The coastline of South-East Asia just takes your breath away. It is of infinite beauty. The Indian Ocean is therefore perfect for a cruise that takes you along several countries. India is a country which can be easily visited on a cruise holiday. Read on for more information about a cruise to India and the Indian visa.
Visa for your Indian cruise
All tourists travelling to India need an Indian visa. The only exception to this rule are travellers with a Maldivian nationality. Travellers from the UK and Ireland therefore always need to apply for the Indian visa for entry to the country by either plane, via land border crossing or by cruise ship.
Travellers who want to travel to India for tourist purposes are eligible for the electronic visa for India. A cruise holiday is also considered tourism. The so-mentioned e-Tourist visa is a practical alternative to the paper visa, as it can be fully applied for online. Scheduling a consular or embassy appointment for document delivery is not required, as you can simply do so from your phone, tablet or laptop. Once approved, the visa is valid for a maximum of 30 days. During this period, tourists are allowed to travel to India up to two times on the same visa. The date of the first arrival in India lie within the 30-day visa validity period. Upon your arrival, the number of days to your 30-days maximum stay starts counting. You may always stay in India for 30 days, or arrive in India a second time within the 30-day period, as long as the date of your first arrival falls within the validity term of the visa.
Please note: the e-visa for India is digitally linked to the passport with which the visa is applied for. For this reason, it is not possible to travel with a new or different passport without applying for a new visa.
India’s undiscovered paradise
With 7517 km of coastline, India has one of the longest coastlines in the world. Boasting of such an impressive coastline, it is hardly surprising that a cruise holiday is one of the best ways to explore the country. India has an abundance of tropical beaches where you can sunbathe and swim, as well as large and smaller-sized cities to wander through. In addition, India has a few hidden gems out in the eastern Indian Ocean, ready for your admiring glance over a cruise.
Andaman and Nicobar Islands
Since these islands are almost 2000 km away from the mainland of India, they are not often visited during an ordinary India holiday. All the more reason to opt for a cruise holiday to India, to visit those beaches that still go fairly undiscovered. Most of the over 570 islands are off-limits to travellers and accessible only to the island-dwellers. This way, its indescribably beautiful natural reserves are not negatively affected by any mass tourism.
One of the islands that is, in fact, accessible to outside visitors is Havelock Island. Although these islands have only been scarcely developed for tourism, the island does host some tourist facilities and activities. Together with Neil Island, a few km to the south, Havelock Island is one of the coolest beaches in the world for any tourist to visit. To avoid an overload of tourists, there are however few, if any, large cruise ships docking in the Andaman Islands.
Since the visa for India is valid for 30 days, apart from a major cruise which takes you along the mainland, you can also choose a smaller cruise to the Andaman Islands. Even if you decide upon a major cruise taking you beyond India, you can still travel back to India on the very same visa, as long as the arrival and last departure dates are within the 30-day maximum stay.
Apply for an Indian visa for your holiday
Once you have decided upon your cruise holidays and have an approximate arrival date in mind, you can apply for your Indian visa. Even if the trip is still months away. To make sure your visa is valid when you want to travel to India, an application is reviewed at the earliest 3 weeks before your selected date of expected arrival. A standard application is often approved in 1 week, whereas this can on average be done in 3 working days for an urgent application. The passport used to apply for the visa and hence for travel to India must be valid for at least another 6 months upon arrival in India. If this is not the case, you will have to apply for a new passport first before you can apply for a visa.
Open the Indian visa application form