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    The beautiful view of MV Akbar sailing in the blue sea

    Let dreams set sail, as you embrace the tides,
    For blue waters tend to longings, sending right vibes.

    How you wish to set course on one of those memorable cruise rides across the Bay of Bengal from Indian mainland to Andaman & Nicobar Islands! The cruise to Andaman is once-in-a-lifetime experience wherein you take to the blue waters of Bay of Bengal, watch the sea life from close quarters, and enjoy the splendid sunrise and sunset views unalloyed, uninterrupted.

    Available from the ports of Kolkata, Vizag, and Chennai, these cruises are gigantic ships run and managed by the Shipping Corporation of India and make for a wonderful 3-4 day odyssey from the coast of Indian mainland to Andamans. Chennai Port is the most renowned among the all 3 with the most number of ships operating from there. MV Nicobar, MV Nancowry, MV Akbar, MV Harshavardhana, and MV Swaraj Dweep are the ships running back and forth from Chennai.

    Popular sea routes for the cruises to Andaman

    Map depiction of ship operating from Chennai, Vizag, and Kolkata to Andaman

    1. Kolkata – Port Blair

    A docked at a port in sea

    Image Source

    Frequency: Once a week (approximately), 3-4 times a month

    Total distance travelled: 1302 km

    Total time taken: 70 hours approximately

    Starts from: Kolkata

    Ends at: Port Blair

    Address of SCI, Kolkata: Shipping House Number 13, Strand Road, Kolkata-17


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    2. Chennai – Port Blair

    Front deck view of ship sailing in the seawater in Andaman

    Image Source

    Frequency: Once a week (approximately), 3-4 times a month

    Total distance traveled: 1362 km

    Total time taken: 60 hours approximately

    Starts from: Chennai Port

    Ends at: Port Blair

    Address of SCI, Chennai: Gate Number 1, Port Trust, Rajaji Salai, Opposite Customs Office, Chennai-1

    3. Vishakhapatnam – Port Blair

    Night view of ships docked at a port on a Jetty in Andaman

    Frequency: Once a month

    Total distance traveled: 1224 km

    Total time taken: 56 hours approximately

    Address of SCI, Visakhapatnam: M/S A.V Bhanoji Rao Garuda Pattabhiramayya & Co. Ltd. Post Box No-17, Visakhapatnam

    Note: Currently there is no online portal for booking ship to Andaman. Tourists must be present at the STARS (Ship Ticket Advance Reservation System) office located in Kolkata, Vishakhapatnam, or Chennai to get their ticket.

    Popular government run cruises to Andaman

    A ship cruising across the waters of Bay of Bengal

    Image Source

    Only government run cruises operate from Indian mainland to Andaman. With 3-4 sailings per month from Kolkata & Chennai to Port Blair and 1 sailing per month from Visakhapatnam to Port Blair and vice-versa, you must be prompt with the bookings. The ticket price varies from INR 900 to INR 10000 depending on the class of accommodation you opt for.

    The fares mentioned below are for the Islanders (residents of Andaman) only. The ticket rates are on the higher side for the non-islanders (tourists/non-residents of Andaman) traveling to Andaman.

    To book a ticket one must carry 2 passport size photographs, government identity proof, and an address proof along with the requisition form. The wonderful voyage takes close to 4 days to complete in normal weather conditions.

    Some of the most popular ships for a trip to Andaman cruise are:

    1. MV Nicobar

    MV Nicobar docked by the sea port

    Image Source

    MV Nicobar operates from Chennai and Visakhapatnam to Port Blair. Assure yourself a memorable trip to Andaman by ship.

    Charges:
    Deluxe cabin: INR 9750
    1st class cabin: INR 8080
    2nd class cabin: INR 6420
    Bunk class: INR 2500

    2. MV Nancowry

    A view of MV Nancowry in the blue water of the ocean

    Image Source

    Also known to carry cargo loads, MV Nancowry operates from Chennai to Port Blair and is a majestic ship to embark on. The entire proceeding and departure of the ship can be coordinated from the SCI office at Chennai.

    Charges:
    Deluxe cabin: INR 9750
    1st class cabin: INR 8080
    2nd class cabin: INR 6420
    Bunk class: INR 2500

    3. MV Swarajdweep

    A beautiful side view of MV Swarajdweep sailing in the sea SS24072017

    Image Source

    Of all the popular cruises to Andaman, MV Swarajdweep makes a popular ride. The passenger ship sails from Chennai port and reaches Port Blair on the 3rd day.
    Charges:
    Deluxe cabin: INR 9750
    1st class cabin: INR 8080
    2nd class cabin: INR 6420
    Bunk class: INR 2500

    4. MV Harshavardhana

    A view of MV Harshavardhana sailing in the Bay of Bengal

    Image Source

    One of the most renowned ships operating between Kolkata and Visakhapatnam to Port Blair, MV Harshavardhana is one amazing company for your memorable voyage.

    Charges:
    Deluxe cabin: INR 9750
    1st class cabin: INR 8080
    2nd class ‘A’ cabin: INR 6420
    2nd class ‘B’ cabin: INR 4960
    Bunk class: INR 2500

    5. MV Akbar

    The beautiful view of MV Akbar sailing in the blue sea

    Image Source

    Mostly plying between Kolkata – Port Blair and Vishakhapatnam – Port Blair, MV Akbar is the oldest operating ship to Andaman.

    Charges:
    Deluxe cabin: INR 9750
    1st class cabin: INR 6890
    2nd class cabin: INR 4190
    Bunk class: INR 2180

    Note: Foreigners must take a permit of 30 days before visiting the island, which can be further extended up to 15 days more. Indians, too, need to obtain a special permit from the office of Deputy Commissioner of Andaman at the port, if one plans to travel to the nearby islands inhabited by tribes.

    FAQs

    i) What is the best time to plan a cruise to Andaman?

    Planning a trip to Andaman by cruise can be done year round. However, January to April is the preferable months when people on board are at the lowest risk of catching seasickness. October to December is the time for monsoon in Bay of Bengal region. The sea is prone to cyclones, and storms, it’s better to avoid cruise trip to Andaman during this phase.

    ii) Are there any private cruises?

    There aren’t any private cruises operating from Indian mainland to Andaman. The ships operating from the ports of Kolkata, Chennai, and Vizag are run by Shipping Corporation of India.

    iii) How to plan a budget trip to the Andaman Islands?

    Making flights booking in advance, and comparing price of stays cover an important aspect of a budget trip to the Andaman Islands. To pull off a budget trip you need to rely on a well chalked-out itinerary when selecting the best Andaman tour package, which can also be customized as per your requirements.

    iv) What is Chennai to Andaman cruise fares?

    There are a number of ships operating from Chennai to Port Blair. The fare of those ships starts from as low as INR 900 for a Bunk Dorm to INR 10000 for a Deluxe Cabin. The price varies for islanders and non-islanders. Take a look at the rate charts mentioned in the blog above.

    v) How should I plan a trip to Andaman & Nicobar Islands?

    To plan a trip, start with jotting down the key aspect of your trip like the best time to visit, places to visit, and things to do in Andaman, as per the duration of your trip. You can also start with considering the best hotels and resorts in Andaman that present you the best of the Islands.

    vi) What food are the Andaman and Nicobar Islands known for?

    Andaman is known for its wide range of delicious seafood. Lobsters, Crab, Prawns, and Cuttlefish are some of the most prominent fish delicacies served in the restaurants in Andaman. Besides, Andamanese loves non-vegetarian food which comprises their staple diet. Other than seafood, Indian and Chinese food is also some of the prominent cuisines available in Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

    After having read all this, aren’t you itching to hear the golden words, “Welcome Aboard”?

    Further Read: Best Experiences On A 6 Day Family Trip To Andaman


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