Arrival at Kochi. Transfer to Fort Kochi. On arrival, you will check into a heritage hotel at Fort Kochi. You are able to use the remainder of your day at you leisure. An arrival briefing will be held this evening (details will be provided on arrival).
Overnight: Waterfront Granary or similar
After an early breakfast, you will discover this amazing city of Kochi. Kochi (Cochin as it was known in colonial times) is a major port on the west coast of India, set on a cluster of islands surrounded by sparkling blue lagoons and backwaters. Its historic links can be seen in the Colonial bungalows, an old Synagogue, Chinese fishing nets, the oldest European church in India and a medieval Portuguese palace. In the afternoon we will move on to the area of Marari Beach approximately one hour away.
Overnight: Abad Turtle Beach or similar
After a short transfer to the backwaters, you begin your leisurely 15km kayaking adventure. We begin early so as to enjoy the local communities beginning their day thus gaining insight into the local way of life. Often starting with happy school children skipping along the boardwalks on their way to school. As morning progresses the backwaters come to life, as you observe the ecosystem from water level. Crowds of ducks splash their way across the channel, while Brahminy Kites and Kingfishers dive from high above to snatch a fish from the water. Near here you will pass the famous Karumadikuttan Temple housing an elaborate image of the Buddha. You will be taking time off strolling through the villages, watching coconut climbers at work to tap the 'toddy' a traditional brew for tired souls. Once our kayak adventure is complete we will be checking into the Coir Village a community initiative of local fishermen, coir makers & the local tourism initiative.
Overnight: Coir Village
Today we cycle through the backwater & beach areas towards Kollam (Quilon) an ancient port city with great historical significance especially in relation to the struggles during colonial times. We then continue cycling, mostly on dirt roads that take us through two natural lagoons one at Kollam and one at Paravur. It is at Paravur that we will stay this evening, alongside the quiet backwaters.
Overnight: Fragrant Nature or similar
Today we explore the the local network of mangroves by boat a true highlight of the area and a crucial element of the local ecosystem, providing shelter to juvenile fish from the larger predatory fish in the open waters. These mangroves are also home to a variety of bird species such as the iconic Kingfisher.
Overnight: Fragrant Nature or similar
Today, we get back on our bicycles and cycle through the quite villages at Paravur until we reach the Coir Factory. Coir is a meterial made from coconut husks from which matting and ropes can be made. Here we have an opportunity to see the traditional coir making skills. After a short visit, we cycle through village roads with amazing view of the backwaters until we cross the scenic Pozhikara Spillway and hit the beach road. Afternoon we have some spectacular cycling along the coast all the way to Varkala. From here we will transfer to our overnight hotel close to the airport in Trivandrum in preparation for our flight to Male, the capital of the island nation of the Maldives, the following day.
Overnight: Udai Suite or similar
Transfer to Trivandrum airport for your departure flight to Male. On arrival at the International airport at Male, you will be transferred to your dhoni. Our dhonis are all equipped with motors as well as private cabins and a sun deck. You will be introduced to the crew before cruising to the uninhabited island of Waagali or to a resort island. Our chef will show off his skills with a buffet lunch aboard. We have the rest of the day to spend swimming and snorkeling before anchoring for the night. It is a wonderful spot for your first lesson in snorkeling the beautiful coral reefs of the Maldives! (Beach towels, snorkel and flippers are all provided on board.)
On the Maldives Dhoni Cruise there's only one thing to do, relax and enjoy! After breakfast we cruise to the nearby atoll and the village of Felidu. Felidu Atoll is still quite untouched and its main industry is fishing. Our cruising time will be 4 to 5 hours. We spend the day in the village, meeting the local people and observing their lifestyle before returning to our dhoni for an evening at the lagoon.
We have plenty of time to relax today as we cruise to the beautiful uninhabited island of Vashugiri. At the beach, you can go skin-diving, snorkeling or swimming. Our crew will organise a beach barbeque where we can enjoy a feast of local seafood. We spend the night at anchor and you may choose to sleep up on deck beneath a blanket of stars.
Today we cruise to the picturesque inhabited island of either Felidhoo or Keyodu. Here we will meet the islanders, explore the local towns and have some time for local entertainment in the evening. We return to the dhoni in the evening.
We leisurely cruise back to Male Atoll. You will have time to visit Male city where you may like to do a bit of souvenir shopping, visit the museum or fruit market before we cruise to a nearby resort island for our final night at anchor.
Waking up on the dhoni, we have breakfast before being transferred to the airport.