We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Lakshadweep Samudram package”
Review of Minicoy Island

Reviewed 26 December 2016

I recommend you read the review by joemdas - 19 November 2016 - which is detailed and very accurate.

We also booked the Samudram package via Mint Valley, but travelled on 21st November for four nights. We travelled as a group of four, and were amongst only 7 Europeans on the cruise. Usually there are none, as this cruise is very much geared towards the Indian tourist. As a foreigner you need to be aware of the regulations concerning the special Lakshadweep permit and ensure that your travel agent arranges this at least three weeks before you embark. They will need electronic copies of your Indian visa and passport.

Embarkation occurs at Lakshadweep Wharf. The process is quite crowded and chaotic, but eventually you will get through - collecting tickets, checking in, security check etc. Be aware that no alcohol is allowed to be carried or consumed on this cruise. Although I normally enjoy a drink I have to say this didn't seem a huge sacrifice. We let the company take our luggage on board and it was at the cabin by the time we got there.

MV Kavaratti is a working passenger ship which transports the islanders from Kochi to the islands and between the islands. On the days it drops the 'tourists' off at the tourist resort islands it spends the way visiting other islands. Do not expect 'western' cruise ship luxuries. The swimming pool had no water in it and the small snack bar is very limited in stock and opening hours. None of this matters, because there is a packed itinerary to keep you fully occupied. The ship itself is only 8 years old and comparable to passenger ships I've travelled in around the UK. It is clean and well maintained. The cabins are a reasonable size and have AC power and en suite bathrooms. The aircon is sufficient and the ship is relatively quiet on the upper decks. We slept really well.

The first meal served after departure was a very basic biriyani, with little meat (non-veg version) and many of our fellow passengers were complaining. However, the subsequent meals on board were fine; a mixture of rice, dhal, veg dish and a meat / tuna curry with chapatti and pickles. It was clearly designed to please the mainly north indian tourists - we would have preferred a few south indian dishes as variety, but that's a minor quibble. The filtered water is safe to drink. The tea is always sweetened, in true indian style, but we found it possible to request a pot of tea with no sugar (though the crew thought this rather strange).

The Tourists visit three islands in turn. We visited Kavaratti, Minicoy, and Kalpeni in that order - but the order does change. The order of the day is similar each day: 7am breakfast (we didn't bother with 6.30am sweetened tea), then don lifejackets (provided in cabin) to jump onto the launches which take you to the island. Back on the launches between 4-5pm, then dinner at 7.30pm.

Kavaratti was the first island we visited. The 'resort' is not far from the port. The beach appears idyllic, but there is some diesel pollution from the nearby harbour. The (free) trip in the glass bottomed boat was great - we saw three turtles and a small shark, as well as hundreds of brightly coloured fish. Various other activities are offered, including scuba diving, and jet-ski. The jet-ski was allowed to operate right up to the beach, which was dangerous, and would be forbidden on european beaches. A tour of the island was offered in the afternoon, which is interesting. We also went for a walk to explore our surroundings on foot. The island is very built up compared to Minicoy and Kalpeni.

Next day we visited Minicoy, which involves a long 30-40 minute transfer by launch from MV Kavaratti. First stop was the lighthouse, built by the Brits in 1885. You can see the whole island from the top! The 'resort' was excellent and the buffet offered at lunchtime, as on the other two islands, was really excellent. At Minicoy snorkelling costs a few hundred rupees. You must do this - the coral was absolutely sensational. Not as dramatic as the Barrier Reef or as colourful as Fiji, but there was a huge variety of colourful fish and the giant clams were amazing. You are expected to wear lifejackets for this activity but may be allowed to discard them, as we were, by explaining that you can actually swim.

Our final stop was Kalpeni, which is perhaps the most picturesque of the islands. The snorkelling here is free. Again, you must do it - though the coral doesn't rival Minicoy's. We borrowed a bicycle from some of the local workers and went off to explore the local village - which was a great experience. The organised tours in the afternoon, including the T-shirt shop, were chaotic and meant we didn't get back to MV Kavaratti until it was nearly dark.

Every day was a full on experience. Once back on the MV Kavaratti you will just want to shower, eat your evening meal, and then sleep. The lack of 'luxury cruise ship' amenities is immaterial because of the excitement of each island visit.

As joemdas says, make sure you have adequate sun protection, especially for pale white skin. We carried beach shoes, which are good for walking along coral beaches. Our indian friends appeared to get 3G connection, but we couldn't afford to check this!

Finally, we have to say, the staff of the MV Kavaratti were fantastic: always friendly and helpful. We found there was really good spirit amongst our fellow passengers too - we may have been in a minority as european tourists, but everyone was really friendly. I have to say this is our experience generally in India, which is why we love travelling in this country.

Date of experience: November 2016
35  Thank Major_Cholmondeley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a ReviewReviews (66)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
All reviews
"light house"
in 14 reviews
"water sports"
in 14 reviews
"swimming pool"
in 4 reviews
"crystal clear water"
in 5 reviews
"hidden treasure"
in 2 reviews
"half kilometer"
in 2 reviews
"ideal place"
in 2 reviews
"coconut trees"
in 2 reviews
"marine life"
in 3 reviews
in 15 reviews
in 10 reviews
in 6 reviews
in 26 reviews
in 22 reviews
in 18 reviews
in 43 reviews
in 10 reviews

11 - 15 of 66 reviews

Reviewed 15 December 2016 via mobile

Amazing a real privilege to be able to go to minicoy . Only 6 tourists when I went on the 7 th Dec staff very helpful

Date of experience: December 2016
Thank 370jakih
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 December 2016

Booked the Swaying Palms package offered by SPORTS. We were indeed a little apprehensive about the travel on the ship and stay at Minicoy Island. The trip to the Island by ship was absolutely fine. On board contact from SPORTS guided us wherever required. Now some specific things about Minicoy

The resort and the lagoon and beach adjacent to it is really beautiful with its white sand and aquamarine water. You can walk maybe a kilometre into the lagoon and still be only in waist deep water and its absolute safe as there are not much waves here as in the open sea.

All kinds of water sports are on the offer for you at the resort. Only kayaking is included in the package. All other items are to be paid for (please carry sufficient cash as ATMs are not so reliable at present due demonetisation) and the rates are already fixed by government.

Do not come away without doing at least a few of the water sports. The underwater view of corals and fish seen in snorkeling is really amazing and am sure is really worth your while and money. The water sports staff at the resort are extremely helpful, careful, well trained and obliging whatever be the activity you choose. Scuba diving is also recommended though it is slightly expensive but again its worth the cost and experience and they give you a few snaps and a one minute video shot underwater. Both Snorkeling and Scuba diving in the lagoon can be done even if you do not know swimming.

Few things to keep in mind. There is not much to see on the island other than the beach and the resort from a tourist point of view. You could pay a visit to the village and definitely to the lighthouse.

(a) Carry emergency medicines as there is only a Govt. hospital and no medical shops on the island.
(b) Only BSNL 2G network is available so carry a BSNL sim. No reliable internet on the island.
(c) Carry a high SPF Sunscreen.

Date of experience: November 2016
7  Thank z1n2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 December 2016

Blue seas and white sands are breathtaking. The wild variety of marine life is a joy to see. A very unique and shallow beach up to more than a kilometre from the shore. Very ideal for water sports like snorkelling and scuba diving. Definitely the best coral beach in India.

Date of experience: December 2016
Thank VineetP115
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
See more reviews
Reviewed 22 November 2016

We went by samudram package(SPORTS) and its our second day visit. As soon we entered the island it was so beautiful that everyone was spellbound! We had kayaking included in our package and we did scuba diving which was an amazing life time experience.The water was crystal clear and you feel as if you are in a different world.The trainers were very helpful and you will have one to one training which is the best part. They have resorts too but its little bit costly. Evening it was village visit with local snacks and drink.Overall experience was amazing and a must visit place..!!

Date of experience: November 2016
4  Thank Namratha U
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers who viewed Minicoy Island also viewed

Lakshadweep, India
Lakshadweep, India

Been to Minicoy Island? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing