Status of Vessels Mainland-Island Services Fore Shore Services Cargo Services
Harbour Ferry Vehicle Ferry General Purpose Utility Marine Dockyard
Major Achievements Citizen Charter Ship Acquisition during  10th Plan Period Information Handbook

Lifeline For Islanders


          Shipping sector is the lifeline for the people of these islanders and it has made discernible progress in providing mobility to men and material between Mainland-Island on one side and Inter Island on the other. The Directorate of Shipping Services (DSS) is responsible for manning, maintaining and operation of the vessels owned by the Administration. The Department is presently providing Shipping services to 29 of the 36 inhabited Island.

          The Shipping is the main mode of transportation for passenger and cargo between Mainland-Island and the only mode between the Islands. The department has been able to achieve regular service in almost all the sectors.

The DSS presently operates 71 vessels in four sectors. These are 

(a) Mainland -Island Sector: To provide service between Port Blair and Kolkata/Chennai/Vizag;

 (b) Inter Island Sector: To provide services between Port Blair and the distant group of Islands;

(c) Fore Shore Sector: To provide services between Port Blair and near by Islands;

(d) Harbour Ferry Sector: To provide services within the sheltered water and narrow creeks by ferry vessels.




Type of Vessel


1. Mainland-Island Pax-cum-Cargo 5
2. Inter Island Sector 4
3. Foreshore Services 11
4. Passenger-Cum-Vehicle Ferry 11
5. Cargo 5
6. Water Barge 3
7. Harbour Ferry 23
8. Touring Vessel 5
9. Mooring Vessel 2
10. Oil Tanker 1
11. Tug 1





            Presently 5 Nos Passengers-Cum-Cargo ships are operating in the Mainland-Island Sector to meet the requirement of the Islanders. The Directorate provides regular Shipping Services to Chennai, Kolkatta and Visakhapatnam as follows:-  

Ships Frequency/Month Route
MV Swaraj Dweep/MV Nancowry 4-5 Trips Port Blair-Chennai-Port Blair
MV Akbar

MV Harshavardhana

4-5 Trips Port Blair-Kolkatta-Port Blair
MV Nicobar 1 Trip Port Blair-Vizag-Port Blair

           Port Blair-Chennai-Port Blair voyage is routed via Car Nicobar once in a month and via Campbell Bay once in two months. Port Blair-Kolkatta-Port Blair voyage is routed via Mayabunder once in a month.



          The Inter-Island Service is maintained by deploying 4 passenger vessels and 5 cargo vessels. In addition 2 vehicle ferries and one oil tanker are also utilised while all the bigger passenger vessel are operated with the help of SCI, the cargo vessels and tanker are operated by local crews. The ship make voyage to Diglipur in North and to Campbell Bay in South. During rush period Mainland vessels are also pressed into service to cope with the traffic demand in the southern group. 

For the first time Car Nicobar is connected with Port Blair on a fixed schedule ferry services. On every Friday vessel leaves Port Blair for Car Nicobar via Hut Bay and leave Car Nicobar via Hut Bay to Port Blair on Saturday. Similarly regular daily service has been introduced in Port Blair-Hut Bay sector.  




         This service is operated between Port Blair and near by Islands like Neil, Havelock, Long Island, Kadamtala, Strait Island and Rangat by smaller vessels of the Administration. At present there are 11 vessels operating in this sector of which 10 owned by the Directorate, and MV Ramanujam owned and maintained by SCI. One vessel is operated between Port Blair and Havelock exclusively for Tourist 6 days in a Week. Fast boat is also introduced in Port Blair-Rangat-Port Blair route once in a week. Department is also introduced fast boat service once in a week to Port Blair-Havelock-Strait Island-Long Island-Rangat and back.    






       Inter-Island Passenger-cum-Cargo and cargo ships carry most of the cargo for Inter Island Sector. The department has Five-Cargo Vessels exclusively for carrying cargo there is also a small oil tanker of 100 Ton Capacity for supplying diesel to nearby Islands.  


            Harbour ferry services are available at Port Blair and in four different Islands in Kadamtala, Mayabunder, Diglipur and Nancowry. In Port Blair service connects Phoenix bay, Chatham, Junglighat, Bamboo flat, Hope town, Dundus point, Mithakhari, Viper Island. There are three major routes in Port Blair and an average 45 trips are operated in these routes. Ferry services are available between Long Island and Yeratta in Middle Andaman and Mayabunder and Kalighat in North Andaman.

            In Nicobar district, Harbour ferry services are available between Katchal and Kamorta, Champin, and Munak. At present 23 vessels are operating in this sector.   



           Vehicle ferry services are provided in selected routes like ChathamBamboo flat, Phoenix bay-Bamboo  flat, Kadamtala (Uttera jetty), Baratang (Gandhighat jetty), and Middle strait (Nilambur jetty), Altogether 11 vessels are operated in this sector.  


             Apart from passenger and cargo services, this departments under takes utility services like transportation of water to remote Islands/Ships, casuality evacuation of Govt. personnel to uninhabited Island etc.   



          The Marine Dockyard is one of the oldest and largest workshop in these islands. It has number of workshops which include Marine shop, Plating shop, Welding shop and moulding machine to carry out the repair of all departmental vessels except those maintained by SCI. The department has two drydocks eight slipways. All the departmental vessels are repaired by the Marine Dockyard. In addition limited drydocking facilities are provided to Navy, Coast Guard, SCI & Private vessels.    







1 No. 75 passenger cum 50 ton cargo vessel being constructed by M/s Alcock Ashdown (Gujrat) Ltd., delivered.

1 No 75 passenger cum 50 ton cargo vessel being constructed by M/s Goodwill Engineering Works, Pondicherry delivered and inducted into service.

Contract Agreement executed and signed on 8-4-03 between M/s ABG Shipyard Ltd Surat and A & N Administration for construction and delivery of one 500 pax vessel at a cost of Rs. 83.00 crores with delivery period of 30 months.

A Contract agreement was executed on 8.7.03 with M/s Gulf Craft Ajman, UAE for construction and delivery of one rescue boat (Special Passenger Vessel).   





Special emphasis has been laid in 10th Five-Year Plan for linking remote Islands with others to provide better and effective Shipping Services. To meet the challenge of increasing traffic demand in these areas, the Shipping Dept. kept plan provision for acquisition of 24 additional vessels during 10th Plan. These vessels will have better on board passenger's facilities and higher speed upto 16-18 Knot. These vessels are proposed to be deployed in different Islands. It is also intended to connect Southern group directly with Chennai.  


Source: Directorate of Shipping Services