Costa Cruises sets its sights on the Indian Ocean, announcing the arrival, in the 2016-2017 winter season, of a totally new itinerary in the array of cruises and package tours involving this destination.
From December 15, 2016 to March 10, 2017, Costa neoClassica will depart from Male or Mumbai—easily reached via flights —on an exclusive two-week journey in the Indian Ocean, around the Maldives, Sri Lanka, and India.
Created for all those travellers who prefer exotic and fascinating destinations and who seek new worlds and cultures, the “Colors of India, between Yin and Yang” itinerary will provide a unique and intense experience to those who wish to rediscover a closeness with nature and with the spirituality of ancient and different cultures, in the comfort and security of a cruise. Not just an escape from winter towards warm and sunny beaches, but an authentic cultural experience.
The cruise offered on board Costa neoClassica includes leisurely stops and overnight stays in order to allow our guests to enjoy a complete and intense experience, with the possibility of more than one excursion in the same location. It is the perfect cruise for discovering the fascinating contrasts of faraway destinations, beautiful beaches, and unchecked nature in a land that is a crossroads of religions and spirituality.
The itinerary starts out in the Maldives, where the ship will remain for two days at Male, among the white atolls, shimmering beaches and blue waters of the coral reef. From Male, thanks to Costa excursions, guests will be able to sail to Paradise Island Resort, an island wholly dedicated to well-being, beauty and relaxation.
The next stop will be Sri Lanka, the island nation also known as Ceylon. Guests will go ashore at Colombo, where they will visit the Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage, one of the best-known attractions of the island: a 25-hectare park that the government of Sri Lanka has set aside for the care of elephants abandoned in the forest, of which there are more than 60 today.
From Colombo we head to India, with its 1,000-year-old culture and its intense colours. The first stop in India will be Goa, known worldwide for its spectacular beaches and for its Portuguese colonial architecture. This territory, which is visited every year by hundreds of thousands of Indian and foreign tourists, is considered one of the 21 hotspots of biodiversity in the world. Guests will be able to choose a number of excursions, including a tour of the old city and of the capital, Panjim, and a visit to the Basilica de Bom Jesus, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Costa neoClassica will then head for Mumbai, where it will stop for two whole days in order that its guests might fully savor the distinctive contrasts of the city. This fascinating and chaotic metropolis, capital of the state of Maharashtra, has the highest population of all of India’s cities: here Costa guests will be able to admire the main attractions, including the Banganga Tank, an immense basin fed by the underwater river Bhogwati, where the faithful go to pray.
Heading back down the Indian coast, the journey will continue to New Mangalore before arriving at Cochin, in the federal state of Kerala, one of the main maritime ports in the country, where the ship will stop for two whole days. Among the possible excursions to choose from are a visit by tuk-tuk to the village of Kumbalangi and a houseboat ride in the Kerala Backwaters, in amongst the tropical canals of the Cochin hinterland, an incredibly vast system of lagoons rich in mangrove swamps and rainforests. Costa neoClassica will then return to Male, ending the itinerary back at the Maldives, where our guests will be able to catch their flights back to Italy.
Costa Cruises confirms its ability to create exclusive itineraries in order to satisfy the needs of its guests, who will also have the choice of dividing the cruise in two separate weeklong segments. The complete itinerary offers the additional option of embarking at Mumbai, with all the same calls.