Lakshadweep Tourism Ship
Way To Paradise And Back
Being cut off from the mainland, air and water ways are the only options that are there to reach Lakshadweep islands. These group of islands are around 400 Km west of Kerala. Looking at the recent rush of tourists to Lakshadweep islands, Govt. of India has taken necessary steps in improving the connectivity of Lakshadweep to mainland and connection between various islands of this union territory.
Agatti is the only domestic airport in Lakshadweep. It is connected by frequent flights form Kochi airport. Kochi Airport that is also called as Nedumbassery Airport and Cochin Airport is the only connected airport to Lakshadweep at the moment and Indian Airlines the only flight operator to Lakshadweep. Indian airlines operates a flight daily to Agatti airport except on Sundays. Tourists who wish to visit Lakshadweep from other countries have to first travel to Cochin and then catch a connecting flight to archipelago of Lakshadweep. Kingfisher Airlines, a major flight operator in India, has proposed to start a service between Cochin, Bangalore and Lakshadweep in near future. This will definitely make the trip to the Paradise a lot easier. Though it is advised to book a seat for yourself way in advance to avoid last minute confusion. The number of tourists allowed at a time in Lakshadweep is restricted. And many times the confusion about the number of people on the island becomes unavoidable.
For traveling inside Lakshadweep, there is a helicopter service connecting Agatti Island to other major islands. Although, to get a booking suited to your time, you have to be extremely lucky as the helicopter service is more often than not, engaged in medical services or transporting VIPs.
Traveling to Lakshadweep by ship is a far more preferred way than by flights. It takes nearly 18 - 22 hrs to cover the distance of nearly 400 Km between Lakshadweep and Kerala coast. There are four main ships namely MV Tipu Sultan, MV Bharat Seema, MV Minicoy and MV Amindivi that connect the islands to the mainland of India. The number of trips in a week depends on tourist traffic and weather conditions. During monsoon season, that is May 15 - September 15, there is no ship service to Lakshadweep. The ships have different sections of accommodation like A/C deluxe class with two berth cabins, A/C first class with four birth cabins and A/C chair car. MV Tipu Sultan and MV Bharat Seema ships also have cafeteria, entertainment lounge and video shows.
SPORTS (Society for promotion of Nature Tourism and Sports) also organizes different tour packages that you can avail by contacting authorized SPORTS office in Cochin. There are four packages; 5 day Coral Reef Package which covers Kavaratti, Kalpeni and Minicoy on MV Tipu Sultan with overnight on ship itself, Swaying Palm package covering only Minicoy in a 6 day tour with accommodation in Minicoy Resort, 4 day Taratashi Package to Kavaratti with stay in tourist huts and a 6 day Marine Wealth Awareness Programme at Kadmat.
These packages are the most hassle free way to enjoy magical holidays on Lakshadweep Islands. The journey to Lakshadweep might turn out to be slightly hard and tiring, but isn't it worth to go through it all, to get to see and experience the paradise right in front of your eyes.