Andaman travel guide online updates
This page s dedicated to the readers of our off-line Andaman and Nicobar Islands Travel Guide.
Whenever we learn about relevant changes, we will post an update here in this post, thus keeping our offline travel guide up to date with these online information updates. I am personally very happy whenever travelers share with me their plans and experience. Please let me know thru the comment section below or thru Facebook, if an information in the travel guide has changed.
If you do not have your Andaman and Nicobar Islands Travel Guide yet, you can download it here. Our Andaman Tour Guide Book features 105 pages and covers 14 islands of the Andaman and Nicobar Archipelago. It provides first hand information about getting around the islands, accommodation and food and highlights places to visit and enjoy the pristine beauty of this disapearing paradise.
Content of this article
- Update #1: How to buy a ticket for a state ship
- Update #2: Ross and Smith Islands
- Update #3: Getting around by ships (Important!)
- Update #4: Food in port Blair, New Restaurants
Update #1: How to buy a ticket for a state ship
In the past, to buy ship tickets, foreigners needed Andaman permit number, the RAP (restricted area permit). This is not the case anymore, RAP regime was cancelled. The recent practice is, that you need your passport only to purchase a ticket. Therefore carry a spare copies of your passport as well as visa page.
This is a good news. In the past you could not really ask someone in Port Blair to buy tickets from you while you were abroad even not while you were in mainland India. Now you can.
However, As mentioned in the guidebook and online here: How-to-buy-ship-tickets-for-andaman-islands, sailing schedules for state ships are known only two weeks ahead and tickets are issued only max 4 days in advance. Therefore, advance planning or purchase is limited to a few days before the ship's departure.
Where can I find the Andaman ships sailing schedule
You can find Andaman and Nicobat shipping schedule here: https://www.andaman.gov.in/interisland-shipping-schedule however this link is often not up to date. I hope, with Andaman Islands being connected to global internet by undersea cable soon (Summer 2020), the online schedule availability will improve.
Update #2: Ross and Smith Islands
Unfortunately, I have a bad news regarding Ross and Smith Islands. As you know, these are the 2 islands connected with a sand bar. You can walk from one island to another, bare food. As our guide book suggests: very romantic.
Not that easy anymore. In 2018 you could walk from Smith to Ross for free. Ross is a wildlife sanctuary so if you wanted to enter inside of the island, you needed to pay 500 Rs (price for foreigners). OK, you could still walk the whole length of the sand bar, while not entering the island. As of 2019 two things has changed. The price went up to 1000 rupees :(, pretty bad, but even worse, the forest department moved the table with price list and thus the virtual border between Smith and Ross, to the middle of the sand bar. This means, you can not walk the whole sand bar freely, only half of it. If you cross behind the info table, prepare your wallet.
Administration ruins the romantic place
Update #3: Getting around by ships
All private operators, e.g. Green Ocean, Makruzz and the new kid on the block ITT Majestic now depart from Haddo Wharf. Earlier private operators departed from Phoenix Bay Jetty.
This is a substantial change and a slightly negative one. While Phoenix Bay Jetty is close to the town centre, the Hadoo Wharf is more than 4 km away from the centre of Port Blair. This means higher taxi or tuk-tuk (auto rickshaw) cost to get to and mainly from the Haddo Wharf.
How much is a tuk-tuk (auto rickshaw) from Port Blair to Haddo Wharf?
From Port Blair city centre to Haddo Wharf you will pay Rs. 100 for a tuk-tuk and 150 for a taxi. The real trouble is getting back. Haddo wharf is at the end of a peninsula with no traffic passing by. Taxi and tuk-tuk drivers asking price starts at Rs. 400, which you will be wise to reject. Walk out from the wharf's gates, tuk-tuks outside are much cheaper. Only if you are patient and persistent, you will be able to get back to town for the same RS. 100 as you got to Haddo Wharf.
Update #4: Food in port Blair, New Restaurants
In our Andaman Islands Travel Guide 2018 and 2019 editions, we concluded, that food is poor in Andaman Islands. It still is, but as of 2020 there are improvements in the restaurant scene in Port Blair. Two new restaurants have oppened recently.
Anjou Coco Resto, Port Blair and Havelock
We rank this Anjou Coco instantly as number one restaurant in Port Blair. Actually, this place run by two Israeli Brothers, is one of only a few places, that deserves a name "restaurant". We are very much pleased with their selection of continental food, Especially enjoyed their chicken schnitzel, tuna schnitzel, pasta and chicken afghani. Same menu and same or better quality food you will also get at their Havelock Restaurant.
Sea Food Delight
Sea Food Deligh Restaurant in Port Blair also deserves a name "restaurant". As the name suggest, restaurant specializes in the sea food and it is the place where you can enjoy your $20 lobster. But do not get put off by this. there are reasonably priced items on the menu too. Lobster is fine for the selfie, but everything else was tasty too. Again, we tried chicken afghani (it is made in tandori and is not spicy) and chicken schnitzel here.