Cruising Destination of the month: India
A cruising journey around the vast spread of the Andaman Islands in India offers stunning vistas along with many land attractions and discoveries. Visitors will find deserted islands of pure white sparkling beaches and crystal clear water. Moving inland, lush vegetation and towering cliffs with unusual bird and flora/fauna all wait to be explored and active volcanoes can be viewed during the journey.
“Superyacht cruising in India is still very much in its infancy, and very few of the world’s superyachts have even passed through its waters yet. There are ongoing plans to develop the yachting infrastructure in a number of locations, such as in Kochi where the first international standard marina has been built. This will mainly, at least initially, cater for the local fleet with an increasing number of Indians interested in owning yachts for coastal cruising.” Nicolas Benazeth, CharterWorld’s Director of Charter explains.
The Andaman Islands of India delivers adventuresome cruising and superyachts seek out Asia Pacific Superyachts (APS) Andaman Islands & India Managing Director, R. Rathnam, to create a journey that opens onto a secret world of tropical jungles, a wander through a rare lush rainforest and serene beaches scattered throughout much of the Andaman Archipelago.
For international superyachts and charter trips, the main cruising location that has been most visited so far is further south in the Andaman islands. This archipelago is one of the most unspoilt tropical island groups anywhere, and a haven for off the beaten track exploration. The colonial style town of Port Blair serves as a starting point with flight connections to the Indian mainland as well as the possibility of welcoming private flights, and from there it is all miles of pristine white sandy beaches surrounding lush tropical forested interiors and incredible waters and sea life. The islands offer superb snorkelling (in particular in North Andaman) opportunities as well as scuba diving, most of the time without even seeing another boat anywhere around. There are great dive sites throughout the islands, with walls, pinnacles and channels around Havelock island and exciting remote sites near the eastern Barren island, also offering a number of manta ray cleaning stations. Barren island and Narcondam island are both volcanos, with Barren currently the only known active volcano in south Asia. Fishing enthusiasts also enjoy these waters, which have practically not suffered from commercial fishing. Some of the most enticing of unexplored waters can be found also in the Bay of Bengal, with deep seas and hundreds of hidden bays teaming with marine life.
Photos: ©Asia Pacific Superyachts
“Cruising in the Andamans should be limited to late November to April/May, as the rest of the year sees strong winds and rough monsoon seas. December to February is great for sailing yachts with warm sunny conditions and reliable winds, while March and April are the peak time for scuba diving (visibility up to 40 metres) and snorkelling, with the added bonus of migratory whales visiting. There is also growing interest in surfing in the area, with some reef breaks having never been surfed before. The most spectacular breaks occur on the west coast in April,” adds Mr. Benazeth.
Whilst still a frontier destination, the Andaman islands offer true pristine cruising grounds, and for longer voyages can be combined with the Mergui archipelago of Myanmar or the Andaman coast of Thailand – both significantly closer geographically than he Indian mainland. As superyacht cruising slowly develops in the islands, and no doubt will spread to coastal destinations such as Goa to some extent, other tropical island groups such as the Lakshadweep islands off the south west coast of India offer other opportunities, and have seen large superyachts in their waters in the past.
Cruising seldom visited waterways with stunning views and visiting uninhabited pristine beaches to while away a sunny afternoon of diving followed by a sunset beach BBQ offers unforgettable experiences.
Mr. Rathnam commented there have been meetings and discussions concerning government support in providing an e-Visa facility for the Andaman Islands in the seaport and airport of Port Blair, India with the purpose of awarding arriving foreigners with a visa upon arrival.
“Now the yachts must apply for their visa(s) in their home country. This makes it very difficult for the yachts to visit the Andaman Islands, thus once the e-Visa facility is extended, it will be a great boost for yacht tourism and cruise tourism in the Andaman Islands”, enthused Mr. Rathnam.
Until then and after, APS can arrange now for all visas and clearances in Port Blair for a wondrous adventurous and relaxing cruising journey through India’s Andaman Islands, while CharterWorld’s experienced brokers will provide you with an unbiased luxury service where the client is at the first and foremost place.
To learn more visit www.asia-pacific-superyachts.com and to begin exploring itinerary options email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit CharterWorld.com to browse the selection of luxury yachts available in this pristine cruising area or email email@example.com.
For more information about cruising options and services in India please contact APSA members:
Asia Pacific Superyachts I firstname.lastname@example.org
West Coast Marine Yacht Services Pvt Ltd I email@example.com