The passenger ships are rightly called the : Life-Line of Andaman & Nicobar Islands. Any disturbance in the schedule of the ship affects life of local population instantly. As Andaman and Nicobar is not self sufficient, inspite of the presence of Cargo ships, a major chunk of necessary goods are also carried by these passengers ships from Indian mainland.
Past / History : Till 1960, ships were the only public mode of transportation to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The Airstrip at Port Blair was not made fit for public avaiation till 1960. 'S.S. Maharaja' was the only ship during 1950's to connect Indian mainland to Port Blair. The Ship Maharaja made around 18 voyages in an year, which roughly translates to 1 trip every 3 weeks to Port Blair. Once in 2 months the ship proceeded from Port Blair to Chennai (then Madras) via Car Nicobar and Nancowrie.
|JOURNEY TIME :|
|60 hours from
66 hours from Kolkatta
56 hours from Vishakapatnam
Passenger ship services are available to Port Blair from Chennai, Calcutta and Vishakhapatnam and back.
The sailings are available from each Port once every week from Calcutta (Kolkata) and Chennai to Port Blair and vice-versa. Usually there is only one sailing from Vizag in a month (unconfirmed).
Facts worth knowing:
M.V. Akbar is the oldest ship
The average capacity of the ship ~ 1100 passengers.
Food is not included in fare and costs around INR 600-800.
It is better to avoid ship travel during May-June-July.
The fares are common for all routes i.e. Chennai-Port Blair, Vizag-Port Blair and Kolkata-Port Blair.
What currently the Andaman & Nicobar Administration has managed to start is a Personal area networking (PAN) connecting 9 Ticketing counters in the Islands and 1 counter each at Chennai and Kolkata (Total 11 counters). This PAN is given a fancy term "Ship Ticket Advance Reservation System " or STARS which may easily confuse anyone as if it is an online e-ticketing system. The concept is similar to the Indian Railway counters 8 years back (when there was no option for online purchase)- one has to show up at the counter, the guy at the counter checks in the computer for the ticket availibility and then issue ticket after payment.
STARS Counters: Tickets can be booked for any of the vessels in any scheduled sailing at the STARS Counters at the following locations :
Chennai Counter Address : Shipping Corporation of India, Landmark: Gate No.1, Chennai Port, Opposite Customs Office, Rajaji Salai, Chennai-1
Kolkatta Counter Address : Shipping Corporation of India, Shipping House no. 13, Strand Road, Kolkata-17. Phone :(033)284456
For vishakapatnam (Vizag-Port Blair) there is no STARS counter and therefore tickets are issued the traditional way. The ticketing agent M/s AV Bhanojirow garuda, Pattabhiramayya & Co issues tickets. Address : Near Port Main Gate, PB.No:17, Vizag .Tel: 0891-256 5597, Fax: 0891 -256 6507.
|NAME OF SHIPS :||CATEGORIES/ CLASSES INSIDE SHIPS:|
2.First class cabins
3.Second class cabins
SHIP FARES (per berth) :
|Name of the vessel||Class of accommodation||Fare per berth (in Indian Rupees)|
|M.V. Nicobar |
First Class Cabin
Second Class Cabin
|M.V. Harshavardhana||Deluxe Cabin
First Class Cabin
Second Class 'A' Cabin Second Class 'B' Cabin
|M.V. Akbar||Deluxe cabin
'1st' Class Cabin
|Ship capacities :|
Name of Ship
For further details and shipping schedule , Contact :
1.Shipping Corporation of India Ltd.
Apeejay house, 4th floor, Dinshaw Wacha road, Mumbai-400020
Tel : 282 2101 / 282 3316, Fax :(022) 202 2438
2. Shipping Corporation of India Ltd.
Shipping House ,No.13 ,Strand Road , Kolkatta- 700 001
Tel :248 2354 , 248 8013, Fax : (033) 248 2035, 248 0377
3. Shipping Corporation of India Ltd.
Jawahar Building , Rajaji Salai , Chennai - 600 001
Tel : (044) 523 1401 , Fax : (044) 523 1218
4.The Deputy Director of Shipping Services
A & N Administration , 6 , Rajaji Salai , Chennai - 600 001
Tel : (044) 522 0841 / 522 6873
5. The Director of Shipping Services
A & N Administration , Phoenix Bay jetty
Port Blair (For M.V. Nancowry and M.V. Swarajdweep)
Tel :(03192) 32528 / 32742 , Fax:(03192) 30480
6. Shipping Corporation of India Ltd.
Aberdeen Bazaar , Portblair - 744 101
Tel :(03192) 33347 , 33590, Fax :(03192) 33778
7. M/s A.V. Bahanojirao and Garuda Pattabhiramayya & Co.
Post box No. 17 , Vishakapatnam
(Agent - Shipping Corporation of India Ltd.)