How To Reach Andaman And Nicobar Islands

andaman and nicobar islands

The Andaman and Nicobar Islands, a breathtakingly beautiful archipelago in the Bay of Bengal, is a destination that captivates the hearts of travellers with its pristine beaches, lush greenery, and rich marine life. If you’re planning a trip to this exotic locale, understanding how to reach Andaman and Nicobar Islands is essential. The islands can be accessed by air and sea, but for those who prefer a scenic route, ferry services offer an immersive journey. In this blog, we’ll explore the various routes to reach Andaman and Nicobar Islands, focusing on the ferry services that connect the archipelago to the mainland.

Opting for Ferry Services

Ferry services to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands are not just a mode of transport; they’re part of the adventure. The journey by sea offers travellers the chance to embrace the vastness of the ocean and, if lucky, spot dolphins or flying fish along the way. Ferries to the islands depart from several major cities on the eastern coast of India.

Major Departure Points

  • Kolkata: One of the primary points to board a ferry to the Andaman Islands. The journey from Kolkata typically takes about 60-70 hours depending on the weather conditions.
  • Chennai: Another popular starting point for trips to the Andaman Islands. Ferries from Chennai take about 60 hours to reach Port Blair.
  • Visakhapatnam: Less frequently, ferries also operate from Visakhapatnam. This route takes around 56 hours.

These services are operated by both government and private sectors, offering different levels of comfort and speed. The most common government-run service is the Shipping Corporation of India, which provides regular passenger ship services to Port Blair from Chennai, Kolkata, and Visakhapatnam.

Booking Your Ferry Tickets

Booking ferry tickets to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands requires some planning:

  • Advance Booking: It is advisable to book your tickets well in advance, especially during the tourist season, from November to May.
  • Online Booking: Tickets can be booked online through the official website of the Directorate of Shipping Services of the Andaman and Nicobar Administration.
  • Travel Agents: Alternatively, you can also book through authorized travel agents who can provide additional travel services and assistance.

What to Expect on the Ferry

  • Accommodation Types: Ferries offer different types of accommodation ranging from bunk beds in dormitories to private cabins. Prices vary accordingly, with options to suit different budgets.
  • Facilities: While basic, the ferries are equipped with essential facilities such as meals and refreshments. Some ferries also feature decks where you can enjoy panoramic views of the sea.
  • Duration: The journey can be long, and sea conditions vary, so prepare for a potential delay and occasional rough seas. Bringing motion sickness pills might be a good idea if you are prone to seasickness.

Alternative Routes to Reach Andaman and Nicobar Islands

While the ferry is a popular choice for the more adventurous traveller, flying remains the quickest way to reach the islands. Direct flights from major Indian cities like Kolkata, Chennai, and Bangalore can take you to Port Blair, the capital city, in just a couple of hours.

Preparing for the Ferry Journey

A journey by sea can be an exhilarating but daunting experience, especially for those not accustomed to long sea travels. Here are some tips to help you prepare:

  • Pack Appropriately: Since the journey can last for over two days, it’s essential to pack strategically. Include comfortable clothing, seasickness medication, snacks, sufficient water, and entertainment like books or downloaded movies. Also, consider a power bank for your electronic devices.
  • Check-In Procedures: Arrive early for the ferry as check-in procedures can be lengthy, and you may need to deal with baggage checks and security screenings.
  • Safety First: Pay attention during the safety instructions given on board. Knowing the location of life jackets and emergency exits can make your journey safer.

Experiencing the Journey

Travelling by ferry offers a unique perspective that is quite different from flying. Here are some aspects of the journey that can enhance your experience:

  • Sunrise and Sunset: One of the most magical parts of sea travel is the sunrise and sunset. These moments provide incredible photo opportunities and serene experiences as you watch the sun dip below or rise above the vast ocean horizon.
  • Stargazing: Away from the light pollution of the cities, the night sky over the ocean is a breathtaking sight. On clear nights, you can see a myriad of stars and constellations. It’s a perfect time for reflection or romantic moments if you’re travelling with a partner.
  • Marine Life Sightings: Keep your eyes peeled for marine life. Dolphins often follow the ferries, and you might also spot sea turtles and a variety of seabirds.

Social and Cultural Interactions

The ferry also offers a unique social environment where you can meet people from various backgrounds. These interactions can enrich your travel experience:

  • Networking: Use this time to connect with fellow travellers. You can share travel tips, discuss your itineraries, and even make new friends.
  • Cultural Exchange: For international travellers, interacting with local passengers can provide insights into Indian and specifically Andaman culture and traditions.

Environmental Considerations

While enjoying your journey, it’s crucial to consider your environmental impact:

  • Avoid Plastic: Minimise the use of single-use plastics. Bring a reusable water bottle and avoid plastic straws and cutlery.
  • Responsible Waste Disposal: Ensure you dispose of any waste responsibly. Use bins provided on the ferry, and try to separate recyclable materials if facilities are available.

Arrival in Port Blair

Upon arriving in Port Blair, the gateway to the rest of the islands, you’ll find that your sea journey was just the beginning. From here, you can explore various islands like Havelock and Neil, which are famous for their beaches and underwater activities.

  • Local Transport: Once in Port Blair, you have numerous options for local transport, including buses, taxis, and auto-rickshaws.
  • Further Travel: For travelling to other islands, you can take smaller boats or continue using ferry services depending on your destination.


This brings us to the end of our guide: How to reach Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

Choosing a ferry to reach Andaman and Nicobar Islands is more than just a mode of transportation; It is an integral part of the adventure that allows you to connect deeply with the ocean.  Andaman Tourism not only prepares you for the relaxed pace of island life but also offers many experiences that you would not get from a quick flight. So, when you plan your trip, consider the yacht not only for its practicality, but also for the unique experiences and stories it will add to your Andaman adventure.