The butterflies and hearts on a sun-kissed Mandovi cruise.

Imagine this: You are in Panjim. You have all these fantastic shots of the well-preserved Portuguese influence in Goa, but you want that one last shot to call it a day. It’s the one with the stunning rays over the river. You look at your watch. Seconds are racing. Daylight  is fading away slowly.  Where do you go?

If you want to get up close and personal with the Mandovi, my suggestion is that you head to the Mandovi River Harbour. Take a river cruise.

The Mandovi originates from the Western Ghats of Karnataka and flows into Goa from the North. It covers a total distance of 77 kilometres. The river is described as the lifeline of Goa.

There are many boat and cruise operators in Panjim, and I noticed they operate throughout the day. The more popular ones are the evening and sunset cruises.  These trips last anywhere between an hour and two hours.

The ticket prices for these cruises depend on the operator. The one I was on cost me INR400 for a 75- minute sail.

I noticed many visitors shared the same preference as mine. And, by that I mean, we liked being outdoors on the upper deck. And there, we did what happy visitors usually do – waved at strangers on other boats and in the bay, and snapped photos of just about everything around. Pictures of the impressive bridges that make commuting across much faster, the various angles of the dipping sun, the darkening sea, the lit-up floating casinos, the neon-lights that formed a kingfisher, and the stars that were about to take the unobstructed centre stage. Are those the same stars that reach Delphi? Only time will tell.  

After we were done with those crazy, but true, tourist moments, most of us went back to our seats. Yes, to the seats that we had reserved earlier with our carry-ons. Time to sit back and enjoy the windy sail.  Do carry a light jacket with you if you are sensitive to the chill. Alternatively, you could go indoors to enjoy the Goan folk song and dance performances. Some cruises also have clowns, like a Goofy, onboard, with whom you can take pictures. I must alert you, this is more for the restless children onboard.   

There was also a tattoo painting service. I jumped at this offer immediately. Excited, indeed. I was first in the queue. Yayyyy!  But the artist attended to another customer first instead. Did I look like someone who wasn’t serious about getting one? Anyway, I was next. I chose an image with butterflies and hearts from his selection. No, there were no dream catchers in his file.  The artist told me the painted design would last one month. I guess he knew he wouldn’t be seeing me again. The drawing was beautiful, and that small fee for his work on my wrist left me happy for a few days.

Food and drinks are sold on board. Potatoes samosas and masala chai promise to keep you filled up while you watch the mandarin shades replace the cloudless blue skies.

I was told that due to earth's current position, we could, on a clear day, see Venus, Mars and Saturn without a telescope. See it for yourself, name the planets.

I did not see any age restriction signs, although the youngest I noticed onboard was about three. All children must be accompanied by adults.

Overall, we had a fun time chatting with the different families we met. They were mostly domestic travellers. Some were from as far away as Punjab, Delhi, Mumbai and Assam. My 2018 goal to learn a new language proved positive when it was put to the test in a live environment. Bilkul!

We did not purchase coffee onboard but did get one just before this ride. The coffee image below is a local one taken at the railway station during this trip.

This coffee is a very every-persons-and-everyday drink. Instant and affordable. It combines the aroma of the different cultures around. We are all different, and this uniqueness offers more variety and flavours when combined. With the right amount of tolerance, it’s a home run. Enjoy the cruise, enjoy your cuppa. Count those stars, we are cruising the Mandovi en-route to Reaching Delphi.   


  1. enjoyable reading as always

    1. Thank you. Glad you enjoyed it.

  2. ... so how long did the painted 'tattoo' last? :-)

    1. 'tattoo' lasted at most,10 good days. 😉