If you want to travel from one island to the other on the Andaman Islands, you are dependent on the ferry if you do not unpack and go by helicopter, seaplane or private boat.
There are different types of ferries with different classes, so to make things easier for you, in this article I will tell you everything you need to know about traveling by ferry on the Andaman Islands.
There are two different types of ferries on the Andaman islands: the government ferry and private ferries.
Also read: Best time to visit Andaman.
Type of Ferry from the Andaman Islands
These boats are mainly used by locals and budget travelers. There are few facilities – for example, there is no air conditioning and you have no fixed seat – and the journey takes an hour longer than if you have a private ferry, although you pay half the price.
The biggest disadvantage of this ferry is that you cannot book it online and you have to buy your tickets at the port the day before. The lines in front of the ticket counter seem to be huge, especially in the high season, so keep this in mind.
From Port Blair to Havelock, this ferry takes 2.5 hours and the journey costs you 850 rupees. You pay the same amount for Havelock – Neil and Port Blair – Neil. The government ferry departs in Port Blair from the Phoenix Bay Jetty. The exact departure times are posted on a printed document at the ticket counter.
If you want to travel with a private ferry, you have two options: Makruzz and Green Ocean. The prices are quite the same, but because the Green Ocean boats are a lot smaller than those of Makruzz, they are also full faster.
The private ferry is a lot more comfortable than the government ferry; there is air conditioning, the seats are spacious and soft, the toilets are clean and in the Deluxe and Royal class you even get some food and drink. For the people in the Premium class, there is a small cafe where you can get snacks and drinks.
Before you can board the boat in Port Blair, you must go through the security check and then have your ticket stamped. There is no security check on Havelock and Neil Island, but you also have to go to the ticket counter first, even if you already have an online ticket. You then walk to the boat, where you must deliver your luggage and where you will be taken to your seat.
We have traveled from Port Blair to Havelock, from Havelock to Neil and from Neil to Port Blair with Makruzz and we enjoyed it very much. The first time we were in the Deluxe class and the other twice in the Premium class. In both cases, you have fixed seats and air conditioning. You can book the tickets via the website of Makruzz, by clicking on “Book Online” at the top.
The prices of Makruzz are:
Port Blair to Havelock & Havelock to Port Blair
Premium 1150 rs, Deluxe 1600 rs, Royal 2600 rs
Port Blair to Neil & Neil to Port Blair
Premium 1050 rs, Deluxe 1300 rs, Royal 2400 rs
Havelock to Neil & Neil to Havelock
Premium 950 rs, Deluxe 1250 rs, Royal 2100 rs
The times of Makruzz are:
Port Blair to Havelock
Departure at 7.15 am, 8.00 am and 2 pm. The journey takes 1.30 hours.
Port Blair to Neil
Departure at 11.15 am. The journey takes 1.15 hours.
Havelock to Neil
Departure at 10 a.m. and 2.30 p.m. The journey takes 1 hour
Havelock to Port Blair
Departure at 9.15 am and 4 pm. The journey takes 1.30 hours.
Neil to Havelock
Departure at 1 p.m. The journey takes 1 hour.
Neil to Port Blair
Departure at 11.30 am and 4 pm. The journey takes 1.15 hours.
The private ferries depart from the Haddo jetty in Port Blair.
A few tips:
In general, the sea is calmer in the morning than in the afternoon, so if you quickly get seasickness, it’s best to take an early boat. I always get seasick quickly, but had no problems at all during all three trips – once in the morning and twice in the afternoon.
If you travel with Makruzz, you must have a printed ticket before check-in; a ticket on your phone is therefore not enough. I think the same goes for the Green Ocean ferry.
All three times we took the ferry, we left a few minutes early. You don’t expect it in India, but it’s really true, so make sure you get to the ferry well in time. It is recommended to be there an hour in advance.