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How To Reach Port Blair
Port Blair is a quaint little island city situated in the Bay of Bengal. It lies on the southern side of the Andaman Islands and can be accessed via air and sea from mainland India. Port Blair is also connected to it's neighboring islands that make up the union territory of Andaman And Nicobar Islands by regular ferry services and sometimes even luxurious cruise. Here is the list of information that will help you decide on the means of transport to reach Port Blair.
Until recent times the only way to reach Port Blair was through the Sea. In 2005, the Veer Savarkar International Airport was established and regular flight services initiated. There are flights operating from Kolkata, Delhi and Chennai on a daily basis and scheduled flights from Visakhapatnam flying about thrice a week. These cities are very well connected to all parts of India by rail and air. This is the most convenient form of transport to Port Blair and is best suited for travellers on short vacations.
Foreign nationals looking for a permit can secure it rather easily on reaching the airport. These permits usually remain valid up to 30 days. Indians may also need to secure permits if they wish to visit restricted areas. In Port Blair the entire municipal region is permitted grounds for travellers.
On arrival at the airport, which is about 2 kilometers from the main city, you can avail taxis or auto-rickshaws to travel within the city.
If anything is more exciting than the destination, it is the voyage. For centuries sailing has been the only resort for people who wanted to get to the Andaman And Nicobar Islands, but even after the introduction of several flights a multitude of travellers still chose to sail the seas.
There are five ships that take trips to Port Blair from the coasts of Chennai, Visakhapatnam and Kolkata. Since online services are not up yet, you have to book your tickets from the designated offices. One thing to keep in mind is to book at least a month in advance. Tickets range from INR two to ten thousand depending on the cabin you book. You can select from Deluxe, first, second or bunker cabins. The difference between all the cabins is majorly in the number of people they can accommodate.
The voyage to Port Blair takes up to 3 days on good days when the tide is in favor of the journey, but it will be wise to be prepared for at least 4 days of living in the midst of the sea. Preparation generally includes food, medicines that help with sea sickness, and your own forms of entertainment.
Permits for foreign nationals travelling by ship can be obtained earlier on from Foreign Registration Offices located at the city of departure.