Lakshadweep - Explore by Kavaratti Cruise
“Have you visited Lakshadweep...? “ Shaina asked me while chitchatting about Kerala tourism. This spiked in my mind to explore Lakshadweep. In no time, I did explore the avenues and zeroed in on to take Samudram package by MV Karavatti cruise which operates between September-January and then March-May period and can be booked via Laksadweep tourism website. MV Kavaratti is a passenger transit crusie for the locals to commute between the islands of Lakshadweep and later offered to tourists.
“Lakshadweep comprises 36 islands popular for the striking and sun-kissed beaches. The name Lakshadweep in Sanskrit means ‘A HUNDRED THOUSANDS ISLANDS”
The popular islands of Lakshadweep are – Minicoy, Kalpeni, Kadmat, Bangaram, Thinnakara and Kavaratti.
Samudram Package which I have selected to cover the Kalpeni, Minicoy and Kavaratti islands.
Day 1 – Arrived the day I wanted…!!! All set to travel
As this trip was with my family, spent some time to properly plan and take necessary things required for 6 days stay. Boarded the KSRTC from Bengaluru to Kochi (Ernakulam) at 8:45 PM. It was almost 12 hours by the time we reached Ernakulam, at 8:45 AM, next day.
Day 2 – First sight of MV KAVARATTI
Refreshed at hotel Luciya as soon as we reached Ernakulam, which is next to KSRTC bus stand. After we had a breakfast in a small hotel nearby, walked towards the pre-paid Auto stand to reach ‘Lakshadweep Wharf and Passengers facilitation center’ at 10:15 AM. All visitors were advised to report by 12 PM.
Lakshadweep passenger’s facilitation center is a 2 story mid-size building. Went to first floor and collected the boarding pass by showing ID card. The boarding pass has allocated ship cabin number. The ground floor is meant to check-in. Post luggage scanning and we entered inside. There was a bus waiting to take passengers from the center to the ship. Post 15 minutes journey we reached the port. That’s the point where I have seen the Kavaratti ship first time.
‘Dad, so big ship………’ uttered my daughter looking at the cruise with an excitement.
There we were introduced to the tour Manager. He explained briefly about the cabin numbers allotted for the passengers. The ship has 5 decks. 1st and 2nd are for public passengers. 3rd, 4th and 5th are for tourists. 4th deck is for Diamond class tourists and 3rd and 5th are for Gold class. Diamond class can accommodate 2 passengers with private bathroom whereas the Gold can accommodate 4 passengers with private restroom. We went to 4th deck to our cabin. The luggage was transferred to the doorstep and no need to carry along.
The cabin….? It’s good enough and spacious to accommodate 2 people. It has 2 bunk beds, fan, 2 chairs, table, 1 long cup board and mirror. It was clean and tidy.
After relaxed for short time, we started exploring the ship – Cafeteria, cabins. We went to 5th deck / top deck where there was a mini swimming pool (But not operative). We clicked snaps all over the ship. Lunch was provided at 12PM in the first-class cafeteria. Both veg and non-veg buffet options were available. Post lunch there was an orientation session by the tour manager. He briefed about the itinerary for next 4 days and guidelines to follow.
The ship started sailing towards the first island around 8PM. Dinner was provided at 8PM. There would be announcement for the dinner. To avoid crowd in the cafeteria, as it’s not so big, tourists/commuters only needs to go deck/class wise based on the announcement. Food was nice. After dinner, went to the top of the ship, seated sometime chat chatting looking at the vast see. It was full dark and Kavaratti is sailing towards the island as if like splitting the sea.
Day 3 – Kalpeni island – Known for hospitality
Morning when we had wake up, the ship was standing next to the island. The coffee time was 6AM - 6:30 AM and Breakfast time 7AM – 8AM. There was a separate announcement for Diamond class and Gold class passengers for the refreshments. After breakfast we proceeded to disembarkation in the ground deck through embarkation door. The water depth near island is shallow and hence the ship was landed few KMs from the Kalpeni island. There were small speed boats. We shifted from the ship to the speed boat which carried to the island. Light blue sea all around...!
After 30 minutes of boat drive, we reached the seashore. The vans are ready to take passengers to the resort. We reached resort around 9:30 AM.
I was happy after seeing the clean island. We were welcomed with tender coconut as complimentary. It was announced that the rest of the day till evening is at the resort which is just next to the seashore.
We roamed around to self-explore. There are many water sports. Snorkeling and kayaking were provided as complimentary. We have boarded a small boat to the other small island for snorkeling and kayaking.
Snorkeling was my first experience. We spent almost 2 hour enjoying snorkeling. I could spot many colorful fishes, sea cucumber etc.,
We did an hour of kayaking and boarded the boat to go back to the main Kalpeni island.
Day 4 – Minicoy Island – Just Loved it…!!!!
Morning when we had wake up, the was standing next to the Minicoy. As usual the coffee time was 6AM to 6:30 AM and Breakfast time 7AM – 8 AM and separate announcement for Diamond class and Gold class passengers. After breakfast we proceeded for disembarkation in the ground deck. We shifted from the ship to the boat which carried to the island with the life jackets on. The vans are ready to take passengers to the resort. We reached resort around 9:30 AM. Again, we were welcomed with tender coconut as complimentary.
I felt this island offers the best view along with clean and clear water. This has long coastal area in Lakshadweep. Changing color frequently - Once dark blue, greenish, and slight blue makes one get attracted.
kayaking was provided as complimentary.
Scuba diving – We have taken scuba diving for the first time. We were happy to spot many beautiful fishes and corals. The most exciting moment was to swim over there in mid of the see whilst all passengers completed their Scuba diving.
Post lunch the village sightseeing conducted in vans. Later after Tea we are shifted to the ship via small boats.
“Northern Lights….” !!!?? Yes to resemble, while returning to the ship, the environment is suddenly changed. The colorful sky in the surrounding light dark made a magical moment. This was one of the best moments, I have experienced in Lakshadweep. It was like a northern light...!
Day 5 – Kavaratti island – Known for water sports
Morning when we had wake up, MV Kavaratti was standing next to the Kavaratii. After breakfast we proceeded to embarkation door for disembarkation in the ground deck. We deported the resort again and as usual tender coconut offered. My first expression about this island – Good but not clean as compared to Kalpeni and Minicoy.
This is bit commercialized compared to other islands. We roamed around the seashore and took snaps here and there.
Bottom glass boat drive was provided as complementary. Super experience here.
“I liked this than Scuba diving as we were able to see many corals, fishes, sea cucumbers and other stuffs...?” my daughter voiced. Yes, this is the best one here.
“If anyone opts to do Scuba diving, Kavaratti island is the best” our tour manager informed later. But we missed this and no regret.
Post buffet lunch (offered both veg and Non-veg), the village sightseeing was organized. Later after Tea we were shifted to the ship via small speed boat. Around 8 PM, the ship started sailing towards Cochin
Day 6 – Bye to Lakshadweep
Breakfast was served at 7AM. The ship reached Cochin port at 11 AM. We bid adieu and transferred to the nearest bus/auto stop.
We have taken auto and reached again hotel Luciya as our return bus at 7:15 PM. Post lunch at Saravanana bhavan, we spotted Sangeetha theater nearby. To kill the time till evening, watched movie. Then had to back Hotel and boarded the return bus to namma Bengaluru...!
In a nutshell, each island in Lakshadweep has its own elegance. One common thing is plenty of coconut trees covering every inch of the island. What made this trip impressive was the loveliness of islands, hospitality of the crew/staffs and timely announcements.