As most travellers fly into the Andaman and Nicobar Islands these days, a boat journey to the popular islands from Port Blair is a good opportunity to enjoy the high seas. Apart from passenger ferry boats run by the government, you may also avail a luxury trip on the MV Makruzz.
Operating between Port Blair and Havelock Island, MV Makruzz is a privately run luxury catamaran which plies on a fixed schedule.
Built in Singapores Damen Shipyard, the high-speed twin hull vessel is owned by MAK Logistics Pvt Ltd.
Spread over two decks, the fully air conditioned seating areas have huge transparent glass windows running along the entire length of the interior so that all passengers can enjoy the panoramic sea view. But then of course seating next to the huge windows is always extra fun. See the huge waves rolling across the sea that seem to merge with the horizon. Enjoy a glimpse of the verdant islands or see other vessels going by. See the flying fish leaping by. The on-board kiosk sells snacks and soft drinks, in case you are feeling peckish.
Yes, there is some rolling and pitching of the boat and you may take some time to adjust to it. The catamaran is capable of attaining a maximum cruise speed of 32 nautical miles but goes at a relatively slower speed between 22 and 24 nautical miles for passenger comfort. Several traveller reviews mention that one is likely to experience sea sickness towards the early part of the journey but as the vessel approaches the relatively quieter water near Havelock, the sickness reduces or disappears. Travellers have given mixed reviews of on-board toilet facilities. Do remember, you will not be allowed to stand outside in the open during the journey.
MV Makruzz offers three categories of seating to passengers, with a capacity of 208 passengers in the Premium category, 64 in Deluxe and eight in the Royal category. It completes a one-way journey between Port Blair and Havelock in about 90 minutes.
According to the company, the vessel meets the latest global standards of safety in terms of life-saving, fire-fighting, navigational and communication systems. Life jackets are provided under each seat and there are reversible life rafts in case of any emergency evacuation.
Note A journey by MV Makruzz is rather popular especially during peak tourist season. So it is advisable to book in advance. Going through a registered travel agent helps. Water transportation in the Andaman & Nicobar Islands is subject to weather and sea conditions and scheduled departures may be cancelled during adverse conditions. There have been instances when trips have been cancelled owing to technical reasons. Alternative arrangements in government ferries may not be possible always. In that case, your itinerary or visit to Havelock may be hampered. So plan accordingly.