeks!
Don’t forget to carry a strip of avomine tablets to help you through the journey
Connect with an Andaman Holidays expert today who can not only customize your package but extend an array of customized services, special offers and discounts.