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River Cruises 2018-05-24T13:06:27+00:00

River Cruises in Goa

The charter flights are fully booked. The trains are packed. The roads from Bengaluru (Bangalore) and Mumbai are full of buses and cars taking travelers to Goa. Everyone is going to the vacation capital of India!

Thousands of tourists come to Goa from all over India and many countries to spend a few days or a long vacation here. There are two types of vacationers. Those looking for an idyllic vacation and people who want to party. Everything about Goa is top of the rack. The green countryside, sun, sand, spices, the famous nightlife, spirituality, and the lip-smacking Goanese, Konkani delicacies and the seafood! Yet, there is one aspect about holidaying in Goa that is only now coming to full bloom.

Cruising in Goa! Try river cruises in Goa and your vacation will be even more memorable. It is an adventure and a lot of fun. There are some stunningly beautiful rivers and backwaters in Goa where you can sail for just 1 hour, or go on an overnight trip that will give you a better idea of how beautiful Goa really is. There is the Chapora River, Mandovi, Zuari, and the Sal River in South Goa. You can private yacht in Goa, hire a sail boat, kayak, or even a houseboat.

Mandovi River

Rent a boat for a cruise on a Goa river. It will surely give you an incredible experience, one you are likely to remember for a long time.

River cruising in Goa has become a popular activity among nature lovers, birdwatchers, and adventure seekers. You can cruise on the Mandovi, Zuari, Sal and the Chapora rivers. You can visit the many islands and see some of the famous landmarks and attractions in Goa from your cruise. See village life, coconut groves, rice fields, old heritage Portuguese buildings, birds, bats, crocodiles, and even dolphins. Choose from dinner cruise, sunset cruise in Goa, party cruise, or a nature cruise.


Public Mandovi River Cruise tariff, supported by Goa Tourism Department:

Cruise Type Price Cruise type
Santa Monica Cruise
Rs. 300/- per head Departure at: 6.00 pm onwards, 1 hr duration upto 7.30 p.m.
Santa Monica Cruise
(entire boat)
18,000/- per hour Capacity 120 pax; Sailing between 5.00pm to 9.00am
Santa Monica Cruise
(entire boat)
9,000/- per hour Capacity 120 pax; Sailing between 9.00am to 5.00pm

Top 5 Goa River Cruises

sunset cruise1. Sunset Cruise – Take a sunset cruise on a river in Goa. You can hire a shared boat with others or it could be just for you and your group. The cruise will start around 4-5 in the afternoon and last for a couple of hours. You will be served some light snacks, beer, wine, champagne and soft drinks. Relax on the boat’s open deck and see the nature all around. Keep your camera ready for the gorgeous sunset. The dusk will slowly descend upon you. Watch as the lights come up on the coasts. You are sure to love a sunset cruise in Goa.

2. Party Cruise – Try a Goa cruise party on your next visit. Hire a luxury yacht with all the party arrangements ready for your group. You will get music, dancing, lights and even the services of a DJ if you want. Do something different. Party hard as you cruise on the river. Take a break and relax after dancing and watch the natural beauty all around. Take in the breeze of the river. It will be a completely exclusive party for your group on your private yacht. Snacks, drinks and even champagne can be served to you on board the yacht.

You can have a themed party on your private yacht in Goa. It can be a birthday party, a honeymoon or anniversary celebration, and even a wedding or a corporate party. You can charter a luxury yacht for 5-7 hours for the special event. Goa in the last decade has emerged as a popular wedding destination.

You can hire a yacht to shoot a film or music video on a Goa river as well. Guides will help you pick a great location based on your needs. The backdrop will be perfect.

3. Dinner Cruise – Goa Tourism organizes dinner cruises where the boats leave from the Panjim jetty. There is dancing and other local Goan culture shows, followed by dinner. But you have to share with a lot of people. On most of these cruises, there are often 100 guests or more. Want a more exclusive experience? Do a royal cruise in Goa in your own private yacht. The ambiance, facilities, service and food – everything will be better. Have the choicest of wines, beer, champagne and other drinks. Relax on the open-deck of your luxury yacht. The captain and staff will do everything to make your dinner cruise in Goa special.

kayaking in Goa

4. Nature Cruise – The Goan rivers and backwaters are extremely beautiful. See the paddy fields, coconut groves, and idyllic villages passing bye. See the locals fishing, and leading their everyday lives. There is a lot of wildlife to see on the rivers and their shores as well – crocodiles, plenty of birds including kingfishers and sea eagles, bats, and if you are lucky you may even spot a dolphin playing in the waters. You can try some fishing too on the expedition. Many private yachts have their own kayaks you can use to get close to the birds and bats silently or explore the channels in the mangrove swamps.

5. Destination Cruise – River cruises in Goa can take you to many interesting things to see along the rivers. There is the San Jacinto Island in the estuary of the Zuary River. See the beautiful colonial heritage houses, old churches, and an abandoned lighthouse in this forested island. Visit the Chorao Island that houses the famous Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary. Corjuem is a picturesque island with a fort. Climb to the top for a fascinating view. See the chapel and a small temple here. Reach the Divar Island on the Mandovi River. Here you will get picture postcard views of the Goan countryside. Take pictures of the small villages, rice fields, wooded hills, and the many elegant Portuguese houses. You can also visit Vanxim Island and the Church of Santo Cristo here that dates back to 1879 AD, Anjediva Island with its ruins of a church and fort, and the St. Estevam Island.

The Goa Rivers

1. Mandovi – Also called the Mahadayi or the Mhadei, this is an important river that divides North and South Goa. It floats west from the Western Ghats in the neighboring state of Karnataka, and dumps into the Arabian Sea at Panjim. Cruises in Goa on the Mandovi are from the Santa Monica and the Panaji Jetty. You will pass along the old Portuguese colonies, Divar Island, Vanxim Island and the Chorao Island. There is a military zone too close to the sea. You can visit a spice plantation as well from your cruise.

2. Zuari – The largest river in Goa, Zuari is further down south, on the other side of Panjim. This river too comes from the Western Ghats to the east. It empties into the Arabian Sea at Vasco da Gama. Sometimes, people in the interiors refer to the Zuari as the Aghanashani. The Zuari gets narrower as you travel east, so you are always closer to the banks. This gives you more details. There is a channel that connects Zuari with the Mandovi. You can explore this channel in a small boat or kayak. This is a great river for wildlife lovers. See bats, lots of birds and crocodiles. You can try your luck with fishing as well.

3. Chapora – Chapora River is at the northern end of Goa, close to Vagator beach. In the 18th century, Chapora was the boundary of India and Portuguese Goa. Now, of course, Goa extends beyond the river and further into the north. The river flows from neighboring Maharashtra and meets the Arabian Sea. There is the Chapora Fort at the meeting point. You can visit the Siolim Fish Market, Immaculate Conception Chapel, Church of St. Francis of Assisi, and a few temples from your cruise. There is also the Alorna Fort in the interiors. Cruises include overnight houseboat trips, kayaking and others.

Sal River

4. Sal – The Sal River is in south Goa, close to the Cavelossim beach. This is a stunning river that winds its way to meet the Arabian Sea. Sometimes, the river is also called the Mississippi of Salcete. Coconut groves line both banks of the river. It’s a lovely river for backwater photography, watching village life, crabbing, angling, river fishing, bird watching, or simply cruising. Most visitors don’t get to see this wetland paradise, but it remains a must-see. Birdwatchers will love the Sal River. There are more than forty species of birds to be seen here, including waterfowl, egrets, cormorants, drongos, kingfishers, and others. There is also the Betul Fort and a lighthouse where the river meets the sea.

Try cruising in your next Goa vacation and make it extra special. Mandovi River cruise, Zuari River cruises, and those on the other rivers will show you a different side of Goa. Spend just a few hours or an entire day on the river. There is a lot to see and do. Hire a private yacht and make your cruises in Goa even more memorable.