The ships are docked at Mormugao Port. Panjim, the main town, is 25 miles from the port. Taxis are generally available outside the port gate. Be sure to agree on the fare before starting out. There are no shuttle busses here, so it is a long walk to the gate entrance.
Mormugao port lacks a counter for prepaid taxis and autos. This means that cruise passengers wishing to get a glimpse of Goa have no choice but to bargain over the taxi fare when tourist taxi operators reveal their ridiculously high rates for few hours of sightseeing.
Beware not all taxis have a/c and not all cabbies speak English. Bargain hard!
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Mormugao (pronounced Marmagoa) is the main port facility of Goa located at the tip of a peninsula jutting out into the Arabian Sea. It is a 45-minute drive to Panjim. Close to Mormugao is the small town of Vasco da Gama. It serves as terminus for the railway line into Goa.
Old Goa is about 45 mins in a taxi, and will cost around 1000 rupees return(about 25 US dollars) for a multi person carrier. For that price you should be able to get the driver to take you for a drive around the Capital Panjim, which is worth a stop at.
It pays to compare your cruise line tours here.
Panjim is the capital of Goa State. Originally a suburb of Old Goa, Panjim is one of India's smallest and most pleasant state capitals. Built on the south bank of the wide Mandovi River, it officially became the capital of Goa in 1843.
The atmosphere is easygoing and the people are very friendly. In the oldest part of the town, the Portuguese heritage has survived remarkably well; there are narrow, winding streets, old houses with overhanging balconies and red-tiled roofs, whitewashed churches and numerous small bars and cafes - an atmosphere more reminiscent of the Mediterranean than of India.
Panjim was the first Cruise Port for voyages from Lisbon, and sailors visited the Church of the Immaculate Conception to give thanks for a safe crossing before continuing to Old Goa.
Housed in the convent at the back of the Church of St. Francis of Assisi in Old Goa, the museum features a collection of artifacts from the animist cult that flourished in this part of India centuries ago. Also on display are many portraits of the Portuguese viceroys, which offer an interesting study in the evolution of court dress.
Goa is well known for its beaches; Europeans have been flocking here since the early 1960s. The best beaches and resorts are at least six miles away.
There is little to buy in the area around Mormugao. In Panjim, the market is a good place to look for cashew nuts and straw products. In Old Goa, the Habitat Store sells handicrafts, carpets, items inlaid with marble, silks, brass ware and jewelry.
The currency in India is the Indian rupee.
In the big cities, credit cards are accepted at retail chain stores and other westernized restaurants and stores. Small businesses and family-run stores almost never accept credit cards, so it is useful to keep a moderate amount of cash on hand.
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Internet kiosks are everywhere nowadays and they charge as low as as Rs. 10 per hour. Beware of using your credit cards online as many cases have come forward regarding credit cards thefts using key loggers.
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