The enormous sea, the breathtaking marine world, the hues of the horizon- they never fail to leave an impact on one’s mind. With the vast coastline of India stretching along three seas, there is no dearth of cruising options if one wishes to spend their time amidst the infinite blue sea. Cruising not only redefines travel but also luxury and the idea of a vacation.
The sudden boom in the tourism industry has introduced a number of cruise tours across the oceans, rivers, and backwaters of India. And the experience will simply leave you in awe.
Sailing back to history
Several mentions of ship building and maritime trade in the ancient Indian texts indicate that Indians found a way to sail through the sea in early civilizations.
It was during the Indus Valley civilization that commerce and trade took a new turn with the use of maritime table and new sea routes from Asia to the other part of the world were discovered. It was only because of the sea routes that ancient Vedic culture and several other commercial products such as spices and cotton could reach the shores of the western world.
As of today, the sea routes have not only made a remarkable surge in the trading sector but has also paved a way for the tourism industry to take the traveling experience to another level.
The country’s coastline of 7,500 km has 12 major and 200 minor ports which are used for both trading and tourism purposes. India has the 16th largest maritime country in the world with the cargo traffic estimated to reach 1,758 million metric tonnes (MMT) in 2017. Vishakapatnam, Mumbai, Kandla, Kochi and Mormugao port are some of the highest grossing commercial ports of the country contributing highly to the GDP of India.
To foster the cruise culture in India a number of luxury ships have been introduced in the tourism sector. Mumbai (Bombay), Kochi (Cochin) and Mormugao port (Goa) are the most famous cruise spots in India offering various luxury cruise tours across the Arabian sea.
Andaman and Nicobar islands is another port famous for its short day cruises.
Luxury redefined on board
It is not only for the soul-stirring experience that cruises are popular- cruise ships offer a great deal of luxury, entertainment and amenities to its guests. Spacious suites, bars, the fine-dining experience, service staff, live music nights and the deck with the open sky and azure sea. A luxury cruise is your ticket for a rejuvenating experience.
Cruise culture in India
The focus of the Indian government on the cruising industry of the country has lead to the development of five ports viz Mumbai, Kochi, Goa, Mangalore and Chennai as cruise ports. The new sea project “Sagarmala” which focuses on the development of ports has already resulted in exponential growth cruising sector.
There are several types of the cruise that one can look out for, like short day cruises in rivers and backwater canals, long day cruises spanning greater distances in seas. The houseboats in Kerala, Odisha and Shikaras in Kashmir are the old and authentic way to enjoy the cruising experience in the very own Indian style. Down the south the boat racing culture is very prevalent with the number of boat races keeping the old culture alive. The famous Champakulam boat race in Kerala is one of the most celebrated festivals of the country.
Shifting the focus to the popular boats in India, Azamara cruise in Kochi, Princess Sapphire, Pacific princess, Celebrity cruise, Regent seven sea cruise are few of the most luxurious cruise tours in the country. On the historic front, Kalizma is one of the historic luxury yachts in India renowened for its splendor and historic value. She was used in the both World Wars by the British navy. Built in 1906, it became the prized possession of Richard Burton after he brought her from Elizabeth Taylor in 1967. After the restoration of Kalizma in 2006, it is now being used as a personal luxury yacht sailing across the Mediterranean sea, The Gulf, Indian water and Southeast Asia.
Popular cruises in India:
- Andaman Island cruise
The treasure islands of India are known for its tropical beaches and the rich coral reefs.
Sailing through the crystal clear waters of the sea, the Andaman cruise offers the most exquisite variety of aquatic world, coral reefs and the sights of the untouched islands.
- Alleppey backwaters
The tranquil Alleppey backwaters is a perfect setup for a romantic getaway. Encompassed by the lush green trees the narrow canals of the backwaters are filled with the palm trees, coconut lagoons, and isolated islets. You can take the cruise tour and as well hire a private houseboat for
- Sunderban cruise
To experience the wilderness of deepest woods of the country there is no better way but to skim through the narrow water canals of the Sunder bans witnessing the mangrove forests along with the ferocious animals of the jungle.
- Goa Cruise
Being the only place in the country where casinos are legal, Goa took the leverage to take the gambling experience to a new level by blending casinos and cruise. There’s more to cruising in Goa, the yacht parties and the tours to the offbeat islands around the place are just an add-on to your experience.
- Dal Lake cruise
The J&K tourism recently launched the ‘culture on cruise’ on Dal Lake. What do we get? The authentic Shikara ride gushing through the waters of Dal lake and the authentic Kashmiri literature culture where you get to witness some of the legendary Urdu poets and writers performing their art pieces on a moving Shikara. Can cruise experience get any better? Absolutely not!
About Sailing The Kalizma – A Seychelles Experiential Evening: Groove with the ocean vibe & immerse in sights & sounds of the world above & below the water across the magical islands of Seychelles in an experiential evening on September 8th in Summer House Cafe.
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