Your route to Neil Island (Shaheed Dweep)
Away from the chaos of busy tourist places, Neil Island (Shaheed Dweep) is a perfect getaway for the travellers who quest for quiet lands and nature around. Though the island is not populous and does not have much tourist influx like other islands in Andaman, it surely boasts great logistics. Neil Island can be reached through the air as well as sea and, the options are umpteen and hassle-free. To reach the serene land of Neil Island, you will first have to travel to Port Blair from your city or town. And then, continue the onward journey as the capital of the archipelago is a ferry hub that serves as a connecting point to all the other islands in Andaman.
How to reach Port Blair and then to Neil Island?
One doesn’t need to brainstorm much to reach Port Blair as there is no dearth of convenient transit options. The capital of Andaman Island, Port Blair, is well connected by air and sea and there are direct flights from major cities like Chennai, Delhi, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bhubneswar and Bengaluru to Veer Savarkar International Airport, Port Blair.
With the capacity of 100 seats in each, two government ferries depart from Port Blair to Neil Island but, it is a bit difficult for travellers to book tickets for themselves as these ferries are especially run for islanders. You will only be able to book a seat for yourself if there’s any left after allotting it to the locals and it is rare. Also, the booking of government ferries is done offline, which comes with no guarantee of a confirmed ticket and an increased risk of last-minute hiccups.
If the idea of flying down to Port Blair and then taking a ferry to reach Neil Island doesn’t sound much adventurous, embrace the tides and embark on a cruise journey. The Phoenix Bay Jetty in Port Blair has cruises keep coming from Kolkata, Chennai Bhubaneswar and Visakhapatnam.
Once you reach Port Blair after a short flight from your city or a once-in-a-lifetime cruise journey, you need to head to the jetty to take a ferry for Neil Island. From there, you have to cover an approximate distance of 40 km between Port Blair and your destination. You would want it to last forever but, you should know that the journey is only a glimpse of the wonders you are going to witness in the island.
How and when should you book your ferry ticket?
Though there are a good number of ferry options to Neil Island, it gets little difficult to reserve a seat if not booked in advance. You have to either take a government or a private ferry and, there is a minimum of two ferries available at Port Blair every day which you have to book in advance. While the booking for government ferry opens three days in advance and closes the evening before departure, private ferries allow you to reserve a seat from one month in advance.
You can book a ferry ticket at the comfort of your home and can choose the class of travel you wish to travel in. Private ferries are luxurious, comfortable with the capacity of 300 seats and also give the freedom to book tickets one month in advance. Ferry operators like Coastal Cruise and Makruzz operate between these two islands during morning hours.
Some days you may not be able to find a direct ferry to Neil Island and, this is when a solid itinerary plan comes to the rescue. Fret not, the options are non-complicated, and you need to tweak your plan a bit. As the three islands are in a triangle, a non-direct ferry can cost you double. So, instead of going back and keep checking for a direct ferry to Neil Island on internet, you can actually book a ferry to Havelock Island to stay there for a day or two, and enjoy some adventure sports before moving to Neil Island. From Havelock Island, you will find ferries to Neil Island that come from Port Blair. Going by this plan, you are not only saving money but also time.
If you are not a citizen of India then do carry your passport, visa and photocopies of permit before boarding any of the ferries.
If you plan to book your ferry tickets to Neil Island and have a stress-free vacation while in Andaman Island, we at Andaman Islands Travels Pvt Ltd are at your service.