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Chennai to Andaman by ship

Discussion in 'By The Sea' started by Aagesh, Apr 6, 2017.

  1. Aagesh

    Aagesh New Member

    I would like to know if it is possible to travel from Chennai to Andaman by ship. If yes there are a few questions which I would like answered so I can plan my trip.

    1. How long does it take to travel from Chennai to Andaman by ship?

    2. What is the ship fare from Chennai to Andaman?

    3. Where do I purpose the ship tickets from? Are they available online?

    4. Where does the ship arrive in Andaman?
     


  2. briannagodess

    briannagodess Well-Known Member

    Hello, @Aagesh, welcome to the forum!

    chennai-to-andaman-by-ship.

    Overview

    With a bit of heritage, a lot of white-sand beaches and the promise of spectacular diving experiences, the Andaman Islands is truly India's set of treasure islands. This is the country's very own Maldives, where the seas are clear blue and the sands are silky white. This 500-plus set of islands are located away from the mainland India though and requires a more thorough planning especially when it comes to reaching it. Because of its location, road access is impossible, only air or sea journey is possible. Of the two, air journey is more comfortable and quick, but also a bit more expensive. If you want to save some money or maybe just experience a more rustic way of reaching the Andaman Islands, this guide is for you.

    Indian Ports & Andaman Islands

    There are three main cities from where you can board a ship going to the Andaman Islands. The first city is Kolkata, from which the Port of Kolkata operates, the oldest port in the country. The second city is Visakhapatnam, from which the Visakhapatnam Port operates, the only port in the state of Andhra Pradesh. And last but definitely not the least, is the city of Chennai, from which the Chennai Port operates, one of the largest container ports in India. So in this guide, we would be more focused on the last one, the city of Chennai and its port, the Chennai Port.

    Duration of Journey from Different Ports to Andaman

    FromToJourney Duration (By Ship)
    Port of KolkataPort Blair (Andaman)66 Hours
    Visakhapatnam PortPort Blair (Andaman)56 Hours
    Chennai PortPort Blair (Andaman)60 Hours
    These are the different journey durations from the various ports of India to Port Blair, located in the Andaman Islands. From the Port of Kolkata, the journey is around 66 hours, which is around 2 days and 18 hours of travelling. From the Visakhapatnam Port, the journey is around 56 hours, which is around 2 days and 8 hours of travelling. And from the Chennai Port, the journey is around 60 hours, which is around 2 days and 12 hours of travelling. As you can see, journey duration varies depending on the port where you come from.

    Ships for Andaman from Chennai Port

    There are six main ships operated by the Shipping Corporation of India that reach the Port Blair in the Andaman Islands. However, not all of these ships sail from Chennai Port to Port Blair. Some sail only from the Port of Kolkata or Visakhapatnam Port, or both. Sailing schedules also aren't fixed though there are usually ship schedules every week per port.

    Different Ships to Andaman from Chennai Port

    Ship NamePort of KolkataVisakhapatnam PortChennai Port
    MV Harshavardhana
    MV Nancowry
    MV Nicobar
    MV Swaraj Deep
    MV Akbar
    MV Campbell Bay
    From the table above, you can see that there are four ships sailing from the Chennai Port to Port Blair in the Andaman Islands. These are the following: MV Harshavardhana, MV Nancowry, MV Swaraj Deep and MV Campbell Bay. There are two more ships, the MV Nicobar and MV Akbar, but they have sparse sailings from the Chennai Port in a year.

    Booking for Ship Tickets from Chennai

    There is only one way for booking of tickets from the Chennai Port to Port Blair in Andaman Islands. This is through any of the STARS (Ship Ticket Advance Reservation System) Counters in Chennai. As of now, there is still no online portal that you can utilise to book such tickets. Follow the steps below to book for your ship tickets from Chennai Port to Port Blair.

    1. Contact the specific booking counter, depending on which ship you would be reserving tickets for, at least five days in advance, prior to the scheduled departure of the ship. Reservation though usually opens a month before the scheduled departure so the earlier you contact them, the better. Their specific numbers would be given below so that you can contact them easily. Inquire about all the possible questions you have in mind as it's better to get the information directly from the management.

    2. Reach the specific booking counter office on the specified date agreed upon. From the booking counter office, complete the Application Form for all members of the group who would be embarking on the journey. Also make sure that you bring at least two passport sized photographs for each member of the group. Do bring an identification proof that is government issued like a driving license or PAN card. You would also be required to bring an address proof. For foreigners, your passport can serve as an identification proof and your visa would also be required during booking.

    3. Submit the completed Application Form along with the other requirements to the clerk in the booking counter office. Pay the required ticket charges and you can then obtain your ship ticket. Wait for the day of your scheduled journey and then board the ship to Port Blair in the Andaman Islands.

    STARS Ticket Booking Counters in Chennai

    Booking CounterSpecific Bookings For ShipsAddressContact Number
    Office of the Deputy Director CounterMV Nancowry & MV SwarajdeepAdjacent to Gate No. 1 of Chennai Port, Opposite Customs Office, Rajaji Salai, Chennai, Tamil Nadu+ 91 44 2523 1401
    Office of the Shipping Corporation of India CounterMV Harshavardhana & MV Campbell BayNo. 17, Jawahar Building 2nd Floor, Rajaji Salai, Parrys, Opposite Custom House, Chennai, Tamil Nadu+91 44 2522 6873
    These are the STARS Ticket Booking Counters in Chennai Port. The first one is the Office of the Deputy Director Counter, which is just adjacent to the Gate No. 1 of the Chennai Port. You can contact and reach this counter for bookings related to the MV Nancowry and MV Swarajdeep. The second one is the Office of the Shipping Corporation of India Counter, which is located at the Jawahar Building in the Chennai Port. You can contact and reach this counter for bookings related to the MV Harshavardhana and MV Campbell Bay.

    Ship Fares from Chennai Port to Port Blair in Andaman Islands

    Fares vary depending on the ship you would be boarding plus the specific class of accommodation you would be booking. Do keep in mind that these ships aren't cruise-type vessels but more on the passenger-type vessels. Thus, the availability of luxuries and food options are very limited. On other aspects like bathrooms, tourist facilities and such though, the ships do deliver and are definitely the best option for those travelling on a budget.

    Fares for MV Nancowry, MV Swaraj Deep and MV Campbell Bay

    Class of AccommodationFareInclusionsCabin Features
    Deluxe CabinRs. 10,240Transfer from Chennai Port to Port Blair + Private AccommodationTwo Beds + Fridge + Television + Attached Bathroom
    First Class CabinRs. 8,490Transfer from Chennai Port to Port Blair + AccommodationFour Beds + Locker + Attached Bathroom
    Second Class CabinRs. 6,750Transfer from Chennai Port to Port Blair + AccommodationSix Beds + Shared Bathroom
    BunkRs. 2,360Transfer from Chennai Port to Port Blair + AccommodationHall with Bunk Beds + Shared Bathrooms
    Fares for MV Harshavardhana

    Class of AccommodationFareInclusionsCabin Features
    Deluxe CabinRs. 10,240Transfer from Chennai Port to Port Blair + Private AccommodationTwo Beds + Fridge + Television + Attached Bathroom
    First Class CabinRs. 8,490Transfer from Chennai Port to Port Blair + AccommodationFour Beds + Locker + Attached Bathroom
    Second Class 'A' CabinRs. 6,750Transfer from Chennai Port to Port Blair + AccommodationSix Beds + Shared Bathroom
    Second Class 'B' CabinRs. 5,210Transfer from Chennai Port to Port Blair + AccommodationSix Beds + Shared Bathroom
    BunkRs. 2,360Transfer from Chennai Port to Port Blair + AccommodationHall with Bunk Beds + Shared Bathrooms
    All these fare rates don't include any meals yet so you have to add that into your budget. For meals, they usually cost Rs. 80 to Rs. 100 per dish. It is also advisable to bring your own snacks and water so that you won't need to shell out as much money during the journey. You can also access most areas of the ship freely, like the sun deck, cinema hall and dance floor area.

    Ship Schedules for Chennai Port to Port Blair for May 2017

    As mentioned above, the schedules usually differ every month each year. Thus, it's best to reach the website of the Shipping Corporation of India to get the latest schedules and updates about the ships. The most recently uploaded schedule was for the months of May and April, this year, 2017.

    May to April 2017 Schedules for Ships from Chennai Port to Port Blair

    Date of Departure (Chennai Port)Date of Arrival (Port Blair)TimingShip
    08/05/201711/05/201710:00MV Swaraj Deep
    23/05/201726/05/201710:00MV Nancowry
    05/06/201708/06/201710:00MV Nancowry
    Only two ships, the MV Swaraj Deep and MV Nancowry, have schedules for the months of the entire May and beginning of April. The specific schedules of the ships were highlighted above. The ships usually departs from the Chennai Port at around 10:00 in the morning. However, you need to contact the specific booking office prior to the scheduled departure as delays and postponements are not uncommon.

    Conclusion

    This concludes our short guide on ship journey from Chennai Port to Port Blair in Andaman Islands. Journey duration is a minimum of 60 hours but it's also not unusual for the trip to be as long as 100 hours due to delays and postponements that commonly plague this route. For families, they can save some money by booking either the First Class Cabin or Second Class Cabin. The Deluxe Cabin is also a good option though its rate is on the higher side. Bunks are better for bachelors or groups of friends.

    I hope this helps you!:)