The Fast, The Reliable & The best of both world.
The 3 operators are unique in there own way. The first one is fast & elegant, the second one is reliable & strong and the last one is the best of both worlds. The first and last are privately owned operators and the other one is an Indian government managed service.
They are the oldest & the most popular private operator in the island state and the only operator with catamaran ferries, have a seating capacity of around 250 people combining all their segments.
- Least travel time: These ferries cover distances faster than the other 2 options because of their lightweight.
- Deluxe interiors: They have 2 ships named the Makruzz & the Makruzz Gold. Both are similar but have different age. They are both equally well decorated. The seats are the best in the class. Both the ferries are fully air-conditioned.
- Great onboard service: They have well-trained staff who will treat you with great care and politeness.
- Online booking available: They still have an online booking system. Although it is difficult to get tickets because the big operators (MakeMyTrip, Yatra etc.) cut direct deals with the company.
- Serves all main island: The ferries serve the 3 major destinations – Port Blair, Havelock Island & Niel Island.
- Least stable: The light-weight ferries are fast but they also are least stable. If the sea is rough, the effect will be felt directly by passengers, irrespective of any class you are seated in.
- Premium pricing: The base price (excluding taxes & service charge) of the 3 segments are
- Premium: Rs 1050 (around 200 seats)
- Deluxe: Rs 1450 (around 50 seats)
- Royal: Rs 2450 (around 5-10 seats)
- Very highly affected by the weather: These ships are the first to stop operation in case of the bad weather. So they are least reliable during the rainy season.
The most reliable and the backbone of the island state. The service is overlooked by the Directorate of Shipping Services, A & N Administration.
- Reliable: They are the last one to stop operations in the most adverse weather.
- High frequency: The service not only connects the 3 main destinations but also has services for other northern towns like Rangat, Diglipur etc. They also operate the most number of trips between the islands. The trip starts early in the morning and runs until sundown.
- Cheapest option: The service is the cheapest out of the 3 with rates around Rs 800 during our visit in Oct 2017.
- Stable & steady: As the ships are heavy, the sailing is very smooth. The weight counters the turbulence of the sea. So least turbulence is felt by passengers inside.
- Least information available: Online presence is the least, so getting proper upto date information is very difficult. Also since there is no online booking service, you cannot be sure of the tickets.
- Inclined towards local islander: The service has 80% reservation to islanders (islanders have own ID card). Also, the 20% tourist tickets are mostly pre-reserved by powerful through back-doors agents and officials.
- Poorly maintained: The ferries are old and they are very poorly maintained. The interiors are very basic and will be a shock to anyone who lives in the metro cities of India. They have ACs but half of them don’t work properly.
The newest operator in the island has tried to the take the best of both worlds.
- Fast & steady: The ships are heavier than Makruzz so they are much more stable. But they are much faster than the government ferries.
- Better maintained: This is a privately owned organisation, so you can expect it to be much better maintained. They don’t have the best in class interiors like Makruzz but hey have decent work done.
- Better pricing: They have very competitive pricing. They also have 3 segments like the Makruzz.
Ticket prices are –
- Deluxe – Rs 950,
- Luxury – Rs 1050,
- Royal – Rs 1150 (best seats).
- The ferry Green Ocean 1 even has an open deck where you can spend some very good time.
- Online presence: Though not the most efficient website but they have made themselves available online which is great for individual travellers and tourists.
- Low frequency: Since they are new, they currently have only 2 ferries and hence the service frequency is very low.
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If you are planning a trip to Andman Islands, do read my other post “Andaman Islands : Prep Guide”
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