The Life Line
The ships are rightly called the : Life-Line of Andaman & Nicobar Islands. Any disturbance in the schedule of the ship affects life of local population. 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.
Passenger ship services are available between Port Blair from Chennai, Calcutta and Vishakhapatnam sectors (point to point). 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).
|60 hours from Chennai|
|66 hours from Kolkata|
|56 hours from Vishakapatnam|
M.V. Akbar is the oldest ship
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.
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.
Internet booking (e-ticketing) of the ship tickets is not possible.
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 availability 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 :
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.)