Neil, with its very relaxed vibe and long, deserted beaches is a place to chill out after the “bustle” of Havelock Island. Neil is quite small compared to Havelock. Its widest part is about 5 km in length. You can walk the whole island in about an hour or two. The total population of this island is 2675. In Neil there have three good sand beaches. The colour of sea water is light blue, dark blue and green. Neil Island is a peaceful island.
Neill Island was uninhabited until the arrival of settlers in the late 1960s. Like Havelock, the vast majority of settlers at Neill were refugees from erstwhile Bangladesh, following the exodus of Hindu Bangladeshis prior to that country’s war of independence in 1971.
The island belongs to the Ritchie’s Archipelago and is located between Havelock Island and Rose Island. It is a comparatively flat island, and much of the landmass was deemed suitable for paddy cultivation. Unfortunately, as a result of this, very little forest cover remains at Neil, and almost all of it is concentrated in the reserve forest on Neil’s north-western side. Neill island tends to remain a degree or two warmer than Havelock as a result of the lack of forest cover. The island is not without charm however, but it is a different, pastoral sort of charm that the island offers.
The goverment ferry from Port Blair to Neil takes about 2 hours. Two boats (6:30 am and 11:00 am) leaving at Phoenix Bay Jetty make the round trip from Port Blair to Neil Island every day. Tickets can be booked in advance in Port Blair and Havelock.
From Rangat Rangat (via Long Island and Havelock) there is also a ferry coming from the north to Neil.
Boat timings are subject to change/cancellation due to weather and you should check the latest boat schedule (incl. fares) at http://www.andaman.gov.in while planning for your trip.
There are also 2 private boat companies operating between Port Blair, Havelock and Neil: Mackruzz and Ocean Green.