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Cochin, India Luxury Cruises

Sitting by the sea on India's southern tip, Cochin has been an important trade port for centuries – most notably the capital of India's spice trade. The second city of India's west coast after Mumbai, Cochin (known locally as Kochi) is an exciting tourist destination as rich in heritage as it is breathtakingly beautiful.

Its moderate climate, coupled with the sun-soaked Arabian Sea before it and the lush green Ghat mountains behind make the city and its surrounding countryside a place of outstanding natural beauty – and a gorgeous port of call for a better look at India's relaxed, multicultural side.

Sightseeing in Cochin

The plentiful equatorial sunlight gives the colours of Cochin a vivid, vibrant quality – from the palm-lined backwaters to the modern developments and historical landmarks of the city itself. Portuguese, Chinese and Dutch influences run through the city, thanks to Cochin's place in history as a major port of call for ocean traders for hundreds of years. As such, there's no shortage of cultural attractions for visitors to the so-called ‘Queen of the Arabian Sea':

Chinese fishing nets

Arguably some of the most graceful man-made structures to stand by the sea, the iconic slender fishing scaffolds on and around Fort Cochin Beach are a must-see when you visit the region. Originally thought to have been introduced by the Chinese explorer Zheng He, the nets' design are now known to have come from the Portuguese colonial settlers of Macau near Hong Kong. Make sure you have a camera handy if you visit the structures around sundown – the wispy nets and spidery frames often stand in stunning silhouette against rich, golden sunsets over the sea.

Fort Cochin

You may have the opportunity to walk the streets of historic Cochin, a treasure trove of Indo-European culture and architecture stemming from the town's mix of colonial Dutch and native Indian cross-culture. Follow tree-lined streets past a wealth of landmarks, including the white-walled St Francis Church built in 1503; and close by, the Santa Cruz Cathedral Basilica – a strange juxtaposition of white-walled European gothic architecture, complete with stained glass windows and heavy wooden doors, surrounded outside by the palms and cloudless blue skies of Southern India.

Mattancherry Palace

Built in the mid-16th century by Portuguese settlers, and added to by Dutch settlers a century later, Mattancherry Palace presents visitors with a unique style of construction – a European interpretation of the native South Indian, courtyard-centred Nalukettu style. Popularly known as the Dutch Palace, the museum boasts a portrait gallery of the town's rajas in its former Coronation Hall as well as stunning, brightly-coloured Hindu murals throughout. Exhibits in the museum include royal ceremonial dress, coins, stamps and carriages.

Shopping in Cochin

The city does good trade in souvenirs and curios, and carved rosewood paperweights and animal figurines are a particular local speciality. You'll find arts and crafts shops on Broadway, a street also famous for its clothes and spices, and various emporia selling a wide variety of fascinating objects, both old and new.

Jew Town in Cochin is best known for its antique shops – look out for stores which deal in wooden jewellery boxes, Chinese ceramics and ancient Indian arts and handicrafts. The synagogue also lies in this truly historic part of town, where you can step back in time to see the centuries-old, hand-painted Chinese floor tiles that are testament to the city's international history. The shopping in this part of the city also includes spice traders, silk merchants, clothing, carpets and jewellery, as well as the odd café and bookshop too.

Eating Out in Cochin

As a coastal city there's no shortage of delicious seafood on Cochin's local menus. There are some bright, breezy restaurants around Rose Street that get consistently great reviews, serving grilled prawns, masala fish and cold beer – what better way to enjoy a taste of Cochin?

Spices, banana and coconut are common ingredients in many local dishes, like the bright yellow, yogurt-based kaalan or pachadi vegetable side-dish. Conversely, visitors may also find eateries that specialise in a taste of Northern Indian food in the heart of the South – serving rich, aromatic Mughlai cuisine as a great contrast to the local fare.

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Sea of Sindbad
  20 October 2020
  Seabourn Encore
  36 nights
  Europe

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Cruise & Fly
£9019pp
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Jewels Of Arabia & India
  07 November 2020
  Seabourn Encore
  18 nights
  Asia & Indian Ocean

Sale now on | Receive a 300-minute internet package. Book a Penthouse Suite and receive $1,000 FREE to spend on-board per couple and an unlimited internet package. more

Cruise & Fly
£5219pp
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Gems Of The Spice Route
  07 November 2020
  Seabourn Encore
  28 nights
  Asia & Indian Ocean

Cruise & Fly
£9659pp
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£9499pp
Dubai to Singapore
  08 November 2020
  Crystal Symphony
  29 nights
  Asia & Indian Ocean

Grand Voyage

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£7879pp
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£6599pp
Spice Route Voyage
  20 November 2020
  Azamara Pursuit
  19 nights
  Asia & Indian Ocean

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£4289pp
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£3179pp
Dubai to Singapore
  22 November 2020
  Silver Spirit
  27 nights
  Dubai & Emirates

Cruise & Fly
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Pearls Of Arabia & India
  23 November 2020
  Seabourn Ovation
  16 nights
  Asia & Indian Ocean

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Dubai to Singapore
  28 November 2020
  Seven Seas Explorer
  22 nights
  Asia & Indian Ocean

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£11599pp
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£10549pp
Mumbai to Singapore
  01 December 2020
  Silver Spirit
  18 nights
  Asia & Indian Ocean

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Cruise & Fly
£6399pp
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Souks, Spices & Sands
  21 December 2020
  Oceania Sirena
  15 nights
  Dubai & Emirates

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£3449pp
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Indian Ocean Jewels
  05 January 2021
  Oceania Sirena
  15 nights
  Asia & Indian Ocean

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The Finest World Tour - Florida to New York
  07 January 2021
  Silver Whisper
  150 nights
  Worldwide

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£48449pp
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Odyssey of the Stars
  25 January 2021
  Oceania Insignia
  164 nights
  Worldwide

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£66999pp
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Singapore to Mumbai
  12 March 2021
  Silver Spirit
  15 nights
  Asia & Indian Ocean

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£4889pp
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Jewels Of India & Arabia
  14 March 2021
  Seabourn Ovation
  18 nights
  Asia & Indian Ocean

Cruise & Fly
£7399pp
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£6169pp
Grand Tropical Expedition
  23 March 2021
  Silver Cloud
  52 nights
  Pacific

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£27639pp
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Singapore to Mumbai
  08 April 2021
  Silver Whisper
  15 nights
  Asia & Indian Ocean

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£5219pp
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Opulent Empires
  01 May 2021
  Oceania Nautica
  36 nights
  Asia & Indian Ocean

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£8249pp
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£7279pp
Cochin to Piraeus
  14 May 2021
  Silver Cloud
  19 nights
  Mediterranean

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£9899pp
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Grand Northern Expedition
  14 May 2021
  Silver Cloud
  63 nights
  Europe

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£28969pp
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Tokyo to Tokyo
  11 October 2021
  Seven Seas Explorer
  12 nights
  Asia & Indian Ocean

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Los Angeles to New York
  06 January 2022
  Oceania Insignia
  180 nights
  Worldwide

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Cape Town To Singapore
  25 January 2022
  Oceania Nautica
  30 nights
  Africa

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Singapore to Dubai
  07 April 2022
  Seven Seas Explorer
  18 nights
  Asia & Indian Ocean

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£10229pp
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  23 May 2022
  Oceania Nautica
  18 nights
  Asia & Indian Ocean

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