Mumbai, formerly known as Bombay, is the capital of the Indian state of Maharashtra and the most populous city in the world. This bustling city offers a seemingly endless array of sights and cultural activities, and is the commercial and entertainment capital of India. Mumbai is home to India’s Hindi film and television industry, known as “Bollywood.” Mumbai is also one of the few cities that accommodates a national park, the Sanjay Gandhi National Park, within its city limits.
The following Shore Excursions are available for this port on this cruise, and may be reserved beginning 240 days before the cruise begins for guests receiving Concierge amenities, and 180 days before the cruise begins for all other guests. Guests receiving Concierge amenities will receive a 5% discount off of the prices shown below for Regent Choice tours.
Most Active or Strenuous
Minimal Activity Required
This spectacular tour allows you to delve deeper into the varied religions that are represented in Bombay. This is accomplished through visits to a special selection of places of worship which epitomize the unique social scene found here.
Leaving from the pier, your first stop is in the popular middle class settlement of Dadar at the venerated Guruvayur and Ram temple complex. Teeming with activity and ritual, the presiding deity is of charismatic Hindu god Ram, seventh incarnation of Vishnu of the holy trinity. Ram is also referred to as Maryada Purushottam, literally the perfect man or lord of self control. The temple constructed in South Indian style has a majestic upper complex containing five sacred gold plated urns. This makes it convenient for devotees who have little time to worship, but may look at the urns while passing by for an absolvement of all their sins.
Opposite Dadar railway station is the impressive three spired Swaminarayan mandir (or temple) erected out of pink sandstone in traditional architectural style with intricate carving. This popular sect founded in 1801 by Bhagwan Swaminarayan is believed by its adherents to represent the purest form of Hinduism, focusing its faith on salvation by means of total devotion to righteousness, knowledge and detachment.
Following your Hindu exposure, you'll make your way downtown along the coastline, passing Haji Ali mosque and tomb. The city's most recognized landmark, it is located on an islet in the sea. Accessibility to the mosque is only during low tide as the causeway gets submerged when the tide is high. A splendid example of Indo Islamic architecture, Haji Ali dargah was built in 1431 in memory of this wealthy Muslim merchant who renounced worldly possession. More than half a million from all faiths gather at the mosque each Thursday and Friday, seeking the blessing of this legendry Sufi saint.
Your tour next focuses on the Parsee Zoroastrians, followers of prophet Spitaman Zarathushtra, circa 1500 BC. These followers who were of Iranian origin, fled to India from persecution in the tenth century AD, and soon became successful and wealthy entrepreneurs in the flourishing trade with Europe, China and the Americas. The closely knit community fulfills their ritual obligations in the presence of a perpetual fire in a consecrated building known as the `Fire Temple'. Along with Bombay, the Parsi community also flourished and many fire temples were endowed as a triumphant proclamation of new-found success and prosperity. Today there are close to fifty fire temples in and around the city. The oldest sacred fire in Bombay was installed in 1709 and is housed in the Bomanji Wadia Fire Temple in Princess Street. The building is a fusion of Indo-Iranian architecture, its façade representing Parsi sentiments as a reminder of their ancient Iranian heritage. The fluted columns, crenellated verandahs and bull capitals which adorn the building are clearly Achaemenian in design and style. The concourse, where external ablutions take place has eight dressed stone pillars surmounted by bull capitals, reminiscent of those found in the audience hall of Darius the Great at Persepolis. You'll be able to view the temple from the outside as only worshippers are permitted in.
Mid-day, you'll stop for lunch at the impressive Trident hotel, located by the sea at the end of Marine Drive. Then, the tours focus turns to the Jewish influence that has helped shape the historical and commercial success of Bombay. It is a true testimony of the acceptance Jews have traditionally enjoyed in this cosmopolitan and maximum city. Bombay's original Jews known as the Bene Israel community, are believed to be descendants of seven Jewish families, shipwrecked on India's shore who were fleeing persecution in Galilee around the second century B.C. While maintaining many Jewish practices, synagogue worship and Jewish texts were not central to their identity. The arrival of the Baghdadi Jews brought synagogue life to its prominence.
Sailing from Iraq, Syria and other middle east countries, Jewish merchant families touched the shores of `British' Bombay in the late 18th century and soon assimilated into its commerce, tapping the international trading and textile manufacturing business this port city was famous for. Referred to as `Baghdadi Jews', only about 200 remain, the rest having migrated to Israel, Britain and the U.S., leaving behind an enduring legacy of Synagogues, libraries, schools and several city landmarks such as Flora Fountain and Sassoon Docks. David Sassoon, like his father, was once the Chief Treasurer of the Pasha rulers of Baghdad. Following persecution, the wealthy Sassoon family moved to Bombay, becoming leading businessmen in textile manufacturing, real estate and the lucrative trade of opium and cotton with China. Jacob Sassoon, grandson of David, built the Keneseth Eliyahoo Synagogue in the "Fort" area, an elite and fashionable district and a key location for business minded Jews. The synagogue with its white wooden staircase, decorative floor tiles and fine stained-glass is patronized by both Baghdadi and Bene Israel communities.
While Roman Catholicism continued to thrive in the Bombay region even after the departure of the Portuguese, the Anglican church made its presence felt with the coming of the British in 1661. Commissioned in 1715, St. Thomas' Cathedral, the first in the city, is a mixture of sequential styles culminating in a Gothic tower and clock added in 1838, in addition to a chancel and elegant fountain designed in England by the eminent architect Sir George Gilbert Scott. The Cathedral containing fine stained-glass windows and choice objects of worship was selected for the UNESCO Asia Pacific Conservation award. Following your visit, it's a short transfer back to the cruise ship pier.
Please note: This tour includes a significant amount of walking - at times on uneven ground. There are also steps to be negotiated and it is not considered suitable for wheelchair guests or those with mobility concerns. Conservative, weather appropriate clothing; sun cap, sunglasses; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended. Shoes must be removed before entering temples and women must wear skirts or dresses that reach below the knee. The order of the sights viewed or visited may vary.
The fastest growing, most affluent and industrialized city in India, Mumbai represents the ever-changing face of today's India - the old coupled with the dynamic new. Begin with a drive along Marine Drive, a winding stretch of road with tall buildings on one side and the Arabian Sea on the other. Due to its curved shape and many street lights, it was once called the Queen's Necklace.
Departing the pier, you'll take in some of the elements and sights that have shared a long association and typified the city, starting with a spiritual experience at ISKCON; the amazing temple of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. The god Krishna often blue and playing a flute has a mischievous nature and his peasant background and legendry exploits with the milkmaids have made him of the most popular gods. Krishna devotees believe the material body is subjected to birth, old age, disease and death, whereas the spirit soul is by nature eternal, full of knowledge and bliss. You'll be able to witness the prayer chanting offered for the welfare of humanity in this stunning temple.
Re-boarding your bus, you'll drive up to posh Malabar hill making a stop at the Hanging Gardens, to experience the city's most exclusive neighborhood. Sought after since the 18th century for its forested slopes, fresh sea breeze and panoramic views, the landscape here is dotted with luxury mansions and bungalows built by wealthy merchants and colonial generals alongside modern high-rises.
Continuing on, it's a photo stop at colorful Dhobi Ghat, a once-in-a-lifetime sight where thousands of pieces of clothing are sent each day to be hand-laundered, dried and ironed by Mumbai's dhobi wallahs or laundry men and women. Continue with a visit to Mani Bavan, the Gandhi Memorial. This famous house used to be the Mumbai residence of Mahatma Gandhi, and is where he was arrested in 1932. The memorial contains a reference library with over 2,000 books, memorabilia and a photo feature on the Mahatma's life. Cross the city, with photo stops at the High Court, Churchgate Station, and the magnificent Victoria Terminus with its exquisite ornamentation and carvings of peacocks, gargoyles, monkeys, elephants and British lions mixed up among the buttresses. Spend time at the Prince of Wales Museum, opened in 1923 and built to commemorate King George V's royal visit to India. Exhibits in the museum include an impressive collection of artifacts from Elephanta Island, Jogeshwari Caves, ivory carvings, terracotta figurines from the Indus valley, and a large collection of miniature paintings.
The last stop is the impressive Gateway of India. Another structure built to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary in 1911, the Gateway is considered the principal landmark of Mumbai. Standing over 85 feet high, the archway was built in the 16th-century Gujarat style, with four turrets and intricate latticework carved into the yellow basalt stone. Return to the pier following your photo stop at the Gateway.
Please note: This tour includes approximately 2-hours of moderate walking/standing and there are several steps to negotiate at some of the venues visited. The tour is not available to wheelchair guests and those with mobility concerns are cautioned to carefully evaluate their personal level of stamina and ability. Light-weight cotton clothing; sun glasses; sunscreen; socks; and flat comfortable walking shoes are recommended. Shoes and shorts are not allowed in temples.
This half day excursion is designed to give you insight into the history and development of the Jewish community in India, by visiting an assortment of synagogues and monuments.
India's history of Jewish settlement dates back over 2,200 years. During religious persecutions in the time of King Antiochus, a group of Jews escaped to India shipwrecked off the coast of Bombay. The few survivors came ashore, kept the faith, and were unknown to the Jewish world until they were discovered in the 1700s. Today, India's 6,000 Jews are as diverse a population as that of India itself. Your first stop will be at the Shaar Ha-Rahamim (Gate of Mercy) synagogue, built in 1796 by Samuel Ezekiel Divekar. The oldest synagogue in Bombay, the Gate of Mercy belongs to the Bene Israel community and is housed in a tiny, unadorned building situated in the midst of crowded narrow lanes.
Your next stop is the largest synagogue in Asia, the Magen David Synagogue built by David Sassoon in 1861. The synagogue was constructed in the spacious style of Victorian architecture, fronted by pillars and a clock tower, and an interior in the style of the Baghdad synagogue. The Baghdadi Jews first arrived from Iraq, Syria, and Iran around 1796, fleeing persecution in their native lands and settling mainly in Bombay, Calcutta and Yangon. They retained their language, Arabic, and maintained a separate cultural identity. Mostly traders and financiers, their contribution to the industrial growth of Bombay is well documented. The most prominent Baghdadi Jew was Sir David Sassoon who established the Indian House of Sassoon in 1832 and paved the way for many other Iraqi Jews in India.
En route back to the downtown district, you'll stop at the Tifereth Synagogue. Started as the Jacob Circle Prayer Hall in 1886, the Synagogue was constructed to accommodate the increase in Jewish population in the area. Then it's on to the Keneseth Eliyahoo Synagogue, built by David Sassoon's grandson Jacob Sassoon, in 1884. Considered by many to be the most beautiful synagogue in Mumbai, the structure is outstanding, with stonework on the bottom portion and brick above. The interior is marvelous as well, with decorated pillars, carved marble and a magnificent stained glass arch rising to the high ceiling.
Afterwards, you'll transfer back to the ship.
Please note: This tour includes approximately 3-hours of moderate walking and there will be some steps to negotiate. The tour is not recommended for wheelchair guests and those with mobility concerns are cautioned to carefully evaluate their personal level of stamina and ability. Conservative, weather appropriate clothing; sun cap, sunglasses; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended.Shorts or revealing clothing are not allowed inside synagogue. You may be asked to remove your shoes before entering the synagogues. The order of the sights viewed or visited may vary. Guests participating on this tour must carry their passports with them.
Experience Mumbai, the "City of Dreams" at her colorful and exotic best on this full day excursion. Mumbai is known for its striking contrasts, where within a street or two, you will find modern skyscrapers, ornate Victorian buildings, and bustling bazaars.
Departing the pier, travel along Marine Drive, built on land reclaimed from the Back Bay and fronting the Arabian coast. Because of its curved route and many street lights, it was once called the Queen's Necklace. At the end of Marine Drive and located on the east slope of posh Malabar hill is our first stop, an original shrine of the city, built in about 1780 and enlarged in the 1830's. Dedicated to the god Shiva, preserver, destroyer and most powerful in the hindu trinity, the temple known as Babulnath is especially popular with the original settlers and is thronged by devotees every Monday and during auspicious occasions.
You'll delve further into the city's old sections in the quiet enclave of Khotachiwadi, an original settlement of charming vernacular style houses of 19th century architecture that has survived the onslaught of real estate development. Take a walk down the unique streetscape of this heritage precinct with its beautifully painted buttercup yellow, red and green cottages belonging to the East Indian community who settled in this area in the early 1800's.
James Ferreira, renowned fashion designer invites us to his 150 year old mansion. It has charming and romantic small courtyards and terraces which take you away into the past. Everything from an antique beautiful kitchen clock to a four-poster colonial diwan with a canopy procured from an old church, to multicolored temple lights make the home a visual delight. Festivals and weddings are reasons for much celebration. During our visit, a few traditions will be showcased such as the sari tying and rangoli making, which is used to decorate the entrances and courtyards of Indian homes. Enjoy a refreshment of tea and freshly prepared local savories before leaving.
Your next stop is at the Churchgate Railway Terminus where you'll meet the `Dabbawallahs' of Mumbai, members of the Mumbai Union of Tiffin Box Carriers. As sole invitees from India for Prince Charles' wedding, they were described by the royals as "the symbol of this enigmatic and intriguing city. One of Mumbai's unique facets, extensively investigated from the Harvard Business School to French Television and Documentaries." Each morning, around four thousand dabbawallahs call on suburban housewives who pack a freshly cooked lunch into small circular aluminum or stainless steel containers - `dabbas'. Typically, each dabbawallah collects 30-40 boxes, ranges them out on long poles, bicycle handlebars or decorated handcarts to the nearest railway station. Here, he hands them over to a fellow dabbawallah who then transports them into the city for delivery to the consumer. Over a hundred thousand lunches of maybe sabze (vegetable curry), chapattis (Indian bread), dal (lentils) and pickle, make their way daily across town to the breadwinner and back again. The service which costs a few rupees a week, is a good example of the fine division of labor in India, reliable and efficient, for the dabbawallahs pride themselves on never losing a lunch box.
Re-board your bus at Eros Cinema Hall, the city's first Art Deco theater, and then drive past classic Gothic constructions in the High Court, Bombay University, the Institute of Science, Prince of Wales and the Modern Art Museum. Lunch will be waiting for you at the landmark Khyber restaurant, situated in the art district of Kala Ghoda and famous for its north-west frontier cuisine (tribal areas between India and Pakistan) and barbeques.
Following lunch, you'll travel to Crawford Market, named after Bombay's first municipal commissioner, Arthur Crawford. Poised between what was once the British fort and the local town, the building has elements of both. Its façade features a blend of Flemish and Norman architecture, with a bas-relief above its main entrance depicting Indian peasants in wheat fields. Lockyard Kipling, father of Rudyard Kipling, designed the freize and the Kipling cottage still stands in the market to this day. The scene here resembles one from Victorian London, with its sweet smell of hay and 50 ft. high sky-lit awning that bathes the entire venue in natural sunlight. As Mumbai's main wholesale market, you find mountains of fresh fruit and vegetables amongst a wide variety of items for sale here.
Your exploration of the old city culminates at the Albert Museum in Byculla, also known as the Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum which showcases the industrial arts and life in 19th century Bombay. Recipient of the prestigious UNESCO award of Excellence for Conservation, you'll see the story of origin and development in the 18th, 19th and early 20th century, tracing its evolution from a swampy group of islands known as Heptanesia during Roman times, to its importance as Urbs Prima in Indis.
Please note: This tour includes a significant amount of moderate walking and there will be some steps to negotiate. The tour is not available to wheelchair guests and may not be suitable for those with mobility concerns who are cautioned to carefully evaluate their personal level of stamina and ability. Conservative, weather appropriate clothing; sun cap, sunglasses; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended. Shoes must be removed before entering temples and women must wear skirts or dresses that reach below the knee. The Dabbawallahs cannot be seen on Sundays or holidays and the Albert Museum is closed on Wednesdays. `Mani Bhawan’ (Gandhi’s home & museum) will be visited as the alternative for the Albert Museum. The order of the sights viewed or visited may vary.
Departing from the Gateway of India, travel by motor launch nine nautical miles across Mumbai Harbour to the lush green Gharapuri Island. The island resembles twin hillocks rising from the sea, with the caves located halfway up the higher of the two. Carved out of solid basalt rock, the caves represent Mount Kailash, the heavenly mountain residence of Lord Shiva.
Enjoy a transfer to the base of the Elephanta Hill, and then climb the stepped path to the caves. Explore the exceptional 7th-century rock-cut temples of Elephanta Caves. This splendid cave complex is a collection of shrines, courtyards, grand halls and porticos, filled with exquisite stone sculptures and reliefs of Hindu Gods and Goddesses.
Once known as Gharapuri, or the Fortress City, the Portuguese renamed the island Elephanta after discovering a large stone elephant statue near the shore. At the entrance to the caves is the famous Trimurti, or the celebrated trinity of Elephanta: Lord Brahma, the Creator; Lord Vishnu, the preserver; and Lord Shiva, the Destroyer. Unfortunately, many of the sculptures inside were damaged by the Portuguese who took potshots at the Hindu Gods with their rifles, but the sublime beauty of the caves remains. The site resonates with the spiritual energy of India, and was designated a World Heritage Site in 1987. Following your visit, proceed downhill to the tram. Your boat will be waiting for your trip back to Mumbai.
Please note: This tour entails a short walk up numerous steps. A limited number of palanquins or sedan chairs are available at Elephanta Island, but their use is in no way encouraged or sanctioned by RSSC. Rubber-soled shoes are recommended.
This city of many facets that enjoys its status as a commercial capital by day, transforms itself from a flourishing center of commerce and trade into a dazzling entertainment center when the sun sets and the lights come on.
After nightfall, you'll leave the pier and immerse yourself in the scintillating after-dark ambience of this intriguing city. Your experience begins with a drive to Pydhonie (or Colaba) to experience the Night market with its variety ranging from street food stalls to spice shops to silks and jewelry. Browsing through here offers the opportunity to meet local `Bombayites' known for their easy going and friendly nature.
Next, it's a scenic drive past the impressive gothic style buildings of the High Court, the Art District of Kala Ghoda, Victoria Terminus, the Center of Science and the landmark Gateway of India at Apollo Blunder. Illuminated at night, each of these notable sights seems to take on a distinctive and perhaps more beguiling character than is seen during the day. You will also travel down the Art Deco Marine Drive, referred to as the Queen's Necklace at night due to the vision it creates with the curved shape of the bay being accented by thousands of sparkling lights.
Stopping at the Regal Cinema Hall, Mumbai's first Art Deco theater, you'll enjoy a short viewing of a typical Hindi film. Nicknamed Bollywood, the city's film industry actually produces more movies per year than Hollywood.
Before returning to the pier, a final stop will be made at one of the city's trendy bars where you'll enjoy a nightcap before concluding what will surely be a memorable evening.
Please note: This tour includes limited walking and steps. Those with mobility concerns are cautioned to evaluate their personal level of ability and stamina.
This city of many facets that enjoys its status as a commercial capital by day, transforms itself from a flourishing center of commerce and trade into a dazzling and bustling entertainment center when the sun sets and the lights come on. This tour gives the adventurous traveler an opportunity to witness Mumbay’s night life.
As dusk falls, you'll leave the pier and immerse yourself in the scintillating after-dark ambience of this intriguing city. Your experience begins with a visit to the Regal Cinema Hall, Mumbai's first Art Deco theater, where you will have a short viewing of a typical Hindi film (in Hindi). Nicknamed Bollywood, the city's film industry actually produces more movies per year than Hollywood.
Enjoy a scenic drive past the impressive gothic style buildings of the High Court, the Art District of Kala Ghoda, Victoria Terminus, the Center of Science and the landmark Gateway of India at Apollo Blunder. Illuminated at night, each of these notable sights seems to take on a distinctive and perhaps more beguiling character than is seen during the day.
Mumbai's nightlife is epitomized by its countless restaurants, street-side cafés, bars and private clubs. It is in one of these venues, that you will have the opportunity to enjoy drinks and dinner. The delicious cuisine combined with the easy-going and friendly natures of your local hosts, makes for a truly memorable occasion. Following dinner, you'll rejoin your coach and travel down the Art Deco Marine Drive, referred to as the Queen's Necklace at night due to the vision it creates with the curved shape of the bay being accented by thousands of sparkling lights.
Before or after the movie, a stop will be made at a local night market with its many stalls selling everything from street food to silks, jewelry and exotic spices. Browsing through offers the opportunity to mingle with local Bombayites known for their easy going and friendly nature.
Please note: This tour includes approximately 45 minutes of walking and a flight of 20 steps to reach the theater. This tour is not available for wheel chair guests and those with mobility concerns are cautioned to evaluate their personal level of ability and stamina. Night market can be very crowded at times. Order of sights visited may vary.
Terms & Conditions:
Free Unlimited Shore Excursions are for full fare guests only, capacity controlled and subject to availability. Requested excursions may not be available at time of booking. Supplement will apply on Regent Choice excursions (indicated by the above) and excludes Private Arrangements and all Adventures Ashore programs. Concierge benefits do not apply to Executive Collection private cars or other private arrangements. In order to ensure quality guides and sufficient transportation, we must provide the tour operator with passenger counts at least 36 hours in advance. Therefore no refunds will be given within 36 hours of tour departure for cancellations or no-shows. Please pay special attention to scheduling and tour lengths when booking your shore excursions. In many cases, it is not possible to participate in more than one tour per day in a given port. Tour Departure times are subject to change so please reference your actual tour ticket for the correct departure time. Tours operate rain or shine. Minor children 17 years and under must be accompanied by a an adult 18 years or older on all shore excursions. Tours require minimum participation levels to operate so please sign up as early as possible. Tours may be cancelled if minimum participation levels are not met. Prices, Itineraries and General Information shore excursion prices are subject to change to meet unexpected cost increases or currency fluctuations. Please consult the Destination Services Desk onboard for information. During local or national holidays, access to certain facilities (such as museums or archaeological sites) may be limited or denied. In such instances, adjustments will be made to minimize inconvenience to guests. Some tours have limited availability. Tours are generally available for reserving 180 days prior to the beginning of a cruise. Please sign up early to avoid disappointment. Regent Seven Seas Cruises reserves the right to require guests to complete a liability waiver for select shore excursions. For more information, please visit the Destination Services Desk onboard.