By December of next year, those of you who enjoy adventure cruising will have a good excuse to head off. The Andaman Islands will have a new marina in Port Blair Harbor, ideal for exploring this Indian archipelago.
Nearly 600 islands make up the Andamans, a.k.a. the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Only 37 of them have inhabitants, too. They have earned renown for their white-sand beaches, crystal-clear waters, coral reefs, and overall quiet natural beauty. Unfortunately, since the Andaman Islands are heavily dependent upon tourism, their economy has taken quite a hit during the pandemic. However, the 50-yacht marina, approved by the Ministry of Shipping, is an infrastructure project that the government believes will help bring back cruising visitors and shore up the economy.
Asia Pacific Superyachts, which has an office in the islands, is encouraged by the possibilities. “Currently, international sailors and visiting yachts and superyachts are required to stay at anchorage due to the absence of a dedicated marina,” explains R. Rathnam, the head of the Andaman Islands office, located in Port Blair. Besides assisting individual yachts, Rathman’s team has an instrumental role in Sail the Andamans, a floating festival promoting the pristine beauty of the region.
The new marina will be in Port Blair Harbour, which further allows better access to repair facilities and other support companies. Additionally, the marina itself will incorporate a cruise-ship passenger terminal with customs and immigrations clearance, food courts, and more. More specifically benefitting superyachts, Rathman says foreign-flagged yachts will have new, easier standard operating procedures. While the procedures are already final, Asia Pacific Superyachts says they will be able to share them shortly.
In the meantime, the Andaman Islands offer not just unspoiled nature, such as a nearby national park, but also history to explore. For instance, the Cellular Jail in Port Blair was a colonial prison in the early 1900s. The British used it for exiling political prisoners and jailing Indian freedom fighters. Asia Pacific Superyachts can arrange transfers to these and other must-see spots, along with immigration paperwork, provisioning, and other needs.
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