Reaching Andaman Islands, Flight VS Ship Journey

May 24, 2019
Blog Posts

1. Reaching Andaman by Flight:

Flight is the best way to reach the Andaman Islands and is preferred by a majority both travelers and locals alike. Although, it is a bit steeper on the pocket, flights are more comfortable , takes less time to reach here and is much safer than seaways.

Most people visit here on a 7-8 Day work leave, focused towards fitting things into schedule and exploring the Islands as much as they can, so faster and reliable transportation is always a better option.

It is important to check if the flight has any halts between them, to keep your travel comfortable. There are several  destinations from where there are no direct flights to Port Blair, in such cases it is recommended to check the flight plans carefully and focus more towards the one with lesser halt timings.

On a lighter note, the view from the flight, especially 5 minutes before landing is wonderful which you'd never want to miss.

We recommend calling-dibs on the window seats.

Flights to the Isles are available from all states, some are direct and some are connecting, Here is some information about the flights from different states in India:

Port Blair Airport:

Veer Savarkar Airport - Andaman Islands

The Port Blair Airport, officially named as the Veer Savarkar International Airport is the only commercial runway in Andaman and Nicobar Islands and is named after one of the greatest freedom fighter detained and kept at the Cellular Jail.

It is a military cum civilian airport, and therefore taking photographs at or near the airport is not permitted. The terminal is currently in development under the smart city scheme and we will soon be able to see better flight schedules and big aircraft landings.

Soon after arrival, you can leave the airport through the front gate and move straight from the parking lot to find cabs for hire.

Booking a package from us, our coordinator and driver will be waiting at the airport holding a blue placard with you name on it, soon as you get in touch with him, we will take care of everything else.

Chennai to Port Blair:

Chennai and Port Blair are connected by a total of 65 flights every week. All flights from Chennai are direct and reach Andaman without any halts. Flights are available between 5:05 AM to 12:05 PM

It only takes 2 Hours and 10 minutes to reach the Veer Savarkar International Airport. In-Flight meals are provided by the Airline than can booked prior or after boarding the plane. Connecting flights from other cities to Chennai can be checked by your local travel agent or by visiting the airline website.

You can also book Andaman and Nicobar Island tour packages from Chennai including Airfare by Contacting Us.

​Summary:

  • ​Flight Type: Direct
  • Time to Reach: 2 Hours 10 Minutes
  • Available Between: 5 AM to 12 PM
  • Average Rate: 7-15K
  • Destination Code: MAA to IXZ

Kolkata to Port Blair:

Kolkata and Port Blair are also well connected by more than 60 flights per week and it takes only 2.5 hours to reach here.

​All flights take off between 5:30 AM to 11AM from the Airport and you can find flights from all major domestic airlines. The usual cost completely depends on the demand but on average fluctuates between 7K - 16K.

​We always recommend booking flight by yourselves or by reaching out to your local booking agent, but you can also book packages from Kolkata to Andaman including airfare by Contacting Us.

​Summary:

  • ​Flight Type: Direct
  • Time to Reach: 2 Hours 30 Minutes
  • Available Between: 5:30 AM to 11 AM
  • Average Rate: 7-16K
  • Destination Code: CCU to IXZ

​New Delhi to Port Blair:

New Delhi and Port Blair are connected by many flights throughout the day, none of them are direct flights, so you may have some stops in between your journey. The best thing to do here is to look at all the flight schedules and select the one with the least stoppage that is under your budget.

​The usual stopover for flights from Delhi is Kolkata and it returns back through the same route, you may or may not disembark from the flight during the halt, ask your hostess for more information.

​Summary:

  • ​Flight Type: Hopping
  • Time to Reach: 3.5 Hours Average
  • Available Between: Depends on Schedule
  • Average Rate: 7-20K
  • Destination Code: DEL to IXZ

Mumbai to Port Blair:

There are a number of flights connecting Port Blair to Mumbai, all of the flights are non-direct which means you may have to make a stop before reaching the Veer Savarkar International Airport. The flight usually makes a stop at Chennai, and leaves for Port Blair shortly.

​We recommend researching the flights and booking the ones that have lesser halt time and which are under your budget. There are several flights which covers the distance in around 4-5 hours.

If your vacation time in Andaman is fixed, you can also buy a round trip flight to save even more on tickets. Eternal Andamans recommends booking flight by yourself, but we do offer direct Andaman tour packages from Mumbai, including travel and airfare, Contact Us for more information.

​Summary:

  • Flight Type: Hopping
  • Time to Reach: 4.5 Hours Average
  • Available Between: Depends on Schedule
  • Average Rate: 7-20K
  • Destination Code: BOM to IXZ

​Bangalore to Port Blair:

Several flights are available from Bangalore to Port Blair everyday, the number of flights changes from time to time and are usually hopping flights, which means you might have to make a stop before arriving here.

​Normally, the flight connects from Chennai, and the average halt time is 1 hour, from there you can reach the Andaman Islands in an additional 2 Hours 10 Minutes. More money can be saved by booking a round-trip flight, but you need to fix your arrival and departure dates.

Although, we recommend booking flights by yourself to get better deal and satisfaction you can also book Andaman packages from Bangalore including airfare by Contacting Us.

​Summary:

  • Flight Type: Hopping
  • Time to Reach: 4 Hours Average
  • Available Between: Depends on Schedule
  • Average Rate: 7-20K
  • Destination Code: BLR to IXZ

​2. Reaching Andaman by Ship or Cruise :

The idea of traveling to Andaman on a ship might not be much popular among tourists but is a whole new experience in itself.

Most of us have experienced a journey on small ferries and boats but something the size of a ship tearing through the waves, floating in the Bay of Bengal with it's roaring engine has a completely different vibe to it.

The thrill only doubles at night because the ships speed is increased and it just ascends and descends over the waves vigorously.

​Taking a ship to Andaman will let you capture some beautiful scenes on your voyage, you can also witness complete sunrise & sunsets, flying fishes on the way and dolphins too - if lucky.

​Also, the pricing is pretty low when compared to airfare, so that's one more reason to embark on your Andaman trip by ship.

Everything you need to know about ship travel to Andaman:

There are total 5 ships operating from the mainland that reach here which includes:

  1. M.V Swaraj Dweep
  2. M.V Nicobar
  3. M.V Harshawardhana
  4. M.V Nancowry
  5. M.V Akbar

Ships are available only from the Chennai, Vishakapatnam (Vizag), and Kolkata ports in India, so if you are traveling from other states and cities, you might have to take a train, bus, or flight to reach these 3 cities for your ship, based on the distance and personal preference.

Andaman Island Port
Andaman Island's Port

Usually, it takes around 2 days to book the ticket and get confirmation so you need to make additional time and arrange accommodation to stay in the respective city.

Time taken to reach Port Blair via ship:

It usually takes 3 Days to reach here from the mainland. The time taken depends on the departure time as sometimes, ships can take more than 2 hours to leave the port due to several small factors. The departure also hugely depends on the weather conditions, because rough weather in the sea is extra vigilant.

​Sailing in unstable weather may bring some sea sickness, therefore it is always recommended to keep some "Avomine Tablets" to help you with it.

​Chennai to Port Blair:

  1. ​Distance = 1200 Kms
  2. Time taken to reach = 60 Hours approx. i.e 2.5 Days

​Vishakapatman (Vizag) to Port Blair:

  1. ​Distance = 1210 Kms
  2. Time taken to reach = 55 Hours approx. i.e 2.3 Days

​Kolkata to Port Blair:

  1. ​Distance = 1260 Kms
  2. Time taken to reach = 65 Hours approx. i.e 2.7 Days

​Chances and Extent of Sea Sickness throughout the Year:

  • ​January, February, March, April, and November: Very Low
  • May, October, December: Low
  • June, July: Moderate
  • August, September: High

Andaman Ship Fare:

Shipping fares and overall experience of the journey depends on the type of cabins you choose. Different types of rooms have their own perks including, spacious rooms, clean bathrooms, great food, entertainment, and effect of motion.

MV Nancowry in Andaman Islands
Taken from MV Nancowry

​Based on these the cabins are divided into four categories:

Deluxe Cabins:

Deluxe cabins have two separate beds in one room, the cabin is spacious, has bigger windows and is located at the top of the ship. Most of the cabins feature a couch, a table, chairs, long almirah, and a locker to keep everything safe and make sure you have everything you need for a comfortable journey. The bathroom is spacious and clean, and is regularly visited by janitors to keep the room and bathroom tidy.

​The food for the deluxe class passengers is cooked separately and you can sit in a separate restaurant to enjoy the delicacies with a wide view of open sea, through huge glass pane windows.

First Class Cabins:

First class cabins are the next best thing after deluxe; it comes with 2 bunk-beds in one cabin and upto 4 persons are kept in a room. The rooms are located below the deluxe class and have every basic necessity and more including, tables, chairs, almirahs, two windows and a separate clean bathroom. The food for first class passengers is great and

Second Class Cabins:

Second class cabins are very similar to the 1st class and is the most booked type of room in any trip to Port Blair so the tickets sells out quickly.

The room accommodates 6 people at once and has 3 bunk-type beds with a separate bathroom.

​The food for the first is moderately great, and since it is located at the center of the ship, the level of sea sickness is lower.

Bunk Class:

Bunk class is the most affordable way to travel to the Andaman by ship. There are upto 15-25 bunk beds which are placed in open or closed dormitories (huge rooms). The bathroom is common type so you might have to share it other passengers. Beds are provided with a pillow and a small cupboard is placed near the bed to keep your things safe. Bunk class food is average and food-ticket timings are announced via radios kept in every room.

​The great thing about traveling in bunk class is the rate of motion is low and therefore sea-sickness is tiny when compared to other cabin types because the dormitory is located at the bottom half of the ship.

For complete ship schedules and accurate ticket pricing visit the official Andaman Administration Website by using the following links:  

​Ship Schedules, ticket pricing and ticket form

How to Book Tickets:

Booking tickets directly via Ship Ticket Advance Reservation System (STARS):

It is a booking guideline implemented to make the ticket booking fair, so the tickets are provided on a first-come-first-serve basis which means you have to make the reservation and plan ahead of time.

​Usually, the ticket bookings are open for public, one month prior to sailing for Port Blair. There is no system to book the tickets online so it can only be reserved by visiting the Port Booking Office personally, at the respective cities.

To book tickets, you have to reach Vizag, Kolkata, or Chennai Port, at-least 5 days before the sailing date.

An application form needs to be correctly filled and submitted; For hassle-free process bring the following to the booking office:

  • 2 Passport size photos for every individual.
  • Photo identity proof.
  • Address proof.
  • Complete payment amount.

​Passengers are also advised to give details about any infants to the booking officer, no tickets are charged for toddlers below 2 years.

Conclusion: Flight vs Ship Journey to Andaman.

Ships are a rare experience and present some of the very beautiful and diverse in and off cabin experience, the pricing is pretty low when compared to flights, and the amount of luggage you can bring is much more than an aeroplane.

​But, ships are only suitable for you if you are visiting Andaman on a long vacation and need to experience ship journey once in your like or don't want to spend too much in transportation costs.

It is also a clear fact that the pricing for deluxe cabin is almost equal to flight, and dormitories like bunk are cheap but sharing the room with more than 25 peoples can be uncomfortable for some, plus the attached bathroom is not very hygienic according to our experience. When, sea-sickness and motions are added to the equation, taking a flight always seems like a better option for a comfortable travel.

​Flights are faster and safer mode of transportation, and is perfect for people who are coming here for a 7-9 day trip, and want to explore Andamans more without losing time on transports.

​According to Eternal Andamans, taking a flight to reach the Andaman Islands is the better option among the two, if you are coming here on a vacation.

​Booking tickets months before the departure date combined with a round trip flight will give you huge discounts on flight rates, sometimes, you can get plane tickets to Andaman for as low as 5,000 Rupees.

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