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Thursday, 21 November 2013

Few Days at Havelock: How, When and Where?

(It's a second post on Havelock in the series of posts on Andaman. For the teaser, click here.)

Havelock is a beautiful small island situated at about 57 km North East of the Capital town of Port Blair in Andaman Sea. Named after Maj General Henry Havelock, it is the largest among the Ritchie’s Archiepelago islands spread across an area of about 114 sq km.

En Route Havelock, On the government ferry - Under the Heavenly Sky
This post is all about How to reach, When is the Best time and Where to stay in the Havelock.

The Havelock Island can be reached by ferry or seaplane from Port Blair.

Reaching Port Blair by Air
There are direct flights to Veer Savarkar International Airport, Port Blair from Chennai, and Kolkata by Air India, JetLite, Jet Airways and Spice Jet. To get sweet deals, book the tickets at least two months in advance else booking tickets for Bangkok would be cheaper ;)
Reaching Port Blair by Ships

Regular ship services are available from Chennai, Kolkata and Visakhapatnam. The trip generally takes three days to reach Port Blair, and in a rough weather condition it may extend to four days. Three to four ships sail from Chennai and Kolkata every month, while it’s once a month from Vishakhaptnam.
Ship timings can be checked here.

Reaching Havelock
Government ferry services are available throughout the year while the private ferry service, M.V. Makruzz and Coastal Cruies, are operational only in calm tourist seasons. Though the timings of ferry depend upon weather and other circumstances, here is a general schedule that one may follow to plan the arrival at Port Blair:
Government ferry
Port Blair to Havelock - 6, 11 AM & 2 PM
Havelock to Port Blair- 9AM & 2, 3, 430 PM

Port Blair to Havelock - 8.45 AM
Havelock to Port Blair - 4PM

Costal Cruise
Port Blair to Havelock - 8 AM
Havelock to Port Blair - 4 PM
Another interesting way to reach the island is by Sea Planes, India’s only such service. At about Rs 5000/- a way for a 20-30 minutes flight it could be a fun part to be included in your itinerary depending on, of course, Budget! Tickets can be booked via your resort agent or directly at the Port Blair Airport. Timings are:
Port Blair to Havelock - 7.45, 9 AM & 3 PM
Havelock to Port Blair - 8, 9 .15AM & 3.15 PM
Do note that these timing are indicative and are subjected to change without any prior notice. Suggest getting the tickets done by some agent if you are on a tight schedule. Else, if you are on a month long backpacking trip, it’s highly recommended to get your tickets done yourself and explore :)
Transport options can be checked here

Havelock Fun Map (Courtesy Barefoot)
Tourist season starts from end Monsoon till the summer begins, roughly from September to March. January – March is the most preferred time, though it for sure would be the most expensive time too!
Backpackers are advised to take the risk and reach the island at end August. Rooms are cheaper, food is better and streets are rather uncrowded. I visited the island on 14th August, monsoon was receding, there wasn’t much rain and I really had great diving in more-or-less calm sea.

Promoted by Indian Government as Eco Tourism spot, the island is certainly not as crowded as the cheaper Thailand destinations. Therefore, hotels’ (or resorts) rates are a bit on higher side with basic amenities when compared to Thailand, esp Phuket. But, it’s worth spending for the touch of nature you would get at the Havelock.
It was my first trip to Havelock and I prefer to be in the mid of road while travelling alone (planned backpacking), I booked Non AC Cottage at the Barefoot Scuba Resort for Rs 2000/- a night (at an off-season rate!).

If you have money to spend or you are on Honeymoon trip, it’s highly recommended to book Barefoot’s Jungle Resort, it’s one place at the island worth spending! Otherwise, there are a number of hotels all along the Beach No 3 – Vijaynagar, have a walk, take a look and book! Barefoot takes online payment and are the most customers friendly, however there are really a huge number of choices available on a varying rate list to pick one up.

Take Aways
  1. Havelock is a beautiful paradise island in the Andaman Sea located north west from Port Blair.
  2. Port Blair is well connected to the mainland India by Air and through Waters. Havelock can be reached from Port Blair via ferries or Sea plane. Plan accordingly your flights, check the timings and if on tight schedule use agent to book the tickets!
  3. Best time in September to March, preferably January to March. Backpackers take the risk, reach there in August, explore more spend less!
  4. Barefoot's Jungle Resort is a must for Honeymoon couples or those who don't mind spending on Hotels! For backpackers and tight on budget guys, have a walk along the Vijaynagar Beach, take a look and find a sweet deal -there's always one waiting for you!

Stay tuned, for What (beaches), Dive stories and a lot on  Andaman!
Havelock Island: A WikiTravel map

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  1. Very comprehensive information for anybody planning a visit to Havelock Island

  2. Seems an awesome place!

  3. It surely is an Awesome place @Pankti Mehta mam :)

  4. :D Much thanks for the kind words @Prasad Np aka desi Traveler will try to refine the information with time...


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