Mormugao Cruises, Goa
- Ramp your cooking knowledge up a notch by learning all about spices on a plantation tour. See where black pepper, cardamom, nutmeg and cinnamon grow, as well as tropical fruit trees.
- Make a visit to Velha Goa, AKA Old Goa. The remains of the city have been recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here, you’ll find ruins alongside well-preserved churches and cathedrals.
SHORE EXCURSIONS View all excursions
This tour throws Goa’s history and beaches into one package. First, you’ll spend time at the small-but-mighty Goa Chitra Museum, which houses more than 4,000 artefacts. It’s split into two sections – one looks at transport, the other peers into the agricultural history of the state. You’ll find farming tools, local pottery and decorative marriage palanquins – a type of wheel-less carriage. After your history lesson, you’ll get to chill out on one of Goa’s best stretches of sand. Utorda Beach won a TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Award in 2018. It’s an uncrowded swathe of white sand, sprinkled with palms and a few beach shacks. You’ll have lunch at one of these laidback eateries. Then you’re free to sunbathe for an hour, before heading back to the ship.
You’ll need to keep your eyes peeled for crocodiles on this tour, as you sail along the Cumbarjua River. It’s the only place in Goa that you can see these huge reptiles in the wild. And it’ll also give you a taste of traditional, tourist-free Goa, as you’ll be joined on the backwaters by fishermen searching for their daily catch. Next, you’ll visit a spice farm, where you’ll be greeted with an authentic forehead-marking ceremony and a cool-down drink. After, you can follow your nose to the plantation for a tour. Vanilla, nutmeg and cinnamon are just some of the spices that fill the air. And your guide will explain how they’re used in Goan recipes and remedies. Then you’ll get to taste some for yourself as you sit down for a buffet lunch of jeera rice, curry, fried fish and Goan bread with pickles. Before you go, you can stock up on some souvenir spices from the farm’s shop.
If history was your favourite subject at school, you’ll love this tour. The day starts in Old Goa – the state’s former capital, once dubbed the Rome of the East. It won’t take you long to figure out why. The place is dominated by two grand religious buildings. The UNESCO-ticked Basilica of Bom Jesus is the main head-turner. During a photo stop here, you’ll be able to snap some pictures of its 400-year-old, red-brick walls and decorative marble pillars. From here, you’ll head to the Church of St Cajetan – a five-minute drive from the Basilica – for a guided tour. The whole thing’s designed to look like a mini version of St Peter’s Basilica in Rome. Inside, you’ll wander around the cross-shaped building and take a look at its six giant altars. After, you’ll move on to Goa’s current capital, Panjim. Here, you’ll head straight for the Latin Quarter, where you’ll be transported to Portugal via the cobbled streets, art galleries and painted houses. After a buffet lunch, you’ll have some souvenir-hunting time at Panjim market before returning to the port.