|Arrive: 04/24/16 7:00 AM||Depart: 04/24/16 5:00 PM|
Guided Sightseeing Option: Please see below for details on this option.
Enjoy a private chauffeur driven luxury sedan for “Guided Sightseeing” touring.
Meet your expert local driver and guide for the drive to Cochin.
Begin your tour with a drive to Tripunithura and visit the Hill Palace which was the official residence of the Cochin Royal family built in 1865. The palace complex consists of 49 buildings in the traditional architectural style of Kerala and in surrounded by 52 acres of terraced land with a deer park. A fully fledged ethno-archaeological museum and Kerala's first ever heritage Museum are the main attractions. Displayed inside are 19th Century paintings, murals sculptures in stone and plaster of Paris, manuscripts, inscriptions and coins belonging to the royal family.
You are then invited to the garden home of our friends Nimmy Paul for a traditional cooking demonstration followed by a meal. The Paul’s belong to the Syrian Christian community of Kottayam. Nimmy’s legendry culinary skills have been featured in Saveur and Gourmet magazine amongst others.
In the afternoon, before returning to the ship which is towards the Silk Route trading post of Fort Cochin, these days a `Heritage Zone’. Beginning with the Chinese and Arabs in the 13th Century, the Portuguese arrived in 1500 A.D. followed by the domination of the Dutch and British. See St. Francis Church originally built in 1510 and the first to reflect European influenced tradition. Portuguese hero Vasco Da Gama died on the site and was buried in the cemetery.At Matancherry, there’s the Dutch Palace built in 1557 by the Portuguese as a gift for the Maharaja of Cochin in exchange for trading rights. The Palace houses royal costumes, palanquins, furniture and weapons but its striking feature is a series of murals painted on wooden walls. Later, stop by the Pardesi synagogue, at the heart of what is locally called Jew town.
Return to the ship.
Note: Matancherry is closed Fridays and Saturdays.
*Gratuities have been prepaid. Additional gratuities are at guest’s discretion.
"At Your Leisure" Option: Please see below for details on this option.
Enjoy a private chauffeur driven luxury sedan for “At Your Leisure” touring. You decide where you want to go and what you want to see.*
*Mileage restrictions may apply.
Kochi (Cochin) is the great, old Keralan spice city. It consists of mainland Ernakulam, islands of Willingdon, Bolgatty and Gundu in the harbor, Fort Cochin and Mattancheri on the southern peninsula and Vypeen Island north of Cochin. Because of the area’s dense tropical forests, extensive ridges and ravines, it has been sheltered from invaders and the rest of India. This encouraged Keralites to welcome maritime contact, and therefore influence from the outside world. In Cochin there is still a small community of descendants from Jewish settlers who fled Palestine 2,000 years ago. When the Portuguese arrived here some 500 years ago, they were surprised to find Christianity already established along this coast. People from far-off lands have been coming to Kerala since ancient times in search of spices, sandalwood and ivory. Such long contact with people from overseas has resulted in the blending of various cultures and has given Keralites a cosmopolitan outlook.