Royal Caribbean India Cruises

Royal Caribbean sees India as an emerging cruise market that they want to target for increasing the amount of people who cruise with them.

Royal Caribbean Regional vice president Gavin Smith said, “Cruising is now popular in the metro cities and spreading to the mini-metros… Most of the major cruise liners are present in India today. Cruising is now a part of the consideration set of the affluent and well travelled.

Tirun Travel Marketing, which represents Royal Caribbean in India, is expanding its network in India. At present it has a network of seven offices and plans more.

Royal Caribbean is going to increase the length of its Dubai-based season for Brilliance of the Seas for the winter season. Brilliance of the Seas began operating from the United Arab Emirates in January but would split it’s time back in Europe.  Now, Brilliance of the Seas will return to Dubai two months early in November and will offer an increased range of itineraries including longer cruises up to 12- and even 18-nights.

Royal Caribbean’s General Manager Jo Rzymowska had an explanation for the change in itinerary, citing high demand for the middle eastern cruise

Dubai is very popular with UK & Irish travellers, and cruises consistently offer significant value for money. We have adjusted the itinerary based on our trade partner feedback and replaced Bahrain with an overnight stay in Muscat. Also included within this cruise itinerary is an overnight stay in the city onboard the ship at the end of the cruise which makes this an affordable way to enjoy this fascinating Emirate. The chance to explore more of the Middle East, Arabian Sea and even India make these additional longer sailings truly exciting options for agents to maximize.

Given the longer six month season that Brilliance of the Seas will now serve, she will visit ports such as Muscat, Oman; Cochin, Goa and Mumbai, India as well as the first time ever visiting the New Mangalore port in Panambur on the west coast of India.  The town is famous for its beautiful beaches on the Arabian Sea, the Nandaneshwara Temple and the Gurupura River.  Brilliance of the Seas will be the first Royal Caribbean ship ever to stop at this port. For details of royal caribbean and other cruise lines sailing from the uk go to cruises from southampton .uk.

Top 10 Cities in India

Desert tribes and urban dwellers, farmers and priests, all of them have found their unique niche in the diverse India.

The epitome of diverse cultures is found across the different region of India. Myriad of languages, traditions, food, climate and religion form the intricate tapestry of the Indian cityscapes. While each region of India has its on unique attractions, they share the common magnetism that only India is capable of effecting on its residents and guests.

Cities in Rajasthan: Jaipur, Jodhpur, Jaisalmer and Udaipur

Mentioning one Rajput city over another is not doing justice to all the spectacular cities in the largest state of India, Rajasthan. As majestic as the state name, this land, part of the Thar Desert, is home to several magnificent monuments, forts, temples and other beauties of nature that are only unique to a desert climate. The following Rajput cities have no shortage of opulent palaces, stoic forts, stunning temples which are built from centuries ago and boast of such exquisitely intricate carved structures. One can only be awed by the talents of the artisans and builders of the days gone by. The artistic talents are also clearly visible in the carvings and designs of havelis (ancestral bungalows built by the merchant class) The ‘Pink City’, or the Old City part of Jaipur, is one place where visitors on tour, actually get to experience life as royalty. As the exotic capital of Rajasthan, Jaipur is the proud home of the City Palace and Hawa Mahal. Jodhpur’s Meharangarh Fort with its imposing walls shield lavish palaces with elaborate courtyards and opulent chambers, the Fort Museum for journey to the grand past are some of the remarkable sights in this rustic countryside. The oldest fortress city, Jaisalmer stand proud as its golden sandstone fort walls glow brilliantly in bright hours of the day and at dusk, illuminated to transform into marigolds blooming out of the rocky hills. Camel safaris for sunset or overnight trips are integral part for most tours in this desert region of India. Udaipur, the City of Lakes also known as the Venice of the East presents palaces amidst vast stunning lakes and island delights in this romantic city.

Kerala

A botanical paradise with some of the best beaches in India, and the most unique experience of backwaters cruising, the cities in Kerala state are scenic and refreshing travel destinations. A welcome change from the bustling busy cities, the calm waters and serene atmosphere can be lulling while awakening the senses for the nature delights found in this southern region of India. Visitors on tour to this rural yet modern state of picturesque villages and cities are spoilt for choice in the various travel attractions. From the popular backwater cruises, to the excellent beaches and renowned wildlife attractions such as the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, this quiet destination is brimming with wonderful choices. Religious harmony is also clearly evident with the co-existence of the major pilgrimage centre at Sabarimalai and numerous churches including the St Francis Church.

Delhi

A trip to Delhi is a feast for all the senses with its vibrant colours, tangy and spicy food, heart-thumping music, sweet scents of sandalwood and jasmine and silky smooth saris and lehengas. It is an enchanting vacation in Delhi as you find traditions entwined with modern lifestyles. The capital city of India has plenty to offer as a travel destination. Powerful emperors of ambitious kingdoms had their turns ruling Delhi as it remained strong in times of rejuvenation and destruction. From the era of the Delhi Sultanate, to the Mughals and beyond, Delhi has played witnessed to victories of great dynasties and mourned their fall. With such a rich historical tapestry, unsurprisingly there are numerous historic monuments including forts and tombs. The Red Fort, also known as Lal Quila, is the place to learn the history of Shah Jahan’s capital. A fine architectural specimen, it comprises several amazing buildings which include a main palace. Tughlaqabad Fort remains majestic despite its state of ruin. The Qutub Minar, built out of red sandstone, was the victory tower symbolizing the past power of the Delhi Sultanate. Modern tour attractions include the Lotus Temple, a meditation house, affectionately called the Taj of modern India, The Garden of Five Sense and The Dilli Haat, the India gate, a war memorial arch, and Raj Ghat- the cremation site of the Father of India, Mahatma Gandhi.

Agra

The heart skips a beat when a person steps onto the homeland of the greatest love monument the world has ever known. Tours to India, especially to Uttar Pradesh will inevitably lead to Agra, the city of Emperors. The ancient imperial seat of the Mughal Empire, flourished tremendously largely due to its strategic location by the banks of Yamuna River and the Grand Trunk Road. With its brimming coffers, the Mughal rulers welcomed artisans from Central Asia and other region of India. These talented and skilled craftsmen, with their artistic gifts and workmanship, had bestowed upon the world, some of the most magnificent monuments now still standing tall and proud. Travels to Agra are inherently to pay homage to Agra Fort, Itimad-ud Daulah’s Tomb and the Taj Mahal.

Mumbai

The bustling populous city, home to the glamourous Bollywood, Mumbai is Indian chaos redefined. Its cosmopolitan allure lies in the historic monuments which have bore witness to traditional lifestyles and the modern trendsetters. While it can take sometime to take in the potent atmosphere, once settling in, there will be so much more to discover in this vibrant region of India. For all its modern amenities, the famous buildings that are part of most travel itineraries, are with long and rich past. These attractions include the ‘Gateway of India’ the towering arch which curtains the sea beyond which is the sole reason for Mumbai’s existence as a major trading and shipping harbour. There are other fine buildings such as the Rajabai Clock Tower, Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus and the University halls, just to name a few. Not forgetting the humble origins of this metropolitan, there are still some fishing communities, namely the Koli Fishing Village with colourful fishing boats by the river.

Darjeeling

Tea gardens in endless valleys, quaint Toy Train- renowned all over the world and inscribed as UNESCO World Heritage Site, superb trekking trails that reward trekkers with spectacular views of the Himalayan peaks with lush green footholds are some of nature’s bounties found in the modern and rustic city of Darjeeling. The refreshing views and air filled with pleasant aroma from the tea gardens are welcome respite from the busier and bustling cities from other region of India. Sharing the border with Nepal, the culture and languages spoken here are inclined towards the Nepalese influence which is more proof of the infused tapestry of communities in India. Whether it is an adventure seeking travel or tours to scenic spots, Darjeeling will not disappoint. White water rafting, incredibly beautiful views, ecstatic joyrides on the quaint trains across steep ascents and z-crossings, mingling with the warm locals are ways to soak in the unique atmosphere in the ‘Queen of Hills’.

Chennai

The smallest of the four metropolitan cities and the capital of Tamil Nadu, Chennai, previously known as Madras has a vibe and allure epitomized by its magnetic melee that is a daily affair just about everywhere. Homeland to the proud Tamilians, it is a city that just reaches out to visitors and residents to experience its mayhem which is typical of any urban region of India. Lying by the Bay of Bengal, with the largest beach in India, the Marina Beach, Chennai is a juxtaposition of culture, nature amidst progressive development. Murugan Temple, one of the many temples in this city, with the famed Anna Velankanni Church by the Elliots Beach and the Makka Masjid shows the harmony among the various religions. The various dance and music festivals along with the religious revelry such as Pongal and Deepavali will enthrall visitors with the burst of colours and loud crackers while avid shoppers will be spoilt for choice at the fabric and sari paradise centres such as Parry’s and Washerpermet. Chennai is mermerizing not so much for the attractions as it is for the hustle bustle that is inherent of Indian charm.

Goa

The endless stretch of beautiful beaches- Agonda, Calangunte, Colva and Vagator just to name few famed sun-kissed sandy coasts- are synonymous with this small state by the Arabian sea. Yes, this former Portuguese fortress is more than just a beach destination. The opulent churches, including Basilica of Bom Jesus of Old Goa, Church of Our Lady of the Rosary- Goa’s oldest, Se Cathedral- one of the biggest churches in Asia- still stand magnificent after centuries of history. Fortresses from the Portuguese era- Aguada Fort and others are solemn symbols of the colonial history. River cruises down Mandovi’s placid waters, especially the Sunset cruises that transport visitors to exotic experiences at famed forts and enjoy traditional Goa performances are another fascinating facet of Goa. The delightful cuisines of various influences- European and Indian are tantalising to say the least. Goan tallest peaks by the Western Ghats are also haven to the states prominent wildlife sanctuaries. Whether one chooses to tour the vibrant North where beach rave is renowned or the secluded soothing South, their unique charms never fail to enchant visitors to Goa.

Varanasi

Spiritualism, mysticism and religious rites are the very essence of India’s cultural capital, Varanasi also known as Benaras. As Mark Twain eloquently noted- ‘ Benaras is older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend and looks twice as old as all of them put together’. The ancient age has not slowed down the spiritual activities and religious practises in the city in anyway. The temples and ghats (steps leading to the waters) are often bustling with prayers (poojas), religious songs (bhajans) and devotees bathing or performing ablutions along the river waters. Whether one visits Varanasi as pilgrims or tourists, the magic of the religious mayhem is the city’s inexplicable quality. While the Hindus are purposeful in their temple visits and prayers, visitors will certainly relish long walks without purpose, through the intricate alleys and streets where the spirit of Varanasi is felt all around.

Bangalore

The modern capital of Karnataka is also known as the ‘Silicon Valley of India’. Known of its pleasant climate and vibrant community, it offers numerous attractions and modern experiences, making it one of the most developed cities in the southern region of India. Picnic spots along picturesque lakes such as Sankey Tank, Lumbhini Garden and Ulsoor Lake, among others are popular for pleasant time with family and friends. The Banerghatta National Park, Cubbon Park and the Rangantittu Bird Sanctuary will be a hit with nature lovers. The HAL museum will appeal those interested in aeronautics and the Nehru Planetarium is another fascinating venue. Popular travel attractions are the Tipu Sultan Palace, ISCKON temple for its unique architecture and the beautiful Bangalore Palace. Temples from the past such as the Cholan Someshwara temple and the Gavi Gangadhareshvara Cave temple are avenues to learn the rich history of the cosmopolitan city. A not to be missed experience is to try the variety of Karnataka cuisines available in Bangalore, where some of the best dosa (Indian pancake), Punjabi food and fresh variety of seafood can be found. The intriguing nightlife is magnetic to any party lover.

National Parks of Rajasthan

The royal state of India, Rajasthan boasts rich biodiversity. There are many national parks and wildlife destinations in Rajasthan that homes rich species of flora and fauna. The desert terrain of Rajasthan also displays some of the rarest and endangered species of flora and fauna. Wildlife destinations are frequently visited by wildlife lovers. National parks of Rajasthan are mainly famous for high concentration of tigers and numerous species of birds.

Ranthambhore, Sariska Tiger Reserve, Darrah and Keoladeo Ghana (earlier Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary) and Desert National Parks etc are the popular and mostly visited national parks of Rajasthan. Ranthambhore National Park and Sariska Tiger Reserve are must visit wildlife destinations in India. Ranthambhore Park is one of the largest and most popular wildlife tourism destinations in India. This park is famous for housing high population of tigers. Tiger safari, elephant safari and jeep safari are the main adventures to enjoy in the park. This park is located in Sawai Madhopur district of Rajasthan. Tigers can be spotted even during day in the park. However, the best time to spot tigers is morning. They are frequently sighted in the summer days of May and in the month of November. This park houses variety of tress, plants, birds, animals and reptiles.

Sariska Tiger Reserve is another popular destination for tiger tour in Rajasthan. The park holds good population density of tigers in the park. Apart from tiger, other common animals found in the park are nilgai, jackal, wild dog, monkey, chital, sambhar, wild boar, chinkara, leopards, etc. Tourists also have opportunity to safari ride in this park during Rajasthan wildlife tours. Elephant ride is also a popular option to roam in the jungle.

Keoladeo Ghana and Desert National Parks are famous destination for birding. Keoladeo Ghana Park is one of the preferred destinations for global ethnologists. More than 200 hundred of bird species dwell in the park and endangered species of birds like Siberian Crane also pay visit in the park during winter season. This birding park is located in the Bharatpur district of Rajasthan. Desert National Park is located in Jaisalmer and major portion is dominated by Thar Desert. 20% of the park is covered by sand dunes and represent ecosystem of Thar Desert. Despite unfavorable climate many bird species dwell life in the dry countryside. The Great Indian Bustard, an endangered bird species is the major attraction of the park. Rajasthan tours India is very famous among wildlife and nature lovers all across the world. Plan a tour to explore the enchantress of national parks of Rajasthan.

Taj Mahal Tour

Nothing in the world can beat the magical effect of the Taj Mahal. Tourists who haven’t set foot in India dream to be here one day and tourists who have been here know what haunting beauty is all about. Admired worldwide as a symbol of love and beauty this beautiful Mausoleum seems like a dream woven in marble on a star studded night. Built by Shah Jahan for his lady love and wife Mumtaz Mahal the monument tells a tale of love, bereavement and mystery. Located on the banks of the Yamuna River this architectural marvel was constructed in marble and semi precious stones which were imported from China and Italy. A mere four hours drive from Delhi will take you to Agra. If you are venturing on a Taj Mahal Tour remember to include Agra Fort, Itmad-ud-Daullah’s Tomb, Chini Ka Rauza and Sikandra as well to get an overall picture about Mughal architecture and Era. For a more endearing experience also visit the derelict town of Fatehpur Sikri enroute.

Taj Mahal Tour commences with your touching Delhi. Make headway right away so as to reach fast and begin exploring early enough. Keep two days in hand for a thorough Taj Mahal Tour.After you reachAgra don’t go to the Taj Mahal right away. Rather take your time to know this old city with its narrow lanes and Mughlai cuisine. Check out some of the handcrafted items on sale by the road. Strike a conversation with a local and know the present scenario of Agra. That’s how a real traveler should travel.

Next day get up early in the morning to go to the Taj Mahal. A careful study of the architecture tells you that the Taj blends Hindu architecture and patterns along with Mughal designs and arches. The red lotus which is seen in Taj Mahal is actually a symbol of Brahma while the trident that features several times in the inner sanctuary of the tomb is a symbol of Shiva. If we keep in mind that Shah Jahan was a liberal ruler who was keener towards humanity in general rather than towards either Hindus or Muslims, everything falls into place. The inner chambers of the Taj are carved and designed with semi precious stones while the exterior facade is a study in geometrical patterns and symmetry.It is said that the Taj looks different in the early rays of the sun, in the afternoon and in the night.

Taj Mahal Tour would be incomplete without a visit to the Agra Fort. Situated right across the Yamuna overlooking the Taj it is said that Shah Jahan used to watch the monument of his love when he was imprisoned in the Agra Fort by his own son Aurangzeb.