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Samudram package

We visited this pristine island in November 2018 through samudram package by SPORTS. Minicoy... read more

Reviewed 3 weeks ago
mamathap23
,
Bengaluru, India
via mobile
Mind blowing experience

We visited the island through Samudram package.We travelled in a ship to reach this island.Visited... read more

Reviewed 21 December 2017
Mavarkar
,
India
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Reviewed 19 January 2017

Have travelled to many beach locations. A trip to Minicoy is special due to the below:

- Lovely bluish green waters and white sand. Fell in love with the colors. We can see different colors of the water (Light bluish green at the shallow ends, Dark bluish green as it gets deeper, water takes an entirely different color (that of the corals) in patches in between.
- Minicoy is around 10 kms in length and is in an arch shape, the width varies along starting from a few mts at the south and northern tips to close to a km at the middle. The island separates the deep open waters from the shallow lagoon.
- View from the light house is spectacular. Preferably visit before noon
- It is a perfect place for water sports - Scuba diving, Snorkeling, Kayaking, Speed/Banana boat rides.
- Specific mention abt Scuba dive. Minicoy had 3 ship wrecks and each of this ship wreck is a hub for marine life. One has to dive in to the open waters to visit these. We dived to one of the ship wrecks, it was an amazing experience. A must do in Minicoy.

Date of experience: December 2016
13  Thank Sumabala J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 December 2016 via mobile

This island is a very small island and only way to go is by ship. It takes 14-18 hours by ship. The ships only start from kochi. The island is only 12 km is length. There is only one resort on the island. The resort also offers scuba diving with underwater video. The water is very clean around the island. The island is surrounded by coral reefs. To go to island u need to book a package from a tour company which will take permit for u to visit island. The island is not open to visit who do not have permission from island administration. Liquor is not sold on island and consumption is also strictly prohibited on the island. There is minicoy fest celebrate every year during December. This time is good to visit this island.

Date of experience: December 2016
11  Thank vineetp114
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
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
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