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Port Blair Travel Essentials


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Ideal duration: 3-6 days

Best Time: October to April Read More

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Also Refered As:

Port Cornwallis

"The Capital City of Andaman and Nicobar Islands"

Port Blair Tourism

Port Blair, the capital of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, serves as the primary entry point for travelers exploring the archipelago. It is located on the east coast of the South Andaman Island. With its vibrant mix of history, culture, and natural beauty, Port Blair welcomes visitors who typically spend 1-2 nights at the beginning and last night of their journey, aligning with flight timings. This strategic stop allows travelers to acclimate to the tropical paradise and immerse themselves in the historical significance of sites like Cellular Jail and the serene beauty of Corbyn's Cove Beach.

The mainland of Port Blair is the primary gateway to nearby islands such as Neil Island, Ross Island, Rutland Island, Viper Island, Jolly Buoy Island, and Barren Island (known for the only active volcano on the Indian Subcontinent). Chidiya Tapu (a small beach famous for bird watching and catching the sunset) is just 28km away from Port Blair.

Port Blair is home to attractions such as the scenic Wandoor Beach (famous for swimming and coral sighting) and several museums, the most famous being the Anthropological Museum, which sheds light on the protection of local tribes of the Andamans, and the Samudrika Naval Marine Museum, which aims to promote marine conservation.

The Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park is west of Port Blair and is the oldest national park in the Andaman islands. It aims to protect marine life, corals, and nesting sea turtles and is revered among nature lovers and conservationists across India.

Port Blair is well connected with mainland India by both air and sea. While it is still impossible to fly to Port Blair from outside India, there are many direct flights connecting Port Blair to all major cities in India, the quickest of them being from Kolkata, Chennai, New Delhi, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Bhubaneshwar, and Vishakhapatnam. Port Blair is also connected by sea to Kolkata, Chennai, or Vishakhapatnam, although the travel time is 3-4 days.

The best time to visit Port Blair is between October and May, as these months offer pleasant weather with moderate temperatures and minimal rainfall. During this period, travelers can enjoy the pristine beaches, historical landmarks, and outdoor activities without the interruption of heavy monsoon rains.

Must Know Before You Travel to Port Blair

  • Internet is easily available in Port Blair, and many cafes & hotels offer WiFi facilities to visitors. However, the Internet is often disruptive & slow in these islands. The two most reliable telecom service providers here are BSNL and Vodafone.
  • Presently, there are two kinds of ferries operating between Port Blair & the other neighboring islands - Government Ferries and Private Ferries. You are recommended to book the ferry tickets in advance as the tickets are sold out very quickly during the peak tourist season.
  • Please note that Government Ferry tickets cannot be booked online. You can do pre-booking only for the private ferries. All the private ferries provide the option of advance booking. There are varied classes of tickets for private ferries corresponding to different prices. These offer better quality traveling.
  • For booking the govt ferry tickets, the travelers have to visit the DSS‌ office at the jetty by standing in the queue, along with the locals. It requires your ID ‌ proof and Passport (in case of foreigners), and you can avail of the tickets two days before the date of departure. The ticket counter opens daily from 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM and 2:00 PM - 5:00 PM, except Sundays.
  • Government ferries are more cost-effective than private ferries, but are comparatively less comfortable & frequent and take more time. Especially, if your itinerary is pre-planned, you should opt for private ferries for moving to the nearby islands. These ferries are more convenient, faster, and easy to book than government ferries. Among the private operators, ITT‌ Majestic is the most rapid ferry service which is closely followed by Makruzz.

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Commuting within Port Blair

Visitors can hire tourist taxis from anywhere in Port Blair. It is usually included in the tour package if you have opted for one; but if you are traveling independently, it is recommended to fix the prices before beginning the journey. Also, public buses operate in the city and are preferred by budget travelers usually, as traveling in public buses in Port Blair can get quite wearisome. Besides, Auto-Rickshaws are also available and can cost around INR 50 to 250 for a ride, depending upon the distance traveled. Individuals can hire bikes in the city for around INR 500 a day. However, during monsoons, the roads can get slippery for riding bikes. Port Blair is well connected to other neighboring islands via land or by sea. Tourists can hop on private ferries that connect only Port Blair to Baratang, Havelock, and Neil Island. These ferries are popular amongst tourists. On the other hand, Government ferries are mostly popular among the locals. These ferries connect Port Blair to Havelock, Neil Island, Little Andaman, Diglipur, and others. These have two categories of fare - the islander fare, which is INR 50 onwards, and the non-islander fare, which is INR 450 onwards. Besides, only North Andaman, including Baratang, Rangat, Mayabundar, and Diglipur is connected by the road via the national highway, on which regular buses & taxis run.

Best Time to Visit Port Blair

How to Reach Port Blair

How to Reach Overview

Port Blair city is considered the entryway for all tourism-based activities in Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Visitors have to first arrive at Port Blair before heading to any other island in Andaman. Notably, you can reach Port Blair in two ways - via air and sea route.

How to reach Port Blair by flight

Port Blair is home to the Veer Savarkar International Airport, which is the commercial airport of the Andaman & Nicobar Islands. Notably, flights are the fastest and most convenient mode to reach this city, and direct flights are available to and from Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, and other major cities. The flights take around 2 to 3.5 hours, depending on your departure location from mainland India.

How to reach Port Blair by waterways

You can also travel to Port Blair by waterways, which is relatively cheaper than flights. Ships to Port Blair ply from harbors of Chennai, Kolkata, & Visakhapatnam (or Vizag). Only these harbor cities have ships scheduled to and from on a regular basis to arrive at the Haddo Wharf at Port Blair. The duration of the journey is 3 to 4 days by sea to reach Port Blair from the major Indian cities. However, this mode of traveling is less popular with tourists. The visitors can pre-book their tickets at the Ship Ticketing Advance Reservation System (STARS) Ticketing Counters for the ships scheduled on specific days of the week from Kolkata, Chennai, & Visakhapatnam. The timings may differ a bit depending on the weather conditions.

You can book your ship tickets at these three booking centres in Chennai, Kolkata, & Vizag -

Chennai- STARS Ticketing Counters of the Directorate of Shipping Service in Chennai.
Kolkata - STARS Network Counter located in the Shipping Corporation of India Office.
Vizag - SCI issues tickets in Vizag via a ticketing agent (not under STARS network). 

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