Optional Private Excursions available for purchase
Avoid the crowds and hustle and bustle associated with a group activity. For a memorable trip ashore, we invite you to consider a private shore excursion. Enjoy the undivided attention of your own driver/guide and the flexibility of experiencing the aspects of the local culture that most interest you. Below are just some samples of the private shore excursions we can arrange for you. Give us a call or email us. Let us personalize your experience!
Disembark the ship drive for 45 minutes to Tripunithura and visit the Hill Palace which was the official residence of the Cochin Royal family built in 1865. The palace complex consists of 49 buildings in the traditional architectural style of Kerala and in surrounded by 52 acres of terraced land with a deer park. A fully fledged ethno-archaeological museum and Kerala's first ever heritage Museum are the main attractions. Displayed inside are 19th century paintings, murals sculptures in stone and plaster of Paris, manuscripts, inscriptions and coins belonging to the royal family.
10:30AM - 2pm
We are then invited to the garden home of our friends Nimmy Paul for a traditional cooking demonstration followed by a meal. The Paul’s belong to the Syrian Christian community of Kottayam. Nimmy’s legendry culinary skills have been featured in Saveur and Gourmet magazine amongst others.
In the afternoon, before returning to the ship which is towards the Silk Route trading post of Fort Cochin, these days a `Heritage Zone’. Beginning with the Chinese and Arabs in the 13th century, the Portuguese arrived in 1500 A.D. followed by the domination of the Dutch and British. See St. Francis Church originally built in 1510 and the first to reflect European influenced tradition. Portuguese hero Vasco Da Gama died on the site and was buried in the cemetery.
At Matancherry, there’s the Dutch Palace built in 1557 by the Portuguese as a gift for the Maharaja of Cochin in exchange for trading rights. The Palace houses royal costumes, palanquins, furniture and weapons but its striking feature is a series of murals painted on wooden walls. Later, stop by the Pardesi synagogue, at the heart of what is locally called Jew town. (Closed for a visit on Fridays and Saturday)
4PM - 4:30PM Thereafter return to the pier.
- Great introduction to Cochin city.
- The Tour covers the main highlights of the city i.e Depart the Fort Cochin, St. Francis Church, Chinese Fishing Nets, Mattancherry, the Dutch Palace and later Jew Street (or Spice Street) in Jew Town.
- Traditional south Indian cooking demonstration and lunch with Nimmy Paul.
- Tour Duration: 7 hours
- Tour can operate : Morning
- Physical activity level : Moderate
- Wheelchair Accessible : No
Closing dates : Fridays - Dutch Palace in Mattancherry and Fridays & Saturdays – Jewish Synagogue.
- Transportation by an air-conditioned vehicle
- Services of a local English speaking guide.
- All the entrance fees and camera fees.
- Credit card and bank charges.
- Lunch and cooking demonstration with Nimmy Paul.
- All the prevailing taxes.
Meet at the port of COCHIN -KERALA
(Excursion timings will be subject to the ship's arrival and departure)
Disembark from the ship and meet your personal guide on the pier.
You will drive to the historic Fort Cochin area where you walk in the area known as “Jew Town”.
You will visit the Mattancherri Palace, which was commissioned by the Portuguese for the Raja of Kochi in exchange for trading rights. The palace is two storeys’s high and is built in the traditional Kerala style known as “nalukattu” (four buildings around a central courtyard). Made of wood and richly carved, the palace exhibits memorabilia from the Raja of Kochi’s collection, but it is best known for its outstanding murals painted on the walls. Fast fading, one can still see some of these excellent 16th century paintings illustrating episodes from the great Indian epic – The Ramayana.
Surrounding the Synagogue are a jumble of antique and spice shops, and souvenir shop and it is a fun area to wander at leisure.
You will have time to explore the Heritage Zone, which with its varied architectural styles highlights Cochin’s history of being occupied by various foreign rulers. In this area, which is protected, is St Francis’ Church, first established by the Portuguese in the 1500s. This is one of the earliest European churches in the country. The simple façade served as the prototype for future churches here. Vasco Da Gama was buried here in 1524 before his body was taken to Portugal 14 years later. You will also visit the Santa Cruz Cathedral which was built in the late 19th century and has impressive murals on its ceiling. The walking tour ends at the Chinese Fishing Nets, which were first erected between 1350 and 1450 indicating trading ties with China.
You will stop for lunch at a local restaurant.
In the afternoon you drive to the Folklore Museum. This Museum has an exceptional collection of private artifacts from all over the South and interestingly has a theatre attached as an added attraction. The collection includes masks, beautifully carved old wooden doors, musical instruments, lamps and tribal jewelry. You will watch a private performance of the classical Kathakali dance before returning to your hotel.
Early evening you will return to the ship.
Private chauffeur driven air conditioned vehicle, Private guide, Complimentary Soft beverages and Bottled water in the car, Monument entrance and still camera fee,Meet and Assist at all airports and hotels, Porterage at airports, All currently applicable taxes
Expenses of any personal nature (laundry,telephone calls etc, unless specified) Tipping at hotels and to guides/escorts (unless specified), Meals (unless specified) Any insurance or Visa, Any hike in monument entrances fee or revision in government taxes, Air fare is quoted seperately.
*Terms and conditions apply