Cruises are a very important factor for the locals and tourists for inter-island transfers and it is also the only mode of transport to go to the different islands of Andamans. In Andamans, there are both private and government-run cruises/ferries for the transfer of people and goods. In this article, we will discuss the cruises that sail within the Andaman Islands i.e. from Port Blair to Havelock & Neil.
We will not be discussing the cruises sailing to the Andaman Islands from the mainland as we have covered it in another article of Cruises from Chennai, Kolkata, and Vizag to Andaman.
By the end of this article, you will know about the various cruises and its categories that are operational in the Andaman Islands and how you can select one for your journey while you are at the islands.
Cruises in Andamans
The major cruise companies in Andamans that sail from one island to another are Makruzz, Green Ocean, ITT Majestic, Sea Link, and Government Ferries.
Each of these private cruises has different seating categories ranging from Economy, Premium, Deluxe, and Royal or Luxury. The experience differs in each category and so does the price.
Economy & Premium: These categories are usually pocket-friendly and the seating will be at the lower deck of the cruise.
Deluxe: Deluxe is slightly expensive but gives an elevated view of the sea and the seating is little better than Economy and Premium categories.
Luxury or Royal: Seating is in this category is very comfortable but a little more expensive than the second category. It has better amenities, good cushions seats, and a limited number of seats.
Makruzz is a high-speed Catamaran Passenger Ferry and is one of the most prominent and successful ferry services in the Andaman Islands. It is the largest brand in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands with around 4 cruises under its belt. The cruises are Makruzz, Makruzz Gold, Pearl, and Makruzz Coastal Cruise. The cruises are fully air-conditioned for the comfort of its passengers. The seating and experience here vary based on the different categories.
Deluxe: better seating capacity, slightly expensive, 3-3 & 3-4-3 Base deck and first floor is higher category seating, an elevated better view – deluxe in Makruzz Economy and Premium are base categories having a basic seating arrangement. This is cheap and pocket-friendly. The seating order here will be as follows 3-4-3 & or 4-4-3. The Deluxe category is slightly expensive but has a better seating capacity and gives the passenger an elevated and better view of the sea. Deluxe in Makruzz has two decks- Base Deck and Upper Deck.
One drawback of choosing Makruzz cruises is that you will not be able to choose your seats. It follows the first-come-first-serve basis and the seating will be allotted this way only.
Green Ocean 1 & 2:
ITT Majestic is another high-speed catamaran that has a great build and structure similar to Makruzz cruises. ITT Majestic and Makruzz Pearl are the fastest cruises in the Andaman Islands. The ITT Majestic has just one cruise that sails in the islands and you can choose your seats while booking your tickets. The seating is limited and varies in each category.
Sea Link is a high-speed cruise that is imported from Singapore. It has a large seating capacity categorized into the Upper Deck and Lower Deck. This brand has just one cruise that operates on the island. You can choose your seats while booking your tickets. Sea Link is as fast the Green Ocean 2 and this cruise has no open area.
Sea Link has introduced its latest ferry Nautika from 2022. Nautika is considered to be the fastest ferry that sails from Havelock to Port Blair
When it comes to government ferries people are concerned with the quality of service it provides or safety. Our opinion is that the government ferry is the most reliable of all in the islands. These ferries have an extremely strong build and take care of the locals and tourists alike. During rough weather the only ferry to sail is the government ferry; it transfers people from one island to another without getting them stranded in any islands.
The only drawback is that you will have to manually book your tickets at the STARS counter at Port Blair. You cannot book your tickets in advance or online and you will also have to check the availability of tickets at the counter but then it brings you at risk of the tickets being sold out. At times you might get stranded at an island and lose your hotel costs etc. that were pre-booked. You will have to be very cautious while planning your trip.
We suggest that you book the tickets in advance and so that you will have a hassle-free trip to Andamans. Also, make sure that you check with the cruise operators a day or two before their departure date and whether that cruise will be sailing or not because many cruises due to technical issues or government regulations will be canceled altogether without any intimations.
This is why we suggest to the people to go for a complete package avoids such circumstances.
We recommend travelers to choose different cruises for different island transfers to have an experience of each of the cruises. The brand difference in each cruise is based on the space, view, cleanliness, services, and internal flooring structure. Book cruises from different brands for a different journey experience.
All the cruises have a pantry that is set up with bakery items and hot/cold beverages; fully air-conditioned decks, and good hospitality.
Except for Green Ocean 1, all the other cruises are fully closed due to safety concerns and these cruises have large glass windows through which you can get a good view of the sea.
The fastest cruises Makruzz Pearl and ITT Majestic’s speed is sometimes based upon the inflow of customers in the islands. Makruzz or Green Ocean cruises will cost you the same as from Port Blair to Havelock irrespective of which cruise you select. Likewise from Havelock to Neil and vice-versa, it depends upon whichever cruise you take the cost will always be fixed.
You can choose any cruise that you prefer based on the category that you want to take. If you have a budget we suggest you take the Economy or Premium category, if you are willing to spend a bit more then you can go for Deluxe and if you do not have any budget constraints then you can go for the Royal or Luxury category.
While booking your tickets please let us know your seating preference so that we can allot the seats as per your likes.
At Experience Andamans, we do the best for the travelers who come to us for planning their trips to the islands. Our island experts will look into each part of your package carefully and suggest the best of everything to you as per you per your requirements. Our ground staff will always be there to assist you and you can easily spot them in an “Orange T-shirt”.