Inter island transfer in Lakshadweep

#1 Dec 12th, 2011, 13:52
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#1
Hi IMers,

Firstly, a O-podu (pat on the back) to the entire IndiaMike community - it is by far the best site on travel within India with a knowledgeable community who enjoy travelling & a welcome absence of trolls. I'll start off in this forum in a typical Indian way by posting in the wrong area - A query on Laks in the Kerala forum.

I am planning to a trip to Lakshadweep in March 2012 with my brood - 1 wife, 1 five year old & 1 one year old. I'd like stay 4 or 5 days in a single island (trying to recreate my Maldives trip here) rather than doing an Island hopping trip. Both the MWA & Swaying Palm schedules published in MV Kavaratti site allow only 2 full days in the Islands. I am hoping to get around this by booking a oneway boat trip onto Kadmat, a 5 day stay at the resort, a short boat hop onto Agatti & an AI flight out to Kochi. The http://www.lakport.nic.in/ site lists a number of local ferries like HS Black Marlin, Blue Marlin etc which seem to solve my problem of getting to Agatti from Kadmat.


What i am foggy about & i hope you folks can pitch in and clarify is

1. Are mainlanders (tourists) allowed to travel by these local ferries? If so, how do i book a passage on them? Are the fares same for tourists as for locals?
2. Can the rooms at Kadmat & Minicoy accommodate 4 people (2 adults 1 child and 1 infant)
3. Which of the two islands - Kadmat & Minicoy have a better Lagoon (calmer, clearer water with fish) & whiter sand?

Cheers
Krishna
#2 Dec 12th, 2011, 15:48
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  • grupai is offline
#2
Hi Krishna,
We are also planning a trip to Lakshadweep in the first or second week of March,12.
Actually we have just started to gather information on this trip.
If we plan for 5 days ,as per your suggestion which beaches should we visit.
We want a relaxed plan.

Also I want to know your experience of Maldives.Like tour plan,Costing etc.
As this is not the right forum for Maldives Could you please send me the Maldives details in Personal Message.
#3 Dec 12th, 2011, 17:32
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#3
Quote:
Originally Posted by grupai View Post Hi Krishna,
We are also planning a trip to Lakshadweep in the first or second week of March,12.
Actually we have just started to gather information on this trip.
If we plan for 5 days ,as per your suggestion which beaches should we visit.
We want a relaxed plan.'
Hi Grupai,

The first thing you should know is that Lacs administration has closed all of the private resorts in the UT. You are left with the choice of government run resorts (I believe these are still open for business - i am trying to confirm it) which are fine as long as you are going for scenic beauty of the island and its lagoon & not luxury inside the room.

This leaves you with the following choices (in order of MY preference based on reviews, images, etc, etc)

1. Minicoy
2. Kadmat
3. Kavaratti

Of these three, I have discounted Kavaratti as it is relatively more crowded (in the context of Lacs) & possibly not as pretty as the other two. Standard trips organized by SPORTS (Lacs tourism dept - http://www.lakshadweeptourism.com/ ) to these two islands cost the same, but i suspect the journey time to Minicoy might be a tad more. The http://www.lakshadweeptourism.com/ website lists multiple options available.



Quote:
Originally Posted by grupai View Post Also I want to know your experience of Maldives.Like tour plan,Costing etc.
As this is not the right forum for Maldives Could you please send me the Maldives details in Personal Message.
Now, Maldives is in altogether a different level of sophistication, facilities (and cost) compared to Lacs although they both work with the same raw material. To give you and idea I worked out the cost of a visit to Maldives for my family (4 of us) to around 1.5 - 2 Lakhs for a week in june this year (cheapest period of the year). A good start for you will be to read the FAQ on TA (http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic...-Maldives.html) & the wikitravel page. PM me if you have further questions.

cheers
Krishna
#4 Dec 12th, 2011, 19:05
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#4
Hi Krishna,
First of all I would like to mention that Personal message facility is not available in your profile.

I have already gone through the tour package operated by SPORTS.
But the day wise plan not provided in thw website..
I guess it will give 1 full day in 1 Beach.

Are you going through Package Tour or by yourself?
#5 Dec 13th, 2011, 16:05
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#5
Hi Grupai

You are right in saying that you get 1 day in each of the islands as per the Samudhram package. One of my friends did this trip & he was quite ok with the time spent in each of the islands. The draw back for me with this is that you will be constantly moving, going in & out of the ship - its not quite the vacation that i have in mind. May be it will work for you. Have you read ksastry's unbelievably good trip report (http://www.indiamike.com/india/keral...report-t19378/) ?

If the inter island transfer works out to be too expensive or inconvenient, I am planning to the swaying palm package.

Cheers
Krishna

ps. Do you know how to get the PM feature enabled?
#6 Dec 13th, 2011, 16:07
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#6
Krishna,
Welcome to IndiaMike. For the Private Message facility to be enabled, you must have been a member of IndiaMike for TEN days and have made TEN posts on the forums.
#7 Dec 13th, 2011, 18:56
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#7
Hi Krishna,
Yes I have read the trip report by ksastry's.
Actually we(me and my husband) prefer quite vacation .We don't prefer travelling a lot in a trip.
If you sort out this inter island transfer issue then please let me know the process.
Is this swaying palm package available right now?
Actually I visited SPORTS website and found only
LAKSHADWEEP SAMUDRAM package is available.

One more question...
If you don't go for package tour then what are the process to get the permit?
#8 Dec 15th, 2011, 12:56
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#8
Thanks for the welcome and the note theyyamdancer.

Grupai,

Apparently, SPORTS organizes inter island transfers as well. There are a bunch of ferries called HS vessels (high speed vessels ?) which do the transit between Kadmat and Agatti in about 2.5 hours. The ticket cost ranges from 120 to 450 rupees. According to the published schedule, these run between Kadmat and Agatti on Tuesday and Saturdays. I am tracking the schedule daily on lakport to establish if this is correct.

My wife, who is from Kochi, would be talking to the sports people at Kochi in the next couple of days to get details of the inter island transit. I will post any information that i get.

Cheers
Krishna
#9 Dec 16th, 2011, 12:23
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#9
My wife spoke to Sports and ,well, this is how things stand.

1. The MWA program is not being offered this season.
2. The Swaying Palms package is being offered but Mr Jaffer from Sports mentioned that there are some problems with Minicoy resorts & wasn't very interested in discussing it.
3. You can book Kadmat Island resort independently via sports.

Getting to Kadmat
There isn't a govt (see note at the end) ship touching Kadmat this season. You will have to fly into Agatti and sports will book a passage on a HS vessel (High speed ferries imported from Scandinavia) to and from Kadmat at a cost of 1,500 Rs one way per person. This journey will take an hour and a half. HS vessles run between Kadmat and Agatti only a couple of days a week. The schedules are published around a month in advance. In case a HS vessel doesn't run on the day of your travel (due to weather or otherwise), Sports will organize a wooden 30 seater vessel costing 12,000 Rs oneway. The cost per person is 12,000 divided by the number of travellers. If you have the boat to your self, you will have to pay the 12K your self. If 10 people are on the boat, the cost will be 1,200 a head. The HS vessels typically run at specific times that are synchronised with aircraft timings to enable you to make the connection. However, in case you are not able to make the connection, Sports will organize accomdation (at cost) at Agatti.

Well, those are the facts as I know them. I need to do the math to see how I can make it work within a reasonable budget. I am also following up on a couple of other leads, but i am unsure if there is likely to be any change in the situation.

Note

Amet Cruises are planning to Mumbai - Goa - Kadmat & return cruise starting Jan/Feb this year on similar lines to the Samudram/Coral reef packages. Am i reading too much in thinking that closure of the resorts and the programs to Kadmat falls neatly into Amet's lap?
#10 Dec 16th, 2011, 14:04
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#10
Hi Krishna,
After reading your post I am thinking to go for LAKSHADWEEP SAMUDRAM Package.
I am looking for a Stress buster trip not for a stressful trip .
Anyway you are going before March I think.So I can get your feedback .
#11 Feb 2nd, 2012, 13:34
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#11
Hi Krishna,

Have you finalised your lakshwadeep tour plan?
Actually we have decided to book the homestay in Kashim-K.
We are in dilemma as we haven't got any confirmation from Sri.Jamaludheen Pattambalam till now.
For last 1 week we are trying to get confirmation.We have called him,sent him email.Verbally he is saying room will be available ,but he is not giving any confirmation mail.

Do you have any idea about any other homestay in Lakshwadeep?
#12 Feb 2nd, 2012, 17:42
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#12
Hi Grupai

Good news! The problems with Permits at Laks seems to be resolved & I understand that at least Sea shell resort is open. Agatti Island will also soon be open.

You might want to reconsider staying at the homestay. Although the homestay is quite alright, I would prefer not to spend my vacation there. I would at best use it during transit A sample picture of the homestay is here http://www.tripadvisor.com/LocationP....html#38484747

ps - I am planning to travel in March & am still targetting Kadmat.

Regards
#13 Feb 14th, 2012, 02:33
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#13
After going through various threads and talking to various offices, (SPORTS, Lakshadweep Administration, Pvt tour operator etc. ) what I could understand ( or not understand) is :
First of all how to get permit, without which you do not get board on ship or plane. SPORTS do not do this if you are not going through their package, neither that is an authority for this. No one speaks with you in Lakshadweep Admin, who is an authority to issue the permits. I found no agent doing it for you. SPORTS do not offer any stay arrangement or package on any island, not even Agatti. Even if you reach Agatti by air where will you stay? Yes even I heard that sea shell is still operating. They quoted tariff of Rs. 20,000 per night (Yes.... And I told them, even Seychelles will be cheaper than this ) How can you go elsewhere (other island even if you have the stay arrangements)? http://www.lakport.nic.in show lot many ships with their schedules, but are they followed? How to get on board? It’s not a bus which arrives on the stop and you just have to hop in it.
In spite of this I am trying o find a way to have 5 day cool holiday in Lakshadweep. Please help.
#14 Feb 14th, 2012, 10:42
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#14
Can't you arrange through SPORTS to travel on the ferries that leave Cochin ie. MV Kavaratti,MV Minicoy and two others? These ferries stop at Kadmat to deliver supplies and take local people to their isalnds. In the past a ferry would come to Kadmat every three days.
#15 Feb 14th, 2012, 11:40
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#15
Thanks CliveG for quick reply
I have a plan of any 5-6 days from 29th march to 9th April. I am preferring to stay on island rather than staying on board.
What SPORTS offcet has for me was only few COACH seats on MV Arebian sea (meaning hectic journey) for coral reef package 5-8 april for 2 island. (meaning lesser 14 hours on islands at the cost of Rs16000). Sounds bad to me.
Reaching Agatti is not a problem at all. AI is doing it just for Rs 3000. Issuing the permit to stay at Agatti has been stopped. At least SPORTS do not do it (or for any of the island stay) as Agatti Island Resort has stopped functioning. SPORTS don’t (or can’t) take booking for other island resort saying that they do not have arrangements for Inter-island transfer.

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