One must know how to reach Andaman and Nicobar Island to experience the slice of Maldives without going there. The sand here is sugar white, the beaches are shimmering blue, and the abundance of coral colonies beneath the seabed is rich and teems with marine life. Roughly, there are around 550+ clusters of islands, but not all of them are open for tourists and even for the locals. But there are approximately 37 islands in Andaman and Nicobar that are inhabited by the human population.
The most distinguishable feature? You can’t reach Andaman by train or road because there are no National Highways and Indian Railway Line as Andaman is an Indian archipelago in the Bay of Bengal. But you can surely replace train travel or road journeys via ship on the sea route from nearby port cities. If you are wondering how to reach Andaman by ship, let’s go knee-deep into the only aspects of reaching Andaman and Nicobar Islands; from India and international destinations:
Andaman By Flight
Veer Savarkar International Airport in Port Blair is the only airport in Andaman with flights from major metro towns of India like Kolkata, Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore, Vizag. So if you are coming from the other cities that belong to the Tier 2 categories or international destinations, board the connecting flight from metro towns and reach here without any hassle. One must not take stress regarding how to reach Andaman from Delhi because Delhi’s airport is well connected with the Veer Savarkar International Airport in Port Blair. The aerial travel duration of Andaman by flight from Chennai and Kolkata is approximately 2 hours, while from Delhi and Mumbai, it is around 5 hours. Take a look at a few major Indian cities along with aerial distance and travel time:
|Travel by Flight||Travel Time||Distance||Airport|
|Delhi to Andaman||2 hr, 55 minutes||2,481 km||Indira Gandhi International Airport|
|Mumbai to Andaman||3 hr, 15 minutes||2,268 km||Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport|
|Chennai to Andaman||2 hr, 15 minutes||1,353 km||Chennai International Airport|
|kolkata to Andaman||2 hr, 15 minutes||1,287 km||Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airpor|
|Visakhapatnam to Andaman||2 hr, 20 minutes||1,210 km||Visakhapatnam International Airport|
|Kochi to Andaman||5 hr, 20 minutes||1,800 km||Cochin International Airport|
|Pune to Andaman||5 hr, 20 minutes||2,151 km||Pune International Airport|
Andaman by Train
Train travel to Andaman is not possible because it is an archipelago in the Bay of Bengal. Moreover, this facility within the Union Territory itself is not an option as of now!
Andaman by Ship
Wondering how to reach Andaman and Nicobar Island by ship? Well, the Government cruise ships are scheduled from Kolkata, Chennai, Visakhapatnam (Vizag). Board the ship from the nearby port cities like mentioned above. The ship tours take place 3-4 times every month, which can change as well. Besides, the journey takes around 60-70 hours to touch down the Andaman and Nicobar Islands via sea. The ship running back and forth from Chennai includes; MV Nicobar, MV Nancowry, MV Akbar, MV Harshavardhana, and MV Swaraj Dweep. The approximate ship journey to Andaman costs approximately INR 3,000 onwards per person to INR 11,000 onwards per person. As of now, no international ship service is scheduled in Andaman.
Main Sea Port: Haddo Wharf, Port Blair
Ships available from Chennai, Kolkata, Visakhapatnam
For International Tourists
International tourists need to get a Restricted Area Permit (RAP) to visit Andaman Nicobar Islands. It is easily available on arrival at Port Blair by flight or ship. A permit can be obtained from the Immigration authorities, Port Blair. The initial permit lasts for 30 days and it can be extended for another 15 days.
A permit can also be obtained from Indian Mission Overseas and Foreigner’s Registration Offices at New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, and Kolkata. Restricted Area Permit (RAP) is also easily available from the Immigration Authorities at the Airport of New Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, and Mumbai.
The regular permit covers the following places: South Andaman Island, Middle Andaman Island, Little Andaman Island (except tribal reserve), Neil Island, Havelock Island, Long Island, Diglipur, Baratang, North Passage, and islands in the Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park (excluding islands – Boat Hobday, Twin, Tarmugli, Malay and Pluto). In addition, the permit covers day halts at South Cinque Island, Ross Island, Narcondam Island, Interview Island, Brother Island, Sister Island and Barren Island.
Frequently Asked Questions about How to Get Andaman
Ans: There is no such route or rail track that connects Andaman to the major cities of India. So it is not possible to reach Andaman via Train.
Ans: Andaman is an Island with no road connectivity with the Indian mainland. The fastest and most convenient way to reach Andaman from Delhi is to take a flight from Delhi to Port Blair. If you want to reduce the cost then reach Kolkata by train and then take a flight to Port Blair.
Ans: The fastest and most convenient way to reach Andaman from Mumbai is to take a flight from Mumbai to Port Blair the capital of Andaman. You can also reach Chennai from Mumbai by air and embark on a ship to Port Blair.
Ans: To reach Andaman and Nicobar Islands one has to cross the Bay of Bengal, hence flight and Ship are the only medium of transport to reach there. There are no bus services available that connect the Islands to the major cities of India.
Ans: Yes, you can enjoy the ride of a seaplane. It is primarily for tourists but local people can also enjoy the ride. The seaplane will fly between Port Blair and Havelock Island.
Ans: Indian does not require any passport, visa, or permission to explore Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Foreigners require an Indian Visa to enter India and hence Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
Ans: Food acts as a catalyst and completes your holiday yearning. Enjoy the exhilarating hospitality and tantalize your taste buds with an array of delectable delicacies served in Andaman. Denoting a blend of all vivid cultures you can try a wide variety of Indian cuisine as well as international cuisines. Have a look at some of the must-try cuisines when you are in Andaman! such as Fish Curry, Kulcha, Chilli Curry, Macher Jhol , Coconut Prawn Curry, Tandoori fish, Grilled Lobsters.
Ans: Comfortable accommodation is the backbone of any holiday. Here is the list of some excellent accommodations where you can stay and enjoy a relaxing holiday. Have a look! Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, Andamans, Symphony Summer Sands Beach Resort, Symphony Palms Beach Resort, SeaShell, Havelock, Pano Eco Resort, Keys Select Hotel Aqua Green, Havelock Island Beach Resort, Barefoot at Havelock and Aquis Hotels & Resorts - Neil Island.