How to Reach Andaman & Nicobar Islands?

The Andaman Islands are a pristine cluster of over 572 islands and are truly a paradise on Earth. The islands have an intense colonial history and are full of culture, and of course, beautiful beaches, making them a must- do vacation destination for anyone!

As it is a part of the Indian subcontinent, domestic travellers don’t need a passport, visa or other documents to visit. Still, they might want to take care of the guidelines set up by the Andaman administration. 

As for foreign travellers, a passport is required along with their Indian visa. No Restricted Area Permit (RAP) is required for most foreign nationals. Travellers from Afghanistan, Myanmar, China and Pakistan will require one, for which they will have to get prior approval from the Ministry of Home Affairs.

You can reach Port Blair, the capital of Andaman, by either air or water from most major cities in India. Travellers can take direct flights from major Indian cities, which will last 2.5-4 hours. You will easily get many hopping flights or ‘one-stop’ options for the rest of the cities.

For those who want to reach Andaman by water, ships are operated by the Indian Government from the ports in three coastal cities in India. This journey will take you almost 3 to 4 days, and you will land at the main sea-port at Port Blair. However, we don’t recommend this as a mode of travel, because it’s not a cruise-type vessel but more of a basic passenger + cargo ship.

Travel by Air

 

Taking a flight is the fastest way to reach Andaman from mainland India. You can take a direct flight from Kolkata, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Delhi and Vizag to reach Andaman within 2.5 to 3.5 hours! There are also connecting flights from other airports in the country.

Foreign travellers may note that there are no direct international flights to and from Andaman, since there’s no international airport as of now. You will have to fly here from Mainland India. 

Veer Savarkar airport is the only commercial airport in Port Blair, Andaman. Popular domestic flight services like Indigo Airlines, Air India, Indian Airlines, Spice Jet, Go Air and Vistara have daily flights from major Indian cities. You can get exciting offers or discounts if you book in advance! Also, keep a close eye on last-minute deals that come through from time to time, especially if you’re not the type of traveller who books their trip well in advance. 

A flight from Delhi will take you around 5 hours. For those living in Kolkata or Chennai, travel time shouldn’t be more than 2.5 hours! If you’re travelling from anywhere else in India, you will have a layover or a hopping flight.

Pro-tip: Take an early morning flight and don’t lose out on the day!

Travel by Sea

While this doesn’t come recommended by us, for those who want to take up the option of reaching by sea, you can board a ship from Kolkata and Chennai 3-4 times a month and only once from Visakhapatnam. However, the travel time would be around 3-4 days (50-60 hours). 

We don’t recommend travelling by sea in these passenger ships due to the duration, limited food choice, possible sea-sickness and no entertainment options. You’ll have plenty of time surrounded by beautiful waters when you reach Andaman!

It isn’t really easy to make a booking for these ships either, as travellers will have to physically visit the Tickets Corporation Offices in Chennai, Calcutta and Visakhapatnam.

Click to know more about travel by sea.

Reaching Port Blair

The best way to reach Port Blair is by flight from Kolkata, Bengaluru and Chennai. The travel time is around 2 hours and 30 minutes. The other way to get here is by sea, which can take 3-4 days and doesn’t come recommended by us.

Book Ferry Tickets Here

Reaching Havelock Island (Swaraj Dweep)

A trip to Andaman is incomplete without a visit to Havelock for a reason. This island is one of Andaman’s crowning jewels. It is a slice of paradise wrapped in vibrant corals, blue waters and fine powdery sand. 

You can find the best water sports activities to do in Havelock, like Scuba Diving, Jet-skiing, and Snorkeling!

A walk along the sublime coastline is the best way to soak up the charm of Havelock. You can surround yourself with beautiful beaches like Elephant beach, immerse yourself in nature and connect with the traveller in you. Take your chance to watch the sunset at Radhanagar beach. It is titled as the best beach in Asia for a reason!

To reach Havelock, you can take a private or Government ferry from Port Blair. These ferries operate daily but be careful while booking the Government ferry as it may be slow and can also be unclean. We suggest you book at least 4 days in advance for the same. These are usually for the locals and are not as reliable as their private counterparts. 

Private ferries are air-conditioned and will take you from Port Blair to Havelock in 1.5 hours and 1 hour if you leave Neil Island. You can book them here without a hassle, and they’re the fastest commute between the islands. Private ferries are the ideal mode of transport for travellers.

Reaching Neil Island (Shaheed Dweep)

Neil Island is a tranquil, lush green landscape with fields and coconut palms as far as the eye can see. The turquoise blue waters, beautiful sunrises and nature make it the perfect breathtaking tropical island. 

Take a government or a private ferry to reach this island. We recommend a private ferry for this journey too as the online booking is much easier and will provide a quality experience for you. The journey takes about 1.5 hours from Port Blair and about 1 hour from Havelock.

Reaching North Andaman (Baratang, Rangat, Mayabundar and Diglipur)

North Andaman is a slice of heaven that you just don’t want to miss. Whether you’re a nature lover, an adventure buff, or simply a traveller looking to relax, this place has everything you need. 

Don’t let the distance discourage you! Limestone caves, bird watching, mud volcanoes and peaceful beaches are in store for you at Baratang. Refreshing water sports activities are waiting for you at Rangat. Go game fishing and trekking at Mayabunder, or if you’re the kind of traveller who wants to experience the most in one place, there couldn’t be a better option for you than Diglipur!

You will have to take a government ferry for this one as there are no private ferries that take you to North Andaman. Travellers usually get their schedules 4 days in advance; something you should know to help you plan better. Almost everyday, ferries sail to Baratang, Rangat and Diglipur. However, you’ll only be able to take a ferry once every 5 days to Mayabunder. Your journey by ferry will take around 10 hours. 

There is an alternative for those who’d rather not take the ferry, but it is strictly for travellers who love road trips. You can hire a car, get a chauffeured service or take a government/private bus. Although hiring a car may be costly and this journey won’t come easy because of the duration of travel, i.e. at least 12 hours, this way to reach is highly recommended for those who love road trips!

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can I take the sea-planes around Andaman?

    Sea-planes are not functional currently in Andamans. These were extremely popular in the past, but their services have stopped in the last 3 years. We do not know when the seaplanes will be operational in the future.

  • Can I take helicopters around Andaman?

    Helicopter services are available around Andaman, but tickets are hard to come by for travelers, since this mode of travel is mostly meant for locals and government officials. Click here for details

  • Which one is better – Government or private ferries?

    Private ferries are ideal for tourists travelling between Port Blair, Havelock and Neil. They are super fast and also offer hassle-free booking. If you are looking for an affordable option, opt for Government ferries, which are open-roofed and allow you to interact with the locals. In case you are hard-pressed for time, private ferries are what we suggest. For more details about ferry services in Andamans, please click here.

  • How to book ferries?

    If you want to book a ferry, you can do so here

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