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Government Ferry Services in Andaman

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Government Ferry Services in Andaman

Government Ferries at Phoenix Bay Jetty in Port Blair, Andaman Islands.

About Government Ferries

Government ferries are the lifeline of the islands and are extensively used by locals.

They are what trains, metros and buses are in any Indian city – a subsidized, well connected, mostly comfortable, sometimes overcrowded, but necessary form of public transport. The Andaman and Nicobar administration has regular ferry services linking Islands to its capital city, Port Blair.

Swaraj Dweep (Havelock Island) & Shaheed Dweep (Neil Island) are the most popular islands of South Andaman. As these islands are tourist dense, they also generate employment for locals. Hence they are connected by both government and privately operated ferries. Other Islands of tourist interest such as Long Island, Rangat, Mayabunder, Diglipur, Little Andaman etc., are serviced by government ferries only operated by DSS (Directorate of shipping Services).

Types of Ferry Services in Andaman and Nicobar Islands

  1. Private Ferry Services
  2. Government Ferry Services

Andaman Government Ferry Services

Government ferries in Andaman are operated by the Directorate of Shipping Services (DSS). The department primarily operates for the convenience of local islanders. Since this is the only way of transportation for the islanders, tickets are highly subsidized for them. Residents also have a decent local knowledge which makes using government ferries convenient for them. 

Though slightly cheaper in comparison to the private ferries, government Ferry booking is not available on our platform as we think that from a tourist’s point of view, it’s not the most feasible way. However they’re available everyday and depart from Phoenix Bay Jetty.

Traveling in a Government ferry is not simple but can be made possible with some planning. A bit of research on the ferry timings and availability can save you unnecessary stress and disappointment during your holiday.

The schedules for these ferries are subject to change and are published in the local newspaper every day. If travelling to Havelock or Neil Island (Swaraj and Shaheed Dweep) and have limited time at hand, we suggest you opt for a private ferry.

Difference between Private Ferry & Government Ferry in Andaman

The private ferries are the more preferred mode of inter island travel by tourists. Private ferry tickets range from Rs. 800 to Rs. 3000 depending upon the class of travel.

They are clean and comfortable with air conditioning. they are faster than government ferries, are equipped with onboard assistance and have canteens/food counters available, so you don’t have to worry if you crave for a grub mid-voyage. Booking a private ferry ticket is simple and almost always guarantees a confirmed ticket. 

Government ferries on the other hand are favorites amongst the locals. There are two fare categories one is islander fare (Rs.85 onwards) and the other is non-islander fare (Rs. 450 onwards).

Only a few seats are reserved for tourists and getting them is a challenge. Also, the onboard experience may not be as pleasant as private carriers. Some government ferries are old, slow and seats may seem uncomfortable without cushioning. Although the Government ferries are a decent bargain, tickets in Government ferries are not guaranteed and lack of online booking facility is a bummer! The good part though is the local experience and the open deck.

Private Ferry & Govt Ferry: Which one should you book?

When to opt for a Private Ferry? If you are traveling in Andamans and have your itinerary planned, consider taking a private ferry with confirmed tickets. Private ferries are also recommended if you’re looking for an experience or if you’re traveling with family.

When to opt for a Govt Ferry? On the contrary, if you are on an unplanned vacation and have no fixed itinerary or you are a backpacker on a shoestring budget, or for that matter, working here you may want to consider booking your tickets on a government ferry.

How to book Government ferry tickets in Andamans?

Government ferry tickets are available at the DSS Counters (STARS) at Phoenix Bay Jetty and CSC (Common Service Center) at numerous locations. For ferry schedule, please visit the Official Andaman Govt website.

  1. STARS Offline Counter timings for reservation of Ship Tickets are between 09:00 am and 04:00 pm from Monday to Friday & between 09:00 am and 12:00 pm on Saturday. Sundays are off.
  2. E-Ticketing timing for reservation of Ship Tickets is 09:00 am to 04:00 pm daily.
  3. Passengers are required to enter valid ID proof and carry the same ID in original during embarkation.
  4. In Inter-Island bound vessels, baggage upto 40 kg for Cabin class, 30 kg for Bunk class and 25 kg for Deck class passengers is allowed.
  5. Be sure to report 2 hrs prior to the scheduled sailing. Embarkation gates close 30 minutes prior depature.


The Step by Step Guide to Booking Government Ferry in Andaman

Step 1: Create an account or log in to the STARS DSS e-ticketing Website.


Step 2: Enter your journey details.


Step 3: Choose the vessel, check availability and fare.


Step 4: Enter passenger details.


Step 5: Recheck and confirm all the details.


Step 6: Make the payment and get a confirmation.

Step 7: You’ll receive the tickets on your registered email and mobile number.

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Cancellation and Refund Policy

  1. In case of any voyage cancellation from DSS, a full refund will be initiated.
  2. In case of delays over 6 hours, a full refund will be initiated.
  3. Cancellation needs to be done online only. Cancellation is not facilitated at the STARS counter.
  4. Cancellation stands unavailable 2 hrs prior to actual sailing time.

Government Ferry Routes and Destinations

Govt Ferry to Swaraj Dweep (Havelock)

Government ferries ply to Swaraj Dweep twice daily at 06:20 Hrs and 14:00 Hrs from Phoenix Bay Jetty. This two and half hour ferry ride costs around Rs. 400. A passenger service fee of Rs. 50 is added if you get your tickets booked from the CSC’s. Tickets are available two days prior to departure. You might have to stand in unmanaged queues for long hours to get your hands on the tickets.


Govt Ferry to Little Andaman (Hutbay)

The Directorate of Shipping Services operates Government ferries to Little Andaman from Port Blair daily. The ticket cost varies from Rs. 150 to Rs. 1500 depending upon the class and takes about 8 hours to reach(120 kms from Port Blair). Coral Queen is the most preferred ship; it is well maintained with comfortable bunks and cabins. It also serves snacks onboard. Tickets to Hutbay are available at the DSS Counters or CSC’s.

Please Note: All ferries to Little Andaman leave from Haddo Wharf


Govt Ferry to North Andaman (Long Island, Rangat, Mayabunder & Diglipur)

There are ferries from Port Blair to Long Island operating thrice a week. They stop over at Swaraj Dweep (Havelock ) & Shaheed Dweep (Neil ) Islands.
Rangat is connected from Port Blair as well as Swaraj Dweep (Havelock) & Shaheed Dweep (Neil) Islands. Ferries to Rangat ply 4 to 5 times a week.
Diglipur is the northernmost part of Andaman which has ferry services from Port Blair twice a week. 


Ferry to Ross Island

There are no government ferries to Ross Island, however many private boat operators arrange a day trip to Ross & North Bay Islands. The tour cost starts from Rs 100 to Ross Island and goes up to Rs 600 for 3 islands package tour (Ross, North Bay & Viper Islands).

For any further queries please contact Directorate of Tourism, Port Blair ; 03192 – 232694/232747

Go2Andaman Pro Tips!

  1. There are 30+ ships that operate through DSS (Directorate of Shipping Services). All these ships have different makes and are of different speeds. Find out name of ship and the time taken to reach the destination.
  2. When issuing a ticket, check which class is given. For short trips an AC chair would be ideal but for A long trip you might want the cabin/sleeper class.
  3. When onboard, do not miss the open deck.
  4. Always carry a bedsheet/travel pillow with you – specially on long ferry trips.
  5. Find out if the ferry has a canteen. Many do not – so carry enough food.
  6. Some ferries are line ferries – that is, they stop at different islands on the way – these ferries take very long and are best avoided if you have another option. Direct ferries are the best.
  7. You can request the captain to let you inside the control room and show you around the ship. A smile and honest conversation always helps.
  8. When onboard, make conversation with the local sitting next to you – there is so much to learn about/from island life.