Day 1: New Delhi
Be greeted by a Uniworld representative at the airport and transfer to the beautiful Oberoi Gurgaon hotel and resort, a luxurious retreat tucked away in the heart of India’s cosmopolitan capital.
Day 2: New Delhi
FEATURED EXCURSION: India’s Capital CityIndia’s seat of power for nearly a thousand years, Delhi bridges two distinctly different worlds—Old Delhi, the former capital, with its narrow lanes and splendid mosques; and New Delhi, established by the British, with wide tree-lined boulevards and handsome buildings. Spend your fi rst full day in India getting a panoramic overview of the city’s top sights, including Humayun’s Tomb—inspiration for the UNESCO-designated Taj Mahal—and birla house.
Day 3: New Delhi, transfer to Agra
FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Majesty and Grace— Agra Fort and the Taj Mahal at sundownThis morning’s destination is Agra Fort, the palatial walled city where Shah Jahan once lived, followed by lunch at the spectacular Oberoi Amarvilas. Check-in and enjoy a leisurely afternoon on the resort property, where every room offers stunning a view of the Taj Mahal. As the sun sets, you’ll have your fi rst opportunity to visit India’s most aweinspiring and iconic monument; this “elegy in marble,” commissioned by the broken-hearted Emperor Shah Jahan after his beloved wife died in childbirth, will literally take your breath away.
Day 4: Agra, transfer to Jaipur
FEATURED EXCURSION: Early morning at the Taj MahalVenture back to the Taj Mahal early in the morning, when the pristine white marble monument is aglow with the soft pink luster of dawn, and learn more about the mausoleum’s fascinating history, perfect proportions, precious building materials and intricate craftsmanship. After a scenic drive to Jaipur, the magnifi cent capital of the Indian state of Rajasthan, check in at the regal Oberoi Rajvilas and relax at the hotel.
Day 5: Jaipur
FEATURED EXCURSION: Jaipur—Rajasthan’s Princely CityYour tour of romantic Jaipur includes City Palace— a sprawling complex with lovely courtyards and gardens where the former royal family still lives— and the UNESCO-designated Jantar Mantar, a centuries-old observatory housing the world’s largest sundial and a superb collection of astronomical instruments. Relax during the afternoon or take a complimentary shuttle into town to explore the city’s bazaar, which overfl ows with high-quality textiles, jewelry and gemstones.
Day 6: Jaipur, fly to Kolkata (embark)
Transfer to Jaipur International Airport and fl y to Kolkata, India’s second-largest city, a clamorous yet captivating metropolis situated on the Lower Ganges. Cap off the day with a cultural performance onboard the Ganges Voyager II.
Day 7: Kolkata,
FEATURED EXCURSION: Mother Teresa’s home and tomb and the enduring legacy of the British RajThe former capital of the Raj, Kolkata offers intriguing glimpses of the British colonial period, including grand architecture such as the Writers’ Building, High Court and General Post Offi ce. Visit Mother Teresa’s former home, where the late Roman Catholic nun established the Missionaries of Charity in 1950, and her tomb, her fi nal resting place. Return to the ship for lunch and a scenic cruise that passes a number of former colonial settlements.
Day 8: Kalna
FEATURED EXCURSION: India’s “Temple City”There is no better way to see the sights of Kalna than via an exhilarating trishaw ride through the heart of the city. Kalna’s Rajbari complex has the region’s densest concentration of temples, including 108 intricately carved, slope-roofed structures devoted to Shiva.
Day 9: Matiari
FEATURED EXCURSION: Matiari master craftsmenObserve master craftsmen at work in Matiari, an artisans’ village revered for its fi nely wrought brassware. There will also be time to shop for village-made goods. Back onboard, roll up your sleeves for a mehndi demonstration—intricate henna designs—and learn how to tie a sari and a turban.
Day 10: Murshidabad, Baranagar
Today you’ll experience two Bengali towns, Murshidabad and Baranagar, both of which boast architectural monuments closely linked to the ruling families of the area. Approaching Murshidabad, a most unexpected sight unfolds before you—the massive Hazarduari Palace, famous for its thousand doors, both real and false, and its fi ne collection of antiques and British colonial artwork. Climb aboard a horse cart for a lively ride to Katra Mosque, one of the region’s largest and most interesting. Return to the ship for lunch, then board a sampan for an excursion to Baranagar. The village’s beautiful 18th-century brick temples are considered some of the fi nest examples of Bengal terracotta art. Later, enjoy an exquisite dinner back onboard, followed by the evening’s entertainment.
Day 11: Mayapur
FEATURED EXCURSION: Hare Krishna complex and Temple of the Vedic PlanetariumAfter a scenic morning cruise, the wildly colorful village of Mayapur, birthplace of the founder of the Hare Krishna movement, and its colossal Vedic temple await you. Millions of scholars and devout followers visit here every year. The village is also home to hundreds of second-generation Hare Krishnas born to North Americans and Europeans who relocated to India back in the 1960s.
Day 12: Bandel, Chandannagar, Kolkata
FEATURED EXCURSION: Discovering India’s fascinating dualitiesTravel by sampan to Bandel for a visit to the Hooghly Imambara, one of the most famous pilgrimage centers in West Bengal. The structure was designed to serve two functions—a mosque as well as an Imambara, a congregation hall for special religious ceremonies. Admire the site’s faded grandeur on a stroll around its vast courtyard, or ascend one of the tall twin towers for a marvelous view. Later, join an excursion to Chandannagar, which was a French colony for about 275 years and thus has a very different cultural heritage and character from the rest of India (most of which fell under British rule). Take a leisurely walk along the Strand, Chandannagar’s waterfront promenade, lined with lovely colonial-era buildings that have stood the test of time—including the former French governor’s residence and the Roman Catholic Sacred Heart Church. Chandannagar’s intriguing dual nature is evident elsewhere in the city, such as the schools that still teach both English and French, generations after the colonial rulers departed. Spend your last evening onboard enjoying a Farewell Dinner.
Day 13: Kolkata (disembark), transfer to the airport
Disembark the ship and transfer to Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport for your return flight home, or fl y to Varanasi for a 3-day optional extension in the holiest city on India’s holiest river, the sacred Ganges.