The Real Marigold Hotel Tour


If you wish to follow in the footsteps of The Real Marigold Hotel, we are the best placed to take you and to explain the behind the scenes events of the filming of the series.

This unique excursion is available as a Shore Excursion as you leave your ship or as a One Day Tour from hotels, airports, train stations, …

Special Offer :
Individual bookings NOW : $109US per person
… and for a single request for 5 or more individual bookings we will give
an additional 3,5% discount = $105US per person

We are the experts … we participated in the TV series “The Real Marigold Hotel”

The producers of The Real Marigold Hotel requested our assistance during the planning stage of what became a very successful BBC1 TV series first shown in 2017. The group of celebrities visited sites in and around Kochi, Kerala.
We advised them on places to visit and provided the cars and drivers during the filming for the celebrities and the film crews. Our guides actually attended some of the events and appeared in the show !
We have now created a one day tour covering the exciting things shown on BBC television which include the major sights of our city through the eyes of local people.
This special excursion is available to cruise ship travellers as a shore excursion and as a one day tour for those based in or around Kochi. Upon request, we can also include it in our more extended tour packages.

The BBC TV celebrities

We drove and guided the BBC TV series celebrities


This is an experience rather than an ordinary tour. Your personnal guide will take you safely through the bustle and cacophony of everyday life in Kochi just as we did for the group of celebrities in The Real Marigold Hotel series on the TV series.

You will see and do things in Kochi similar to those experienced by the celebrities : local life, major sights, animated streets, colourful markets, meeting families, cooking lesson, typical Kerala lunch, tuk tuk ride, the hotel used during the programme…. and more. This is incredible India and you will probably witness unplanned surprises, a wedding, a celebration, a procession,… who knows ?

You will be able to take in the atmosphere of Kochi and leave with wonderful memories of our amazing city. Do not forget your camera to capture this original way of visiting Kochi.


Dhobi khana
Tuk tuk ride
Meet a local family for a cookery lesson
Typical Kerala lunch
Saint Francis Church
Chinese fishing nets
Fish market
Streets and markets
Paradesi Synagogue
The Real Marigold Hotel : Le Colonial

WARNING : We strongly recommend that you book well ahead in order to ensure to do The Real Marigold Hotel excursion with our experts.


Shore Excursions : Our vehicle will enter the protected Cruise Ship Port to pick you up as you leave your ship and to return you there at the end of your excursion before your ship’s sailing time.

One day tours : We will collect you at the location defined in your booking agreement (hotel, airport, train station, …) and return you there or to a different predefined place.


Dhobi khana

Dhobi Khana at Veli in Fort Kochi is where the Tamil-speaking Vannan community carry out laundry works using traditional methods.
This practice of the Vannan community has been traced back to the colonial period when they washed the army uniforms of the Portuguese or the Dutch. Families have cubicles each with a pool of water. Grey-haired men can be seen washing clothes in the cubicles using the traditional method of soaking the clothes in bleach and detergent water. Soaked clothes are washed by beating on a laundry stone. Starching the clothes is also done by dipping the clothes in starch obtained from boiled rice. Men and women do the ironing, some still using the traditional charcoal iron.

Tuk tuk ride

Known by some as a rickshaw, the tuk tuk is an exciting way to visit some of the smaller streets of Kochi and to ride like the richer locals through the colourful hustle and bustle.

Meet a local family for a cookery lesson

You will be welcomed by a local family into their home. Here you will have a cookery lesson on how to prepare delicious local food and participate in the preparation of lunch. You will then be invited to eat with the family.

Typical Kerala lunch in a family home

After the cookery lesson in the local family home you will have a typical Kerala lunch with its flavours as exciting as the local environment. The spicy dishes will be adapted to you palette.

Saint Francis Church

Originally built in 1503, Saint Francis Church is the oldest European church in India and has great historical significance as a mute witness to the European colonial struggle. The Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama died in Kochi in 1524 when he was on his third visit to India. His body was originally buried in this church, but after fourteen years his remains were removed to Lisbon by his only son. But the tombstone is still in the church.

Chinese fishing nets and fish market

The peaceful activities of the harbour include the Chinese fishing nets and the fish market. This world famous area has enchanted visitors for centuries. In this traditional method of fishing, nets are strung from huge curved bamboo and teak poles that are operated from the shore. Legend has it that they were introduced by the Chinese explorer Zheng He in the 14th century.

Streets and markets

You will pass through different parts of Kochi to see how we live and shop. There is a persistent old-world charm with a blend of Dutch, Portuguese and English style bungalows, quaint narrow streets and local markets.

Jewtown and its synagogue*
*Not available on Friday afternoons and Saturdays or on all Jewish holidays

Jewtown in Mattancherry is famous for the antique shops all along its sides.  The colonial buildings lining the street add to its old-world charm. Here you can breathe antiquity with curio and antique shops along the street capable of enchanting visitors with their variety and rarity.

The Paradesi Synagogue, in a corner of Jewtown, is more than a hundred years old and houses many rare antiques. The Jewish synagogue was built in 1568, almost 1500 years after the beginning of the Jewish connection with Kerala, on land given by the king of Cochin. It is the oldest in the Commonwealth. In 1662, it was destroyed by the Portuguese and then reconstructed, two years later, by the Dutch.

The Real Marigold Hotel : Le Colonial

You will see the hotel used for the BBC1 television series. The celebrities stayed in a boutique hotel in the centre of Kochi: Le Colonial.

Le Colonial dates back to 1506 and is one of India’s oldest colonial houses, possibly the oldest. For its first 150 years, it was home of the Portuguese Governor and it was one of the few houses not to be destroyed when the Dutch conquered Kochi. After that, it was the home of the Dutch governors for another century and a half before it was sold to the British in 1795. It ended up being owned by English tea trader J. Thomas. Nowadays its eight rooms are kitted out with private bathrooms, air-conditioning, four-poster beds and wifi.


5th Nov 2019: AIDA AVITA 9.00 am – 8.00pm
13th Nov 2019 COSTA VICTORIA 8.00 am – 6.00pm
19th Nov 2019 SEABOORN ENCORE 8.00 am – 6.00pm
20th Nov 2019 AZAMARA QUIEZT
21st Nov 2019 AZAMARA QUIEZT
22nd -23rdNov 2019 SILVER SPIRIT
24th  Nov 2019 SEVEN SEAS VOYAGER 8.00 am- 10.00pm
27th Nov 2019 COSTS VICTORIA 8.00 am – 6.00 pm
28th -29th Nov 2019 MARILLA DISCOVERY
4th Dec 2019 OCCIANA Early- evening
10th Dec 2019 SEABOURN OVATION 10.00 am- 6.00pm
11th Dec 2019 COSTA VICTORIA 8.00am- 6.00pm
12th Dec 2019 CELEBRITY CONSTELLATION 7.00am- 4.00pm
17th Dec 2019 NAUTICA 6.00 am- 4.00pm
24th Dec 2019 CELEBRITY CONSTELLATION 12.00pm-4.00pm
25th Dec 2019 COSTA VICTORA 8.00am- 6.00pm
30th 31st Dec 2019 AZAMARA QUEZT
8th Jan 2020 COSTA VICTORIA 8.00am- 6.00am
11th  Jan 2020 CELEBRITY CONSTELLATION 7.00am- 4.00 pm
21st Jan 2020 OCCIANA Early Morning – Afternoon
22nd Jan 2020 COSTA VICTORIA 8.00am – 4.00 pm
23rd Jan 2020 CELEBRITY CONSTELLATION 12.00 pm – 9.00 pm
5th Feb 2020: COSTA VICTORIA 8.00 am – 6.00pm
10th -11th  Feb 2020 BOODICCIA am – late pm
17th  Feb 2020 MEIN SCHIF 5 8.30am
19th Feb 2020 COSTA VICTORIA 8.00 am – 6.00pm
22nd Feb 2020 CELEBRITY CONSTELLATION 12.00pm-4.00pm
26th Feb 2020 MACRAPOLO 6.00 am- 11.00pm
4th March 2020 COSTS VICTORIA 8.00 am – 6.00 pm
5th March 2020 M S E SPLENDIDA 8.00am- 6.00pm
9th March 2020 OCCIANA Early morning-  Early evening
10th -11th March 2020 AZAMARA QUIEZT 10.00 am- 6.00pm
11th March 2020 CELEBRITY CONSTELLATION 7.00am- 4.00pm
13th March 2020 SILVER SPIRIT 8.00am- 6.00pm
18th March 2020 VASCO DI FAMA 6.00 am- 4.00pm
23rd March 2020 ALBATROS 10.00am-8.00pm
26th March 2020 SEABOORN OVATION 7.00am- 6.00pm
29th March 2020 SEVEN SEAS MARINER 5.00am- 6.00 pm
30th -31st March 2020 CRYSTAL CERENITY 2.00pm
31st Mar-1st April 2020 VIKING SUN
2nd April 2020 MARELLA DISCOVERY 7.00am
6th April 2020 AIDA AVITA 8.00am – 6.00 pm
7th April 2020 SEVEN SEAS VOYAGER 10.00 pm – 7.00 pm
11th April 2020 COLUMBUS 6.00am – 7.00am
15th April 2020 SILVER WHISPER 8.00am-8.00pm
19th -20th April 2020 AZAMARA JOORNEY
26th April 2020 INSIGNIA
12th May 2020 Nautica 8.00am-8.00pm

 You can choose from the following options :

Individual bookings NOW : $109US per person
… and for a single request for 5 or more individual bookings we will give
an additional 3,5% discount = $105US per person

The price is all inclusive and includes
• Pick up and drop off at your ship in Kochi Port or at your hotel
• Fully air conditioned vehicle, recent and in excellent condition
• Escort by a friendly professional English speaking guide
• Cookery lesson and typical Kerala lunch in a local family home
• Entrance fees to the selected sites and camera fees where applicable
• A bottle of water per person in the vehicle


Please use the form below to book your trip with Shore Excursions India. We have a policy of replying within 48 hours.
If you are a Cruise Ship Guest booking a Shore Excursion, please indicate the excursion you require and the name of your ship.
Otherwise, please indicate the tour you have selected and the points of pick up and drop off.

More Kochi Excursions

You can use the following links to offers on our other Kochi Excursions.
Each page gives the itinerary of the excursion, its price and a booking facility.

Kochi Backwaters and Old Town
Jewish Heritage in Kerala
Kochi Local Life


WE ARE are a Government Approved Tours and Travel Company and a Government Approved Cruise Liner Transporter.
WE HOLD the Government Permit allowing entrance to the protected Cruise Ship Port.
WE PICK YOU UP as you leave your ship and to return you there at the end of your excursion before your ship’s sailing time.
WE PROVIDE excursions for Cruise Ship travellers wishing to discover the incredible sites of India in and around our wonderful city.
WE SERVE cruise ships regularly and know how to meet their requirements.
OUR EXCURSIONS are all-included no-hassle excursions with no add-ons and no unwanted commercial visits. Obviously you will support any personal expenses you might decide to incur.
OUR VEHICLES are recent, fully air conditioned, comfortable, safe, clean and perfectly serviced.
OUR SMALL GROUP POLICY enables you to enjoy a private tour in a convivial atmosphere, ideal for communicating with your guide and visiting the sites together.
OUR GUIDES are English Speaking Official Guides who will accompany you during the whole of the excursion, guide you round the sites, and explain local culture and history. They will be delighted to give you any additional information you might request (if you prefer another language, please consult us for a quote).
OUR DRIVERS are Government Registered Tourist Drivers who furthermore have signed our Drivers’ Charter.
OUR EMPLOYEES are professional, experienced and trustworthy local people who will look after you at all times.
WE CARE FOR YOU AS OUR GUEST to ensure you enjoy your excursion in comfort and security. We will take you only to safe areas and to places of proven quality.
CUSTOMER REVIEWS can be found on this website and on the links to TripAdvisor. We encourage you to add your own review after your excursion to help Cruise Ship travellers choose us.
OUR REPUTATION depends on YOUR SATISFACTION and we are organised to achieve your satisfaction during your excursion.


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