All roads – and ferries – lead to Port Blair, but getting around the islands can be a slow process, particularly to outlying islands. The main island group – South, Middle and North Andaman – is connected by road, with ferry crossings and bridges. Buses run south from Port Blair to Wandoor, and north to Bharatang, Rangat, Mayabunder and finally to Diglipur, 325km north of the capital. But don’t expect to cover any more than 30km an hour, even in a taxi.
Of course, a boat is the only way to reach most islands and both the rigour and romance of ferry travel is alive and well here – you’ll often see flying fish and even dolphins from crowded decks. It’s relatively quick and easy to get to Havelock and Neil Islands, and there are regular ferries to Rangat, Mayabunder and Diglipur among others. The best source of information about inter-island ferry schedules is in the daily newssheets in Port Blair; the Andaman Herald and Daily Telegrams list sailing times up to a week in advance.
A subsidised inter-island helicopter service, launched in 2003, remains in service to destinations including Havelock Island (Rs 850; twice weekly) and Diglipur (Rs 2125; once weekly). Bookings must be made at the islands’ Secretariat (230093) in Port Blair.
Indian mainland train bookings can also be made in the Secretariat complex, at the Railway Bookings Centre (8am-12.30pm & 1-2pm) which is very useful for onward travel plans.