TANTALIZING FOR BOTH its rich history and natural beauty, every year Cochin (also known as Kochi) welcomes visitors from all parts of the world. But what makes it particularly attractive to cruise ships is its harbor. Known as one of the finest and safest natural harbors on the Arabian coast of India, it’s no wonder it makes a preferred port of call on repositioning cruise itineraries between Southeast Asia and Europe.
Navigator Pedro Álvares Cabral founded Cochin when the Portuguese penetrated the Indian Ocean in the late 15th century, thus giving Cochin the distinction as the first European settlement on Indian soil. Split into two sections, its more modern Ernakulam district boasts high-rises and a bustling modern vibe, while across the water on a peninsula, the old districts of Mattancherry and Fort Cochin speak to the city’s past. In the historic districts you’ll find spice markets, an impressive collection of colonial architecture, 17th-century Dutch houses, India’s first European church, a synagogue and a Portuguese palace.
One of Cochin’s more unusual sights is the Chinese fishing nets. According to legend, the Chinese explorer Zheng He introduced the nets, brought from the court of the Chinese emperor Kublai Khan. Huge mechanical contrivances hold out the horizontal nets measuring 65 feet or more across, with each installation operated by a team of up to six fishermen. It’s a lot of work for a modest catch, so today the nets remain more of a tourist attraction than a way to reel in loads of fish.
While the nets might be Cochin’s most iconic attraction, one of its most mesmerizing has to be the backwaters. Part of the 560 miles of waterways making up the Kerala backwaters, they consist of a network of interconnected canals, rivers, lakes and inlets. Many cruise ships offer backwater excursions; cruising along the waterways offers a chance to observe a unique way of life. Small villages, individual dwellings and houseboats dot the shore, surrounded by palm trees and lush foliage. Water birds, like kingfishers and cormorants, fly overhead, adding to the overall feeling of tranquility.
Galataport Istanbul, a new cruise and lifestyle destination on the Bosphorus in Istanbul, welcomed its first ship, SeaDream II, on Oct. 1. Approximately 150 passengers and crew from Bulgaria Varna arrived at 10 a.m. for a two-day homeport operation before continuing to Bulgaria Burgaz.
Since its prestige for attracting the world elite grew in the 1960s, Greece remains the go-to destination for glittering holidays. Each step of the journey is enrobed in luxury, from culinary traditions with the highest standard of execution and name-brand, high-end shopping to first-rate wellness locales and elite accommodations, like 5-star hotels, private villas and yachts.
The countdown to Halloween weekend is on! Are you are still unsure about plans? Do you go to a house party? Stay in to hand out candy? Try something different this year and join Philadelphia’s The Mütter Museum at its 6th annual Mischief at The Mütter.
There’s an aspirational rustic chic/farm-to-table restaurant genre often associated with Northern California’s wine country. When you drive down the main street of Napa, Sonoma or any of the other towns, it appears there are as many of them as there are vineyards. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with this genre, as the quality of the food is consistent and ambitious chefs earnestly endeavor to elevate home-style dishes to a higher standard.
GBTA’s Convention 2021 will bring the business travel industry together for the first time in a long time. Once again, you’ll learn and connect with experts and each other, along with discussions with leading thinkers, entrepreneurs and change makers addressing the issues that matter most.
The InterContinental Mark Hopkins San Francisco announced a new amenity for guests in collaboration with Porsche. Porsche electric vehicle charging stations will now be located in the valet area of the hotel’s parking deck, allowing guests and visitors to top off the batteries of electric vehicles while enjoying a cocktail at Top of the Mark, enjoying farm-to-table fare at Nob Hill Club or staying overnight at the property.
This holiday season, escape to the Caribbean with Celebrity Cruises and reconnect with family and friends in luxurious accommodations that make you feel right at home. Savor globally inspired cuisine designed by our Michelin-starred chef, paired with the most awarded wine collection at sea. Elevate “me time” with a soothing spa treatment sure to renew. With both long and short cruises to celebrate in December, and even three special Ultimate Holiday Cruises that sail over Christmas and into the New Year, the time to gift an experience and create unforgettable memories is now. Celebrity Cruises’ Always IncludedSM pricing — drinks, WiFi and tips — ensures a seamless, carefree vacation with the ones you love.
It’s time to start dreaming of your next trip. Here’s some destination inspiration for you. Take a visual journey through Reykjavik with us.