Among the most visited islands in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands are Havelock Island and Neil Island. While Havelock Island has more activities as compared to Neil Island, Neil Island in itself is closer to nature. Read on to know what this island has in store for you.
Heads up: BSNL might be the only network available in Neil Island.
About Neil Island
Neil Island, now renamed Shaheed Dweep, is a popular tourist destination in the Andaman Islands. It is popular for its white-sand beaches and colourful corals. Its clear waters make it an ideal location to scuba dive.
The Natural Bridge near Laxmanpur Beach No 2 is among the crowd’s favourites. You will find immense marine biodiversity on your short trek to the Natural Bridge. Watch your steps and hire a tour guide.
How to reach Neil Island from Port Blair?
There are 2 major ways to reach Neil Island: by air and by sea, both from Port Blair. Port Blair is well connected with major Indian airports and ports. You can reach Port Blair easily by following our guide.
How to reach Neil Island by air?
Travelling to Neil Island from Port Blair by helicopter is reserved for government officials and emergency medical cases. Rarely does a seat become available for tourists. It should not be your preferred choice unless you already have a confirmed ticket.
How to reach Neil Island by sea?
The best way is by ferry. There are many private and government ferries operational. Private ferries are fast and comfortable. But if you’re on a budget, you can try your luck with government ferries.
There are five private cruises operating between Neil Island and Port Blair. They especially cater to tourists. They should be your preferred choice. You can even book a ticket on a government ferry, but there are some issues with it that will be covered soon.
Boarding point of private ferries at Port Blair
Private ferries leave from the Haddo Jetty in Port Blair, located around 6 kilometres from Veer Savarkar International Airport. Arrive at least an hour before your departure time.
Boarding point of private ferries at Neil Island (Shaheed Dweep)
All ferries leave from the Neil Island Jetty in Shaheed Dweep.
Schedule of private ferries from Port Blair to Neil Island.
|1||Makruzz||Port Blair to Neil Island||10:00 am, 02:00 pm||11:00 am,03:00 pm|
|2||Green Ocean 1||Port Blair to Neil Island||07:00 am||10:45 am|
|3||Nautika||Port Blair to Neil Island||–||–|
|4||Sea Link||Port Blair to Neil Island||–||–|
|5||ITT Majestic||Port Blair to Neil Island||–||–|
Schedule of private ferries from Neil Island to Port Blair.
|1||Makruzz||Neil Island to Port Blair||11:30 am, 12:45 pm||03:30 pm, 04:30 pm|
|2||Green Ocean 1||Neil Island to Port Blair||11:15 am||12:45 pm|
|3||Nautika||Neil Island to Port Blair||10:45 am, 04:00 pm||12:00 pm, 05:15 pm|
|4||Sea Link||Neil Island to Port Blair||–||–|
|5||ITT Majestic||Neil Island to Port Blair||11:45 am||01:05 pm|
Note: Operation of ferries in Andaman & Nicobar Islands is subject to weather conditions.
How to book private ferry tickets?
Private ferry tickets are available online on the respective ferry’s website. You can also book ferry tickets with us. We usually have good ticket availability and can suggest the best choice of ferry at competitive prices.
What is the cost of private ferries?
Their prices vary between INR 1200 to INR 3000, depending on the class of seats you book.
If you’re a local resident of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands (islander), you can enjoy discounted ticket prices.
Boarding point of government ferries at Port Blair.
The government ferries leave from Port Blair’s Phoenix Bay Jetty.
Boarding point of government ferries at Neil Island (Shaheed Dweep).
Similar to the private ferries, the government ferries also leave from the Neil Island Jetty.
Schedule of government ferries.
You can find the schedule of government ferries on the Andaman administration’s website. The schedule is subject to change based on weather and administrative reasons.
How to book government ferry tickets?
You can buy a ticket in person at one of the STARS (Ship Ticket Advance Reservation System) ticket counters or a CSC (Common Service Center) in Andaman. You can find a list on the DSS (Directorate of Shipping Services) website.
The Stars ticket counters are open Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Saturdays from 9:30 a.m. to 12: 30 p.m. They are closed on Sundays and other holidays. You can only book tickets two days in advance.
You can also get an update or a status from the information counter at Pheonix Bay, Port Blair, on the numbers 0319224555, 03192232714, and 18003452714 (toll-free).
Government ferries are more economical compared to private ferries, but they are not as comfortable. Also, these cater to the locals of the islands, and sometimes it will be difficult for you to get a ticket.
Also, it might not be possible for you to be physically present at these ticket counters, as you should have everything booked beforehand and not leave anything for after you reach Port Blair.
Therefore, it is better to get in touch with a travel agent and save yourself from the hassle of planning everything yourself.
What is the cost of government ferries?
They start at INR 770 for non-islanders and INR 105 for islanders.
Which is the best ferry from Port Blair to Neil Island?
Among all the ferries listed above, Makruzz is the most comfortable. But if the ticket cost bothers you, then go for Green Ocean. It is economical and comfortable. Nautika and ITT Majestic are also great options, but please note that only Makruzz and Green Ocean operate directly.
What is the best time to visit Neil Island?
You can visit this island throughout the year. Some months are more crowded than others.
Pro tip: Book your flight tickets 6 months in advance, if you want to enjoy cheap airfares. But if you’re planning to visit the islands soon, then contact a travel agent to get the best prices on air tickets. They book flight tickets in advance and can give you cheap tickets that will significantly reduce your overall trip cost.
What is the ideal duration of stay?
3 nights are more than enough for an enjoyable trip. But if you wish to enjoy the calm of these islands, you must stay longer. People in these remote islands are friendly. The laid-back life of these islands can be soothing. You can enjoy the local delicacies too.
Places to visit on Neil Island
a. Bharatpur Beach
Just 500 metres away from the Jetty is Bharatpur Beach. Being a hub of water sports activities this beach is frequented by tourists and locals alike. The water is shallow, especially during the day, and even young kids can enjoy a bath in seawater.
There is no entry fee. Restaurants line the beach, serving delicious food. You will find the ticket counters for water activities here as well.
You can reach Bharatpur Beach by road. It is a walkable distance from the jetty. If you’re somewhere else on the island, you can rent a rickshaw. You can even rent a two-wheeler and drive yourself to the beach.
b. Natural Bridge
If you wish to explore marine diversity, then this natural sea arch is for you. Located on Laxmanpur Beach No. 2, the natural bridge is a major crowd pull.
On your way to the natural bridge, you will find many fish, crabs, corals, etc. Watch your step as you walk towards the bridge, as the way is quite rough. It is also suggested to visit the natural bridge in the afternoon, as it might not be accessible at other times due to high tide.
As of 2023, you will have to compulsorily get a guide. A guide will charge you upwards of ₹250 for an hour. The administration is wary of the damage caused to marine life as travellers walk over corals to see the arch. This place is also a no-fly zone, and you cannot fly a drone here.
c. Laxmanpur Beach No. 1
A sunset point, this beach is comparatively small. It is triangular in shape. You can reach here by hiring a car or renting a two wheeler. You will have to walk for few meters from the parking lot located outside the beach.
As the beach is rocky, swimming is not advised, and there are no water activities here. You will find small shops at the entrance of this beach where you can buy some souvenirs. After sunset, you can enjoy stargazing here.
d. Sitapur Beach
Sitapur beach is a sunrise point. It has a few resorts nearby. This beach is clean and mostly not crowded.
There are two bays and a few caves on this beach. You will have to walk across the coast inorder to reach the caves.
e. Ramnagar Beach
Ramnagar Beach is a clean and well-equipped beach. There are separate washrooms for men and women here. You can enjoy the calm and serene atmosphere at this beach.
It hosts a turtle hatchery that is open to visitors. There are many huts along the beach for you to relax.
Recommended Hotels & Resorts
There are quite a few hotels and resorts here on this island. You can choose to stay by a beach or you can choose a poolside property. You can even enjoy an eco-resort located in the jungle. Go through our list below to know your options. When you have decided, feel free to book your stay with us.
Premium Hotels & Resorts
a. SeaShell Samssara, Neil
b. SeaShell, Neil
c. Silver Sand Beach Resort Neil
d. Aquays Hotels & Resorts Neil Island
e. TSG Aura Resort
f. Symphony Summer Sands, Neil Island
g. Pearl Park Beach Resort
You can book any of the above hotels with us.
Budget Hotels & Resorts
a. Silver Pearl Beach Resort
b. Laxmi Continental Resort
c. Deep Sea Resort
d. Emerald Gecko
e. Sandy Ridge Resort
If you wish to stay at any other property not listed above, feel free to book a hotel/resort with us.
Things to do on Neil Island
Despite limited options, this Island will not disappoint. There are plenty of activities you can indulge in and make the most of your time.
Heads up: Restaurants in Neil Island do not serve dinner and close by 4:00 p.m. Make sure to make arrangements with your hotel or resort beforehand.
b. Waters Wet Bar
d. Kiran Restaurant
e. Vibes And Dives
Neil Island is an amazing location to stargaze. The clear skies at night make it an ideal location. You can easily see the Milky Way galaxy at night if the sky is clear.