Asia & Indian Ocean Cruises
The Far East is a wonderful place to explore on a cruise holiday. Indian Ocean cruises features destinations such as Indonesia, Madagascar and the Seychelles. Cruises around Asia often incorporate Thailand, Vietnam, China and Japan, too.
Explore the lights of Tokyo and Hong Kong, or sweep the mysteries of the majestic Mekong River. But regardless of where you choose to sail, the Far East is home to a wonder of captivating cultures.
For wildlife and surreal scenery, cruise to the exotic ports of Madagascar and the Seychelles in the Indian Ocean, where you can experience the birds and butterflies in Saiadi Botanic Garden and the lush green landscape of Andohahela National Reserve.
India is home to a more bustling vibe – with the everyday hustle in Mumbai and the ten-day festival celebrations in the port town of Fort Cochin. Here, enjoy the busybody atmosphere, only relaxing as you take a trip to temples, museums and even the Gateway of India.
Many cruises visit Singapore and Indonesia as holiday hot-spots for you to explore. Whilst here, encounter river rafting in Bali and the green-jungle cityscape of Singapore.
With so many itineraries to choose from, as well as a great choice of cruise lines and ships, it can be helpful to get some expert advice. Here at Cruise118.com, our Cruise Concierge team can help you plan every aspect of your cruise holiday, so please give us a call today.
Nameri National Park
Mumbai (ex Bombay)
SummaryMumbai, sometimes called the Maximum City, after Suketa Mehta’s 2004 nonfiction book of the same name, encapsulates the dynamism and chaos of modern India better than any other city. In this sprawling, muscular place by the sea that you'll find everything from succulent street food to haute cuisine, bargain-basement bazaars to haute couture, humbling poverty to staggering wealth, sacred temples to hedonistic nightclubs. Mumbai is in many ways the New York City of India, and the many of the locals carry the same kind of chip on their shoulders—despite the madness, they wouldn’t trade it for any other place on Earth.Mumbai is a city of extremes, where slum-dwelling strivers making dollars a day serve Bollywood stars and industrial billionaires. It's a 24-hour city stocked with some of the best late-night street food in the world, as well as fine-dining restaurants of renowned chefs. It's a cosmopolitan city of people from all over India that's nonetheless home to strident parochialism. It's a city of dreams for millions of Indians that, at the same time, affords so few any measure of comfort. And it's a beautiful city of silver towers when viewed by twilight from the Bandra-Worli Sea Link bridge over the Arabian Sea, but that sight quickly turns into a maze of winding, dirty streets and alleys when viewed up close.Sensory overload is the name of the game on the island formerly known as Bombay (and yes, most locals still call it by its previous moniker). The first thing that hits you when you arrive at the airport is the smell—spicy, fishy, and, to be honest, often not altogether pleasant. Next comes a crazed cab ride through the seemingly lawless streets (should your driver run a red light or, just as likely, drive on the wrong side of the road, try to remain calm). Then a traffic jam in the midst of a veritable symphony of honking, in which barefoot children, often holding infants, and tragically disfigured men and women knock at your window, begging for change. Persevere through, though; embrace and try to understand the natural hazards of the developing world, and you'll find yourself in the middle of a beautiful, often inspiring city.
Kolkata (ex Calcutta)
SummaryKochi, formerly and still commonly known as Cochin, is one of the west coast's largest and oldest ports. The streets behind the docks of the historic Fort Cochin and Mattancherry districts are lined with old merchant houses, godowns (warehouses), and open courtyards heaped with betel nuts, ginger, peppercorns, and tea. Throughout the second millennium this ancient city exported spices, coffee, and coir (the fiber made from coconut husks), and imported culture and religion from Europe, China, and the Middle East. Today Kochi has a synagogue, several mosques, Portuguese Catholic churches, Hindu temples, and the United Church of South India (an amalgamation of several Protestant denominations). The city is spread out over mainland, peninsula, and islands. Ernakulam, on the mainland 2 km (3 miles) from the harbor, is the commercial center and the one-time capital of the former state of Cochin. Willingdon Island, which was created by dredging the harbor, holds several luxury hotels as well as a navy base. The beautiful Bolghatty Island, north of Ernakulam, is a favorite picnic spot for locals. On it there's a government-run hotel in a colonial structure that was once used by the Dutch governor and later by the British Resident. Another local favorite is Cherai beach on Vypin Island, which is a 10-minute ferry ride from Fort Cochin. The Fort Cochin district, Kochi's historic center, is at the northern tip of the Mattancherry peninsula. Houses here often recall Tudor manors; some have been converted to hotels, others remain in the hands of the venerable tea and trading companies. South of Fort Cochin, in the Mattancherry district, is where you'll find the city's dwindling Jewish community. Their small neighborhood, called Jew Town, which is now dotted with cafés and shops selling curios and antiques, is centered on the synagogue.
SummaryAs the gateway to Goa, Mormugao is a storied city, surrounded by beaches, fascinating heritage sites, and ocean-wary fortifications. As a former capital of Portuguese India, the colonisers who landed here embarked on an extensive programme of fortification, springing up defences along the region's pretty beaches. Mormugao was also an important location for the spread of Christianity, with significant missionaries landing here including Saint Francis Xavier - whose final resting place can be found in Old Goa.
SummaryNew Mangalore Port, established in 1974, is the major port of Karnataka. It has the distinction of the ninth biggest port of India. Its construction got completed in 12 years using the latest technology to provide the best port facilities. The port has been established in such a way that it can bear all kinds of climatic hazards. Mangalore is named after the goddess Mangaladevi. Mangalore is a panorama of palm-fringed beaches, lush green fields and enchanting forests. It is sheltered by the soaring western ghats on the east and the mighty Arabian sea roaring along its western shores. With an important port, this coastal town is a major commercial centre that still retains its old world charm-old tile-roofed buildings amidst coconut groves, fishing boats silhouetted against the darkening skyline, fishermen hauling in rich catch of fish, sea food served in spicy coconut curries.
SummarySri Lanka's capital and largest city, Colombo offers fine restaurants, a buzzing nightlife scene, and good museums, parks, and beautiful Buddhist temples that are all worth visiting. The beach resort of Mt. Lavinia is only a short taxi ride from the downtown area and offers a golden, sandy beach and sunset views to die for. As an exciting blur of colors and cultures, Colombo presents a neatly packaged microcosm of this island nation.
SummaryGalle is the administrative capital of the Southern Province in Sri Lanka. The city has a beautiful tropical setting with Dutch-colonial architecture. Explore the maritime museums, try some of the delicacies and explore the shops for souvenirs.
SummaryTrincomalee has one of the largest natural harbors in the world. Because of this several European nations fought over Trincomalee, which was already one of the most visited places of Hindu worship. Close to Trincomalee are two UNESCO World Heritage Sites. One is the ancient city of Polonnaruwa, the former capital of the Kingdom of Polonnaruwa dating back to the 12th century with its impressive ruins and statues. The second site is Sirigiya; the city of the Rock Fortress. Sirigiya is Asia’s best-preserved city center dating back to the first millennium. A massive wall defends part of the lower city and various features have been overgrown by the forest or await excavation. At the site’s summit is the fortified palace with its ruined buildings, cisterns and rock sculptures.
SummaryLa Digue Island is an island like no other. It is the smallest of the three populated islands in the Seychelles, but the tranquillity will make it feel like you’re the only one there.The stunning surroundings should be soaked up from cycling through the vanilla plantations to lying on the white-sandy beaches, your time on La Digue should be cherished.There is a little more to do on La Digue compared to the smaller, uninhabited islands where you can enjoy full moon tours, surfing and snorkelling with a local.
SummaryLike jade-coloured jewels in the Indian Ocean, the more than 100 Seychelles Islands are often regarded as the Garden of Eden. Lying just four degrees south of the equator, the Seychelles are some 1,000 miles (1,610 km) from the nearest mainland Africa. Little more than 200 years ago, all 115 islands were uninhabited. Then in 1742 a French ship dispatched from Mauritius sailed into one of the small bays. Captain Lazare Picault was the first to explore these unnamed islands. He encountered breathtaking vistas of rugged mountains, lagoons, coral atolls, splendid beaches and secluded coves. After Picault sailed away, the islands remained untouched for the next 14 years. Then France took possession of the seven islands in the Mahé group. During an expedition Captain Morphey named them the Sechelles, in honour of Vicomte Moreau de Sechelles. This name was later anglicised to Seychelles. The first settlers arrived at St. Anne’s Island in 1770; 15 years later the population of Mahé consisted of seven Europeans and 123 slaves. Today there are about 80,000 Seychellois, the majority of whom live on Mahé; the rest are scattered in small communities throughout the archipelago. The people are a fusion of three continents - Africa, Asia and Europe. This has created a unique culture and the use of three languages - Creole, French and English. Mahé is the largest island in the archipelago and the location of the capital, Victoria. Ringed by steep, magnificent mountains, few capitals can claim a more beautiful backdrop. The town features a mixture of modern and indigenous architecture; it is the centre of business and commerce thanks to the extensive port facilities. Noteworthy sites in Victoria are the museum, cathedral, government house, clock tower, botanical gardens and an open-air market. The major attractions are found outside of town where the island’s quiet, lazy atmosphere delights visitors. With 68 pristine, white sand beaches, Mahé boasts more beaches and tourist facilities than any of the other Seychelles Islands. Beautiful and remote Mahé with its green-clad mountains and palm-fringed beaches is indeed an island of abundance; pleasant surprises are around every bend in the trail. Come ashore and discover for yourself this marvellous island paradise.
Sainte Anne Island
Anse Lazio, Praslin Island
SummaryForty kilometers (25 miles) northeast of Mahé, Praslin is just a 15-minute flight or 45-minute ferry ride away. Praslin, at 11 km (7 miles) long and 4 km (2.5 miles) wide, is the second-largest island in the Seychelles. First settled as a hideaway by pirates and Arab merchants, the island's original name, Isle de Palmes, bears testament to its reputation as home of the Vallée de Mai UNESCO World Heritage Site: the only place in the world where the famous Coco de Mer, the world's heaviest nut, grows abundantly in the wild. Praslin's endemic palm forests shelter many rare species, and the island is a major bird-watching destination. Surrounded by a coral reef, majestic bays, and gorgeous beaches, Praslin is much quieter and less developed than Mahé. With few real "sights," the pleasures of Praslin largely involve relaxing in or exploring its stunning beaches and fantastical forests.
SummaryMauritius’ largest city, Port Louis is a vibrant and exciting place whose culture is a mix of African, Chinese and Indian influences. There are activities and sights to keep you busy and explore the different aspects of the city.
SummaryThere are many nations around the world with bragging rights to miles of pristine white coral sand and balmy turquoise seas but few can take it to the same level as the Maldives. Its 1,200 islands are spread out over 26 coral atolls; the combined land of all the islands is little more than 100 square miles. That means you are rarely more than a few steps from the beach. Many of the villas are actually built on stilts out over the water, so you may actually have to walk onshore in order to get to the beach. Besides curling your toes in the sand, many people come here to sample the Maldives enviable world-class dive spots. Others simply snorkel among the endless coral reefs. There are so many coral atolls here that our English word derives from the Maldivian name atholhu.
Hithadhoo, Addu Atoll