Travel by ship to Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar Islands

The ships plying between Indian Mainland to Andaman Islands are rightly called the "Life-Line of Andaman & Nicobar Islands". As Andaman and Nicobar is not self sufficient, in-spite of the presence of Cargo ships, a major chunk of necessary cargo are transported by these passenger ships. Any disturbance in the schedule of the ship affects life of local population.


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).

Mainland India to Port Blair Ship Route Map

60 hours from Chennai
66 hours from Kolkata
56 hours from Vishakapatnam

Facts worth knowing

Food is not included in fare and costs around INR 700-900. Choice of food is very limited.

It is better to avoid ship travel during May-June-July as sea is known to stay rough during this period.

The fares are common for all routes i.e. Chennai - Port Blair, Vizag - Port Blair and Kolkata - Port Blair.

They are not cruise ships - with limited on board entertainment like TV that screens one Hindi and one English Movie everyday.

M.V. Akbar was the oldest ship (comissioned in 1971) plying until recently. It was decommission in August 2017 after 45 years of service [ MV Akbar no more to provide services for Islands ] , after planning since 2015 [DSS recommends SCI to decommission of vessel MV Akbar ...]

SHIP FARES (per berth- 2016-17) : Andaman and Nicobar Islands

Name of the vesselClass of accommodationNon-Islanders (Fare-INR) Islanders (Fare-INR)
M.V. Nicobar
M.V. Nancowry
M.V. Swarajdweep
M.V. Campbell Bay
Deluxe Cabin
First Class Cabin
Second Class Cabin
Bunk (Dorm)
M.V. HarshavardhanaDeluxe Cabin
First Class Cabin
Second Class 'A' Cabin
Second Class 'B' Cabin
Bunk (Dorm)
M.V. AkbarDeluxe cabin
'1st' Class Cabin
AC Dormitory
Ordinary Bunk

SHIP Capacity

Name of the Ship Cabin Bunk/Deck Total Passengers Cargo (MT)
1MV. Harshavardhana [IMO 7219026]1535957481500
2MV. Nancowry [IMO 8606434]30090012001500
3MV. Nicobar [IMO 8606161]30090012001500
4MV. Swaraj dweep [IMO 9101168]30090012001500
5MV Akbar [IMO 7116975]121141415351500
6MV. Campbell Bay [IMO 9309124]

Past History

S.S. Maharaja - The Ship>

S.S. Maharaja in 1952

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 aviation 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.

Ticket Booking

Internet booking (e-ticketing) of the ship ticket 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 many years back (when there was no option for online purchase)- one has to show up at the counter, then the clerk at the counter checks in the computer for the ticket availability and then issue ticket after payment.
Documents required for booking :

  • Passport size photos 2
  • Govt. provided Identity Proof
  • address proof
  • Entry form duly filled
STARS Counters: Tickets can be booked for any of the vessels in any scheduled sailing at the STARS Counters at the following locations :

Port Blair
Car Nicobar
Campbell Bay

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.
More Details of the above Ships


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. Shri A.V. Bhanoji Rao, Garudapattabhiramayya & Co.
Post box No. 17 , Near Port Gate, Vishakapatnam - 530035
(Agent - Shipping Corporation of India Ltd.)