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Ocean Cruises:
Gold & Spice


Cruise 604
UAE, Oman, India, The Maldives, Sri Lanka
8-22 Dec 2001 15 days
Fares from 2965

Cruise 604(NF)
UAE, Oman, India, The Maldives,
Sri Lanka (Christmas in India)
8-28 Dec 2001 21 days
Fares from 4260
Fares
Cabin Grade: Price per
adult ():
  604 604(NF)
owner's suite Owner's Suite 5935 7230
suite Suite 5655 6950
deluxe Deluxe 4825 6120
superior Superior 4230 5525
Standard two bed:
twin occupancy
A
deck outside A Deck outside 3955 5250
A
deck outside aft A Deck outside aft 3680 4975
B
deck outside B Deck outside 3600 4895
B
deck outside aft B Deck outside aft 3360 4655
A
deck inside A Deck inside 3045 4340
B
deck inside B Deck inside 2965 4260
Standard two bed:
single occupancy
A
deck outside A Deck outside 5537 7062
A
deck outside aft A Deck outside aft 5152 6677
B
deck outside B Deck outside 5040 6565
B
deck outside aft B Deck outside aft 4704 6229
A
deck inside A Deck inside 3959 5484
B
deck inside B Deck inside 3855 5380
Minerva deck plans
for location of cabins


Themed Cruise:
MARINE BIOLOGY, YOGA & BRIDGE


The corals of Indian Ocean were decimated during an unprecedented warming of the sea in 1998 but young corals are new repopulating them. Enjoy the underwater world of marine biology with Alasdair Edwards.

Join our organiser Tony Priday, in the Card Room to brush up your bridge skills. For relaxation during days at sea, join Mary Dalby, our yoga expert, for a gentle stretch.


SPEAKER'S CORNER:

Dr Alasdair Edwards
As a Senior Lecturer in Marine Sciences and Coastal Management at the University of Newcastle he has studied the coral reefs of the Indian Ocean and the Maldives for over 20 years. He will introduce the colourful reef fishes and coral reefs of the Indian Ocean and some of the issues which threaten them.

Martin Howard
Begin to understand the real India through the eyes of Martin Howard who came to India in 1984 to become the British Naval attache. He has now spent fourteen of the last sixteen years living there and has a close experience and understanding of India, its people, their day to day life and hopes for the future.

Dr Maria Kalnins
One of the best ways of introducing a country and its culture is through the medium of literature. Dr Maria Kalnins, University Lecturer in Literature and an authority on Joseph Conrad, will talk about the works of authors famous - Kipling and Forster - and contemporary Vikram Seth and Anita Desai.

Professor Keith Ward
Regius Professor of Divinity, University of Oxford, and Canon of Christ Church. Formerly Professor of the History of Religions at the University of London. His talks will explore the beliefs and practices of the religions of the area, in their social and historical context.

Please note Guest Speakers travel on the cruise portion of the holiday only.



Kochi


Mumbai
First Timers Cruises, 
click for details A sun-filled pre-Christmas treat will take you from Arabia to the famed beaches of Goa, the "spice city" of Cochin and the beautiful Kerala lagoons before you cruise to the magical Maldives and enchanting Sri Lanka, for a chance to see elephants and the island's lush hill country.
604 Cruise Itinerary
Sat 8 Dec    London - Dubai
Fly from London to Dubai to join Minerva.
Sun 9 Dec    Dubai
Spend the morning in fascinating Dubai. Enjoy a trip by "abra" (water taxi) along the creek, followed by a visit to the museum. Alternatively, enjoy an exotic Arabian experience wandering through the fascinating souks.
Mon 10 Dec    Muscat
The capital of the Sultanate of Oman awaits us this afternoon, with a tour of the city including the spectacular Sultan's Palace and the twin forts that guard the harbour. Or enjoy a swim in the clear blue waters of the Arabian Sea.
Tue 11 Dec-Wed 12 Dec    At Sea
Make the most of Minerva's facilities as you unwind. Prepare for the days ahead in India as you listen to our Guest Speakers.
Thu 13 Dec    Mumbai (Bombay)
Our first Indian port is the bustling city of Mumbai, with highlights including the Jain Temple and Prince of Wales Museum. Take the opportunity to explore at leisure this afternoon - an excellent chance to pick up some unusual Christmas presents. Alternatively, take our excursion by local boat to Elephanta Island, to view the rock-cut caves.
Fri 14 Dec    Goa
This afternoon we visit the former Portuguese capital of Old Goa, housing the remains of St Francis Xavier in one of its many attractive churches. Alternatively, see some of the intricate Hindu temples, or relax on the beach.
Sat 15 Dec    At Sea
A chance to catch up with our Guest Speakers and find out about the next ports of call.
Sun 16 Dec    Kochi (Cochin)
In the old spice trading city of Cochin, we will encounter a unique melange of influences, from the Dutch Palace and once-flourishing Jew Street to traditional Chinese fishing nets. We also take a trip on the "backwaters": canals and lagoons that make up much of this part of the country.
Mon 17 Dec    At Sea
Practice your snorkelling technique in the pool or limber up in the gymnasium.
Tue 18 Dec    Male *
Spend a day in the idyllic Maldives. The capital, Male, is a delight to explore on foot, whilst the tropical beaches are second to none. With the help of our marine biologist, discover a colourful world of coral and tropical fish. Or view this paradise from the air with our supplementary seaplane flight.
Wed 19 Dec    At Sea
Lose yourself in a good book from Minerva's extensive Library or enjoy a game of cards.
Thu 20 Dec    Galle - Colombo
We explore this charming town this morning with its unique mix of Portuguese, Dutch and British influences. Or join our marine biologist for a swim or snorkel at beautiful Unawatuna.
Fri 21 Dec    Colombo
From Colombo, we offer a full-day excursion to Kandy, the capital of the Hill Country and home to the famous Buddhist shrine of the Temple of the Tooth. Alternatively, journey along the coast and enjoy a relaxing swim in tropical waters.
Sat 22 Dec    Colombo-London
"Cruise Only" passengers take a return flight to London.
 
604(NF) Cruise & Tour
Post-Cruise Tour: Golden Triangle of India
Sat 22 Dec    Colombo - Delhi
"Cruise & Tour" passengers fly to Delhi and transfer to the Taj Palace Hotel for two nights.
Sun 23 Dec    Delhi
A morning tour of New Delhi, including India Gate. This afternoon we explore the old part of town.
Mon 24 Dec    Delhi - Jaipur
We depart early this morning on the "Shatabadi Express" train to Jaipur. On arrival we transfer to the Jai Mahal Hotel, before exploring Jaipur, including the Jantra Mantar and the Old Palace.
Tue 25 Dec    Jaipur - Amber - Jaipur
We see the Palace of the Winds before proceeding to Amber, with the opportunity to ascend this marvellous Rajput fort on elephant-back. Enjoy a relaxing Christmas afternoon at leisure, before a Gala Dinner this evening.
Wed 26 Dec    Bharatpur - Fatehpur Sikri - Agra
Drive to Fatehpur Sikri, Mughal palace, with elaborately carved features. We arrive in Agra this afternoon to stay at the Taj View Hotel.
Thu 27 Dec    Agra - Sikandra - Delhi
A morning visit to the magical Taj Mahal and the massive Agra fort. We also visit the tomb of Akbar the Great before returning to Delhi for a late flight to London.
Fri 28 Dec
Arrive in London after an overnight flight.
* Land by ship's boat or local tender




OTHER OPTIONS:
Pre-Cruise Beach Dubai
Post-Cruise Beach Sri Lanka




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