The fresh water smell receded and was replaced by the fragrance of the salty sea. A whoop of delight escaped me as our Sunset cruise Gokarna joined the Arabian sea along with the Aghanashini river Then came the taste of the sea as a spray of sea mist hit my face My eyes followed the drowning sun, the golden ripples and shining waves right to the green isle enclosed between the cliffs The splashing waves and the call of the gulls felt like music to my ears The Gokarna Sunset Cruise was a total sensorial delight
Not only was the whole experience a sensorial delight, Gokarna sunset cruise definitely added a different perspective to the same sandy shores that I had enjoyed earlier. In fact, I even saw the sunset differently on the White Pearl Cruise of Gokarna. Maybe it was the sea spray that clouded my vision or maybe it was the endearing hospitality that I was enjoying on the sunset cruise in Gokarna. Whatever the reason being, the experience definitely merits that you add this to your list of things to do in Gokarna.
In some ways, standing on the deck of this Sunset cruise in Gokarna, I experienced what those famous voyagers to India – Vasco Da Gama and Columbus might have felt. To see the strip of palm-fringed beaches after sailing along the vast expanse of blues would have been such a high. I am sure we have all thought of this feeling that they might have had but it is time you experience it here.
About Sunset Cruise Gokarna – a sensorial experience
Sail along the River Aghanashini as it empties itself in the Arabian sea with the Gokarna sunset cruise. You can literally experience the merging of the river with the saltwater body through all your senses.
- You can literally smell this confluence of water bodies. There is a distinct smell of fresh water and salt water.
- Feel the dynamic movement of the waves – of how calm they are closer to the backwaters and how undulating at various depths.
- You can see the magnificent sights like how the sandy shores of Gokarna are sandwiched between its cliffs.
- Stand at the deck and you can taste the sea with the misty spray on your face.
- Enjoy the sounds of the sea, the gulls squeeling and well, even the dophins calling out to you.
The sunset cruise in Gokarna is operated by White Pearl Cruises and is available every evening. While on deck, you are treated to snacks and music. One can book the entire cruise for a party or pay per head. There are overnight stay options as well. Let me take you through my own tour of this White Pearl Cruise ship.
A tour of the White Pearl Cruise ship
Docked on the blue waters around Tadadi port near Gokarna, the White Pearl cruise bobbed up and down – almost as it were beckoning us to quickly board and join the fun. With a warm welcome, the captain took us across the lower deck to show the two luxury rooms meant for those wanting to book an overnight cruise.
The cruise has two airconditioned rooms of which one can accommodate a family of four and the other is meant for a couple. The rooms have an attached bathroom and comfortable beds. Each has a window through which you can experience the cruise sights but personally, I would say head to the upper deck for those. Before you exit to the upper deck, you will see a small sitting area – perfect to spend some time indoors in case you plan to stay for a longer duration on the cruise.
The Upper deck is where all the action happens – whether it is some dance, music, or the main attractions – the various sights along the cruise. Tables are arranged as in a restaurant and the make-shift chairs can be moved around to whichever spot you are comfortable. For someone like me, that wasn’t an option at all because I kept flitting between both sides and the front of the ship – all in the bid to get the best views and feel the sea spray.
Key sights to experience on the Gokarna sunset cruise
Tadadi port is a bustling fishing hub and as you start your cruise, you will see different types of fishing boats. As you exit the ports, if you are lucky, your first sight would be the dolphins welcoming you to their lair. From then, begins your tour of the Gokarna coastline.
The first thing that you are likely to spot is the Tadadi lighthouse. High up on a cliff, this is 38m high and still functional. Tadadi lighthouse is a very popular hiking spot for visitors to Gokarna. They visit this when they trek from Belekan beach to Tadadi beach.
This is a tiny beach that the cruise team will alert you about. What I found interesting is that this was the beach that was used by the famous Tipu Sultan for trading.
Paradise beach of Gokarna
As the ship turns around the corners of those high cliffs and the splashing waves, you will see the first piece of heaven called Paradise beach. This beach is accessible only by boat or with a hike from Gokarna. The palm-fringed shore is quite popular with foreign tourists to Gokarna and has several camps pitched along its shore. From the cruise, I could see people engaged in several activities like kayaking.
I know that this beach was called so because of the half-moon shape of the shore. I frankly, only appreciated this nomenclature when I saw it during the Sunset cruise Gokarna. It does look like that – doesn’t it?
The most famous beach of Gokarna – OM beach was the last of the beaches that I saw before the White Pearl cruise ship turned back. You cannot really make out the OM shape that gives this beach its name but you do see the cliffs that create the shape. I did not actually realize how big the beach was until this Gokarna sunset cruise.
Sunset over the Arabian Sea
Don’t miss the golden sunset when the ball of fire drowns into the sea, turning everything into fiery orange. Sunsets are always magical and watching it in the middle of the sea definitely is a different experience.
Food and hospitality on the sunset cruise in Gokarna
Remember – I told you that there are different types of cruise packages that you can avail of when you opt for White Pearl Cruise. Depending on the package, you will be served refreshments, snacks or a complete meal. For the Gokarna sunset cruise, we were treated to snacks and soft drinks. Since we were here on invite by the India Tourism Bengaluru team- after the regular guests departed, we got a chance to experience their dinner as well.
There is no kitchen on the ship and all the food is brought in from the mainland. Hence, the menu is fixed and the number of items limited. They, however, do have the facility to heat food and what is served is fairly warm and fresh. The snacks included crispy french fries and samosa along with a choice of hot and cold beverages. The dinner included a soup, rotis with vegetables and daal and two rice varieties. Ice cream and an Indian sweet dish finished the course.
The staff and the team on the cruise are extremely friendly and helpful. They do go out of their way to make you feel special – and I don’t just say this as an invited guest. I noticed them with the other guests, especially the kids.
On the whole, the Sunset cruise in Gokarna is very safe and loads of fun – especially when you go here with your friends. For me, the fact that I saw the world from the sea was definitely a high point. What added to the pleasure is the sensorial experience that you can get on this Gokarna sunset cruise. I am sure that itself is a reason enough for you to pin these up on your boards and start planning for the same.
What are the different types of cruises in Gokarna?
White Pearl Cruise has the following types of packages. These include –
– Breakfast Cruise – This starts at 9:30 am to 11:30 am
– Lunch Cruise – Begins at 12:30 pm and ends at 2:30 pm
– Sunset Cruise – Most recommended. Begins at 5:30 pm and concludes by 7:30 pm
– Overnight stay on the cruise– One can check-in at 12:30 pm and check out by 11:30 am on the next day
Besides these, you can also, book the entire cruise for a banquet.
What are the charges for the Gokarna cruise?
The Gokarna cruise charges vary from INR 599 per person to INR 20000 for a stay on the boat. These depend on the package that one opts for. Here are the current rates –
– Breakfast Cruise – INR 599 per person
– Lunch Cruise – INR 1299 per person
– Sunset Cruise – INR 799 per person
– Overnight stay on the cruise – INR 15000 for a premium suite and INR 20000 for a family suite
How to book a Sunset cruise in Gokarna?
You can book your Sunset cruise in Gokarna by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org or calling them on +91 95910 09900. Alternately, you can get onto their website and fill their contact form.
What is the best way to reach Tadadi port near Gokarna?
The closest airport to Gokarna is in Goa. It is around 140 km by road. You can either hire a cab at the airport or get a bus to Gokarna from Goa. The nearest railway station is at Ankola, which is 20 km from Gokarna town.
Once in Gokarna, you can hop into an auto-rickshaw to Tadadi port. The port is 6 km from the town.
Where to stay in Gokarna?
Gokarna has lots of resorts and home-stay options. I have experienced a stay at Jungle Lodges Om Beach resort which is a little away from the beaches. It is fairly clean and comfortable. My personal preference was Kudle beach resort which is closer to Kudle beach. You can look up both these places using the Booking resources below.
Travel and Photography Tips
- Ensure that you book at least a day in advance and get a confirmation. The cruise sails if there are enough bookings. Also, the necessary arrangements need to be made if you plan to join the same.
- The sea at the conflience can get really choppy. If you are prone to seasickness, please keep your medication handy.
- Carry a telephoto lens if you wish to capture the sea shore during your cruise.
- You can book your hotel in Gokarna through Booking.com using the given link.
- For any local tours, transfers and stays in the Coastal Karnataka region, you can get in touch with Ms. Poonam of Dream holidays, Manipal on +91 9686574959 or Mr. Roshan Pinto of RR Travels on +91 9845331926. They are specialists in this region and can arrange for a flawless travel experience here.
- If you use Amazon for shopping for travel or any of your home needs, do consider using this link.
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P.S: I experienced the Sunset cruise in Gokarna as a part of my invite to visit Coastal Karnataka by India Tourism Bengaluru
Popularly referred to as a Restless Ball of Energy. My Mom refuses to entertain my complaints about my equally restless daughter & assures my husband that I was born with a travel bug.
I am a Post-Graduate in Marketing by qualification and a travel blogger by passion. Besides travel, I enjoy photography and if you don’t find me at my desk, I would be out playing badminton or swimming or just running. I believe in planning for every long weekend through the year. And when I cannot travel physically, I travel virtually through this travel blog. My travel stories have also, got published on various websites and magazines including BBC Travel, Lonely Planet India and Jetwings. I have recently published my first book – When Places Come Alive – a collection of stories that are based on legends, landscapes, art and culture of a place which is available in both ebook and paperback format.