Havelock Island, also known as Swaraj Dweep, is the most famous island among all the big and small islands of the Andaman and Nicobar archipelago. It is secluded but inhabited. It is serene, unique and enthralling in its natural beauty. The coral reefs surrounding Havelock Island are stunning and gifted with an abundance of colourful life in the sparkling blue waters. This mesmerizing island is widely known for its pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters and relaxing vibes, offering an unflustered escape for travellers seeking a peaceful vacation.
Its beaches are superbly unique with shimmering blue waters hugging the superbly powdery sandy beaches and lure tourists and travellers from far and near. People who visit Andaman and land at the Veer Savarkar Airport in Port Blair, never seem to complete their Andaman beach vacation without paying a visit to the famed Havelock Island.
Havelock Island’s beaches are among the most exotic beaches. For example, Radhanagar Beach is famous for being alluring white, sandy and sunny flanked by turquoise blue waters ideal for swimming and pristine white sands giving rise to breath-taking sunsets. Vijaynagar Beach is a serene and less crowded beach ideal for peace and relaxation and long stretches of white sand making it a perfect spot for long, solo, peaceful evening and morning strolls. Elephant Beach is famous for its coral reefs and underwater marine life, perfect for snorkelling, sea walking, diving and an all-prevailing tranquil atmosphere.
No trip to Andaman and Nicobar archipelago is complete without a visit to Havelock Island. Havelock Island is one of the premium islands of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, and you can reach Havelock Island via a combination of flights and ferries. It is a part of the triangle.
First Step to Reach Port Blair
Havelock Island By Air
As the very first step you need to fly from the mainland to Veer Savarkar International Airport. Booking of the flight would be to Port Blair, the capital city of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Several domestic airlines operate flights to Port Blair from major Indian cities like Chennai, Kolkata, Delhi and others.
Havelock Island By Sea
Ship services to Havelock Island are available. Limited ship services operate from the major metropolitans such as Chennai, Kolkata, and Vishakhapatnam to Port Blair. But waterway or travel by ship is not usually chosen because this mode of transportation involves a journey spanning several days and might not be the most convenient for travellers.
Second Step is from Port Blair to Havelock Island
The distance from Port Blair to Havelock Island is about 73 kilometres and takes about four and a half hours to move from one island to the other.
The first and the most preferred choice of travel from Port Blair to Havelock Island is to travel via private ferries. Makruzz, Green Ocean, and other private ferry operators offer regular services between Port Blair and Havelock Island. These private ferry operators provide a faster and more comfortable journey compared to government ferries.
Journey by government-operated ferries is the secondary option. The Directorate of Shipping Services operates regular ferries between Port Blair and Havelock Island. These ferries take a bit longer in transporting passengers and are equipped with fewer amenities. They are not generally the first choice of travellers and are generally less dependable without much basis and much on general sensibility of the users, but they are available as an alternative.
There are several private ferry services that offer services at competitive rates. People generally choose Private ferry service over Government ferry service because of certain advantages such as easy online advanced booking, cleanliness and professionalism in hospitality.
1. Makruzz Ferry Service
- This private service offers high-speed catamaran ferry offering a comfortable and faster journey between Port Blair and Havelock Island.
- Travel time via Makruzz takes approximately 1.5 to 2 hours, providing a quicker option compared to government ferries.
- Amenities offered by Makruzz are quite satisfying. It offers different classes, such as Premium, Deluxe, and Royal with varying facilities onboard.
2. Green Ocean Ferry Service
- This private ferry service offers connectivity between Port Blair and Havelock.
- Travel time on Green Ocean is slightly longer than Makruzz, usually around 2 to 2.5 hours but still services are almost at par.
- Amenities it offers are good with comfortable seating arrangements and all basic facilities for passengers.
3. Coastal Cruise
- This coastal cruise is another private option for ferry travel between Port Blair and Havelock Island.
- Travel Time for this liner is similar to Green Ocean. The travel duration on Coastal Cruise is around 2 to 2.5 hours.
- Amenities provided involve basic seating and all comfort services are available onboard.
Government Ferries offer stable and budget options and in case you don’t get access to private services, you can comfortably fall back on government services.
- The Government ferry services are administered and managed by the Directorate of Shipping Services (DSS)
- DSS operates government ferries that connect islands, including connecting Port Blair to Havelock Island.
- Travel time via these ferries generally take longer compared to private ferries, which is approximately 2.5 to 3.5 hours.
- These operators might have fewer amenities compared to private ferries in terms of luxury or comfort but they offer a more budget-friendly option.
Booking and reservations of ferry services
Advanced booking of ferry services is advisable, especially during peak tourist seasons, to secure a seat on the desired ferry. Tickets can be purchased through various travel agencies, online platforms, or directly at the Port Blair jetty.
Airport to Port Blair Jetty Transfer
From Veer Savarkar Airport of Port Blair you can avail taxis. Pre-arranged transfers are available from the airport to the Port Blair jetty from where the ferries depart for Havelock Island. Even the hotels where your booking has been done and also your travel agent can arrange smooth transfers from the airport to the jetty.
Tips and checks for hassle-free transfer to Havelock Island
- Check weather conditions and forecasts before you plan your Havelock Island visit because ferry services might be affected by adverse weather conditions that make the sea travel risky, especially during the monsoon season when the water gets rough. That might interfere with your whole Andaman trip itinerary. And since it is an Island, it can be approached only via ferries. So favourable conditions of the sea is important to determine the viability of the island hopping itinerary.
- Havelock Island is known far and wide for its beguiling variety of water sports. So it is necessary that you carry the required beachwear and also some basic first-aid in case you are adventurous at heart and aim to try out all water sports.
- Travel as light as possible since a vacation to Andaman and Nicobar means island hopping. Frequent hotel changes will be smoother and easier and also less time consuming if you carry minimum luggage. But do remember to pack the essentials for the journey, including water, snacks, sunscreen and any necessary medications, as the ferry ride can take a few hours.
- Avoid being in the waters after sunset. Also, when it is dark, you won’t be able to enjoy the sea views of the vast expansive seas. Check out the sunset timings to enjoy a glorious sunset from the ferry during transit.
- Most travel agents and booking websites do not charge anything extra apart from the ferry company levied ticket cost to the traveller. For bookings worth certain hefty amounts, you are also eligible to avail various discount coupons and options on activities and boat tickets. For Group bookings too (more than a certain number of people) discounts are given which can be checked or availed through more information and interaction with the customer service executives or directly from the websites.
- It is advisable to stay a day in Port Blair on the day you land and also on the day you depart. It is safe to keep at least two hours between flight arrival and ferry departure to ensure smooth transition. In case of inclement weather conditions, ferries are likely to get delayed.
- You should reach the ferry harbour at least one hour before the scheduled departure time. When you plan your itinerary, make a foolproof tour plan and book your tickets to suit your timings.
Ferry schedules also need reservations in advance. Keep time between two transfers in case the booking or reservations follow one another as the connecting journeys might get delayed because of various reasons. Plan your travel according to the ferry timings to ensure a smooth journey from Port Blair to Havelock Island and not to lose out on vacation time in securing transfers between islands.
Havelock Island is enchanting and is a major attraction of all Andaman and Nicobar itineraries. So when you plan your trip to Andaman, do not forget to include a stay for a couple of days at Havelock Island.