The Backwater Cruise takes you along the mangrove-lined banks of the Mandovi River, between the Chorao and Divar islands. The cruise takes you close to the Dr Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, where you can spot a wide variety of birds. If you are lucky, you might even spot large crocodiles sunning themselves on the riverbank.
The boat docks at the Spice Garden at Savoi/Keri, where a staff member takes you on a guided tour of the plantation. You are also shown the distillation process where the juice of cashew apples is used to make the delectable Goan Urak and Feni. The tour is followed up with a delicious Goan meal served on banana leaves.
These are the famed cruises along the Mandovi’s mangrove lined banks, and the islands of Chorao and Divar and Old Goa.
The trip itself is like a trip back in time to the Goa of old where life was simple and beautiful. You see miles of lush greenery and thick mangroves. If you are lucky you may see a large crocodile sunning himself during his afternoon siesta. Huge barges glide soundlessly through the sparkling water of this slow moving river. As you go further upriver you see the loading docks where tons of iron ore are loaded on to the barge from tipper trucks.
Fabulous discounts for group bookings and students.
You see nets tethered to wooden posts in the water to catch fish and a large number of canoes picking up river sand in buckets. The Shantadurga which carries 150 passengers which moves swiftly through the gentle waves. The boat docks at the Spice Garden at Savoi/ Keri. This is a very successful spice garden that is absolutely organic, no chemicals are used as pesticides or fertilizer. A guide explains the intricacies of growing spices, their uses and he demonstrates the distillation process where the juice of cashew apples is used to make the delectable Goan urak and feni. There is a proper distillery working at the entrance of the spice garden, and guarding the entrance itself is a huge old elephant who also takes people for short rides. Guests are garlanded with flowers and after the tour of various spices like cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, pepper, all spice, etc the guests are welcomed to the restaurant with a ‘bath’ which is a ladle of cold spring water poured down their backs.
Everyone helps themselves at a buffet of Goan food that is not too pungent and not too bland. It is served on banana leaves arranged in a basket type dish. After a sumptuous lunch it’s back to the boat for a two-hour trip back to Panjim. The return trip is great fun if you are sitting in the front seating area of the Poseidon. The hot sun beats down on you and the refreshing wind and salt spray of the sea showers down on you. You don’t get drenched because the sun dries you up almost immediately. Don’t miss this trip, if you want to see unspoiled Goa or if you want to just lie back and relax.
This cruise is a must for bird-watchers. The cruise takes you close to the migratory and resident birds along the riverine tip of Dr Salim Ali’s Bird Sanctuary at Chorao Island. The Dolphin Fantasygets you to venture deep into the sea to watch the dark, graceful water beauties of river and sea dolphins in an ever playful mood. Watch as they teasingly swim right alongside the boat, like glossy laughing outriders.
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