Deborah Stone is an award-winning writer and cruise travel expert

Explore mystical India on a cruise © Getty images
Explore mystical India on a cruise © Getty images

Q. India has always been my dream holiday destination. Are there any specific cruises that go there?

A. Yes, plenty. They are often part of a long cruise from South Africa and across the Indian Ocean to India’s west coast, or a similarly extended cruise from Singapore or elsewhere in the Far East. Cochin, Mangalore and Goa are among the ports visited but it is Mumbai (formerly known as Bombay) that figures in almost all ocean cruises to India because it is often a jumping-off point for a land-based tour of the region known as the Golden Triangle: the historic inland cities of Jaipur, Agra and Delhi.

Colour powder in different colors is displayed in heaps for sale, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India © Alamy
Colour powder in different colors is displayed in heaps for sale, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India © Alamy

Cultural cruise specialists Voyages to Antiquity have two or three cruises a year that leave from Singapore, usually including Golden Triangle tours, but if you want to see more of the countryside you could opt for a river cruise. The Brahmaputra River runs through spectacular Assam, while the Hugli River has summer cruises in West Bengal, and the sacred Ganges River reveals India’s spiritual heritage.