Duration of the Visit - 5Hrs 30min
Also called the Queen of the Arabian Sea, the major port of Cochin is spread over both the mainland and several near-shore islands that jut into Lake Vembanad, India’s largest wetland area. Due to its superb natural harbour, the city looks back on a long history as a key trading post and also spent periods under Portuguese, Dutch and British rule – a fact amply reflected in a curious mix of architectural styles.
Before embarking on your boat for an off shore cruise, your exploration starts with a tour around Cochin City. Once you come out of the port, your first destination will be Fort Cochin. St.Francis Church, Chinese Fishing Nets and the Fish Market are some of the locations to enjoy in Fort Cochin.
The cruise is through the beautiful Lake Vembanad in a motorboat reserved only for your group, with glorious views to enjoy at every turn. Back on terra firma, you’ll then move on to the old part of town, Fort Kochi, for a look around its pretty colonial architecture and a feature of 14th-century Chinese origin: a set of cantilevered fishing nets. Next up is the early 16th-century Portuguese-built Church of St. Francis, the earliest European church in India.
Cruising continues and you will be passing by the Vallarpadam, Gundu and Bolghatty islands. Disembark at the Mattancherry Jetty. There, you’ll move on to the superb mid-16th-century Paradesi Synagogue, whose key highlights include a floor covered with 1,100 uniquely hand-painted Chinese tiles. Our next location is the Dutch Palace: originally built by the Portuguese in the mid-1500s, extended by the Dutch about a century later and home to impressive murals of mythological scenes and a traditional Kerala flooring whose components include burnt coconut shells and egg whites, but that looks like highly polished black marble. After visiting the historically significant places, explore the Jewish street and return to the bus.
The off shore experience comes to an end here and you will return to your ship.
During visits to religious sites, knees and shoulders must be covered. Bags and electronic items may not be taken inside Paradesi Synagogue. Shoes must be removed inside the Church of St. Francis and Paradesi Synagogue.
The tour is unsuitable for guests with mobility problems or using a wheelchair. As the tour involves moderate walking under the sun, guests are recommended to wear a hat and sunscreen.