The Andaman Island Expedition
Join us on the journey of your life and cross the Andaman Sea. Sail between Thailand and India’s incredible Andaman Islands and explore this unique archipelago. Ecologically, culturally, and for its pure beauty and remoteness, the Andamans are among the world’s most extraordinary regions.
For two days and nights you will join dolphins and whales migrating across the open ocean. For the remainder you’ll discover paradise beaches and unique wildlife, swim with elephants, and visit the last remaining home of our Palaeolithic ancestors. While getting spoiled by your private chef.
325 tropical islands covered in lush forest. Buzzling Indian village life, endless beaches and unspoiled wildlife without mass tourism. The Andamans are part of the great arc created by the collision of the Indo-Australian and the Eurasian plates, which runs from the Himalayas via Burma to the Indonesian island chain.
This is where Arab, Persian, Indian and European merchants stopped on their journeys to Burma and further east. Various South Asian empires, the British and the Japanese had established bases on the archipelago to rule the surrounding seas but none of them lasted. It was so remote that it became the penal colony for Indian freedom fighters under the British. And in between all that, the world’s oldest indigenous tribes hold up against modernity.
Ptolemy and Marco Polo documented the isles as home to fierce man-hunters and Jean-Jacques Cousteau dedicated a movie to them called “Invisible Islands”. Stories and legends aside: sailing the Andaman Islands combines everything you could possibly desire from an exotic and truly stimulating yachting destination.
A Window into the Human Past
The Andaman Islands are key to understanding human history. Five tribal groups populate the islands, partly in complete isolation from outside influence. Amazingly, their members are black and resemble African Pygmies. These people are direct descendants of the earliest humans to migrate out of Africa. Having lived in protective seclusion for at least 60,000 years (possibly for much, much longer), they form the only known Palaeolithic societies remaining on earth. How and when they arrived in the islands still remains one of today’s biggest unsolved mysteries. As one eminent anthropologist put it: the Andamans are home to hunter-gatherers caught in a time-warp.
One of the most secluded tribes are the Sentinelse, living on a small forested island called North Sentinel. They continue to resist all contact with the outside world. Their hostility to outsiders, though, is easily understandable, for the outside world has brought them little but violence and contempt. In 1879, for example, an elderly couple and some children were taken by force and brought to the islands’ main town, Port Blair. The colonial officer in charge of the kidnapping wrote that the entire group, ‘sickened rapidly, and the old man and his wife died.’
In the days after the 2004 tsunami, the Indian army sent a helicopter to the island to deliver water and food. A Sentinelese man rushed out on to the beach, aiming his arrow at the pilot in a gesture that clearly said, ‘We don’t want you here’.
Watch SY Meltemi Sailing the Andaman Islands
A Taste of Freedom
Commercial fishing has been banned around the Andaman Islands for more than 40 years: in these waters, fish now die of old age. 360 nautical miles lie between Thailand and the Andaman Islands and they are teaming with sea life. There is an abundance of dolphins, whales, dugong, sea turtles, sailfish, tuna, and other fishes and marine cultures. If you love nature, you should join us.
We’re only sailing to the Andamans during the calm southeast monsoon, well-known for its dry, warm and pleasant conditions.
Discover what freedom tastes like and sail across the big blue in the comfort of a fully-crewed catamaran. Whether you want to take the helm and navigate yourself or kick back with a cocktail while watching the dolphins – this is your dream time on the ocean.
10 nights: Thailand - India or reverse (one way)
Day 1-2 We depart in Thailand and spend the first 2 nights at sea sailing into the sunset. On Day 3 we arrive in Port Blair and explore the old town with its colourful markets. From here we set sail for Havelock Island and slowly cruise along the east coast of Ritchie’s Archipelago. We spend the days fishing, snorkelling and exploring deserted beaches with pristine turquoise water. After circumnavigating tiny North Button Island and an overnight stop at Wilson Island, we sail along Havelock and visit the quaint port village. There are stunning mangrove forest on the island, which we explore with the yacht’s tender boat and by canoe. We meet a retired working elephant on the beach. While the mahout tells us his fascinating story, the yacht’s crew prepares cocktails and dinner on the beach for us. On Day 7, we set sail for a longer passage to the Cinque Island Group further down south. We spend 2 more days sailing, swimming and snorkeling in beautiful waters, exploring the rain forests and relaxing on picture-perfect beaches, which we have all to ourselves. On Day 11, we arrive back in Port Blair. It’s no easy farewell after a trip to paradise.
12 nights: Thailand - India - Thailand
On this cruise, we have two days more on the water and will sail both legs together, from Thailand to India and back. Until Day 9, our cruise is just as described above and on Day 11 we arrive back in Port Blair. While the captain takes care of the paperwork, we spend some more time exploring the historic port town. In the evening, we set sail for our final ocean passage back to Thailand. We see dolphins and wales on the way and enjoy the last 2 nights of complete peace on the water. On Day 13 we arrive back in Thailand’s Ranong. Nobody wants to be back on land.
Discover & Explore
An India, Unknown
Large New Friends
100 Shades of Blue
Getting to the Andaman Islands
For our trips to the Andaman Islands, we offer 2 departure and arrival ports: Port Blair, the capital of the Indian Province Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Ranong in Thailand
Traveling via Port Blair
Port Blair is well-connected by several airlines offering daily flights from the Indian mainland. Flights take between 2 hours from Chennai to 3 hours 20 minutes from Delhi. We work with a local travel agency in Port Blair to make sure you will be picked up at the airport and brought to the yacht.
Traveling via Ranong
The small fishing town of Ranong in Southern Thailand is the other port of departure and arrival. There are several daily flights between Ranong and Bangkok, operated by the Thai airline Nok Air. Tickets can be booked on Nok Air’s website www.nokair.com. Phuket International Airport is a convenient and well-connected place to fly to. From there, it’s a scenic 3-4-hour car ride to Ranong. Here, too, we are happy to assist you.