I would like to share my experience of our cruise to The Andaman and Nicobar Islands with my family and friends. First of all, we didn’t expect that we would get an opportunity to visit such a paradise on earth. It all began with a phone call from a friend of my mother inviting us for the tour which they had already planned. One of them was acquainted with an official of the shipping corporation of India, Chennai, who booked tickets for us in the ship named “Swaraj Dweep”.
The crew members of the ship received us with great hospitality. We boarded the ship through the unique red carpeted VIP entrance, which led us to our cabin on the third deck of the ship. This was the first time I had ever seen a ship’s interiors, which reminded me of some of them in Hollywood movies. The crew members were cordial to us, and a few of them are a marine engineer, a doctor, a nurse, and a caterer, who became good friends of us. The captain of the ship is a great man with silver hair, with life-time experience of cruises.
The cabin was warm and compact and we could see the sea through the window, with white water waves splashing on the window glass. The ship was about to start when all the passengers came out on to the outer deck to watch the ship steer, photographing every possible scenery. The ship started with a loud horn, as it cut through the blue waters to move forward. Since this was our first cruise, it was difficult for us to adapt to the circumstances of the ocean. As the sea became rough the day after, I developed nausea and fell seasick. The doctor on board helped me recover. We were on board for about three days and four nights before we reached the shores of the Andaman Islands in Port Blair, the capital city.
The Andaman and Nicobar Islands consist of some hundreds of little islands. The islands comprise of spectacular beaches, antique buildings and forests. Some of the places of interest include Red Skin Island which is known for corals under the water, Corbyn’s Cove, Mount Harriett, and Chidiya Tapu, a spectacular beach with bluish green clear waters. One more interesting thing about the island is the native tribes. Public transportation was pleasant with roadways of different islands connected through waterways and jetties. We had a pleasant time in the water viewing the corals along with trained helpers. We went mountain trekking, boating, and sight seeing. Having spent four days in the Union Territory, we started getting ready to depart.
Swaraj Dweep was anchored in Port Blair harbor ready to take us to our homeland, Chennai. While returning, the weather conditions weren’t favorable for the cruise. It was raining heavily which frightened us a little, as it made the ship sway like anything. Afterwards, the weather returned to normal conditions making us comfortable. On the fourth night, we found spots of lights emerging from the dark ocean far off. Later, we realized that those were the street lights on the shores of the Marina Beach. This was one of the adventurous and most unforgettable holidays in my life time. Even today, when I pass by the beach road near the harbor, I always look for Swaraj Dweep.
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