With Boudicca as your guide, you’ll take in an array of inspirational sights and authentic experiences showcasing the remarkable diversity of one of the world’s most engrossing countries – India. Contrasting traditional treasures and modern marvels, fascinating spiritual sites and areas of breathtaking natural beauty will present a snapshot of India’s many sides and create memories that will last a lifetime.
Before your immersive exploration of India begins, you’ll have time in Colombo to explore the spectacular Sri Lankan capital, with its beautiful Buddhist and Hindu temples, mosques, museums and busy bazaars, in-depth. Two days on board Boudicca follow, sailing to India via the Maldives’ remote, postcard-perfect Northern Atoll. Kochi, which has attracted explorers, traders and travellers the Kerala State’s picturesque coast for centuries, is the first intoxicating Indian destination on your itinerary. During your overnight stay, you’ll have chance to see the famous Chinese cantilever fishing nets, the British Commonwealth’s oldest synagogue and much more. The iconic Taj Mahal, one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World, is within reach on an overland tour too. Another overnight stay, this time in Goa, is a treat to savour next. Mormugão is your gateway to Old Goa and the UNESCO-listed Latin Quarter, which, with their fine examples of Portuguese colonial architecture, beautiful churches and charming old houses, highlight India’s European heritage. Postcard-perfect beaches can be found just a short distance from your ship’s docking location too.
- Return flights from Edinburgh airport*
- 16 nights’ on board MS Boudicca sailing from Sri Lanka to Dubai
- Comfortable rooms and suites with TV, hairdryer, tea and coffee making facilities and individually controlled air conditioning
- Tempting cuisine every day throughout your cruise – with five-course à la carte dinners, casual breakfast and lunch buffets and late-night snacks
- Unlimited, self-service tea and coffee at selected venues, afternoon tea* with sandwiches and cakes, and in-room sandwiches and snacks
- All evening entertainment, including cabaret shows, dancing and live music
- Captain’s Drinks Party and Gala Buffet (on cruises of 5 nights or more)
- On board leisure facilities, including swimming pools, Jacuzzis and gym
- A wide choice of on board activities and lectures throughout the day
- All UK port taxes (where collectable in advance)
- Luggage porterage between your room and the drop-off/pick-up point
Terms and conditions apply. Subject to availability. Single supplements apply.
To speak to an adviser regarding more information for this cruise or to book this cruise, please call 0800 1707 233 and quote *DC THOMSON TRAVEL*
Thursday 06 February: Depart from your chosen airport to Columbo, Sri Lanka
Friday 07 February: Columbo, Sri Lanka
The port city of Colombo is rich with colonial heritage, religions, races and cultures. With a population of over 4.5 million people, Colombo is a bustling, fascinating and noisy city. It combines Dutch and British colonial buildings, with Buddhist temples, Islamic mosques, Christian churches, and modern gleaming skyscrapers. The impressive Colombo National Museum, dedicated to Sri Lankan history, is worth uncovering and it borders the sprawling Viharamahadevi Park, home to a giant Buddha.
The narrow cobbled streets of Pettah, the main bazaar district, are full of shops and street markets selling an amazing array of goods at bargain prices. There are plenty of places to eat, from small shops selling pancakes to coffee shops and upmarket restaurants.
A more rustic, slow-paced Sri Lankan experience can be found in nearby Negombo, with its quaint village streets and lively fish market. Alternatively, sun seekers can venture to the private beach of Mt. Lavinia, located on the breath-taking Golden Mile beachfront.
Saturday 08 – Sunday 09 February: At Sea
Monday 10 – Tuesday 11 February: Kochi, India
Known as the Queen of the Arabian Sea, serene Kochi on India’s south-western coast has been drawing traders, explorers and travellers to its shores for over 600 years.
Formerly the port of Cochin, Kochi grew to prominence as an outlet for the spice trade in the 14th century, and is most famous for the iconic-cantilevered Chinese fishing nets that billow out across its harbour. This ancient trading centre is a melting pot of cultures and religions, evident in the town’s buildings, which range from the oldest synagogue in the British Commonwealth to the austere Mattancherry Palace, built by the Dutch but influenced by the Portuguese.
Wednesday 12 February: At Sea
Thursday 13 – Friday 14 February: Goa, India
Mormugão is the main port of the tiny State of Goa, renowned for superb beaches and a colonial history that combines the best of Indian and Portuguese culture.
Known as the ‘Pearl of the Orient’, Goa showcases a mix of scenic beauty and architectural delights, from golden beaches and spice plantations to striking temples and bustling markets.
The Arch of the Viceroys was built in 1597 to commemorate Vasco da Gama’s arrival in India, while the nearby Church of St. Cajetan is modelled on St. Peter’s in Rome. Opposite the magnificent Se Cathedral at Old Goa – one of the largest churches in Asia, is the Basilica of Bom. Here the remains of Francis Xavier, a founder of the Jesuit order and patron saint of Goa, lie in a silver casket next to the altar.
Yoga is king in Goa, and the crop of spiritual activities available to visitors grows each year. T’ai chi sessions, Reiki healing courses, meditation, and most forms of spiritual exploration are all practised freely. The scents, spices and flavours of Goa’s cuisine is the area’s other main attraction, and the Indo-Portuguese influence will surprise and tantalise even seasoned travellers.
Saturday 15 – Sunday 16 February: Mumbai, India
Once a cluster of seven islands covered with coconut palms, Mumbai, formerly Bombay, is a sprawling, vibrant city on India’s west coast. It is a busy, densely-populated city, home to India’s most prolific film industry, Bollywood, and the largest tropical forest in an urban zone.
Mumbai can prove to be a surprising introduction to India. On its harbour waterfront stands the iconic Gateway of India stone arch; through it is India’s centre for finance and fashion, and a fervent religious crossroads. As such the city’s furious energy – and often heavy air pollution – can make it a totally different experience for visitors.
But once in Mumbai’s heart, some of the most imposing colonial-era architecture on earth is on view, as are its secret bazaars, hidden temples, and India’s top restaurants and intense nightlife.
The cultural mix is extraordinary: religious sites like the Jain Temple and the closely guarded Parsi Towers of Silence all exist happily next to the Victoria Railway Terminus, the Royal Bombay Yacht Club and the Ghandi Memorial Museum. The unique and popular bazaars offer souvenir trinkets, traditional shawls and shoes all ready to be bartered over.
Venturing beyond Mumbai, the elusive and lesser known Elephanta Caves are captivating. Set in attractive surroundings of lush green vegetation, vines and towering trees, Elephanta Island offers a stark contrast from the bustling inner city of Mumbai. The eerie Buddhist and Hindu caves, and their honeycomb of halls, shrines and pillars, are a must-see.
Monday 17 February: Porbandar, India
Porbandar, a coastal city in the Indian state of Gujarat, is the birthplace of the ‘Father of India’ and the loyal friend and devotee of Lord Krishna, Sudama. As a result, Porbandar is of great religious and spiritual importance, and a place of pilgrimage for Hindus across the world.
Porbandar’s fascinating history dates back to the Harappan age (1600-1400BC). Its ancient port served as a vital trade link to Arabia and countries in the Persian Gulf, and had close ties to some of India’s great religious and spiritual figures.
Best known as the birthplace of Mahatma Gandhi and Sudama, Hindus make the pilgrimage to visit various dedicated temples and museums. The must-see Kirti Mandir, a memorial dedicated to Gandhi, is on the site where ancestral properties of the Gandhi family once were, and contains various pictures and paintings depicting the life and influence of Mahatma.
The Krishna Sudama Temple, dedicated to the friendship between Lord Krishna and Sudama, is another of Porbandar’s unmissable attractions, while the beautiful temple of Sir Hari is well worth a visit too.
Tuesday 18 – Wednesday 19 February: At Sea
Thursday 20 February: Dubai, United Arab Emirate
Fly home from Dubai to your chosen airport.