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Sri Lanka plus Maldives Cruise Extension

Cruising the South Malé, Vaavu & South Ari Atolls

18 days from only £3,299pp

Experience more with so much included

  • Explore four UNESCO world heritage sites of the Golden Temple Dambulla, sacred city of Kandy, Sigiriya and  the old town Galle Fort
  • Experience superb scenery, shimmering paddy fields, rubber and spice plantations, verdant tea estates, swaying coconut groves, and exotic wildlife
  • Guided tour of the 5th-century Royal Palace and Citadel at Sigiriya Rock plus a guided climb of the rock
  • Visit Kandy and see the Temple of the Tooth, said to house Buddha’s tooth, plus visit the stunning Royal Botanical Gardens
  • Guided tour of the local tea-growing areas in Nuwara Eliya with a Ceylon tea tasting
  • Visit feeding time at the Elephant Transit Home, where elephant orphans are looked after, before being re-introduced to the wild as endorsed by the Born Free Foundation
  • Enjoy a 4x4 drive in Yala National Park, famed for its wildlife
  • Hand-picked three and four-star accommodation, including all local taxes, with daily breakfast and dinner
  • Explore the extraordinary underwater worlds of the Maldives
  • Discover idyllic islands and stunning sandbanks
  • Enjoy an unforgettable beach barbecue on a desert island
  • Try traditional Maldivian-style line fishing under starlit skies
  • All meals included on board, including a beach BBQ and unlimited bottled water, tea and coffee daily
  • Opportunity to experience night snorkelling or go in search of whale sharks
  • Services of our experienced tour manager
  • Return travel from the UK with transfers to and from the hotel and ship included

Departures in November 2019 

 
At a Glance
3 to 4-star accommodation
7 nights on the Yasawa Princess
Return flights & transfers
Half board during the tour
Full board during the cruise
All port charges & airport taxes
Programme of daily tours & visits
Expert tour manager
Checked Luggage
 

Overview

As soon as you arrive, your senses are overwhelmed by Sri Lanka! The warm tropical air, the colourful wild flowers and the jungle, the striking colours of the saris adorning every woman, the variety of exotic fruits and spices, the beauty of the countryside, the mystique of countless temples and orange-clad Buddhist monks and wild elephants – this is a varied place indeed! Marco Polo, arguably the greatest explorer of all time, described it simply as the finest island in the world!

During its two thousand year history, Sri Lanka has attracted countless invaders and visitors from nearby India, the Arabs, the Portuguese, Dutch and finally the British. The 145 years of British rule left an indelible mark on Sri Lanka’s culture and institutions – from a deep love of cricket to the red pillar-boxes still found on street corners. Today, this fabled island of spices and gems is a vibrant blend of entrancing Buddhist culture, ancient cities, wildlife- rich lowland jungles, home to leopards, elephants and monkeys, a mist-shrouded hill country and tropical palm-fringed beaches.

Our tour takes you to all the major sites of historical and cultural interest, visiting three outstanding UNESCO World Heritage sites and finishing with three days’ relaxation in one of the country’s finest beach resorts. Two nights are spent in Sri Lanka’s fascinating ‘Cultural Triangle’, where we visit one of the best-preserved ancient sites on the Indian subcontinent. Sigiriya Rock, an impregnable 5th century palace and fortress clinging to the top of an immense granite monolith soaring up 600 feet is Sri Lanka’s most remarkable sight, with amazing views of the jungle-covered plain below. Around the base of the rock we see beautifully laid out fountains, gardens and bathing pools, incredibly still working, linked by an ingenious web of underground, gravity-fed water channels.

The cave temples of Dambulla, another World Heritage site, highlight Sri Lanka’s extraordinary artistic heritage. Their entire walls and ceilings are completely covered by sumptuously painted, perfectly preserved frescoes and shrines, whilst hundreds of gold-coloured statues of all shapes and sizes positively glow in the darkness - truly amazing! Kandy, formerly isolated by dense jungle, was the last capital of the Sri Lankan kings and is today custodian of Sinhalese culture. Here we visit the Royal Botanical Gardens which also contain, in a typical colonial house, the wartime HQ of Lord Louis Mountbatten and Far Eastern Command, as well as one of Buddhism’s holiest shrines, the Temple of the Tooth.

Sri Lanka’s hill-country is remarkably beautiful. The dense jungle of the lowlands gives way to more open countryside, with charming small villages, extensive lakes and pine-covered hillsides, with a slightly cooler and less humid climate. It was here during the 19th century that the vast tea estates were created by the British. We visit one of the finest such establishments before staying in the hill-station of Nuwara Eliya, with its colonial-era racecourse, bowling green, half-timbered houses and churches.

We also stay for two nights next to the county’s second-largest national park. The 380-square mile Yala National Park is famed for its high concentration of leopards. Its open undulating terrain with grassland and shrub jungle, as well as fresh and saltwater lagoons, make it ideal for spotting a wide variety of game including wild boar, sambar deer, sloth bears, plus over 200 bird species. We enjoy an exciting safari in the park. After our tour we drive to the west coast spending three nights by the stunning beaches of the Indian Ocean.

One of the most enjoyable things about a visit to this beautiful island is its delicious cuisine! Indeed, Sri Lanka was one of the original ‘Spice Islands’ with cinnamon, cochinilla, nutmeg and all manner of other exotic flavours combined with fresh vegetables including peppers, aubergines and okra blending wonderfully with fresh seafood and meat giving a truly unique and delicious cuisine. A further attraction of this remarkable country are the Sri Lankans themselves, one of the most friendly and hospitable people you’re likely to meet and immensely proud of their beautiful homeland. The fertile plains, the colourful towns and villages, the lush forests of the interior with the vast plantations of tea, rubber and coconuts will entrance you while its history and traditions will capture your imagination.

On selected departures, our tour of Sri Lanka continues to the Maldives on day 11 for a seven-night full-board (including breakfast, lunch and dinner) cruise aboard the three-star MV Yasawa Princess.

Embark on a unique and unforgettable seven-night cruise exploring the best of the Maldives, one of the lowest countries in the world with an average of 1.5 metres above sea level.  The best way to explore and travel through this island nation is by boat. So kick off your shoes, forget the news, relax, rejuvenate and enjoy the welcoming hospitality of this unique island nation. What makes these numerous tiny islands so special is that they’re actually the crowns of coral reefs and submerged volcanic mountains – in fact, just 1% of the Maldives is land-based. Only 200 of these are inhabited, which means there are many idyllic desert islands awaiting your fresh footprints on their unblemished shores. With a daily average of 8 hours sunshine and water temperatures barely falling below 25°C, the Indian Ocean is your swimming pool for the week.

Your days are filled with carefree pleasures, such as relaxing on pearly white-sand beaches in the shade of natural tropical vegetation, taking a dip in crystal waters of sparkling azure hues, and gazing at the glittering night sky. There are plenty of opportunities to snorkel beneath the warm waters of the Indian Ocean and immerse yourself in remarkable underwater worlds. The Maldives is blessed with beautiful reefs and home to fascinating marine life, from colourful tropical fish to whale sharks, manta rays and turtles.

Your Itinerary

Price Includes

The price of this holiday is per person, based on two people sharing a twin room on the Sri Lanka tour and a lower main-deck cabin on the Maldives cruise. Scheduled return flights to and from Colombo and from Colombo to Malé with a domestic flight in the Maldives. 9 nights with breakfast and dinner at four-star hotels in Sri Lanka and 7 nights with breakfast, lunch, dinner including unlimited bottled water, tea and coffee on the three-star MV Yasawa Princess’. All transfers, local taxes, port charges and tours as mentioned and the services of a Riviera Travel tour manager.

Night snorkelling, whale shark trip and an extra night fishing may be purchased locally at US$15 per person per activity.

Drinks & Equipment Package

7 night drinks package available on the Maldives cruise - from £140 per person

This includes all soft drinks, house wines by the glass, local beer, cocktail of the day (during happy hour) and local-branded spirits from midday daily. All international-brand/premium-brand drinks/spirits, non-house wines, sparkling wine, champagne are charged extra

Also included are a mask, snorkel and fins for 7 days.

Please contact us to book this package.

Useful Information

Important Note

The Maldives is a Muslim country.  According to Maldivian Law, it is prohibited to import alcoholic liquor, pork items, pornography, idols of worship and narcotics. If you have purchased any Buddha related items or alcohol in Sri Lanka, it is recommended to declare such items to customs upon arrival after luggage collection at x-ray security. The authorities hold such items declared or undeclared for you to collect as you depart at the end of your stay.

Dress code on board the MV Yasawa Princess

The dress code onboard is casual and informal, so there's no need to dress up for dinner.

Itinerary

  • Please note the cruise itinerary is dependent on weather and sea conditions and subject to change at short notice at the Captain’s discretion.
  • No islands or sandbanks are visited on arrival and departure days. 

Health and Mobility

Please consult your GP regarding the appropriate inoculations required for Sri Lanka at least a month before departure.

Whilst the travelling schedule shall pose no problems for people of any age in normal physical health, we would point out that we enjoy several walking tours around a number of historical sites where paths are uneven and uphill.

To fully enjoy the Maldives cruise, you should be able to swim.

The cruise is not suitable for customers who are unable to climb stairs, as there are no lifts on-board the MV Yasawa Princess.

We want to ensure you make the correct choice before you book your holiday with us. If you have any concerns regarding the suitability of the holiday due to reduced mobility we would encourage you to call us to discuss these concerns. General information on mobility in connection with our tours can be found here.

Fact File

  • Currency: Sri Lankan rupee, Maldivian rufiyaa
  • Deposit: £200 per person
  • Flight time: Approx. 10 hrs 35 mins
  • Languages: Sinhalese and Tamil (Sri Lanka), Dhivehi (Maldives)
  • Time zone: GMT +4.5 (Sri Lanka) and GMT +4 (Maldives) during UK summer daylight saving
  • Time zone: GMT +5.5 (Sri Lanka) and GMT +5 (Maldives) during UK winter months
  • Countries: Sri Lanka, Maldives

Visa Information

Maldives

For the Maldives a 30-day free visa is issued on arrival, no pre-arrival visa is required.

An immigration card is to be issued on your flight from Colombo to Malé. The address for place of stay is:

MV Yasawa Princess
Fila Building 1 (07-01)
Koli Umar Manik Goalhi
Malé
20026
Maldives

Telephone: 00 960 330 2556

Sri Lanka

All British passport holders will require a visa prior to travel to Sri Lanka. A Tourist Visa will cost US$35 per person and the visa will need to be applied for online using an Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) System. This can be obtained by logging on to www.eta.gov.lk

Here you will need to complete the online application form and submit it accordingly. The majority of the application form requires personal information. You will also be asked to provide the address of your accommodation in Sri Lanka, which will be the first hotel of your tour:

Jetwing Lagoon
Pamunugama Road
Thalahena
Negombo
Sri Lanka

Telephone: 00 94 31 22 33 777

Please ensure that your passport is valid for at least six months after the intended return date and there are at least two completely empty pages.

Without an approved ETA you will be denied entry to Sri Lanka. Visa costs are subject to change without notice and are non-refundable. 

Please note that due to the newly implemented Visa Fee Exemption, if you are travelling before the end of January 2020 the visa for Sri Lanka will be without a charge.

Whilst care has been taken to ensure that the information provided relating to visa requirements is true and correct at time of publication, changes in requirements after the time of publication may impact on the accuracy of this information. Therefore, whilst we strive to provide the most up-to-date information, we strongly suggest that you re-confirm requirements with the relevant embassy prior to application.

Transfer Times

All transfer times listed here are approximate, and dependent on traffic. If you have a question regarding transfer times please don't hesitate to contact us

Arrival airport First hotel location Transfer time Final ship location Departure airport Transfer time
Colombo Airport Negombo 40 mins Maamiligi Maamiligi Airport 15 mins

During the return journey, there will be a 30-minute domestic flight from Maamiligi Airport to Malé International Airport. 

Ships Available

MV Yasawa Princess
View Ship


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