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Ferries in Andaman Islands

If you’re going on a trip to the Andaman Islands, then you must be planning to visit Havelock Island (Swaraj Dweep); if you are not, then you’ll be leaving out one of the most popular travel destinations in India. Visiting Havelock must be in your travel plans on a trip to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

To reach Havelock or other islands like Neil Island (Shaheed Dweep), you must take a ferry, which will leave at Port Blair and take around 1.5 to 2.5 hours, depending on the type of ferry you choose. You can book a ferry ticket online or offline, depending on the type of ferry you choose. Now the question is: what kind of ferry should you choose, and which one has the best service and value for your money? Read on, and you will find the answer to all these questions.

Types of Ferries in the Andaman Islands

There are two broad categories of ferries operating on these islands based on ownership: government ferries and private ferries. The rest of the blog is divided based on these two broad ferry categories.

Government Ferry

These ferries run by the Andaman administration are a lifeline for the locals. They are cheap and reliable. If you want to travel cheaply, you should definitely give them a try.

But there are a few drawbacks to travelling on a government ferry.

  • They’re in high demand as locals use them for regular commutes, and it becomes difficult to get these ferries.
  • The tickets are not available online. You will have to book them offline.
  • They’re not as comfortable as their private counterparts.
  • They usually take more time than private ferries.

Apart from these things, they’re a very good option if you’re on a budget. You should definitely give them a try if you manage to secure a ticket.

How to book a government ferry ticket?

The ticket can only be purchased in person at one of Andaman’s STARS (Ship Ticket Advance Reservation System) ticket counters or a CSC (Common Service Center). 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). 

People in a queue for tickets
S.T.A.R.S. Ticketing Counter in Port Blair

Schedule of government ferry:

You can find the schedule of government ferries on the Andaman administration’s website. The schedule is subject to change based on weather conditions and administrative reasons, even at the last minute.

Cost of government ferry tickets:

These tickets have lower costs when compared to private ferry tickets. They start at INR 770 for non-islanders, compared to INR 105 for islanders.

Boarding points of government ferries:

In Andaman and Nicobar, there are numerous islands connected by ferry. The government ferries have the largest network. But if you’re travelling to the Andaman Islands as a tourist, you’ll probably board a ferry from one of the following places:

Phoenix Bay Jetty at Port Blair
Havelock Ferry Ghat at Havelock Island (Swaraj Dweep)
Neil Island Jetty at Neil Island (Shaheed Dweep)

Service of government ferries:

Government ferries are satisfactory to travel on. They are punctual and reliable. They are also air-conditioned. But they do not compare to the comfort and maintenance of the private ferries.

Below are some pictures for you to better understand the condition of government ferries.

Seating area in a ferry
Seating Area
Stairs leading to basement of a ship
Stairs leading to passenger halls
Dark passageway in a ship
Passageway

Private Ferry

Private ferries in the Andaman Islands cater specifically to tourists. They are well-maintained, quick, and punctual. They can be booked online in advance. 

There are 5 private ferries in total operating between Port Blair, Havelock Island (Swaraj Dweep), and Neil Island (Shaheed Dweep).

How to book a private ferry ticket?

Private ferry tickets can be booked online. The process is quite convenient and is similar to booking a flight ticket. You can book them well in advance, even before landing or docking on the Andaman Islands.

Private ferry schedule:

There are a maximum of six routes of operation for private ferries. But not all the ferries operate on all these routes.

Schedule of Makruzz
S. No.Route/SectorDepartureArrival
1Port Blair to Havelock08:00 am, 10:45 am, 02:00 pm09:30 am, 12:15 pm, 03:30 pm
2Havelock to Port Blair08:00 am, 04:00 pm09:30 am, 05:30 pm
3Port Blair to Neil11:15 am12:30 pm
4Neil to Port Blair11:30 am, 03:30 pm12:45 pm, 04:30 pm
5Havelock to Neil10:00 am, 02:00 pm11:00 am, 03:00 pm
6Neil to Havelock12:45 pm01:45 pm
Schedule of ITT Majestic
S. No.Route/SectorDepartureArrival
1Port Blair to Havelock08:30 am, 01:45 pm10:00 am, 03:15 pm
2Havelock to Port Blair10:30 am, 03:45 pm01:05 pm, 05:45 pm
4Neil to Port Blair11:45 am01:05 pm
5Havelock to Neil10:30 am11:30 am
Schedule of Green Ocean
S. No.Route/SectorDepartureArrival
1Port Blair to Havelock07:00 am, 01:15 pm09:15 am, 03:30 pm
2Havelock to Port Blair09:45 am, 03:45 pm12:45 pm, 06:00 pm
3Port Blair to Neil07:00 am10:45 am
4Neil to Port Blair11:15 am12:45 pm
5Havelock to Neil09:45 am10:45 am
Schedule of Nautika
S. No.Route/SectorDepartureArrival
1Port Blair to Havelock07:30 am, 12:45 pm09:00 am, 02:00 pm
2Havelock to Neil09:20 am, 02:30 pm10:20 am, 03:30 pm
3Neil to Port Blair10:45 am, 04:00 pm12:00 am, 05:15 pm
Schedule of Sea Link
S. No.Route/SectorDepartureArrival
1Port Blair to Havelock06:30 am, 11:15 am08:45 am, 01:15 pm
2Havelock to Port Blair09:00 am, 03:45 pm10:00 am, 05:00 pm

Boarding points of private ferries:

Haddo Jetty at Port Blair
Havelock Ferry Ghat at Havelock Island (Swaraj Dweep)
Neil Island Jetty at Neil Island (Shaheed Dweep)

Service of private ferries:

Private ferries from Port Blair will provide you with excellent service. They’re lavish and comfortable. You will save time as private ferries are faster than government ferries.

Here are some pictures of the interior of private ferries:

Makruzz Royal Class
Makruzz Deluxe Class
Mak Cafe
Nautika Business Class

Which ferry is the best from Port Blair?

If price isn’t a concern, then private ferries are a great choice from Port Blair. They’re fast, comfortable, and reliable. They also have a well-stocked pantry. Makruzz is the best among private ferries.  

If you’re a little concerned about price, then you can go for either Green Ocean or ITT Majestic, as they have good coverage and are comparable to Makruzz.

If you’re on a budget, then go for government ferries. They are cheap and reliable. But you might find it difficult to book a government ferry ticket. If you don’t get a government ferry, then go for either Nautika or Sea Link, as they have very competitive prices.

Read More: How to reach Port Blair?

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