Renting of a 2 wheeler vehicle is the best way to move on Havelock Island. You can get the 2 wheelers on rent @ Rs. 250/- for 24 hours. You can visit Radhanagar beach from beach number 5. Its a beautiful road so you will certainly enjoy the drive.
Whether you fly in or get the boat to the Andaman Islands, you'll definitely need to use the ferries if you plan to visit more than Port Blair - and you should! From Phoenix Bay Jetty in Port Blair, boats go four times a week (Tues, Wed, Fri and Sat) to Havelock (some boats stop at Neil first, others on the way back). Timings can be a bit erratic but there should be one going to Havelock at 13:30 at least, and there was also one at 12:30 when we were there. The journey takes 2.5 - 3.5 hours, and costs 195r - be warned they rarely have any change.
Rather than flying, you could take the ferry to the Andaman Islands from either Calcutta or Chennai. They leave from both ports roughly twice a week, and take four days. It's a relaxing way of travelling, and the way most Indians get there, as flights are more than twice as expensive than bunk class (about the same as 2nd class).
To get tickets in Calcutta, you need to go to the SCI (Shipping Corporation of India) office, which is at 13 Strand Rd (on the corner with Hare Street, down by the Hooghlie River), on the first floor. You'll need to take your passport, a photocopy of both the photo page AND the Indian visa page, and a couple of passport photos - and plenty of cash! They are only open between 11am and 1pm I think, so get there early and queue. They have boards up telling which ships are leaving and on what dates. As of March 2009, bunk class is about 2000r and 2nd class about 5000r. In 2nd class you share a room containing 6 berths, in bunk, it's open spaces with around 40 berths per 'room'. We heard lots of stories about needing to take lots of food and water - when it came to it, the food (in 2nd class) may have been a bit monotonous, but there was plenty of it. There are a couple of small shops to get drinks and snacks too, although having a couple of bottles of water would probably be a good idea. I'd advise taking toilet paper as well.
One of the best things about taking this boat is that you get to see some fantastic sunsets over the Bay of Bengal, and see some wildlife too - we spotted dolphins and loads of flying fish!
The city has various mode of transport to move around in the city. At airport there are various metered taxi available ( see picture). The best alternative is to take a prepaid one from the arrival lounge. You also get many Auto Rickshaws ( Tuktuk) at vairous point of the city. Then there are Govt. buses for long destinations in the island ( see picture).
Driver Behaviour: I have a habit of interacting with people of various lavel to know about the people, place, and society. After, my four days stay and interaction with many people, I can sum up that Andaman drivers are the most courteous , safe amongst all Indian States. And the worst are Tamilnadu, Delhi, who are famous for bad behaviour, cheating the foreigners, ill manered, charging higher than meter, even molesting woman passenger! In Delhi it is said dont' travel by night in an Auto Rickshaw.
In Andaman, fortunately the Delhi/ Tamilnadu ( Chennai) Auto Driver Virus( ADV) is not present. There may be some ill mannered drivers but that can be handled easily by making a complaint to the Police.
Now there are several flights for Port Blair from Kolkata, Chennai and New Delhi. The island has only one large airport, which is capable of handling 737-800 to Airbus 320A, but it can not handle larger aircrafts like jumbos. The best way to travel to Port Blair is by air only. The tough competition among the domestic players have helped the tourist a lot, they have reduced the fare. No frill airlines like Jet Lite are offering return ticket for as low as Rs11500/- ( USD$ 250) on net booking from Kolkata. It covers 1400 nautical miles and takes two hours. Comparing the distance and flight time the ticket is really cheap. And Jet Lite service is also very good. They provide only water ( 200ml bottle) for free and you can buy your choice of breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks by paying small amount. Which is better, you get a better deal on ticket.
The Port Blair airline and security staff are really polite and know how to handle tourists with out sacrificing security.
Scooters are available for hire at most resorts - price is around 350 rupees per day. The main roads are quite good, if a bit narrow. Most of the roads through the forests are not suitable for scooters as they are bumpy, narrow and sometimes muddy.
There are also plenty of Tuktuks which can be stopped on the main road.
To get to Havelock we flew from Chennai to Port Blair, which took 2 hours. There are regular flights from Chennai with Air India and Jet Air. Our flights were included in our trip so I don't know the cost. If you are able to choose which airline you use Jet Air are far superior with - efficient check in, very good service from smart staff and nice food.
There is a ferry service to Havelock from Port Blair which takes 2 hours and runs every afternoon. Our transport was by Dhongie, a local style of boat which takes 3 hours and is by no means luxurious, but a great experience if you are OK with small boats and getting wet. The baggage is covered with plastic sheets but it's a good idea to pack in waterproof bags. Once you reach the beach you will get wet getting off the boat - especially if the sea is a bit rough. We saw flying fish along the way which was wonderful!
British Nationals need an Indian visa to get to the Andaman Islands, which can be obtained from the Indian High Commission or an agency. Generally the visa takes 1 to 3 weeks, however at busy times it can take longer and when I applied in December the high commission were restricting applications to a certain number per day and you had to make an application to apply for the visa! They would then tell you what date you are able to apply, which may be in a week. The visa is vaild for 6 months so the earlier you apply the better.
Once you arrive at Port Blair you need to fill in a tourist permit form, as well as showing your passport, which takes about 20 minutes and is quite straightforward. This is taken away and processed while you wait. It is important to keep this with you as you will need to get it signed by your hotel manager or tour company and give it to immigration when you leave.
To reach Andaman, you can board ships from Chennai, Kolkotta or Vizag. The ferry ships are operated by The Shipping Corporation Of India Limited. There are 3 to 4 times services a month from Chennai and Kolkotta, and only once a month from Vizag. The time taken to sail from these ports to Port Blair is around 50 to 60 hours. The Bay Of Bengal is most of the time choppy and passengers are likely to have sea sickness. People immune to sea sickness will enjoy the sailing.
You may choose Delxe cabins, air conditioned dormitories or bunker class depending upon your budget. The passenger fare ranges (one way) from INR. 2000/- to INR. 6000/- ( 1 US$ = INR. 40 approximately)Air India and Jet Airways operate flights from Chennai and Kolkotta to Port Blair. Air fare is INR. 11,500/- arroximately (One way). Cheap air tickets are available with Spicejet.
Whether you travel by sea or air, please ensure that you have confirmed resrvation for to & fro journey and for your stay. Otherwise you are likely to get stranded at Port Blair.
Jetairways and Indain Ailines ( alliance air )ways flighs to Andamans.
More details at :
Ships to Andaman
SCI BRANCH OFFICE
The Shipping Corporation of India Ltd.,
"Bell Court House", 4th Floor,
11-12 Blomfield Street,
London - EC2M7AY
Phone : (0044-207) 6288988
Telex : 886087/8811621/8812408 (AB SCI G)
Fax : (0044-207) 6286858
Grams/Cables : SHIPINDIA
For London Only : INDSHIPCO
Motorbikes, Scooters and Mopeds are available on hire
State Transport Service and Private Operators run regular city and suburban bus services from Central Bus Stand, Near Aberdeen Bazaar, Port Blair. The bus for Rangat, Mayabunder and Diglipur also leaves from this Bus Stand.
Inter Island Transport
Directorate of Shipping Services operates Inter Island passenger cum cargo ferries from Phoenix Bay Jetty, Fisheries Jetty and Chatham Jetty all at Port Blair to:
Havelock Island, Neil Island, Rangat, Mayabunder and Diglipur.
Little Andaman, Car Nicobar, Chowra, Nancowry, Katchal and Campbell Bay.
Regular commuter ferry services from Phoenix Bay, Junglighat and Chatham Jetties are also available
This map gives you an idea of the location of most of the activity sites on the island (courtesy of Barefoot at Havelock guest directory)
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