To get to the Andaman Islands you must come through mainland India (though eventually it will be possible to go through Thailand and other Asian centers. We will keep you posted!) There are three ports of entry to the islands: CHENNAI (Madras), KOLKATA (Calcutta) and VISHAKAPATNAM (Vizak).
Point of entry is Port Blair.
Journey time from both centres is approximately 2 hours.
Passenger ships are available from Chennai, Kolkata and Vishakapatnam to Port Blair. Tickets must be purchased in person at the Shipping Corporation of India. Sailings dates are subject to last minute changes, therefore the tickets can only be purchased 3-4 days before the sailing. During the high season (October to May) there are usually 4 sailings per month from Chennai & Kolkata and 1 or 2 sailings per month from Vishakapatnam. Return tickets can only be purchased in Port Blair.
> Journey time from Chennai to Port Blair is about 60 hours
> Journey time from Kolkata to Port Blair is about 66 hours
> Journey time from Vishakapatnam to Port Blair is about 56 hours
> Meals are available on the ship and several classes of travel are available
For foreign passport holders only: in addition to a regular Indian Visa, a Restricted Area Permit is required for the Andaman Islands. Whether you are arriving by flight or by ship, you can obtain this permit on arrival for no additional cost. On arrival you will be asked to fill out a form with your personal details. The permit will be issued for a maximum of 30 days but can be extended to 45 days if a suitable reason exists. To avoid any unnecessary problems in case of changes in your return travel date, we suggest you fill on your form that you will be staying for the entire 30 days.
**Make sure you check for any error on your permit expiry date before you leave the immigration counter.