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Indian Ocean and India

View the Indian Ocean and India Luxury Cruise Collection

Visit tropical island paradises like Mauritius, the Seychelles and the Maldives in the Indian Ocean, or explore the Indian sub-continent visiting colourful Mumbai, Chennai, picturesque Goa and Colombo in Sri Lanka.

India and Sri Lanka are frequently visited by ships on their journey to the Far East from calls at Dubai or middle East ports. Mumbai, Cochin and Colombo are noted ports on these routes.

South of India, the Seychelles and Maldives islands may also be visited, and some smaller ships may be based there.

Indian Ocean and India Port Guide

Chennai (Madras, India)
Chennai, formerly Madras, is India's fourth-largest city and the capital of the state of Tamil Nadu. Worth visiting is the tree-line residential area of Mylapore, where you will find the 7th-century Kapaleeshwarar Hindu temple and its heavily decorated tower. Visitors to Chennai usually travel to the neighbouring town of Mahabalipuram to see its magnificent temples, statues and carvings.
Cochin (India)
The Keralan city of Cochin is well known for the 20-metre long Chinese fishing nets used at Fort Koch and for St Francis church which is the burial place of Vasco da Gama. Just outside Cochin and accessible by taxi or rickshaw is Mattancherry Palace, where the upper floor was once used for the coronation of Cochin's Rajas. The building's walls are decorated with murals illustrating scenes from Hindu mythology. Performances of the local Kathakali dance are regularly held in the town's cultural centre.
Colombo (Sri Lanka)
Colombo is the economic and cultural heart of Sri Lanka, and has been an important trading post for centuries. The port area was settled by Arabs in the 8th century since when many other civilizations have come and gone. The Pettah Market area has some interesting buildings, including the candy-striped Jami-ul Alfar Mosque and the Khan Clock Tower. Many Muslim traders specializing in gold and jewellery sell their wares here.
Goa (India)
Goa is India's best-known beach resort with 100km of scenic, palm-fringed coastline. Anjuna Beach in Panjim, the capital of Goa, was a hippy destination in the 1960s, and has elegant colonial buildings and mansions. Old Goa was a Portuguese colonial territory for five centuries, and there are many 16th-century churches and older Hindu temples in the region. South Goa has waterfalls, paddy fields and fruit plantations.
Maputo (Mozambique)
The capital of Mozambique is also known as the City of Acacias, and was once a Portuguese Colony. The railway station and the Iron House were built by Gustav Eiffel who designed the Eiffel Tower, and south of the city are several reserves and national parks, including the Maputo Elephant Reserve where visitors can also see flamingos, leopards, crocodiles and hippos. Locals sell wood carvings and batik cloth from stalls on the beach.
Mauritius
The port for Mauritius is Port Louis, a multi-cultural city with Hindu, Islamic, Christian, Chinese and Creole districts. The city has many shopping opportunities which range from lively street markets to a large shopping area on the seafront with fashionable boutiques. The Natural History Museum exhibits the only-known skeleton of the extinct dodo, and Fort Adelaide offers splendid views of the city. The island has some of the best beaches in the Indian Ocean and a mountainous landscape.
Mayotte (Comoros Islands)
The French overseas territory of Mayotte is an archipelago situated between Mozambique on the African continent and Madagascar, and is one of the Comoros island group. Its white sand beaches attract many French holidaymakers, making this an expensive destination. Sea turtles lay their eggs on the beaches in the south, and in the summer, humpback whales are often seen in the lagoon. The majority of Mayotte's shops and restaurants are in Mamoudzou, which is chiefly a business and commercial centre.
Mormugao (India)
Mormugao is Goa's key port, with an old-world atmosphere and a blend of Portuguese and Indian architecture, used as the backdrop for several Bollywood films. It has golden beaches and the 6th-century Arch of the Viceroys which commemorates Vasco de Gama's arrival in Goa, and the huge St Catherine's Cathedral. Other sights include Mormugao Fort and nearby Varca beach, a stretch of palm-fringed shore with rows of wooden fishing boats and palm-thatched longhouses.
Mumbai
This is the largest port in Western India, noted for its financial centre and Bollywood, the world's largest film production centre. Mumbai's most famous symbols are the Gateway to India, a grand arch, and the nearby Taj Mahal Palace Hotel. British influences can be seen in the stained glass and sculptures of Victoria Rail Terminus, a World Heritage Site. Mumbai is a pleasantly chaotic city packed full of bazaars, roadside stalls, traffic and some of India's best restaurants.
Nosi Be (Madagascar)
Nosy Be island is Madagascar's chief tourist destination, but remains unspoilt, the air rich with the scent of ylang ylang which grows wild here. There are good outdoor restaurants on the sands and the water is crystal clear. Inland are fields of sugarcane and rum distilleries, and visits may be available to the coastal Lokobe Nature Reserve, home to gigantic trees, many bird species, chameleons and lemurs.
Port Louis
The port for Mauritius is Port Louis, a multi-cultural city with Hindu, Islamic, Christian, Chinese and Creole districts. The city has many shopping opportunities which range from lively street markets to a large shopping area on the seafront with fashionable boutiques. The Natural History Museum exhibits the only-known skeleton of the extinct dodo, and Fort Adelaide offers splendid views of the city. The island has some of the best beaches in the Indian Ocean and a mountainous landscape.
Reunion
Reunion is a French island territory east of Madagascar and south of Mauritius. Its landscape is diverse, with primary forest, serrated peaks, volcanoes and lava fields. The capital of St Denis has a botanical garden, a museum of modern contemporary art with paintings by Picasso and Gauguin and the impressive Notre Dame church. There are two dramatic Pitons ' Le Fournaise and Neiges, which have forested slopes, and two of the island's calderas can be explored on foot.
Seychelles
The Seychelles archipelago consists of 115 islands lying north-east of Madagascar. The Inner Islands of Mahe, Praslin and La Digue are the most visited, with the Seychelles capital and port, Victoria situated on Mahe. Mahe is covered with mountains and dense tropical vegetation, including coconut palms, banana plants, mango and breadfruit trees, and has many white sand beaches suitable for swimming and snorkelling. Port Victoria has a National History Museum and Botanical Gardens with an giant tortoise enclosure.
St Denis (Reunion)
St Denis is the capital of Reunion Island, a French territory south of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean. The island's dramatic and lush scenery is topped with the peaks of two pitons, Le Fournaise and Neiges. Plants unique to the Seychelles thrive in the tropical forest, where the carnivorous Seychelles Pitcher Plant and the jelly fish tree can be found. In St Denis the museum of modern contemporary art holds paintings by Picasso and Gauguin, and the hillside church of Notre Dame has an unusual statue of St Expedit dressed as a Roman soldier.
Tulear (Madagascar)
Also known as Toliara, Madagascan Tulear is next to a spectacular string of huge sand dunes backed by savannah, and Tulear Reef which stretches north to Morombe. Close by are the idyllic Ifaty Beach and Isalo National Park. The park has deep canyons and sandstone rock pinnacles, with large populations of birds, reptiles and lemur. In Tulea there are brightly-painted pousse-pousse, or rickshaws, a shell market, restaurants, an excellent arboretum and broad avenues. The sacred banyan tree of Miary on the outskirts of Tulear is worth a visit ' a huge specimen with branches spread across many metres.
Visakhapatnam (India)
Although mainly an industrial city, Visakhapatnam is a popular resort with good sandy beaches, and is situated on India's east coast among the hills of the Eastern Ghats. There is a Ropeway cable car giving long-distance views of the city, shore and hills, and a museum housed in a de-commissioned submarine. Other attractions include the richly-decorated 11th-century temple of Simhachalam on the Hill of the Lion Lord.
Zanzibar
The archipelago of Zanzibar off the coast of Tanzania has white sand beaches and a string of coral reefs. Its main industries are dhow building and the cultivation of cloves, cinnamon and ginger, both of which feature on tours. Stone Town is the old quarter of Zanzibar City, and a World Heritage Site with many interesting buildings built from coral rock. The Old Dispensary's four stories are decorated with wood-carved balconies and the House of Wonders with its tiers of pillars is now the Museum of History and Culture.
Cochin
Goa
Seychelles