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Oriental fragrances, scents of spice, lush green landscapes, age-old stories: PONANT invites you on a journey to discover a mosaic of peoples and cultures. Sri Lanka and India welcome you on a 12-day cruise aboard Le Jacques-Cartier, between charming towns and surprising nature. Let yourself fall under the spell of these eastern lands bordered by the Indian Ocean and influenced by Buddhist and Hindu traditions.
Throughout your journey, you will benefit from an excursion included per person per port of call, to choose from a selection offered by PONANT. During this cruise, visit the Goa Chitra Ethnographic Museum and the Figueiredo Mansion from your port of call in Goa, explore the marvellous Sigiriya site, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, from Trincomalee, or appreciate the charms of Galle as you spend time discovering the city. The diversity of experiences on offer promises you intense and varied moments (to discover the full range of excursions, go to the itinerary tab).
Your journey starts with the discovery of flamboyant Mumbai. The capital of Bollywood films, the most populated city in India - nicknamed of 'Maximum City' - conjures up many descriptions and will offer you a unique experience to complete your cruise.
Your first port of call will take you to Goa. This former colony of the Portuguese Indies is prized for its long beaches and its rich cultural heritage, in particular a collection of late 16th-century churches and convents, which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
You will sail down the Malabar Coast to arrive in cosmopolitan Kochi. Constructed on a lagoon on the Arabian Sea, between islands and a peninsula, this royal city has kept its yesteryear charm. Set off aboard traditional boats to discover the surrounding fishing villages located in the 'backwaters', a network of lakes and canals criss-crossing the region's dense vegetation.
Le Lapérouse will set sail for Galle, recognisable by the 16th-century fortifications that encircle the town. The successive Portuguese, Dutch and British colonisations left this city with unique architecture, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and a heritage shaped by multiple influences.
A little further, Hambantota is the gateway towards the luxuriant heart of the country. On an excursion into the Yala National Park, you will witness Sri Lanka's abundant wildlife: leopards, elephants, sloth bears, monkeys and almost 200 bird species inhabit this must-see site.
From Trincomalee, visit the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of historic city of Polonnaruwa, a fortified city from the 11th century, and the splendid golden Temple of Dambulla.
Your journey will come to an end in the bubbling Sri Lankan capital Colombo that will plunge you into the distinctive atmosphere of the country once known as Ceylon. Renowned for its spices, such as cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg, it is a trading location, a crossroads port between Asia and Europe.