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
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 their natural habitat. And it’ll also give you a taste of traditional, tourist-free Goa. You’ll be joined in the mangroves by fishermen searching for their daily catch. The waters are brimming with fish and molluscs, which keep the crocs and riverside villages well fed. And the locals are quite happy to share, as they see the crocodiles as the guardian spirits of the community. They’re not the only wildlife you can spot, either. As you cruise along the backwaters for a few hours, there’s a good chance you’ll pass otters, flying fish and kingfisher, too.
This tour does what it says on the tin. First, you’ll make your way to Mangueshi Temple. It’s one of the prettiest of its kind in Goa, with pastel-painted walls and a dove-white tower. After your tour inside the temple, you’ll drive to the Nandanvan Spice Farm. Here, you’ll be greeted in true Goan style, with a handmade garland and some herbal tea. Once you’ve settled in, you’ll be shown around the plantation, to see how the spices are grown and find out about their uses. You’ll then get to see how they taste, as you sit down for a traditional buffet lunch. You can pile your palm leaf plate high with fried prawns, curries, rice and bread. After eating, you’ll get the chance to buy some spices in the plantation’s shop to take home with you.
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.