Port Blair & Havelock – Itinerary with costs, reviews, schedules etc.

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Andaman - Port Blair, Havelock

Port Blair & Havelock – Itinerary with costs, reviews, schedules etc.

Andaman and Nicobar (especially Havelock island) had been on our radar for long. In one of the Spicejet sale, we saw that the Chennai- Port Blair return was costing ~Rs.11500 for all of us (2 adults and 1 child). We grabbed the opportunity and tickets were booked for Sep 2015.

Planning for it started almost 6 months before the actual travel. We read reviews on Tripadvisor, followed many travel blogs to settle upon the hotels and activities we wanted to do. We also got some quotations for Andaman tour packages, to see what they cover and how much they charge. Since the time we have started travelling with our son, we do most of our bookings in advance to avoid any inconvenience. We wanted to make sure this was a memorable holiday.

Our itinerary for 6N/7D was:

Day 1: Chennai to Port Blair by flight

Andaman islands seen from the flight

Port Blair Coastline - Aerial view

Port Blair flight view

Day 2, 3 and 4: Havelock Island

Beautiful beautiful Havelock

Day 5, 6: Port Blair, Ross Island

Ross Island

Day 7: Port Blair – Chennai- Hyd

We choose to travel in the off-season since the rates are low and the crowd is less. Andaman tourism picks up in Oct and Sep was the perfect time to travel. We decided the hotels based on the activities we wanted to do and convenience from kiddo’s point of view. 6 days was less for a place like Andaman, but we didn’t want to plan very hectic.

Accommodation/ Hotels in Andaman:

Day 1, Port Blair: Hotel Sentinel. We chose this based on the hotel reviews on Tripadvisor. Our criteria was to be close to the Phoenix Bay Jetty (where Havelock ferries start), close to the Cellular Jail (since that was the first place we wanted to visit) and kiddo-friendly (pool and garden area).

Day 2, 3, 4 in Havelock island: Dolphin Resort. This booking was a tricky one. No. 1 on TripAdvisor was Barefoot and some friends gave a great review about it too. But it was too costly. We didn’t want to spend so much on hotels. We were oscillating between Silver Sand Resort and Dolphin (which is promoted by Andaman tourism). Dolphin is a Govt property so we assumed service would be non-existent. Reviews said the view was fantastic but the beach in front was rocky. The rooms in Silver Sand that face the Vijay Nagar beach were too expensive and the rest of the rooms were on the other side of the road, so we finally settled for Dolphin Resort. Glad we booked Dolphin resort finally.

Day 5, 6 in Port Blair: The only resort that had beach access in Port Blair was Peerless Sarovar Portico. It was little far from the attractions, but beach access was our criterion for choosing it.

Bookings for the hotel:

We booked Sentinel and Sarovar Portico online through yatra.com. We got good deals during holiday sales. Do check out online deals before booking the hotels. Also, if you have time in hand, wait for festivals. MakeMyTrip, Yatra, Cleartrip, Travelguru etc have deals during festivals. Don’t be too greedy, though. If you wait too long and a better deal, you may not get any deal. 50% off, Rs.1500 off per night etc are good deals to grab.

Tip 1: Flat Rs.1500 off etc are on the total booking amount. So book the hotels for individual nights in different names (could be your name on 1st and 3rd night and your spouse’s on the 2nd). This would ensure you get the max benefit. Mail the hotel later to tell them they are all your bookings and you want to continue in the same room for all nights.

Tip 2: When doing online bookings, ALWAYS mail the hotel to make sure your bookings are confirmed. Send the hotel voucher(s) in the mail. If they don’t reply, call them. With these huge discount deals online, there is a small chance hotel may not honour them. Also, carry a print out of the booking vouchers.

Tip 3: If you have any loyalty cards like JP Miles Card etc., carry them. I did not carry my JP Miles card since we were not travelling by Jet Airways but Sarovar Portico had a 10% discount for Jet customers. They finally gave me the discount with only the number, but many might not.

Dolphin Resort: Booking this property requires patience. Their official website is http://aniidco.and.nic.in/dolphin-resort.php. You need to call up the Andaman Tourist Info Center at Port Blair on 03192- 232694/ 03192-231664/ 03192- 232380 and/or mail them at accomodation6@gmail.com or dolphin.aniidco@gmail.com. We did both, though no one replied to our mail. After few followups on phone, they sent us a mail that said they have blocked the room for us. We needed to send them a DD (yes, a DD 🙂 for half the amount to confirm booking. We booked a super deluxe room, which is the highest category room at Rs.4000 per night (taxes extra@ 14%). Bookings at Dolphin does not include any complimentary breakfast or bed tea etc. Check their website for latest room rates.

Travel Ticket Bookings:

Hyd – Chennai: By Train. The available flight was at 5:45 am, and we didn’t want to take a flight that early. Decided to visit relatives in Chennai and then proceed to Port Blair.

Chennai – Port Blair: Spicejet flight at 11:45m. Reached Port Blair at around 1:45 pm.

Port Blair – Havelock island: The only way to go to Havelock is by ferry.

Ferry from Port Blair to Andaman:

Coastal cruise: Private operator. They do not sail in the off-season , though. We went in September end and they were not sailing.

 

Coastal Cruise parked at the ferry terminal

Makruzz: Private  operator. We took this for our Port Blair  – Havelock leg. They have 3 categories -. We took the Deluxe Class which had upper deck seating and complimentary breakfast. The Deluxe class has only the side view from glass windows. Captain’s cabin is on the upper deck so front view is completely blocked. The Royal class is on the upper deck towards the back and has a huge glass window at the back. The lower deck has a better view because of the side windows  as well as front window. It’s more crowded though.

MV Makruzz

MV green ocean: It’s also a private operator. We didn’t take it since the timings were not comfortable for us.

MV Green Ocean sailing

Govt ferry: Unless you have no other option, don’t opt for this. You may get lucky with the seats, but if you are stuck in a cabin where AC is not working, your day is ruined. We took the govt. ferry for our Havelock- Port  Blair travel and got a seat in the lower deck where AC was not working. The cabin was stuffy with insufficient number of fans positioned badly. Ticket is priced at Rs.400 per person and the booking starts 4 days in advance. Booking for 27th for eg. will open on 23rd. And you have to stand in queue to get it. Its much better to get this done through an agent or your hotel. Most of the hotels get it done for their guests. Hotel Sentinel charged us Rs.100 extra per seat and got it done.They got it sent to Silver Sands Resort in Havelock and we collected it when we were in Havelock.

Govt ferry between Havelock and Port Blair

Ferry schedules are as follows (as on Sep 2015):

Ferry Schedule for M.V Makruzz

Sector Departure Arrival
PORT BLAIR-HAVELOCK 08:15 09:45
HAVELOCK-PORT BLAIR 10:45 12:15
PORT BLAIR-HAVELOCK 14:00 15:45
HAVELOCK-PORT BLAIR 16:00 17:30

(Thursday: 02.00 pm, 10.45 am Makruzz do not sail)

Ferry Schedule for M.V.Coastal Cruise

Sector Departure Arrival
PORT BLAIR – NEIL 07:30 09:00
NEIL -HAVELOCK 09:30 10:30
HAVELOCK–NEIL 11:00 12:00
NEIL -PORT BLAIR 16:15 17:45

Ferry Schedule for M.V.Green Ocean

Sector Departure Arrival
PORT BLAIR-HAVELOCK 06:45 08:45
HAVELOCK-PORT BLAIR 15:00 17:00

Ferry timings for Government Ferry

Sector Departure Arrival
PORT BLAIR-HAVELOCK 06:20 08:50
HAVELOCK-PORT BLAIR 16:30 19:00
PORT BLAIR-HAVELOCK 14:00 16:30
HAVELOCK-PORT BLAIR 09:00 11:30
PORT BLAIR-NEIL 11:00 13:00
NEIL – HAVELOCK 14:00 15:30

Contacts for Andaman ferry bookings:

Coastal Cruise: coastalcruise@ymail.com / http://coastalcruise.in (The site seems to be suspended now, but they did revert on our email query)

MV Makruzz: mvmakruzz@gmail.com /  http://makruzz.com/

MV Green Ocean:  support@greenoceancruise.com/ http://greenoceancruise.com

Govt Ferry: Check with your hotel or travel agent to book tickets. Some online travel agents like  https://trip.experienceandamans.com/ferry/government-ferry.html seem to sell tickets too. No personal experience with them, though.

Travel inside Port Blair and Havelock Island:

Port Blair: Autos are available in plenty in Port Blair. We spoke to the auto guy who dropped us from Cellular Jail to Sentinel on the first day and took his number so he could be with us through our Port Blair stay. His name is Partho and his number is +91 9474243638/ 9679532110. Very friendly guy from Kolkata and charged us very nominal too. Cellular Jail to Sentinel was Rs.30, Sentinel to Phoenix Jetty was Rs.50. When we returned from Havelock, we called Partho again at Phoenix Jetty. We stayed at Peerless Sarovar Portico which was quite far (by Port Blair standards) from the jetty. He dropped us there and went back. Again came back in the afternoon and took us to the Water park side and dropped us back around dinner. For this, he charged us Rs.500, which was very fair. Last day also we called him in the morning at checkout and he stayed with us until 2pm, even took care of our luggage when we were site-seeing or dining; and charged us Rs.850.

Havelock Island: Autos are available in Havelock. There are buses too from jetty to Radhanagar beach. If you are planning to stay in Havelock for more than a day and can drive, hiring a two-wheeler is the best option. Scooty and bikes are available at Rs.300/ 24hrs and petrol is Rs.70/litre (Update May 2017: I am told the tariff has now increased to Rs.400 – Rs.500). We hired a scooty from the shop outside Dophin resort. It was called Bappa Travels and their number is +91-9474222180/ 9679532542. There are small shops where petrol is available. Even the supermarket stocks it. Auto charged Rs.100 to the Dolphin resort. Most of the resorts are in the same stretch and auto fares are similar; except for Barefoot which is towards the Radhanagar beach. Our auto driver’s name was Bidhan and his number is +91-9476004046. His rates are same during off-season and season. Charges Rs.500 from resort to Radhanagar beach and back. He charges Rs.400 from resort to Kala Pathar beach and back.  The rates almost double for foreigners.

Havelock AC Bus Timing

Travel:

We reached Port Blair at 2 pm. Port Blair airport is very small and becomes very chaotic if more than 2 flights land around the same time. They have only 2 conveyor belts for checked-in baggage and everyone crowded around them. Same with the restrooms. Its super crowded. There is a small tourist help centre in front of the conveyor belts where you can book prepaid taxi and get some basic info. Prepaid to Sentinel was Rs.120 and we booked it.

Hotel Sentinel is located quite centrally and is a well-maintained place. We were very hungry and to our relief, lunch was available even at 3 pm. Veg Meal for 2 (1 curry, 1 dal, 1 rice, few rotis) at Sentinel costs close to Rs.600.

Our room at Hotel Sentinel Swimming pool at Hotel Sentinel, Port Blair

We had heard and read stories about the role of Andaman in India’s freedom struggle and it was only fitting to start the travel by visiting Cellular Jail.

Cellular Jail is open from 9 a.m to 5 p.m except on Mondays. The ticket is Rs.30 per person and is available until 4.15 p.m. We went on the World Tourism Day and entry to the jail and museum was free.

Hindi light and sound show is at 6.15 p.m and English at 7.15 p.m. Ticket for the light and sound show are available from 5.15 pm for Hindi show and 6.15 pm for English show. The duration is 55 mins and seats are first come first so be sure to get in the queue early. 

Tips for Cellular Jail light and sound show:

  • There is a separate ladies queue, which is usually shorter.
  • Carry mosquito repellents.
  • If you have kids along, carry some time pass activities for them. They get bored waiting, first at the ticket counter, then in the entry line and finally waiting for the show to start.
  • Use of camera or camcorders is strictly prohibited.
  • The ticket is priced at Rs.50 per seat. If you want a separate seat for your kiddo, buy a separate ticket. The seats are limited and even on a weekday, the show is houseful.

First look of the Cellular Jail Cellular Jail lighted for the sound and light show Venue of the Light and sound show, Cellular Jail

The show could have been better, given the subject.

Sun sets by 5.15 p.m and it usually gets dark in Port Blair by 6 p.m. The water sports centre is close by and the Children’s park there is open until 7 pm. They have a traffic park, slides, swings etc. Good time pass for kids. Water sports, however, closes by 5 pm. We visited the park again after our return from Havelock.

Day 2:

Travel to Havelock by MV Makruzz was quite pleasant.

Light House which is seen on Rs.20 note

Havelock is rightly called the Pearl of Andamans. The moment you step into Havelock, you can see the crystal blue sea, white sands and friendly people. We had booking at Dolphin Resort which is a govt. owned property.

Dolphin Resort is best located to see the beautiful sunrise at Havelock. Its heaven if you are a morning person. We booked a super-deluxe room. There are 8 super deluxe rooms, all of which have the sea view. However, 4 of them are reserved for VIPs. Some of the deluxe rooms also have sea view, but one can never be sure which room would be booked for you. Some deluxe rooms are also reserved and do not get booked for tourists.

Map of Dolphin resort, Havelock

It is best if you can book a super deluxe room. It has a kettle, fridge and intercom. And an LCD TV (yes, other rooms have CRT TV it seems). Though there is a kettle, there are no tea bags, sugar etc. We had read in one of the TripAdvisor reviews that they charge Rs.50 for that so we carried our own. These things are easily available in the shop outside Dolphin.

The restaurant at Dolphin is under renovation and the make shift one is a small one right next to the reception. They serve buffets for all 3 meals. Breakfast is Rs.75, lunch Rs.150 and dinner Rs.150. They didn’t charge anything for our 4yr old kiddo, but otherwise the charges are same for kids. All meals are very home-like. Breakfast usually has poori bhajia, toast and 1 more dish (upma/ idly etc). Lunch and Dinner are 2 veg curries, 1 dal, 1 sweet, papad, rice and chapatis. There are some ala-carte dishes available (veg and non-veg), but you need to tell them in advance if you need them. We read in reviews that you need to tell in advance if you want to have buffet too. However, we never saw anyone being denied meals because they didn’t tell in advance. We ourselves had 2 breakfast and 2 lunches without informing them earlier. The only room service available is Bed Tea (chargeable).

Dolphin resort beach during low tide Super deluxe room at Dolphin Resort, Havelock

One cannot swim in front of the beach in front of the resort. It is not all rocky, though. The portion in front of the super deluxe rooms is rather pleasant to walk in low tide. It has live corals and you can see sea cucumbers and some small fishes too if you walk patiently and quietly! The beach in front of the deluxe rooms is rocky.

Sea Cucumbers during low tide at Dolphin Resort Corals during low tide at Dolphin Resort, Havelock Crab art :) Dolphin resort beach is full of these beautiful crab arts

Sunrise happens at around 4:30 am in Andamans. Its worth waking up though 🙂

Sunrise at dolphin resort. Havelock Kiddo enjoying with beach toys during high tideWalkway at Dolphin resort, Havelock

Attractions at Havelock:

  • Radhanagar Beach: This is one of the most talked about beaches in Havelock. Its in the west and crowd usually gathers there to watch the sunset. When we went there, the beach was not that clean. Though its shallow and one can easily go inside the water and play, the waves are big.

Radhanagar beach, Havelock Foliage at Radhanagar beach, HavelockSwiss Domes at Radhanagar beach

The green sphere like thing is a Swiss Dome at Radhanagar Beach. 2 of them are let out to tourists by the Andaman Govt (booking process is same as Dolphin resort). However, the place is secluded and there is nothing to do after dark. There are no restaurants closeby. If you fancy staying with the sound of the crashing waves, this might be a good accommodation for you!

Sunset at Radhanagar beach, havelock

Kiddo had more fun with his beach toys since the waves were big and lot of foliage was coming with the waves.

Project bus in progress :)

The beach is around 12kms from Dolphin Resort. The roads in Havelock are very narrow and it takes around 30mins to reach the beach. Sun sets at around 5 pm, so we started at 3 pm so we could spend some time playing on the beach too.

  • Kala Pathar Beach: This is one of the less talked about beaches in Havelock. That has its own advantages – less crowd and cleaner. Its on the east coast so no sunset view. But the waves are low and its easy to play with kids. Its around 5kms from Dolphin Resort towards the south. We were so impressed with Kala Pathar Beach that we went on both 3rd and 4th evening. Kiddo had fun in his swimming ring and forgot his beach toys 🙂

Kala Pathar beach, Havelock Shallow and clean water at Kala Pathar beach Calm and serene Kala pathar beach, Havelock Lucky to spot a rainbow

  • Market@ Havelock: Evening market at Havelock is good if you want to have some snacks. Its like a mini-Kolkata 🙂 You get good Pani Puri, Samosa (I heard someone calling Samosa ‘Singhada’ after ages), Chaat etc.
  • Island tours: Island hopping to Elephant beach is another activity available in Havelock. The tour usually costs Rs.150 per person. Unfortunately, the tour was not available on the day we went because of the weather.
  • Scuba Diving: There are many Scuba Diving Centers at Havelock. Most of them like Dive India, Ocean Tribe, Barefoot Scuba etc offer diving courses as well. They have their own basic accommodations as well for people opting for long term courses. We inquired with Dive India and Ocean Tribe. Dive India has 2 packages – Rs.3500 for 25min which includes training as well and Rs.4500 for 60min dive excluding training. Ocean Tribe has 40min dive excluding training at Rs.3500. All of them give a CD with photos and 1 min video. We felt Ocean Tribe was better and went with them one morning. Since we do not know swimming, we could go only as deep as 8-9mts. Kids above 8yrs are allowed to dive. There was something called Bubble play also for kids above 8 yrs of age.

Dear huband during SCUBA diving, Havelock SCUBA Diving

  • Vijay Nagar Beach: Silver Sands Resort is on the Vijay Nagar beach. Its away from the rocks and corals in front of Dolphin Resort and is maintained beautifully. Its a private beach of the resort. We went to get our tickets for Govt. ferry and went to the beach too. I don’t think they allow outsiders, but you can dine with them and use the beach I guess.

Vijay Nagar beach, Havelock

  • Sea Walking: Sea Walking is somewhat similar to Scuba Diving. In Sea Walking, you need to wear a helmet and oxygen is pumped inside the helmet. You can breathe normally and walk on the sea bed. The difference from SCUBA is that you cannot move your head. So you see fishes that come in front of the helmet. You can feed the fishes so they come close to you. Also, they have a vast net inside which the fishes are there. In Scuba, you are free to move around. The charges are Rs.3200 per person and kids above 7 yrs of age can do it. It was closed for monsoons when we went.

Sea Walking, Havelock

Dining options in Havelock:

There are many restaurants in Havelock and almost all are priced at-par. Veg Meal for 2 (1 curry, 1 dal, few rotis/ rice) would cost around Rs.600. A non-veg meal would close to Rs.1000.

  • Anju Coco: It’s on the main road and close to most of the resorts. It has a good seating area and ambience is also good. The food was one of the best we had in Havelock. We tried it on 2 nights – Chinese on one night and South Indian the other, both were good.
  • Fat Martin: Close to Anju Coco. The place is small but decent. We had only Pizza there, which was good. We wanted no spices for the kiddo on the pizza, but the Margarita came with pepper. Make sure they take instructions properly. Condiments were also not provided for take-away.

Fat Martin, Havelock

  • Full Moon Cafe: This one is also close to Dolphin resort. Its inside the Dive India premises. We ordered take-away since kiddo was very tired. Food was surprisingly quite good. Dahi Baigan masala is worth mentioning 🙂
  • Welcome Restaurant: This one is in the market area. Some local guy suggested it and we went with high hopes about the food. We didn’t expect much in terms of ambiance and we were right. It was like a small dhaba. Food was great disappointment though. We ordered Dal, Bhindi Masala, Chapathi, Rice and Dahi. Nothing was up to the mark. Even chapathis were very thick. Pricing is similar to other restaurants though. They had Italian and Arabic food also on their menu, maybe they are popular for that.
  • Dakshin: Dakshin restaurant is maintained by Barefoot Group. It’s at the Havelock jetty. We had to take the 9 am government ferry so we decided to have breakfast there. The food was quite good, ambience is okay.

Menu at Dakshin, Havelock Jetty

There were some today’s special items too.

Today's special at Dakshin, Havelock

Most of the resorts in Havelock have a restaurant too.

Accommodations with beach access in Havelock:

Most of the resorts in Havelock have a beach access; the key is to have sea view. All resorts on the east side of the island, have direct access to beach. Some part of Govind Nagar beach is rocky. Vijay Nagar beach is very good, with turquoise water and less wind. Silver Sands Resort is located very strategically with private access to Vijay Nagar Beach, but none of their rooms have sea view. Even the best rooms they have face each other instead of facing of beach. Most of their rooms are on the other side of the road and don’t have direct beach access.

Private Beach, Silver Sands Recliners at private beach at Silver Sands, Havelock Rooms near the beach, Silver Sand, Havelock

Munjoh Ocean resort, Emerald Gecko and Wild Orchid are also on Vijay Nagar beach.

Day 5, 6: We returned back to Port Blair on the Government Ferry. The journey was as uncomfortable as it can get. ACs not working, fans positioned wrong. It was very stuffy inside and many passengers spent their time on the deck.

Kiddo on the deck of Govt ferry from Havelock to Port Blair

After we reached Phoenix Jetty, Port Blair, Partho picked us up and dropped us at Peerless Sarovar Portico. It has direct access to Corbyn’s Cove beach.

Peerless Sarovar Portico facade, Port Blair Our room at Peerless Sarovar Portico  Beach access at Peerless Sarovar Portico, Port Blair

Rooms are comfortable with all amenities, and our room had the sea view. The beach in front of Sarovar Portico is on the east and sunrise happens around 4:45 am.

We had our lunch at Corbyn’s Delight, the in-house restaurant at the hotel. The food was good, though expensive. Veg Meal for 2 is close to Rs.1000. Room service is available too. There is a KTDC restaurant “The Waves” at the beach itself. It was reasonably priced, though we did not get a chance to try it (Meal for 2 would have costed close to Rs.400).

Corbyn's Delight restaurant

Things to do in Port Blair:

  • Cellular Jail: We had been to the Light and Sound Show on the first day of our trip, but did not have enough time to see the museum and the jail. So we proceeded to the jail after lunch.

Cellular Jail tower One of the wings of Cellular Jail

Model of the Cellular Jail,Andaman

Veer Damodar Savarkar Cell, Cellular Jail, Port Blair Dungeons for death sentence at Cellular Jail, Andaman Solitary Cells

  • Children’s Park: This is walkable from Cellular Jail and Water Sports Complex. We went to the park after Cellular Jail. It is open until 7 pm and has traffic park, slides, swings, lawn etc. On the lane behind the park, cultural program was scheduled at 6pm. This program happens on 2 Sundays of the month. It has a yoga program by children and bengali songs. Local people put up stalls selling snacks, toys etc.

Inflatable elephants at the cultural program, Port Blair

  • Andaman Water Sports Center: We went to Sports complex in the morning on 6th day. Plan was to finish water sports and then proceed to Ross Island. Sports complex is at Aberdeen Jetty from where Ross Island ferry goes. It is maintained by a private operator and has water sports activities priced atrociously high. There is a water slide which looks interesting. However, since the slide is high, you come down at a very high speed and get inside the sea. It can get scary though you are wearing life jacket. We did that but didn’t get on the slide (was a waste of Rs.350 per person for 45min). There is a bumper boat which costs Rs.200 per person for 7mins.

Water Slide at Andaman Water Sport Complex Bumper boat at Andaman Water Sports complex Andaman Water Sports - Water Sports Rate Card

  • Ross Island: Ross Island has to be visited from Abredeen ferry. It takes hardly 10 min to reach there. There are govt ferries at specific times ( the last ferry is at 2pm from Port Blair) and private operators too. Ferry costs Rs.100 per person and the entry ticket to the island is Rs.30 per person. We went by the 12:30 ferry. You need to come back by the same ferry after 2 hrs.

Ferry to ross island

There is a small shop on the inland which sells chips, cold drinks etc.The place is full of ruins, which look amazing. It takes an hour and a half to walk. Elderly might find it difficult to visit some places which need a climb. There is a small children’s park, which is not much to talk about. Our 4yr old kiddo’s got little bored, for him only attraction were the animals. There are rabbits and squirrels and deer in plenty,who are not scared of visitors.

Power house at Ross Island, Andaman Cute rabbits at Ross Island, Andaman

  • Science Center, Port Blair:  This was a surprise discovery for us. Its on the way to Sarovar Portico. Since our flight was at 2:25p.m and we had time to kill in the morning, we decided to visit it. We could not attend any show since all are in the evenings. But the center itself was very interesting, especially for young kids.

Science Center Timings and Ticket prices Science Center Timings and Ticket prices Exhibits by children at Science Center, Port Blair Even swings had science behind them :) Exibits made by children at Science Center, Port Blair This tree is called Travellers Tree :)

  • Corbyn’s Cove Beach: The beach less than ordinary to say the least. Its a small beach and the water is dirty. The beach is clean though, free of plastic wastes etc. Water sports also happens here. Its also away from the main city area so you need to have your own vehicle or keep the auto for the entire duration of your stay.

Radhanagar beach

There are other attractions like Chidiya Tapu, Wandoor Beach, Marine Museum etc; but we wanted a relaxed holiday so skipped them. Scuba Diving and Sea Walking happen at Port Blair also.

Restaurants in Port Blair:

The ones we dined at-

  • Ananda Restaurant: Its near the clock tower in the Abredeen Bazaar. Good and economical food. Veg Thali is Rs.180, non veg thali Rs.230. Ambiance is okay.
  • Annapurna Hotel: Decent option in the market. Its a vegetarian restaurant. Curries are priced in the range of Rs.120-130 and meal for 2 would be close to Rs.500. They have Indian and Chinese.
  • Corbyn’s Delight: Its a fine-dine restaurant inside Sarovar Portico. Food is good, though its expensive. Veg meal for 2 would be around Rs.1000 and non veg would be close to Rs.2000. Ambiance and service are good though. Since we stayed at Sarovar Portico, we had breakfast as well; which was decent.

Corbyn's Delight restaurant

  • Restaurant inside Hotel Sentinel: Good ambiance, nice food, friendly staff. Veg meal for 2 would be around Rs.600 (1 curry, 1 dal, few rotis/ rice).
  • Ocean Blue, Abredeen Jetty: It delivers too.

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Ocean Blue Menu

Tips for travelling to Andaman:

  • Carry umbrella all the time, it starts raining all of a sudden (and stops all of a sudden, too!). We had a 12:30pm ferry ticket for Ross Island. It started raining heavily at 11am and we were thinking of cancelling Ross Island plans. But it suddenly stopped raining at 12:25 pm 🙂
  • Carry cash. There are not many ATMs in Port Blair, and not many hotels/ restaurants swipe cards. Though Sarovar Portico had swiping machine, their was no connectivity and we had to pay by cash. There was no ATM closeby. Most of the ATMs are in Abredeen Bazaar. In Havelock, there is one SBI and one Axis Bank ATM. We never saw the Axis Bank ATM open though. Nobody in Havelock accepts card payment.
  • Forget connectivity: Airtel and BSNL have phone connectivity at Havelock. However, there was no signal inside Dolphin resort. Rarely any resort/ restaurant has wifi (Anju Coco has). Even if wifi is there, net is pathetically slow. At Port Blair, all phone networks work. But internet connectivity is bad. Some hotels have wifi in their lobby/ restaurant, but again very slow.
  • Take Map: Buy Port Blair map from the airport tourist information center at Rs.10. It helps, given there is no net connectivity on phone/ tab.
  • Take print of all tickets/ hotel vouchers: Given that we don’t even need to carry print tickets at airports these days, we hardly print any tickets. But that does not work in Andaman since internet is not available.
  • Buy Ross Island ticket and Cellular Jail ticket as soon as you reach: Ross Island ferries have limited capacity so buy your ticket as soon as you reach (for whichever ferry you want to take). Same goes for Cellular Jail light and sound show.

Breakup of our expenses during Andaman trip:

Expenditure Item Total Amount (in INR)
Tickets – Hyd to Chennai (2AC train for 2 adults, 1 child) 3036
Tickets – Chennai to Port Blair Return (Spicejet flight – economy -2+1) 11600
Tickets – Port Blair to Havelock Return (MV Makruzz and Govt Ferry) 3450
Tickets – Chennai to Hyd (flight – economy : 2 + 1) 3330
Hotel Sentinel @PB on Day 1 2617
Hotel Dolphin Resort @Havelock Day 2-4 13008
Hotel Sarovar Portico @PB Day 5-6 7524
Food bill for 7 days 8000
Scooter Rental at Havelock (including petrol) 850
SCUBA Diving (2 adults) 7000
Attraction tickets (Science Center, Cellular Jail – Light & Sound show tickets) 135
Rides @ Andaman Sports Complex 1100
Ross Island Ferry Tickets + Entry tickets 290
Taxi and Auto fares in Port Blair and Andaman 1780
Airport taxi at Hyderabad 900
Taxi in Chennai 400
Tips at various hotels etc 400
 TOTAL 65420

Our trip overall was good and relaxing. However, if we had more number of days, we would have planned to visit Neil island, Wandoor Beach, Bartang Island, Chidiya Tapu too. There is an active volcano at Barren Island too, but it takes a night journey by ship to reach there and tourists are not allowed on the island. The ship takes a few rounds and returns.

A second visit to Andaman is not ruled out 🙂

If you have been to Andaman and feel I have missed out on something, please leave a comment and I will add them with due credit 🙂

If you think someone can use this blog post in planning their Andaman holiday, do share the post.

58 Comments

  1. Hello ! It is indeed a very very informative blog. Congratulations… Pl guide whether it is suitable to take active parents above 80 plus there ? What kind of difficulties we may face? Pl guide. I am planning to visit in November 18 with my old mother .

    1. Thanks Rupal. Andaman experiences retreating monsoon during November and many activities in Nov are weather dependent. If it rains/is stormy, ferries do not ply. I remember reading about cyclone in Nov 2013 and tourists had to be evacuated. You may want to reschedule if you are travelling with your mother, if you still have a choice.

      If the weather is fine, Port Blair / Havelock are good with active parents. You may want to take the phone no. of taxi driver/ auto drivers and call them when you need to go somewhere, because finding an auto as soon as you come out of hotel may not happen. Havelock did not have Airtel/Vodafone connectivity when we went. We were told only BSNL works there. Except for Cellular Jail and Ross island, not many places require lot of walking. Cellular jail has some steps but you can cover it in your own time. Ross island ferries require you to come back by the same ferry after 2 hrs (though its not strictly followed if the crowd is less). There is decent walking required on the island, but we saw elderly waiting in a shaded are while their family explored the island.

      Hope it helps!
      Priyanka

  2. I have gone through lot of posts and comments , I must say this blog is the best one…Really Informative..I am planning to visit in the first week of December and don’t want to stay in Port Blair, Want to spent time in Havelock only….Would like to know your opinion on this. Would it be hectic or manageable ?

    1. Hi Sunny,

      Glad the post helped 🙂 December would be a good time to visit Andaman. Staying in Port Blair is mostly required because of ferry tickets and timings. You can check the timings in the blog. If you are reaching Port Blair at a time when you can directly go to Havelock, you can definitely do that. Also, you may have to get the ferry tickets online or through some agent because Dec could be crowded.

      Hope it helps!
      Priyanka

  3. Hi Priyanka,

    I must say this is amazing blog, I am planning a trip for my parents in march 2019 mostly first or second week, mostly for 5 or 6 days. Do you think it is good to travel in March?

    1. Hi Tasneem,

      March is dry but hot and humid (though its humid through the year). Most of the activities will be operational, so yes its a good time. If you can make it in Jan, it would be little better.

      Hope it helps!
      Priyanka

    1. Hi Fahad,

      January is usually good. You plan an itinerary based on your interests and post it here. I can suggest if that is feasible.

      Regards,
      Priyanka

  4. Very nice description..can u tell me when and how you book tickets for ferry? as i am planning tour in September end and makruzz schedule is not open for it.

    1. Hi Shubhanshu,

      Its too early to book ferry tickets for Sep end. Makruzz site is http://www.makruzz.com. You can mail them and check when they will open the bookings. If online booking is not happening / they do not reply; it is best to ask your hotel to do the booking for you. Most of them do this and charge a nominal fee per ticket.

      Hope it helps!
      Priyanka

  5. Wonderful description of your outing. In giving out so detailed a description of all the aspects of your journey: the places you stayed at, the places where you ate and all the beautiful sights that you saw, you have helped us a lot. May you travel more and share with the world. More power to you

  6. Wow! The post is very informative and exactly what i was looking for, since I am planning a visit in the 3rd week of August. Would like to know your opinion on an August visit. Is the weather ok during that time?

    1. Hi Saranya,

      I am glad the post helped :)Some of the prices may be outdated though because we visited couple of years back.

      Regarding August, I know a few friends who have travelled to Havelock and Port Blair in Aug. The main issue in August is some of the private ferries are still closed and you may have to take the govt.ferry which is not very comfortable choice. It is still monsoon so you may encounter some rain. However, most of the time the rain is not continuous and stops after a while.

      Enjoy your trip:)
      Priyanka

  7. Hi Priyanka,

    Is it worth traveling in June 1st week with family. How is the weather in june … any help will be appreciated.

    1. June is monsoon season in Andaman. Monsoons are getting unpredictable with every passing year and I won’t take a risk going there in peak monsoon. Usually Port Blair should be okay, but ferry services to other islands may stop during heavy rain. Kerela may be a better option in Monsoon.

  8. Hi Varun
    Try the services of Discover Andaman Holidays, a local tour operator based in Port Blair.
    You may contact Ms.Prithi on 7063955900. Hope that helps. All the best.

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