Colombo cruises

A landscape draped in greenery, stunning beaches, great wildlife refuges and the ruins of an ancient civilisation beckon visitors to Sri Lanka, an island inhabited by man for perhaps half a billion years. The sights of Colombo are many, a combination of British colonial architecture, historical museums, fine restaurants and shopping especially for sapphires and rubies.

Excursions

Please note: The shore excursions listed are typical for this port. The full programme of shore excursions available for your cruise will be displayed on Cruise Personaliser at least 12 weeks prior to departure.

  • Ceylon Tea Experience

    Discover the production process of Ceylon tea during this fascinating visit to a local tea plantation.

    Ceylon Tea Experience

    Embark on a scenic drive of around three hours to Akuressa, a lush region boasting ideal conditions for growing tea. Tea production is one of the main industries in Sri Lanka and Ceylon is considered to be one of the finest teas in the world. During this tour, you’ll discover the history of tea and its unique journey from the tree to your cup.

    The Galaboda Tea Factory was established in 1935 and has a long history of tea making which has been passed down from generation to generation. The estate is spread over an area of 39 acres, which includes an organic tea nursery. During your visit, you’ll have the opportunity to observe the tea being handpicked at the estate before heading to the tea factory. Here, you’ll be able to watch the handpicked tea crop being graded, before going through the many different stages involved in quality tea production. You’ll also learn about green tea, where the leaves are picked and immediately sent to be dried or steamed to prevent fermentation, whereas black tea and other types are left to ferment once they are picked.

    After your fascinating insight into tea production, relax and enjoy a light snack and sample the distinct flavours of a refreshing cup of pure Ceylon tea.


    This tour will operate by coach and on foot. A comfort stop will be made during the journey each way. A light snack is included, however it is recommended to have a hearty breakfast. There are around 20 steps at the tea factory and four steps at the tasting area. This tour involves around 1½ hours of walking over varying terrain, which includes some slight inclines. Flat, comfortable shoes are recommended.

    Tour code

    CLB_009

    Features

    • Activity medium

      Activity Level: Medium

    • Refreshments included

      Refreshments included

    Duration

    8½ hours

  • Sri Lankan Cooking with Mohara Dole

    Join Mohara Dole, for an inspiring session of Sri Lankan cooking and share a lunch of her delicious dishes.

    Sri Lankan Cooking with Mohara Dole

    Foodies – Enjoy a rare opportunity to learn about the culinary delights of Sri Lanka from one of its renowned chefs – Mohara Dole. Making it even more special, you’ll be warmly welcomed by Mohara at her home in the suburbs of Colombo as one of a small group of guests.

    Mohara’s influences don’t just come from her Malay heritage. Among her rice dishes, curries, sambols and salads, you’ll also find Sinhalese and Tamil traditions, picked up from friends and neighbours over the years.

    With Mohara leading the demonstrations, you’ll learn about spices, flavours and recipes as she creates a number of delicious dishes. And you’ll be close enough to the action to have a good view of her cooking techniques, so you can recreate them when you get home. You might even find yourself helping with the preparation!

    Cooking complete, lunch is served. It’s time for everyone to sit down and tuck into Mohara’s mouth-watering food as she shares yet more wisdom about local culinary culture.

    You’ll also receive the perfect memento of your experience – one of Mohara’s very own recipes.


    This excursion will operate by minibus and on foot. Children are not permitted to participate on this tour. There is minimal walking on this tour; however there are periods of standing required. There are around 5 steps to negotiate within the property. The journey time to the property is approximately 45 minutes each way.

    Tour code

    CLB_019

    Features

    • Activity medium

      Activity Level: Medium

    • Meal included

      Meal Included

    Duration

    4 hours

  • Discover Galle

    Discover the charming fortified city of Galle, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

    Discover Galle

    Upon arrival in Galle, you’ll visit the local fish market for an opportunity to mix with the locals as they purchase local produce.

    Afterwards, head to Galle Fort. Built in 1588, it is the centrepiece of the town and has earned UNESCO World Heritage status. Spanning over 36 hectares, this impressive structure is the largest remaining fortress in Asia, and within its encircling walls you will find an astounding collection of structures and landmarks – snapshots of life here across the centuries. First built by the Portuguese, then extensively fortified by the Dutch during the 17th century onwards, today even after 423 years, Galle Fort maintains a polished appearance, due to extensive reconstruction work carried out by the Archaeological Department of Sri Lanka.

    Step back in time, as your knowledgeable guide brings the colourful history of the fort to life, during a guided walking tour. As you weave your way along the narrow lanes, you’ll visit the Dutch Church with its baroque façade. You’ll also pass through the courtyard to the Dutch Hospital shopping complex, before viewing the Lighthouse, Clock Tower and the Ramparts.

    Enjoy a little free time to explore further or perhaps purchase a souvenir of your visit, before a delicious buffet-style late luncheon, served at a local restaurant.

    Complete your tour with a visit to the Martin Wickramasinghe Folk Museum, which pays tribute to one of Sri Lanka’s most famous writers.


    This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. The journey to Galle is approximately two hours each way. There is approximately three hours of walking required on this tour. Modest dress is required for the visit to the Dutch Church.

    Tour code

    CLB_017

    Features

    • Activity high

      Activity Level: High

    • Meal included

      Meal Included

    • Shopping

      Shopping

    Duration

    9¾ hours

  • Sri Lankan Warrior Experience

    Watch an exhilarating demonstration of Angampora and gain an insight into the life of a Sri Lankan warrior!

    Sri Lankan Warrior Experience

    Take a scenic drive away from the city and make a physical connection with Sri Lanka’s culture and history with a visit to a traditional Angampora training centre.

    This ancient martial art is indigenous to Sri Lanka and according to local folklore Angampora’s history goes back 30,000 years. The legends become real when you’re warmly greeted by the Angampora Guru - a direct descendant from the clan of ancient Angampora Warriors.

    In the tranquil setting of the ‘Sākya Sanctuary’, your mentors will demonstrate this age-old art through an exhilarating performance. Angampora veterans will engage in a display of combat, showing you different techniques of this martial art – hand-to-hand fighting, use of weapons and sacred rituals – accompanied by beating drums. It’s an experience you won’t forget!


    This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. This tour is conducted outside, under a partly shaded area. There are approximately 20 steps to negotiate during the tour. Temperatures can be high; guests are advised to bring a hat, sunscreen, sunglasses and water, and to stay hydrated. The journey to the Angampora Training Centre is approximately one hour each way.

    Tour code

    CLB_020

    Features

    • Activity medium

      Activity Level: Medium

    Duration

    3 hours

  • Negombo Beach Escape

    Escape to the beach resort of Negombo and spend the day relaxing in the sun.

    Negombo Beach Escape

    Embark on a scenic drive to the traditional fishing town and popular beach resort of Negombo. Your destination for the day is the stylish Jetwing Blue Hotel, situated along a wide sandy beach. It is the perfect location for a day of relaxation.

    Upon arrival, you’ll have approximately five hours to spend at your leisure. Sit back and soak up the sun by the hotel pool, take a walk along the beach or take a refreshing dip in the sea.

    During your stay a delicious international style buffet luncheon will be served.


    BEACH/WATER RELATED EXCURSIONS
    For any excursion involving water, guests are reminded to exercise particular care. Alcohol and eating a full meal should be avoided before swimming. If buoyancy aids are provided for an activity they must be worn at all times. You should bear in mind that the sea is unpredictable. Lifeguards are unlikely to be present and there may not be a flag system to indicate whether or not it is safe to go in the water. In addition, beach activities may not be supervised or accompanied and so you should take care to satisfy yourself as to the safety of the beach and/or the sea at the time of your excursion. Please exercise caution when entering the sea as the seabed and aquatic environment is capable of springing surprises and we have not inspected the beach or seabed for its safety. Children must be supervised by you at all times near water. All activities on the beach, water and in the sea are undertaken at your own risk. You’ll need to take swimwear, a towel, sunscreen and flat shoes that can be worn in the water.

    LIABILITY
    Cunard will arrange for the excursions to be performed by the relevant excursion provider. Cunard does not provide or supply the excursion services. Cunard will exercise reasonable care and skill in the selection of the excursion provider, but will not in any circumstances have a greater liability than the excursion supplier and Cunard shall not be responsible for the negligent acts/omissions of the excursion supplier. Please note that in relation to all excursions Cunard is not responsible or liable for any loss, damage, or injury sustained by you unless such loss, damage or injury arises out of a breach of legal duty of Cunard.

    TRAVEL INSURANCE
    Before booking any activity excursions it is essential that you ensure your travel insurance extends to cover the specified activity. It is your responsibility to obtain adequate insurance.

    This excursion will operate by coach. The journey to Negombo is approximately 1½ hours each way. Guests are reminded to take swimwear and sunscreen. There are limited sun loungers available at the hotel, these are on a first come, first serve basis. Please refrain from drinking alcoholic beverages prior to swimming. There may be independent suppliers on the beach that offer water sports, these are provided by parties unconnected to Cunard Cruises.

    Tour code

    CLB_014

    Features

    • Activity low

      Activity Level: Low

    • Meal included

      Meal Included

    Duration

    8 hours

  • Explore Old Colombo on Foot

    Immerse yourself in the sights and sounds of the energetic city of Colombo as your expert guide reveals its history and highlights.

    Explore Old Colombo on Foot

    Let us take you into the heart of Colombo and team you up with a fantastic guide for a walking tour, full of photograph opportunities. Feel intrepid as you explore daily life in the Pettah District, one of Colombo’s oldest areas. Take in the buzzing bazaar, where in bygone times ox carts would ferry rubber, tea, cinnamon, kittul (treacle), rope and peacocks to be loaded aboard ships. Along the way, you’ll see architectural treasures, such as the Khan Clock Tower and the red and white Jami-Ul-Alfar Mosque.

    You’ll also discover the Dutch influence of the spice era. One 17th century mansion was once the residence of the Dutch East India Company’s Governor. Then there’s the striking Grand Oriental Hotel, where you’ll stop for a refreshing cup of tea or coffee.

    Finally, you’ll head to another colonial gem - the Old Dutch Hospital complex. Built around an open courtyard, it’s now home to high-end restaurants and shops – a great reinvention.


    This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. There is approximately 3½ hours of walking on this tour, as well as a few steps to negotiate. Comfortable, flat walking shoes are recommended. Guests are advised to bring a hat, sunscreen, sunglasses and water, and to stay hydrated.

    Tour code

    CLB_022

    Features

    • Activity high

      Activity Level: High

    • Refreshments included

      Refreshments included

    Duration

    4 hours

  • Buddhism through a Monks Eyes

    Explore Sri Lanka’s mystical Buddhist temples and fascinating sacred artefacts with a devoted Buddhist monk as your guide.

    Buddhism through a Monks Eyes

    The Kelaniya Raja Maha Viharaya is a revered Buddhist Temple located on the lush green banks of the Kelani River. It’s considered by many devotees as one of the few sites sanctified by a visit from the Buddha. You’ll see offerings of lotus flowers at the magnificent white stupa (religious monument). Here, coconut oil lamps are lit and purified water is sprinkled at the foot of the Sacred Bodhi Tree.

    You’ll visit Kelaniya Temple, guided by a knowledgeable Buddhist monk who will enlighten you on the practices of this faith. Marvel at the collection of wall and ceiling murals depicting Buddha’s life and Buddhist civilisation which has existed across two millennia.

    A truly captivating tour that will provide you with a remarkable insight into the spiritual lives of Sri Lankan Buddhists.


    This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. There is approximately one hour of walking on this tour, as well as around 25 steps to negotiate. Please dress conservatively, covering shoulders and knees. Entrance may be refused if dress is deemed inappropriate. Shoes and hats should be removed prior to entering the temple. It is recommended to bring a pair of thick socks as the pavement can be hot. Large bags are not permitted within the temple. The journey to Kelaniya Temple is approximately 45 minutes each way.

    Tour code

    CLB_021

    Features

    • Activity medium

      Activity Level: Medium

    Duration

    3 hours

  • Highlights of Kandy

    Head to Kandy to visit the Royal Botanical Gardens and the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic.

    Highlights of Kandy

    Relax on board your coach as a journey of around four hours takes you to the city of Kandy. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988, Kandy is Sri Lanka’s second largest city and is often referred to as the cultural capital of Sri Lanka.

    On arrival, visit the Royal Botanical Gardens, which are renowned for their varied collection of orchids. The Gardens contain more than 300 varieties of orchids, tropical flora, spices, medicinal plants and palm trees.

    Afterwards, a delicious buffet style luncheon will be served at a local restaurant, before heading to the Royal Palace Complex where you’ll visit the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic. This Buddhist temple houses the relic of the tooth of the Buddha, which for centuries has played an important role in local politics, as legend has it, whoever holds the relic holds the governance of the country.

    Complete your tour with a visit to the Tusker Museum, located within a small building adjacent to the Royal Palace. The museum honours Raja, the great Tusker that carried the Sacred Relic Casket for more than half a century, by preserving the dead animal’s skin and tusks, prepared to look like the Tusker when it was alive. Raja participated at the annual procession in Kandy for around 50 years and was one of the most celebrated elephants in Asia during his lifetime, world famous for his noble behaviour.


    This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. Please refer to the ‘Important Information’ for this port. The journey to Kandy takes approximately four hours each way. There is approximately 2½ hours of walking on this tour, as well as some steps to negotiate. Modest attire is required for the visit to the temple.

    Tour code

    CLB_018

    Features

    • Activity high

      Activity Level: High

    • Meal included

      Meal Included

    Duration

    12 hours

  • Colombo Highlights

    Combine a tour around the main sights of Colombo with a visit to a Buddhist Temple and the National Museum.

    Colombo Highlights

    Embark on a drive around Colombo, Sri Lanka’s vibrant capital. Although Colombo is a fast growing city its old world charm is still evident as you pass the 100-year-old clock tower, several British built, colonial buildings and the colourful bazaar of the Pettah. Continuing on through the Fort area, which houses the Government and Mercantile Offices, you’ll notice the buildings are newer.

    Your journey will take you past ornate Muslim Mosques, Hindu Temples, Christian Churches and Buddhist Temples. A stop will be made at the Asokaramaya Buddhist Temple. At over 100 years old, it is known for its spectacular murals of early 20th century Buddhist art.

    After your temple visit, you’ll commence a drive around the residential areas where the stately homes of the affluent, the Bandaranayake Memorial International Conference and University of Colombo are located. A stop will be made at Independence Square for photographs.

    Before returning to the port, you’ll visit the Colombo National Museum. Housed in a grand colonial building, the National Museum is the custodian of Sri Lanka's cultural heritage. Among its exhibits are a vast collection of books, more than 4,000 archaic palm leaf manuscripts, rock sculptures from the ancient cities, royal weapons of Sri Lankan kings and an excellent collection of antique demon masks. The most interesting among the exhibits are the regalia of the Kandian Kings dating back to the 17th century.


    This excursion will operate by coach. Please refer to the ‘Important Information’ for this port. Approximately 30 minutes is spent inside the museum and there is a fee to photograph (US$3) or video (US$10). There are around five steps at the temple and 20 steps at the museum. Please carry US$ for any additional purchases.

    Tour code

    CLB_002

    Features

    • Activity medium

      Activity Level: Medium

    Duration

    3¾ hours

  • Leisurely Colombo

    Enjoy a leisurely drive around the main sights of the colourful and bustling city of Colombo.

    Leisurely Colombo

    Colombo is a fast developing city where new skyscrapers sit alongside old British built colonial buildings. Sit back and relax as you enjoy a leisurely drive around the main sights of this vibrant city.

    Travelling through the older part of town you’ll pass the 100-year-old clock tower, the Pettah, a colourful bazaar with stalls selling an array of trinkets and bargains, and many ornate Hindu temples, Christian churches, Muslim mosques and Buddhist temples.

    You’ll then head out to the residential area where you find the stately homes of the affluent, the Colombo National Museum, Bandaranayake Memorial International Conference Hall, the old parliament in Fort, University of Colombo and Royal College. A stop will be made at Independence Square for photographs.

    The journey continues through the Fort district and past the Sea Port, which is the commercial and administrative centre of the island before returning to the port.


    This excursion will operate by coach. The main sights are seen from the coach with a stop for photographs at Asokaramaya Buddhist Temple, Independence Square and Colombo National Museum.

    Tour code

    CLB_007

    Features

    • Activity low

      Activity Level: Low

    Duration

    3½ hours