India is a must-visit destination for travellers – a whirlpool of exotic food, unique culture and people excited to welcome you. However, travelling a country the size of India can be difficult – especially in a short period of time – making a stress and hassle-free ocean cruise a great way to explore the country.
Before arriving in India, there’s a chance to enjoy the culture-clash of modern Phuket. Whether you choose to be enchanted by the inside of a traditional Thai temple or decide to enjoy the company of some friendly locals – and their elephant friends – Thailand is a great place to relax before immersing yourself on a colonial spice adventure! One of the best parts of an ocean cruise voyage is that after a day exploring the local area, you can always head back to your ship each evening – a sumptuous home-from-home for any traveller.
With an exciting history and a host of things to do, a stopover in Sri Lanka is a great introduction to India. Ancient Hindu mythology says that Sri Lanka was once connected to the main Indian mainland via a natural bridge – but after sea rises and a cyclone, only a chain-link shoal of limestone is left above the water. Sri Lanka offers a range of activities for a visitor, from relaxing on the white beaches, where you can scuba-dive, snorkel or go whale watching to take in the history of the country, which was once ruled by the British.
After a day at sea, the coast of India will rise from the azure waters and visitors will be bewitched by the city of Kochi. Surrounding lush green hills, the port city was a hugely important base for traders, who would sap Chinese fishing nets for the exotic spices which are so central to Indian cuisine. Even today, the city ranks as an important Indian seaport – and the proximity to the coast makes it a great place to try local fish and seafood! Visit the waterfront of the area to find ‘You Buy, We Cook’ – a service where visitors can choose to have their favourite fresh fish cooked to their specifications!
A second stop on the Indian mainland will afford you time to experience Mangalore, on the southwest coast, renowned for beaches and temples. It’s a key site for the export of goods from India – particularly coffee and cashews – and there’s even the chance to see the inside of a cashew factory for those who choose to visit the city. The final docking in India is at the most populous city in the country – Mumbai – a metropolitan expanse where cinema, contemporary art, architecture, holidays and food are all a blend of multiple cultures.
India is wonderful to visit – a stimulating whirlwind of people, places and possibilities which make it impossible to forget. If you’re looking to see the sights of this unique country, why not consider something a little bit different and delve into India from the comfort of an ocean cruise?