A new 50-yacht marina is in the process of being constructed at Port Blair Harbour, ideal for international yachts and superyachts planning a cruise around the Andaman Islands.
An amazing cruising destination, the Andaman & Nicobar Islands are stunning, with pristine clear waters, sandy beaches, uninhabited islands, thriving coral life and geographical advantages that make for ideal adventure cruising. The new marina development is underway and will help the islands recover from COVID-19 when vessels return at the backend of the pandemic.
With the situation slowly coming under control and a focus back on the revival of the economy in the country, considerable efforts are being made by the A&N Administration towards kick-starting cruise tourism and yachting, with various new projects and infrastructural development across the islands being progressed by the Port Management Board (PMB).
“A destination of choice and kick-off to amazing adventure cruising, currently international sailors and visiting yachts and superyachts are required to stay at anchorage due to the absence of a dedicated marina”, explained R. Rathnam, heading up Asia Pacific Superyachts Andaman Islands in Port Blair.
“Now a 50-yacht marina is planned for the inner part of the Port Blair Harbour (Mithakhari) which will provide the required logistics and repair facilities for the Andaman & Nicobar Islands,” added Rathnam, also working with tourism and government authorities in organising the annual ‘Sail the Andamans’ Yacht Carnival. The APS Andamans director is enthusiastic about the new yacht marina plans and is confident more yachts will be visiting the Andamans for fantastic cruising options and to join the growing yachting events.
The proposal for a state of the art property with a yacht marina is designed to accommodate 50 yachts. The marina includes a passenger terminal with complete facilities to house about 1,000 passengers and features: arrival and departure halls, ticketing counters, shops, locker facility, canteen facility, food courts, lift, security systems etc and invited tender. The project has been approved by the Ministry of Shipping and expected to be available by December 2021.
There is also a proposal for upgrading the existing passenger terminals at Haddo Wharf and Phoenix Bay to meet requirements for berthing of international yachts as well as inter-island cruise vessels and pleasure crafts.
More support is now offered, one that is of keen interest to foreign flagged yachts, reports Rathman: “Standard operating procedures for visiting yachts has also been finalised and will be promulgated shortly. These SOP’s will provide a single window platform for the visiting cruise vessels/yachts and is an important step in easing arrival/departure procedures.”
Upon arriving the yacht owner and guests can enjoy an extensive range of activities right in Port Blair as the APS team handles the permit and paperwork required as provisioning needs are finalised. Highlights for visitors can include the following activities:
Cellular jail providing insight to Indian history under British rule & freedom fighters seeking independence
Ross and Viper Islands providing further insights into the Islands’ colonial past (and penal colony)
Anthropological Museum giving an understanding of the prehistoric inhabitants
Mount Harriet National Park, one of the closest wilderness areas to Port Blair
In addition to excellent provisioning, arrangements can be made for shore services around the clock 24/7 which includes taking care of docking, transfers to various tourist spots, accommodations, fuel supply and other allied services along with a remarkable selection of high end options for accommodation and transportation.