Mumbai Cruises, India
- Get acquainted with the ornate Rajabai Clock Tower, which may look slightly familiar – it was designed by an English architect, who modelled it on London’s Big Ben.
- Head to a market and shop as the locals do. On the aptly named Fashion Street, you’ll find a medley of stalls selling big-name brands alongside artisan wares. For vintage finds, make your way to the Chor Bazaar.
- Sip tea from a street side chai-wallah – AKA a tea-maker. They draw in the crowds as they pour the tea from a metre or so above the pot, to properly blend the chai. Listen for the chirruping sound of the ‘chai-eee’ sales pitch.
SHORE EXCURSIONS View all excursions
You’ll see Mumbai’s eastern and western sides on this tour. First, you’ll pay a visit to the Gateway of India. The arch was built in 1911 as an entry point for passengers arriving from England, but it also marks the place where British troops left India following the country’s independence. Next, you’ll move on to Dhobi Ghat, which is over 100 years old. It’s basically a giant human-powered washing machine, so you’ll see hundreds of washers – or dhobis – cleaning clothes in the open-air water tanks. After absorbing the atmosphere, you’ll head to a very different sight, the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus railway station. This extravagant Gothic building’s a prime example of colonial-era architecture, with Victorian, Hindu and Islamic influences. Later, you’ll see more buildings built during British rule at Colaba Causeway, which is overflowing with stalls and shops. It’s a great spot for stocking up on souvenirs, as well as sampling some of the local delicacies.
You’ll need to put your bartering hat on for this tour, as you’ll visit three of Mumbai’s biggest markets. First, you can get your haggling hat on at Colaba Causeway. This area’s streets are filled to the brim with shops selling jewellery, clothes, handbags and handicrafts. And you can buy coconut water, baked goods and fruit from some of the vendors, too. After, you’ll visit historic Crawford Market. It’s Mumbai’s main wholesale market for fruit, so you’ll find stalls stacked with mountains of mangos and grapes. Produce aside, you can check out the Norman-style façade and its decorative friezes, which were designed by Lockyard Kipling – the father of author Rudyard Kipling. Your last stop is in Bhuleshwar. This place is packed-full of bazaars, selling everything from jewellery to food. On your way back to the ship, you’ll also drive past the famous Gateway of India monument.
Mumbai’s a mixing pot of cultures and religions, which you’ll learn all about on this trip. You’ll start by driving past the city’s seafront promenade, before heading up to Malabar Hill to check out the extravagant mansions of Mumbai’s swankiest neighbourhood. Then it’s on to Iskcon Temple. It sits in four acres of land, with enough room for a pretty courtyard, a restaurant and a huge prayer room. This is where you’ll hear the melodic chanting of the Hare Krishna devotees. Just across the road is Babulnath – an ancient Shiva temple. Not only is it one of the oldest in the city, but it’s also a great example of Hindu Nagara-style architecture. Next, you’ll visit a different place of worship. You might think you’ve stumbled back to Britain when you arrive at the Afghan Church – an Anglican Church, built by the British to commemorate the dead of the First Afghan War. You’ll finish up with a photo stop at the Gateway of India – a 20th-century monumental arch.