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Planning your trip to the Andamans
When to visit
We are open for accommodation and diving all year-long

Mid-Jan onwards to the late May is our traditional diving season - flat seas, excellent visibility and all sites easily accessible. The sun is also shining, and this is tropical paradise at its finest.

Mid-June to late-July/early August tends to be monsoon season, and as such, depending on weather conditions, we may not be able to visit our further sites at this time of the year - although that can vary on a week to week basis.

August to November provides for excellent diving - there are occasional showers and you lose a few meters of visibility, but fishlife is at its peak at this time of the year and turtles as well as mantas are very prevalent. Some of the best diving we've done in the Andamans ever have been at this time . Initially, we had thought that diving during this period would be less than perfect, but as we have learned over the last couple of years, we were flat out mistaken in our assumption - we are now modifying our literature and plannning accordingly.

Our traditional recommendation was that if you are coming specifically for diving, avoid June/July. Other than that, excellent diving is possible for the rest of the year. If you want sunny weather, then December to early May is the best time; if you want the best diving and are willing to put up with cloudy/rainy days, then August to November is perfect.

However, of late, the weather patterns have gotten so erratic it is hard to say what's a good time and what isn't. June has been fantastic for diving the past 2-3 years. March, right in the middle of our peak season, has gotten rain showers and even a storm a couple of years ago. So the gap between peak and off-peak season is slowly getting blurred.

How to get to the Andamans
The traditional way to get to the Andamans is from Kolkata or Chennai. There are daily flights from either of these cities to Port Blair, the capital city of the Andamans run by Jet Airways, Spicejet, Go Air, Indigo and Indian Airlines. There are also easy connections from Delhi and Mumbai as well. You can book online, either at the airline website or on Cleartrip.com.

You can also choose to take a boat (a 3-day affair). Tickets for the boats go on sale a week or two before departure. Be warned that the cheaper bunk and cabin seats are only for hardy travelers!

Do remember that all visitors to India need a visa, which needs to be obtained from the nearest Indian embassy in advance. India does NOT offer visas on arrival .

In addition, visitors to the Andamans also need a Restricted Area Permit, valid for up to 30 days and extendable by an additional 15 days - this is best obtained on arrival in Port Blair (fast, painless and free), either by boat or by plane. Don't bother trying to get this at your local Indian embassy, as it will either take forever or they'll give you a lot of misinformation.

How to get to Havelock

The best way to travel between Port Blair and Havelock is via the privately-operated ferries (Makruzz & Green Ocean). They depart approx between 0700 and 0800 for Havelock and return at 1530 and 1600. In season, the Makruzz also does a second trip in the afternoon, around 1330/1400.

At present, there are 3 government ferries departing to Havelock - a daily morning boat at 6:20am, a second boat at 11:30am which goes via Neil (tickets for Havelock are very hard to get on this, though) and a third, direct boat at 2:00pm.

The last ferry - at 2:00pm - can be caught on the same day as flying into Port Blair, provided your flight arrives by 1:00pm. If your flight lands after 1:15pm or so, it will be very difficult to make it over the same day and you'll have to spend the first night in Port Blair. We can try, but only if you are willing to take the risk of missing the ferry and needing to pay extra for a hotel in Port Blair and also for a new set of tickets the next day.

The privately-operated ferries are our default options on the way in: they are nicer, faster and more importantly, tickets can be purchased in advance more reliably. We purchase government ferry tickets on the way in only as a last resort.

Tickets sometimes sell out well in advance, so we strongly recommend our Meet and Greet service, which includes all transfers (airport to our resort in Havelock and back). Please read the fact sheet on transfers [opens in a new window; right click to save] as well.

If your flight out of Port Blair is before 1300, you will need to return to Port Blair one day before your flight's departure, as the boat and flight schedules don't let you return on the same day. There is no way around it, sorry.

If your flight is after 1400, you can take the 0900 government ferry to Port Blair and then fly out on the same day - the ferry is actually quite reliable and a lot of people (including us) take this option. It is the only government ferry we book by choice.

How to get to Island Vinnie's
If you are on the pickup service, look for someone at the Havelock Jetty holding an Island Vinnie sign. Otherwise, simply take a taxi. It is a small island and everyone knows us (you may have to ask for DIVEIndia somtimes). Taxi fare is typically around Rs 150-200.
What to bring
In terms of clothing - loose cotton clothes are the best. Remember to pack some long sleeves for the evenings, as that is the best form of mosquito repellant. A good book to read is nice, as is an MP3 player. If you are diving, please don't forget to bring your C-card and logbook.

Other essentials: sunglasses, hat, sunblock, prescription medicine and mozzie cream (you get local mozzie cream as well, but some people don't like its smell). Some anti-diarrhea medication and oral rehydration tablets are also good to have - we have some for emergency use but would prefer to let doctors and pharmacies dispense medication.

Virtually all toiletries and supplies. can be purchased in Port Blair, so if you forget something, don't fret.

Do also see our F.A.Q. section for answers to commonly-asked questions.

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