Our Havelock scuba dive shop is open year-long for scuba diving.
Based out of Island Vinnie’s Tropical Beach Cabanas, our scuba diving centre in Havelock offers daily scuba diving trips to the best sites in the area, as well as a full array of PADI & SSI diving courses, from Intro to Scuba to learning to dive (Open Water course) all the way up to Divemaster and Instructor.
As far as the islands go, Havelock is one of the more “developed” destinations: we now have 2 ATMS, taxis and even regular ice-cream! And of course, great white sand beaches, diving, snorkeling, fishing and a lot more.
The island is roughly oval-shaped, with the main jetty (where the ferry arrives) at the northern end. This is village number 1 (all locations in Havelock are numbered). Running down the north-eastern side of the island are Beaches 2, 3 and 5. We don’t know what happened to 4, btw – if someone discovers it, do let us know. On the south-western side of the island is beach 7, with village 6 being somewhere in the middle of the island. The rest, making up a majority of the island’s area, consists of paddy fields and prime growth tropical forest.
Most resorts and activities are located in the north-east stretch (1-5) or along beach 7.
You can walk from beach 1 to beach 5 in less than an hour. To get to beach 7, which is some distance away, you can choose from: the hourly bus, a rickshaw, a taxi or rent your own moped or scooty (a gearless scooter).
The main sources of livelihood in Havelock, other than tourism, are farming and fishing. Until the mid-80s, timber-logging was a popular occupation as well; however, a Supreme Court ruling has put an end to all logging activities. This has resulted in not only several local timber operations shutting down, but has also caused the island’s few elephants to become jobless.
This island is where we have tied our own hammock and set up our first base.
Havelock now has a wide range of accommodation, from Rs 500 per night going up to Rs 30,000 per night. As tourism grows, prices are ever inching upwards, and more and more rooms are coming up. However, the good news is that “developed” for Havelock is still a long, long ways from being developed when compared to most other tropical destinations.
Getting to our dive center in Havelock
MAINLAND (CHENNAI / CALCUTTA) > PORT BLAIR > HAVELOCK
To get to Havelock from Port Blair, you have to take the ferry departing from the Phoenix Bay jetty. There are 3 departures daily – 0600 hrs, 1130 hrs (via Neil – takes 3.5 hours while the other govtferries take 2.5 hours) and 1400 hrs. The afternoon ferry (1400 hrs) means that you can get to Havelock on the same day as your arrival into Port Blair.
The return boats from Havelock leave at 1400 hrs, 1600 hrs (the private ferry) and 1630 hrs in the afternoon, getting into Port Blair in the evening after sunset – so it is possible to do 2-tank dives on the day of your departure. And you get enough of a surface interval to fly the next day as well.
There is also a private ferry (a very comfortable catamaran) that has started service between Port Blair and Havelock. This ferry departs at 0845 for Havelock and returns at 1600 – trip time is approx 1:15. If you are arriving by 8:00am into Port Blair, this is a very convenient boat to take, as you no longer have to waste most of the day sitting around in Port Blair. This ferry is more expensive than the regular government ferry, however.
In theory, tickets (Rs 300-350 for the government ferry, Rs 850-1200 for the private ferry) have to be purchased in advance. In the off-season, they are quite easy to purchase if you get to the jetty half an hour before departure. However, during the peak season, especially between October and April, the government tickets sell out well in advance – tickets for the catamaran are usually readily available, as of now.
We offer (and strongly recommend that you avail of) a Meet and Greet facility which includes airport pickup, transfer to the jetty (including round trip ferry tickets), transfers in Havelock, return transfer to the hotel in Port Blair and then to the airport on your departure. Price for this is Rs 2,500 for one person, Rs 3,000 for 2 people and Rs 1,200 per person for 3 or more people – in addition, if you want the catamaran, a surcharge of Rs 600 per person each way also applies. Please let us know in advance, preferably at the time of your booking, if you would like us to arrange the same for you.