There are daily flights from various cities such as Bangalore, Hyderabad, Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai to Andaman’s capital Port Blair. The Veer Savarkar International Airport in Port Blair has daily flights from these cities and airlines such as Air India, GoAir, IndiGo, Spicejet and Vistara serve the airport. As of now, there are no international flights operating from this airport yet but are expected to begin in 2020.
The airport which used to be known as Port Blair Airport is just 2 kilometres, south of the city. As it is the only primary airport here, it connects Andaman and Nicobar with the rest of the country.
The other way to reach Andaman and Nicobar islands is by ship. There are cargo ships to Port Blair from Chennai, Kolkata and Vishakapatnam which reach Port Blair’s Haddo Jetty. While boats might be a fun way to reach the islands, they are not very convenient or even comfortable as they can be quite time consuming. Also, weather and sea conditions are important factors in travel and they can add to the time taken to reach Port Blair. At Port Blair’s Phoenix Bay Jetty, you can buy your return ticket at the ferry booking office.
An important thing to remember is that these ships will not offer the luxuries that you might find at in a cruise ship. These government operated cargo ships are meant for commercial use and are not ideally suited for passengers expecting a certain level of comfort or luxury. There are different levels of rooms available and even then, they might not match those you see on typical cruises. The ships are not known for their privacy and the rooms may not be up to the standards of those who expect even basic clean rooms. The only reason many opt for this way to reach Andaman is because it’s less expensive than flights but if you consider comfort as a priority, then it’s best if you avoid this.
Travelling between the islands by sea planes is not possible at the moment. However, there is an interisland helicopter service which is reserved for VIPs. You can apply at the Directorate of Civil Aviation office at the helipad one day in advance to use this service. However, this is not a much used service since there is a 5kg baggage limit and the ticket can be quite steep.
Travelling between islands by ferry is the most popular way to travel. However, this can be quite chaotic as the service is slow and there are long queues for buying tickets. Government ferry tickets can be bought a couple of days before your actual journey, so this is recommended. If this is too troublesome for you, then you can ask your hotel or travel agent to book the ferry tickets also.
There are regular boat services from Port Blair to the other islands such as Swaraj, Neil Islands, Long Island, Mayabunder and Diglipur. There are also private ferry companies which are more expensive but their tickets are available a month in advance. The popular companies that run private ferry services are Makruzz and Green Ocean.
South, Middle and North Andaman group are connected by road and there are ferry crossings and bridges as well, which makes it possible travel by bus. Swaraj island (formerly known as Havelock) has a bus service and buses also run from Port Blair to various places such as Wandoor, Baratang, Chidiya Tapu, Mayabunder and Diglipur.
It is possible to hire a car with driver to take you from Port Blair to Diglipur but a round trip can be quite expensive, going easily above INR 10000. However, the drivers are knowledgeable about the many attractions to see and will take you there without any hassle. The cars are also neat and clean and the entire experience is quite satisfactory.
There are also self-drive car rentals which will help you experience the Andamans in a rather unique way. However, do note that mobile coverage in several key attractions in Port Blair tends to be quite spotty and you may get lost and not know how to reach out for help. Typical self-drive car rentals come with additional tax and fuel expenses.
There are autos or tuk tuks in but they are not very comfortable as the roads can be bumpy. They are a cheaper way of getting around instead of hiring cabs though.
Although there’s no Uber or Ola in Andaman, you can get taxis or cabs to take you from place to place. These are slightly more expensive than the autos.
By Motorcycle or Bicycles
You can hire motorcycles or bicycles from Port Blair to go around the island. These can be hired for a whole day and are quite economical. Motorcycles are around INR 500 per day while bicycles can be around INR 200 at the most. Do be careful on the roads though as they may not be the smooth roads you’re accustomed to, back in your own city.