Please read this document carefully to understand the risks of transfers. In the event of any issues with transfers, the terms laid out herein shall apply.
How the process works
During season, tickets to Havelock or Neil are very hard to get. Our pickup service greatly reduces the risk of not getting a ticket. However, as the rules of advance purchase of tickets keep changing, it is not a guarantee.
Our pickup service includes:
- Pickup from airport or hotel
- Transfer to jetty
- Round trip ferry tickets to Havelock or Neil
- Round trip jetty-resort transfers in Havelock or Neil
- Transfer to hotel of your choice on return to Port Blair [extra charge if your hotel is outside city limits]
- Transfer to the airport the next day.
If you are arriving and have a few hours to kill, our driver will be happy to drop you off at a restaurant or hotel of your choice, or to our partner guesthouse, the Andaman Anchorage (subject to availability). Sightseeing is possible for an extra fee, if you want (subject to vehicle availability).
By default, our transfer price includes tickets on a private ferry – with the Makruzz being our preferred choice but sometimes, we may put you on a different ferry if tickets are not available or as a last resort.
The current prices, ferry timings, details of how the transfers work and emergency contact information are all in the Booking PDF that was emailed to you.
*Please note that the pickup service is offered as a convenience and is not a contract for carriage. There are a lot of factors outside our control: ferries can be cancelled, tickets may be unavailable, timings may change, vehicles may break down etc. We try our best to ensure everything works smoothly, and for the most part, it does. However, in the case of any problems with transfers, our maximum liability in such cases shall be a partial or full refund of ferry tickets, minus the cost of whatever services have already been used. We are not responsible for any other expenses, costs or damages, monetary or otherwise, incurred due to missed transfers.
Detailed Info about Transfers
1/ Timings provided in the booking pdf are subject to change based on the decisions of the various boat operators – we have no control over that.
2/ By default, we book the first available private ferry on the way in, and the last available ferry on the way out (please read the Booking PDF for ferry timings to understand the relevant ferry timings, or ask us). If you want to something different, please let us know at the time of your booking, else a change fee may apply
3/ All ferry preferences are accommodated on a best-effort basis. We reserve the right to put you on a different ferry if that is the only one available. No exceptions, unfortunately.
4/ While govt ferries can be booked in advance in theory, in practice, those tickets are mainly for islanders. For tourists, there are a handful of tickets that are released shortly before departure, and we get tickets from that quota. 99% of the time this works. Very rarely, there are issues and if so, we only find out at the last minute.
5/ The closer to your travel dates you book transfers, the greater the risk of issues with your tickets. This is still a small risk, and usually we can find an alternative solution, but this risk is present nonetheless. And no, we cannot tell you when it is “too close” – it depends on demand at that time.
6/ We cannot always inform you in advance of the situation with your ferries. This is because ticket availability changes day to day, and our guy is usually able to find a solution. Downside – if there is a problem, we and you will only find out at the last minute.
7/ We have a 24 hour turnaround time on emails. And after that, it sometimes takes time for messages to filter through the process and reach the ticketing agent. Please factor that when sending us travel information or changes.
8/ If you booked transfers with us and we are unable to get tickets as per your original plan, we will adjust your room and diving package with us at no penalty. However, we are not responsible for other costs incurred by you. We don’t want you to have a bad start or end to your trip – but we also cannot take responsibility for things that are outside our control.
9/ If there is any last-minute change of plans (within a few days of your trip) which result in missed ferries, then we do not offer any refunds other than the cost of the incoming ferry tickets either.
10/ Our agent is very good at arranging tickets, not so good at speaking in English to guests or providing frequent updates on what is going on (he is focused on solving any ticketing issues that have arisen). He is also not authorized to speak on behalf of the company. If you have any questions, please call the dive center and ask to speak to one of the instructors on duty.
The Plain Speak
Because of all the reasons described above, and the general way things work on the islands, and sometimes, mistakes on our part, compost happens. We are not able to get your tickets on the ferry of your choice, or we are only able to get a standing-room ticket, or – in very, very rare cases, and so far, never on the return leg – we may not be able to get a ferry ticket for you at all.
Due to the nature of how things work here, our system is not the perfect, always-get-everything-done-in-advance system that we would like it to be. And often, this system is less than transparent, even to us – which means we often don’t have advance notice on how things are going, and any problems that crop up only do so at the last minute. So even if you booked everything 6 months in advance, a problem can still happen and if it does, it will happen at the last minute. And communication in such a case will have been spotty.
But, let me repeat, our system works. Not only does it work, it is the most reliable system possible for the Andamans in terms of actually procuring ferry tickets, with only a handful of issues each year (less than 1%).
We could modify the process to provide better communication in the event of a problem – but that will mean that the cost of the transfers will go up significantly. And it wont improve the chances of getting tickets – just communication on status updates. Given how rarely problems happen, we don’t think this is worth it (which, we grant, is of poor consolation if you are in the <1% for whom a problem DOES happen).
So when you book a transfer service with us, you are taking a leap of faith that our system works. And you are also accepting that we will not be able to give you advance notice on how things are going, and there may be last-minute unexpected problems (which, you can be sure, we will do our best to solve: believe us when we say that we do not want you have any unpleasant experiences associated with your time with us).
We will request you to keep all of this into account and managing your expectations a little when it comes to ferry tickets. And please note that we will NOT engage in discussion with you if you are overly aggressive or abusive (unfortunately, we have had to put this language in here after a few incidents).
The Summary (TL;DR)
Let’s put it perspective here. Issues with tickets isnt exactly something that happens often. We typically have maybe a few cases each year when we are unable to get tickets on the day of arrival (so far, zero cases of being unable to get tickets for the return). We have maybe a further handful cases a year when we have to use a different ferry or get “standing-only” tickets (which means you can sit in the open on the upper deck).
So mostly, these long-winded few pages are merely in the interest of full disclosure. We like to think that our transfer service is probably as reliable as it gets on the islands. However, that element of risk is indeed present and non-zero.
If you are not ok with this element of risk, please do not book a transfer service with us. Conversely, booking a transfer service with us implies that you have read this section fully and accept with it completely. If you have any questions or concerns, please ask!