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Discover your own paradise

ship

(Take a cruise-voyage to Lakshadweep)


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This info. is brought to you by Dr. Partha, as part of his Individual Social responsibility.


Well begun is half done

A holiday to an exotic destination needs considerable preparation. Adequate preparation is the same as a good beginning. This article will help you in planning and enjoying your next dream vacation.

Where to go

With a coastline of nearly 7500 km and 8 Blue Flag beaches, India can offer many awesome choices for sea lovers and beach admirers.

Where : The first step in planning a holiday is to decide where to go and how. Our first guess was to visit Kerala. Kerala is also known as God's own country, it is still referred to as the "Garden of Spices" or as the "Spice Garden of India". Lakshadweep (aka Laccadive islands) is a collection of islands (an archipelago) in the Laccadive Sea/Arabian Sea, lakislandsnear the southwest tip of India, some 400 km off the coast of Kerala. You can reach Lakshadweep by air or by ship from Kochi city (aka Cochin, nearest railhead Ernakulam), in the Kerala state of India. I suggest the sea mode because it appears to be more romantic and interesting.

Travel by sea has hidden irritants and hasards, so make adequate preparations.

How and when to go

How : Having made up your mind on where to go, deciding the best way and the best time to go will be your next challenge. Start with an exploration of the web. Try the web site of SPORTS (Society for promotion of nature tourism and sports) . SPORT

SPORTS is a society promoted by the Lakshadweep Government. It is the most authentic source of information on procedures and rules regarding visits to Lakshadweep. It is also responsible for regulating the flow of visitors and their activities on the islands. A list of packages for holiday / visits to Lakshadweep is available in the SPORTS home page. Also take a detailed look at places to visit in Lakhadweep. A list of SPORTS authorised travel agents is also available here. It is just a simple step to choose a package and choose a travel agent who would arrange the visit and related logistics.

When : Choosing the time/dates for the visit were also easily settled. September to February is usually the ideal time to visit Lakshadweep. Seasonal rains / monsoon can play spoilsport in other periods.

Beware : An official permit is required to visit Lakshadweep for all tourists (including Indians). After permit, Indians are permitted to visit all islands, however, even after permit, foreigners are permitted to just visit Agatti, Bangaram and Kadmat Islands only. You need the entry permit issued by the Government, before you can board the ship. Check up if the tour operator will arrange the permit, and if the corresponding fee is included in the cost of the tour. Check up the procedure involved, and the documents you need to submit.

About Samudram

Let us explore the SAMUDRAM package, offered by SPORTS, which is a 4 nights/5 days cruise covering three islands in Lakshadweeplakislands. You start on Day #1 from Kochi , visit three islands, and land back in Kochi on Day #5. All the daytime is spent visiting the islands (the vertices of the sketch shown here), and the evening / night is spent on board the ship travelling between islands (the edges of the sketch shown here). Add two or more days for visiting Ernakulam, Cochin and neighbourhood areas. The natural scenery is refreshingly breathtaking. That makes a perfect break from your stressful routine life and an enjoyable way to detox yourself.

Beware : There are multiple packages operating under the same name SAMUDRAM. Each trip touches a different set of three islands.

To avoid any nasty surprises, we suggest Lakshadweep Voyage which is a government (SPORTS) authorized tourism agent. I visited their website and made my own enquiries. I found that they were very responsive and polite and gave all relevant information upfront.

Before the voyage

  1. Make adequate enquiries, and reserve your cruise as explained above.
  2. If you do not live in Kochi/Cochin/Ernakulam area (say Kochi), you should plan to reach Kochi a day prior to the departure of the cruise, and plan to leave a day after the cruise arrives back in Kochi. You may also have to stay overnight at Kochi (each way). Tie up the travel reservations to (and from) Kochi and the stay at Kochi accordingly.
  3. Make a checklist of all items you need for the cruise / visit. Use this and this for a beginning, also make a personal list of items you usually use/need personally.

Enjoy the cruise

While on the cruise, remember these few simple guidelines:
  1. Follow all instructions/guidelines given by your tour guide.
  2. Be punctual.
  3. Respect the nature and ecology of the islands.
  4. Avoid single-use plastics.
  5. Do not litter.
  6. Respect the law:
    * Do not pick up corals (dead or alive) or shells as souvenirs. It is a punishable offense.
    * Consumption of liquor is prohibited in Lakshadweep and in the ship as well.
    * Swimming or sunbathing un-clothed is strictly prohibited.
  7. Respect the privacy, security, habits and culture of the native residents.
  8. Take care of your own safety and that of your belongings. Be vigilant.
  9. Keep a watch on your children, if they are accompanying you.
  10. Record highlights of your visit and share with your social contacts (this web page is an example).
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