Colorful India & the Ganges River with Southern India & Varanasi 2020
18 Day River Cruise Cochin to Kolkata
Starting at $7,029
Destinations & Sightseeing
Itinerary and Meals
Enter a world of color, culture, and cherished spiritual tradition of India. Your guided tour of India and Ganges River cruise begins in the Southern India city of Cochin, where you’ll take a cruise on the backwaters of Kerala to witness life along the scenic and serene waterways. Explore Mumbai, home to “Bollywood,” and Varanasi, to watch the Hindu’s devotional bathing in the Ganges. Continue on to the bustling city of Delhi. You’ll tour the city with your expert local guide, and take a rickshaw ride through the Chandni Chowk bazaar—brimming with everything from silver and spices to saris of every color. You’ll visit Qutub Minar—the world’s largest brick minaret, and see Delhi’s largest Sikh gurudwara (house of worship), before traveling to Agra—site of the legendary Taj Mahal. Join a sunrise excursion to the Taj Mahal—the iconic memorial build by Moghul emperor Shah Jahan for his beloved wife. More than 20 years in the making, the Taj Mahal stands as the pinnacle of love’s devotion, and is also yours to experience at sunset if you wish. In Jaipur, see the famous Palace of the Winds, and tour the spectacular Amber Fort, before flying to Kolkata to board your Ganges river cruise. The holy river of Hinduism, the Ganges, slowly courses through one of the world’s most fertile and populated areas. Along its banks, human life is connected to its waters and you’ll get a glimpse of life away from India’s big cities. See muslin weaving in Kalna and candy making in Matiari. Stop in Murshidabad for an excursion to Azimganj and Jiaganj—to savor authentic Indian tea, as well as stunning gold and silversmith workshops. You’ll meet saree weavers, goldsmiths, and pottery makers. You’ll also visit the fascinating Hare Krishna headquarters in Mayapur, and visit Saint Mother Teresa’s former home upon your return to Kolkata. All of this and more await you on this once-in-a-lifetime guided tour of India and a Ganges River cruise.
Destination & Sightseeing
|Day 1 Cochin, India:||Welcome to India|
|Day 2 Cochin:||Sightseeing including the Chinese Fishing nets, walking tour through Jewish Quarter, and Kerala Folklore Museum; cruise on the backwaters of Kerala|
|Day 3 Cochin–Mumbai:||Fly to Mumbai.|
|Day 4 Mumbai:||See the Gateway of India; visits to the Hanging Gardens, Mumbai Museum, and Mani Bhavan.|
|Day 5 Mumbai–Varanasi:||Fly to Varanasi. Witness the Ganga Aarti|
|Day 6 Varanasi–Delhi:||Watch the Hindus’ devotional bathing ritual; excursion to Sarnath; fly to Delhi.|
|Day 7 Delhi:||See Red Fort, Jama Masjid, India Gate, and the Presidential Palace; rickshaw ride through Chandni Chowk bazaar|
|Day 8 Delhi–Agra:||Sightseeing including visits to Qutab Minar, Humayun’s Tomb, and Gurudwara Bangla Sahib; drive to Agra|
|Day 9 Agra:||Sunrise visit to Taj Mahal; Agra Fort; sunset visit to Taj Mahal|
|Day 10 Agra–Jaipur:||Drive to Jaipur; afternoon sightseeing including visits to the City Palace and Jantar Mantar|
|Day 11 Jaipur:||Excursion to Amber Fort; time at leisure; cultural performance in evening|
|Day 12 Jaipur–Kolkata (Embarkation):||Fly to Kolkata; onboard welcome reception|
|Day 13 Kalna:||Sightseeing by rickshaw; visit a temple complex to receive blessings from a priest and visit a muslin-weaver’s home|
|Day 14 Matiari:||Walking tour of village to interact with brass craftsmen and see traditional sweets being made|
|Day 15 Murshidabad. Excursion to Azimganj & Jiaganj:||Walking tour of Azimganj to see gold and silversmith workshops; sample tea in a local home; travel by electric rickshaw to see saree weaving in Jiaganj|
|Day 16 Mayapur–Guptipara:||Morning visit to the ISKCON temple in Mayapur; rickshaw ride through Guptipara to see pottery-making and a farmer’s home|
|Day 17 Kolkata:||Guided walk through the flower market; visit Mother Teresa’s Home, the Calcutta Rescue, and the Victoria Memorial Museum; farewell dance performance|
|Day 18 Kolkata:||End of vacation|
Willingdon Island Cochin India
Set on the man made Willingdon Island, the Taj Malabar, Cochin has breathtaking view of Cochin's famous natural harbor and backwaters. A seamless blend of old world charm and new age luxuries, the hotel promises the finest and most unique leisure experiences. It is the perfect place to start any journey through Kerala.
Nariman Point Mumbai India
The tone is set the moment you step into the lobby of the Oberoi, Mumbai with its tremendous skylight and white Thassos marble tile. Set on exclusive Marine Drive, this luxury hotel affords unmatched views of the Queen's Necklace and Back Bay. Indulge in luxury dining or refresh with a signature treatment at the spa.
Nadesar Palace Ground Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh Varanasi India
Featured among the top hotels in the city, The Gateway Hotel Varanasi is nestled amidst 40 acres of lush gardens. Enjoy their outdoor pool, fitness center, restaurants and bar. De-stress with their rejuvenating Spa therapies. Inspired by the principles and practices of yoga and yogic lifestyle, the unique experiences infuses your mind, body, and soul with positive energy.
Dr. Zakir Hussain Marg New Delhi India
"The Oberoi, New Delhi is an iconic luxury hotel in the heart of New Delhi. The freshly updated interiors are a contemporary interpretation of Sir Edwin Lutyens. The hotel has 220 rooms, with authentic furnishings and handpicked artwork. Dining options include international cuisine, authentic Indian, and Chinese. There is also a rooftop bar, one of the most sophisticated and fashionable destinations in New Delhi."
Taj East Gate Rd Agra India
The Oberoi Amarvilasenjoys an unrivalled location just 600 metres from the iconic Taj Mahal. Unwind with a cocktail in the only bar in the world with views of the ancient monument, or relax in the outdoor pool surrounded by beautiful gardens.
Jacob Rd, Civl Lines Jaipur India
Set amidst 18 acres of beautifully landscaped Moghul gardens, this incomparable Palace dates back to 1745 A.D. A masterpiece in the Indo Saracenic style of architecture, it blends spotlight grabbing opulence with tantalizing comforts that transport guests to a world of Rajasthan magnificence. It is located downtown, close to the main shopping center and historical monuments.