By Seema Wadhwa
Celebrating new year’s eve is an amazing experience but embarking new year on a Mumbai-Goa cruise liner voyage is an experience like no other. The cruising culture in India kickstarted in October last year with the launch of the country’s first domestic cruise liner-Angriya cruise. The 5-deck ship which sails from Mumbai to Goa and Goa to Mumbai opened up a new avenue for travellers to enjoy the journey as much as they enjoy the beach destination. We voyaged with Angriya to tell you all about our first-hand experience!
How does one embark on the ship?
The idea of cruising in India is still fairly new with most people wondering as to how can they embark on the ship to kickstart their debut cruising experience. This process is fairly similar to that of when travelling on an airplane; one can book their tickets online, present it at the port to receive a boarding pass, check-in their luggage of up to 25 kgs and reserve a cabin bag for the journey. This is followed by a security check, a jetty ride from Mumbai, and a bus ride from Goa drops a guest to the cruise.
How is cruising different from other forms of travel?
While the obvious dictates that cruising is a journey on the water as opposed to other forms of travel, it is the overall experience that differentiates it from other forms of travel. As opposed to a flight, one spends 14-long-hours on Angriya to get from Mumbai to Goa and vice versa. However, this journey is unlike any other because despite its long hours it is planned to entertain and amuse a traveller with a bunch of entertainment programs, nature-interactivity, comfortable accommodation and dine-in plans. Most interestingly, this cruising experience is in sync with the growing cashless theory, as any transactions that take place are accepted via a prepaid Angriya exclusive card only, no other forms of payment are accepted.
The Angriya Experience-India's First Domestic Cruise Liner
Accommodating up to 350 passengers while cruising and 800 guests when anchored, Angriya alternates through the week on Mumbai-Goa-Mumbai route on the sea. The cruising experience is designed keeping in mind Indian travellers, these details are reflected across the amenities on the cruise. The accommodation onboard caters to couples, solo travellers and groups with variations on the in-room amenities front. The dormitories with common washrooms are a popular pick for solo and group travellers, whereas the couple and buddy room with windows tops a leisurely vacationer's choice
One can bask in the blanket of nature with a phenomenal view of the sunset and sunrise on the viewing decks and completely soak in the soothing calmness of the night with stargazing and the company of the crisp sailing breeze. The endless view of the ocean can be best enjoyed by taking a dip in the infinity pool on Angriya. Swim, See and Sea is how one can enjoy an uninterrupted view of the ocean.
The sundowner view by the deck is a crowd-pleaser, but that's not just it. The evenings on board gather people in numbers as the live music performance unfolds for three whole hours, and for the ones who like to dance the night away, the DJ and music at the lounge keeps them company till 2 am!
Dining here is done in an experiential fashion with two restaurants, six lounges across the cruise. When booking the accommodation, the total meal cost of Rs.2,000 per guest is also added. This includes a set menu unlimited buffet for high tea, dinner, and breakfast. Over and above the set menu, a prepaid card with a minimum balance of Rs.2,500 has to be purchased during check-in. However, the card is fully refundable for pending balance upon the conclusion of the journey. Apart from this, one can also indulge in some personal time by grabbing a book at their little library or simply unwind by getting a relaxing spa.
Who should experience Angriya Cruise?
It's ideal for anyone who loves travelling and new experiences, and more so if they love the sea. It's a good pick for corporate events, group trips, leisure travels. It's not the most suitable for senior citizens as the journey involves taking the stairs multiple times to experience all the decks and their unique offerings.
In the last one year, Angriya has completed over 175 voyages and is priced at approx Rs.7,000 onwards per person.
(The author is a Mumbai-based travel witer. Views expressed are personal.)