The word ‘paradise’ is often overused, but exceptions must be made for the entrancing islands you’ll discover on an Indian Ocean cruise. The engulfing lagoons, with water so translucent it’s like gazing into an endless emerald, picturesque beaches and ever-present sunshine all harmoniously pull together to keep hopeless romantics, families and intrepid explorers under their flawless spell.
Magnificent Maldives - made up of 26 ring-shaped atolls, this Indian Ocean nation is astoundingly picturesque, exceedingly romantic and an ideal place to kick back and relax. Swim with manta rays and sharks, view the glory of the Maldives from a seaplane, dine in the world’s most beautiful restaurant (Ithaa, in case you’re wondering!), hit the shops for Maldivian souvenirs or relax on a picturesque beach.
Madagascar’s topography is downright astonishing. Only on earth’s fourth largest island could you expect to find desert, forest, beach, canyons and mountains all forging allegiance with the baobab trees and bouncy lemurs so cute you’ll want to sneak them back with you. Head to Nosy Be (Madagascar’s number one beach destination) for soft white sand, turquoise waters and delicious seafood. With its sunny climate, Nosy Be is the perfect spot for water-based activities such as diving, swimming, snorkelling, sailing or fishing.
Sandy white beaches, dazzling turquoise waters, charming people, verdant countryside – find your paradise in Mauritius. Though famous for its powder-white beaches, sapphire waters and luxury resorts, Mauritius is home to so much more – hiking in the forest, world-class diving and snorkelling offshore, there is so much to do on a Mauritius cruise.
Few cruise holidays will leave such lasting impressions as those which go to India and Sri Lanka. Discovering these countries is a pleasant sensory overload; vibrant colours, heady aromas and symphonic sounds are all around you. Steeped in a wealth of fascinating history and culture, there’s so much to explore and experience – you won’t want to return home after your adventure.
Originally colonised by the Portuguese as a trading post, Colombo is now a hub for trade and tourism. The town centre, Fort Colombo, is easy to explore on foot, by rickshaw, or by a slightly more nail-biting Tuk-Tuk ride. The National Museum is Sri Lanka’s premier cultural institution. With galleries dating back as far as 1877, you’ll leave feeling enriched with Sri Lanka’s ancient past.
Itineraries and opportunities are infinite on a cruise to India and after pampering the palate in spice centres such as Goa and Mumbai, you’ll be on culinary cloud nine. India’s smallest state, Goa has more than meets the eye. There’s more to this laid-back part of southern India than yoga retreats and tie-dye market stalls, from the picturesque Portuguese influences left from the 500-year occupation to thrilling water sports and cultural spice farms, there’s something for everyone who loves the sea, sun and sand. As one of the wealthiest and most populous regions in Asia, Mumbai has been an inspiring tourist hotspot for years – head to Taj Mahal Palace (Mumbai’s most famous landmark) to immerse yourself in history so intrinsically linked with the nation.
Heralded as the ‘Queen of the Arabian Sea’, the city of Cochin is considered the regional centre for the arts, while the historical towns of Fort Cochin and Mattancherry offer a plethora of interesting landmarks. With such a diverse history and culture, it’s no surprise that this serene port has been receiving visitors to its shores for over 600 years. Mattancherry Palace is a fantastic attraction to immerse yourself in Indian history and culture – the building combines European and Keralan styles.