delightful way to spend an evening in Goa is to take a sunset Mandovi River cruise, organised by the Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC), and also by private operators.
The GTDC operates a range of boat trips along the Mandovi River, including daily hour-long cruises (Rs 350; 6pm & 7.15pm) and two-hour dinner cruises (Rs 650; 8.45pm) aboard the Santa Monica. All include a live band and dancers, sometimes lively, sometimes lacklustre, performing Goan folk songs and dances. Cruises depart from the Santa Monica jetty beside the New Patto Bridge, where the GTDC boat counter also sells tickets.
Three private companies also offer one-hour night cruises (Rs 350; 6pm, 7pm & 8.30pm) departing from Santa Monica jetty.
The GTDC cruises are a little more staid, while others, maybe because of the bars and DJs, can get rowdy with groups of local male tourists.
You can take your own free tour aboard the local ferries that depart frequently (whenever full) at the dock next to Quarterdeck; locals have reported seeing dolphins on evening rides. Avoid rush hour, when the boats are crammed.
Some operators, such as Sea Adventure, organise specialised tours through the backwaters, a vibrant mangrove habitat and home to marsh crocodiles and migratory birds. Focussing on culture and food, Spice Villages, takes visitors to the sylvan settings of spice plantations, which attract flocks of beautiful birds.