Best River Cruises in Goa For an Unbeatable Experience!

Goa paints the image of out-of-the-world golden and silver sands and cobalt waters of the Arabian Sea. For water-lovers, this small state of India is a paradise, and they look forward to a holiday in Goa But Goa is not just about beaches.

There are a lot of other attractions that keep vacationers pepped up. One of these attractions is a river cruise in Goa, a delight that you must include on your itinerary. The scenic Mandovi River allows some amazing experiences of cruises.

Indulge in some incredible views of the beautiful landscape as you enjoy a river cruise in Goa. You can easily watch the azure waters and scintillating sites around. Spot villages and even some relics of the days of the Portuguese colonization.

There are also special cruises for bird-watching, dolphin spotting, and wildlife excursions. The cruises also offer some mouth-watering dinners, especially seafood and feni, and other local delights. Entertainment is also top-notch on the cruise.

Music, traditional folk dance, and foot-tapping Bollywood dance numbers on a cruise make your time special!

Among the many options of the best cruises in Goa, here’s our handpicked list that you must include in your holiday itinerary.

Sundown Cruise

As soon as the sun sets,
In fun, frolic, cheer; the lovely Goa gets. 

The Sundown Cruise sets the party mood while allowing you to enjoy the view of the sun dropping and dissolving in the blues of the sea. The river cruise starts its journey from Santa Monica Jetty in Panaji.

As it is great for sunset, it is among the best cruises for couples, who can delight in the romantic sunset and enjoy onboard activities thereafter. The cruise passes by Adil Shah Palace, Promenade, Miramar, Aguada Fort, Momugao Port, Betim, and many other enchanting sights. 

Besides the views, the cruise offers a chance to witness Goa’s folk culture. The melodious folk music, the peppy dance beats, or DJ performances make the evening memorable. The one hour cruise gives away a lifetime experience to remember. Undoubtedly, this cruise brings experience not to be missed!

What’s special: Sunset views, lit-up heritage sites, music, and dance and folk performances

Check out: Most Spectacular Sunset Points in Goa which You must not miss!

Dinner Cruise

Dinner Cruise is among the best cruises for couples. Sailing on the River Mandovi, couples delight in an ethereal experience while savouring the mouth-watering Goan delicacies.

The cruise starts from the Jetty in Santa Monica. For almost two hours, forget the world and enjoy it together onboard. Have fun with performances of dance forms like Dekhni and Fugdi. There are also options for live bands and  DJs.

In addition to fun, enjoy the sights that this cruise offers. The beautiful Adil Shah Palace (the summer palace of Sultan), colonial buildings, and scenic beaches are worth seeing. The dinner cruise in Goa is a beautiful memory, especially if you are honeymooning in Goa. However, this is among the best cruises in Goa for your family and friends as well.

What’s special: Delicious Goan food, shimmering lights reflecting in the waters, folk entertainment, live bands, and DJ sessions

Experience Luxury on Water: Book Your Oberoi Vessel Vrinda Cruise!

Backwater Cruise

This is a delightful surprise! Like heavenly Kerala, Goa too has its own backwaters. The river meets the sea and becomes a navigable network. A backwater cruise in Goa is an experience to treasure. On this ride, you will sail along the Mandovi’s river banks, Old Goa and the islands, Chorao and Divar.

Throughout its five-hour long tour, this famous river cruise in Goa treats the vacationers with a host of entertainment activities. Come across lush greenery, huge fishing nets, occasional appearance of dolphins, thick mangroves, and even sunbathing crocodiles. Sail through Dr. Salim’s Ali Bird Sanctuary at Chorao Island; a bird-enthusiast’s paradise and if you are lucky, you can spot some colourful birds as well. 

Halt at the spice garden at Savoi/ Keri. Savor the fragrance of cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, peppers, and more. Another interesting excursion is to learn about the distillation process, where the juice of cashews is used to make Goan urak/feni. End the tour with a delicious meal of Goan food served on a banana leaf.

What’s special: Lush greenery, birdwatching, spice plantation tour, traditional Goan meal, and scenic villages

Note: River cruises in Goa remain cancelled owing to the Covid-19 Pandemic. It is expected that these will be allowed soon. 

Cruising in Goa can offer you memories of a lifetime. A beautiful way to experience Goa’s unexplored beauty, nightlife, and culture; a cruise is worth your time. You can go for various cruising experiences as per your budget and desire. River cruises are the biggest attraction among tourists. Also, there are some famous cruises for honeymooners to celebrate their trip of togetherness in a unique way. So, when you plan a trip to this slice of paradise, don’t just think about the beaches of Goa as this state has so much more to spice up your vacation, river cruises being an integral part of the same. Which cruise will you select for your trip?

Also Read:

Here is the list of best places to celebrate Christmas and New Year Party in Goa

Debashree Chakraborty

A travel writer by profession and self-professed addict to literature and travelling. Go through her penned down travel experiences on