Embark of a journey through the distinctly characteristic city of Cochin to Fort Cochin, where a stop will be made at St Francis Church, the oldest European church in India. You’ll then visit the Indo-Portuguese Museum. This Museum was established in a bid to protect and showcase the rich cultural heritage and Portuguese influence. Take a short walk past the local fish market, where locals have their catch cooked and served to them, to the Chinese fishing nets. These nets are set up on bamboo poles and held horizontally by huge mechanisms, which lower them into the sea. This is a unique symbol of the centuries-old influence on this coastline.
Refreshments of tea, coffee and cakes will be served at a local hotel, before heading to the Mattancherry area, for a visit to the Dutch Palace. Now a museum, it features India’s finest mythological murals depicting Hindu temple art, portraits, exhibits of the Rajas of Kochi and a rare example of traditional Kerala flooring. Afterwards, take a walk through Jew Town past the oldest Jewish Synagogue in India and the local shops selling spices, handicrafts and antiques.
Finally, enjoy a relaxing cruise on the backwaters surrounding the harbour, where you’ll see country boats laden with various wares. As you pass the islands of Vallarpadam, Gundu and Bolghatty, you’ll get a glimpse of local life on the various islands.
This excursion will operate by coach, boat and on foot. Please refer to the ‘Important Information’ for this port. The boats are not equipped with a PA system, so no commentary will be given, however the guide is available to answer questions. Guests who choose to sit on the upper deck are required to wear a lifejacket. The cruise is approximately one hour. There are 18 steps to negotiate at the Dutch Palace. There is approximately 1½ hours walking in total.