Fringed by sandy shores and coconut trees, Goa welcomes hordes of leisure travellers each year, contributing significantly to India’s flourishing tourism industry. Akin to Vegas, this littoral state is specifically popular for its glitzy nightlife comprising a vortex of soirées, festivals, live entertainment, and other social attractions. Besides lavish hotels and resorts, Goa is one of the few places in the country where you can partake in cruise excursions. Bedecked with the creature comforts of an on-shore establishment, these are perfect if you are in the pursuit for something indulgent.

Visibly seen from the mainland, the cruises in Goa often glide on the waters of River Mandovi, turning into kaleidoscopic visions during nighttime. Abundant in various sizes and styles, they are tailored to suit the needs of diverse tourists. Whether it’s exploring the captivating coastline with a modest day vessel or enjoying intimate evenings socials in a plush yacht, the cruises cater to every whim. To make your hunt for the best cruises in Goa easier, we have listed down the different types of vessels rendered by operators. Let’s get started!

Leisure cruises. Drifting by the colonial edifices of the bygone eras in Mormugao, Reis Magos, and Fort Aguada, leisure cruises are ideal for history lovers and visiting groups of all sizes including families, students and seniors. What makes them special is that they provide you with an opportunity to observe a place from a distinct vantage point. Since journeys do not take longer than an hour or two, they can be accommodated even in jam-packed itineraries with ease. Some operators also organise diversions on leisure cruises such as folk dance performances and DJ music for guests to enjoy. A little tip: book your tour during the golden hour, so while you are exploring the coast, you do not miss out on the chance to witness a breathtaking sunset.

Party cruises. Synonymous with fabulous soirées, Goa is undoubtedly a party animal’s turf. Whether it’s a social shindig with old friends or a boisterous family gathering at New Year’s, the best cruises in Goa are the place to be.  Party cruises can be booked between three to four hours depending on the cruise operator you have picked. Promising a fun-filled time, these are hands down one of the best cruises in Goa, thanks to their live entertainment bits including groovy DJ music and dance. Not to mention the lip-smacking buffet fares and piquant drinks. Speaking of food, if you identify as a gourmand, then you should definitely reserve a dinner cruise that offers elaborate Goan spreads, snacks and desserts alongside a generous supply of cocktails.  

Private cruises. On the other hand, if you are looking for something discreet and luxe, then a private cruise does the trick. These are usually swanky yachts that are great for small celebrations with customised arrangements. It goes without saying that a lavish catamaran with personalised services is going to cost you significantly more than a regular cruise. These can be anchored in the middle of the sea where you can just soak in the beauty of the enclosing azure waters. Besides small assemblages, these private yachts are recommended for couples who desire for romantic and quiet cruising getaways. Such ritzy vessels can be rented for a couple of hours, for an entire day or even for an overnight stay.

Entertainment cruises. Besides Sikkim, Goa is the only state in India where gaming is legal. Unsurprisingly, a multitude of gaming options can be found here. Among the top choices for an ultimate gaming experience are the Deltin Cruises, considered some of the best cruises in Goa. Their two flagship vessels, Deltin Royale and Deltin JAQK, sail on the Mandovi River and boast expensive gaming floors with a wide range of both national and international games, along with exclusive VIP lounges for high rollers.

While these entertainment-focused cruises are a magnet for gaming aficionados, they also cater to non-players with a variety of other amenities. Guests can enjoy an impressive selection of restaurants offering buffet spreads, cocktail hours, and open-air dining. Additionally, some cruises feature DJ nights, Bollywood and international dance performances, and Moulin Rouge-style shows, ensuring there’s something for everyone.

Adventure cruises. If you can’t wait for adrenaline to course through your veins, then get aboard adventure cruises that take you further out in the Arabian Sea. Based on the vessel you choose, you can try out all manner of activities including jet-ski rides, speed boats, banana boats, and swimming the middle of the sea. You can put a wager on these voyages, if you seek engaging and lively group activities. In contrast, for adventurers who love solo or high-stake escapades, the best cruises in Goa also schedule snorkelling, scuba diving and parasailing near Grand Island and Bat Island. If you despise outdoor exploits, then you can simply maintain passive participation by basking under the Goan sun on the cruise while enjoying the sea breeze and watching dolphins galloping nearby.