Study Abroad Destination


Immerse yourself in a kaleidoscope of traditions.

Your Gateway to Southeast Asia

As one of the most populous nations in the world, India is bustling with a vibrant culture influenced by a variety of ethnicities and religions. Over the course of five to six days, Semester at Sea voyagers experience some of India’s many treasures, from the soaring minarets of the Taj Mahal to the serene banks of the Ganges River.

India Overview

New Delhi

SAS Port of Call
Mumbai, Kochi (Cochin)

Hindi, English

Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism

Parliamentary system, federal republic, parliamentary republic, constitutional republic

Indian rupee

1.42 billion (2023)

Why India?

The Indian subcontinent is a true melting pot of traditions, including those associated with Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, and Sikhism.

India is one of our most popular destinations among voyagers for its: 

  • Delicious local cuisine 
  • Breathtaking views and landmarks 
  • Lively urban culture   
  • Iconic architecture

The in-country excursions provided by SAS staff and local guides are a chance to take in a wide range of attractions without needing to personally handle logistics. 

Semester at Sea

India Experience

Semester at Sea ports of call in India include Cochin (Kochi) and Mumbai. Once in port, voyagers can choose from Field Programs including multi-day trips to Agra, New Delhi, Kerala, and more.

Highlights include:

  • Exploring the world-famous Taj Mahal mausoleum
  • Traveling to the holy city of Varanasi on the Ganges River
  • Visiting the rural, traditional village of Chendamangalam
  • Taking a ferry to Elephanta Island to visit the ancient Elephanta Cave
  • Experiencing a multi-day trek in the beautiful Western Ghats of Kerala 
  • Hiking in Sanjay Gandhi National Park
  • Learning about Indian cinema, famously known as “Bollywood”

Each Semester at Sea stop in India lasts only about five or six days, but the memories of this vibrant country last far longer.

Four women in brightly colored pants and pashmina scarves laugh as they pose in front of the Taj Mahal, a giant white palace with ornately carved minarets.


Voyager Travel Tips

A young man in a yellow jacket sits in a wooden boat on a river, looking toward the buildings along the shore. There is a yellow pashmina scarf wrapped around the lower half of the man's face. Seagulls fly in the background.
Travel Tips for Indian Ports of Call

Every destination and port of call is unique, and each carries its own set of circumstances and expectations for travelers. Our top priority is the health and safety of our voyagers — we want all program participants to be as informed as possible so they can enjoy each port experience to the fullest. 

Please be advised that the tips below provide a general overview of travel considerations, and are not intended to dissuade voyagers from experiencing this unforgettable destination.

local transportation small icon of a bus

Local Transportation

In-port transportation is coordinated by SAS. Urban transportation includes buses, taxis, rideshare services, and three-wheeled auto rickshaws. Trains and airplanes provide regional transportation. Overland travel by car can be hazardous, as roads are sometimes poorly maintained.

Required Documents

Ship ID, stamped e-Landing card, and passport (if flying to another city, staying in a hotel, or exchanging money in the bank).

Climate and Weather

Coastal India experiences a subtropical to tropical climate. Temperatures range from 68 °F to over 100 °F (20 °C–40+ °C). Extreme weather events include thunderstorms, heat waves, cyclones, and heavy rains.

Currency and Tipping

The local currency is the Indian rupee. Service charges are typically included in the bill in restaurants and hotels. A 5-10% tip for services is appreciated, but not expected. 

safety and security small icon of a shield with a checkmark inside

Safety and Security

Common concerns in urban areas include petty crime and assault. Always travel in-country with a partner or group; never travel alone. 

health and medical small icon with a medical cross on a briefcase

Health and Medical

Medical facilities are generally adequate in major cities but may be unavailable in rural areas. Disease threats vary according to region. Drinking water is generally unsafe in India — use only bottled, boiled, or otherwise purified water for drinking, cooking, and freezing. Avoid unregulated dining establishments. 


The primary method of contacting SAS voyage staff is via phone or text. Be aware that there may be a delay in sending messages or calls. WhatsApp has proven unreliable and should only be used as a secondary means of communication.

emergency services icon phone with quote and exclamation point

Emergency Services

All voyagers receive contact information for local police, fire, ambulance, medical emergency services, and the U.S. embassy and consulate. 

Before we dock in each port, we provide every voyager with specific information regarding health, safety, logistics, and more. 

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