27 Night Authentic Asia India Cruise with Ganges Voyager

from $17,195

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  • 12142
  • Ocean
  • 01 Jan 00
  • Asia
  • From 06 Nov 15 to 14 Nov 16
  • From 03Dec15 to 11Dec16
  • 27 nights
  • Haimark Luxury River Expeditions
  • Cruise Only

This all-inclusive Fly-Stay-Cruise tour package takes you on an epic journey through magical India for 27 nights from $17,195 per person. 

 

Important Terms

  • * Rates quoted are in Australian dollars.
  • Rates are in AUD/USD
  • Prices are per person, based on twin share, inclusive of port charges, taxes, and all discounts unless otherwise stated.
    Single occupancy and 3rd guest rates are available upon request.
  • Prices shown are fully inclusive of taxes unless otherwise stated.
  • Advertised price includes any bonus nights, special offers or discounts listed in the inclusions.
  • Surcharges may apply due to demand, Christmas & New Year's Eve, school or public holidays, trade shows, special events & other unforeseen circumstances.
  • Prices may be based on Dynamic Rates and as such, may fluctuate at anytime without notice, due to matters outside our control, such as adverse currency fluctuations, fuel surcharges, taxes and airfare increases, or at the property's discretion.
 

Kolkata to Mumbai (Westbound)

Day 1 – Australia to Kolkata (Calcutta)

Fly with Singapore Airlines to Kolkata via Singapore. Kolkata can be overwhelming, perhaps like no other city. Crowded, alive and vibrant, it has a rich intellectual and cultural heritage and is home to people proudly calling themselves ‘Calcuttans’.

As the East’s most important city with some 10 million inhabitants, it’s a nerve centre of trade and industry and was made famous as the ‘City of Joy’ by author and humanitarian Dominique Lapierre.

Overnight will be at the Taj Bengal.

Day 2 – Kolkata

Following breakfast, a half day tour of Kolkata begins at the Jain Temple (the ‘Jewel Box Temple of Calcutta’). This temple’s exquisite design is dedicated to the 10th of the 24 Jain Tirthankaras and is an ornate mix of mirrors, coloured stones and glass mosaics. The tour continues to Kumartolli where craftsmen skilfully produce idols by hand for Kolkata’s many festivals (puja). Next on the itinerary is the wondrous Marble Palace.

This palatial and private residence houses compelling statues and art (including Rubens) and, of course, stunning marble walls and floors. Lunch at a local restaurant concludes the tour before transferring to RVGangesVoyager for awelcome reception, dinner and an entertaining cultural performance.

Overnight onboard.

  Kolkata Flower Market
Victoria Memorial Hall and a Flower Market, Kolkata

Day 3 – Kolkata and Cruising

After breakfast a visit to Mother Teresa’s house will reveal where this famed altruist began her Missionary of Charity in 1952, including an exhibition on her life’s work, her tomba nd the room she occupied until her death. The tour includes a visit of the still operational Sishu Bhavan orphanage led by one of the charity’s sisters.

After lunch visit the well-preserved British colonial area, including: the Writer’s Building, General Post Office, High Court, Raj Bhawan (Governor’s House), Treasury and Dalhousie Square (now known as Benoy-Badal-Dinesh Bagh). The tour includes the oldest Anglican church, St. John’s — home to tombs of British generals and India’s oldest pipe organ. The Victoria Memorial Hall is next, it houses the country’s largest collection of colonial history inside a design echoing the Taj Mahal.

Overnight onboard.

Taj Mahal
The Taj Mahal

Day 4 – Kalna and Cruising

This morning starts with a ride through Kalna to Rajbari’s enchanting temples. This unique mixture of Bengali architecture features an amazing 108 ‘aat–chala’ Shiva temples. The Pratapeshwar Temple contains terra cotta plaques depicting themes of Hindu epics, mythical life of Sree Chaitanya and aspects of day-to-day life.

Overnight onboard.

Day 5 – Matiara and Cruising

An early morning arrival in Matiari provides for a visit to a shoreside bazaar. The village is renowned for its handcrafting of superb brass pieces. Master craftsmen recycle copper into splendid pots and platters, and their metal-working rings out from the many house-workshops. Today sail past the 1757 battlefield of Plassey, here Robert Clive of British East India Company defeated the Mogul Nawabs and their French allies to commence the company’s rule in India.

Day 6 – Murshidabad and Cruising

Today includes a visit to Murshidabad. This hidden architectural gem of a city features dramatic whitewashed, colonial-era structures and the imposing Hazarduari Palace. Built in Greek Doric-style, it has a thousand real and false doors in vast corridors. The tour then visits the vast Nizamat Imambara, India’s largest congregation hall for Shia worshippers. A buggy ride to the Katra Mosque is next. This massive complex is used for Friday prayer and could once hold 2,000 followers.

The intrigue of everyday village-life and the charm of locals will be evident during the return to RV Ganges Voyager.

Overnight onboard.

Day 7 – Farakka, Rajmahal and Cruising

This morning the RV Ganges Voyager passes through the lock gates at Farakka Barrage. One of India’s largest dams, it was begun in 1962 but only completed in 1973. En route to Rajmahal, the countryside changes from ‘lunar’ sandbanks to verdant farming area.

Following lunch, there’s time for a brief walk down Grand Trunk Road—for over two millennia it was the essential trade link between South Asia and Central Asia. Reaching the ruins of Rajmahal (founded as Bengal’s capital in 1592) there’s the opportunity to explore this marvellous palace and its mosque, frescos and architecture from the Mughal and Bengal periods.

On the return to RV Ganges Voyager there’s a chance to see locals working china clay (kaolin) into porcelain.

Overnight onboard.

Day 8 – Batewarsthan and Cruising

After breakfast, RV Ganges Voyager’s chef will host an entertaining cooking class and lecture on Indian cuisine. Then, following lunch, a scenic drive contrasts a farming village with the ancient ruins of Vikramashila University.Dating fromthe 8th century, this important centre of Buddhist learning with studies in theology, philosophy, grammar, metaphysics and logic. The day concludes with visiting a museum and its fascinating collection of regional artifacts.

Overnight onboard.

Day 9 – Munger and Cruising

Munger was an key outpost during British rule and its stunning Red Fort, waterfront and colonial homes are on ready display during a rickshaw ride through the village. A late afternoon visit to the Bihar School of Yoga is a chance to learn some basic yoga practices in a world renowned ashram.

Overnight onboard.

Day 10 – Munger and Cruising

The last full day of sailing passes through a section of Bihar and the chance to see the myriad wildlife living in and on the Ganges, including Gangetic dolphins, otters, antelopes and osprey.

Overnight onboard.

Day 11 – Patna and Cruising

After breakfast, the scenic cruising concludes at Patna’s colonial waterfront before a final lunch and dinner on board.

Overnight onboard.

Day 12 – Patna and Varanasi

After an early breakfast farewell RV Ganges Voyager and take a half day drive to Varanasi (with lunch en route). Varanasi is important to pilgrims because the Ganges flows through this ‘eternal city’ with the power to wash away sins. Mark Twain saw it as “…older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend and look[ing] twice as old as all of them put together.”

For pious Hindu, the city is held to be an auspicious place to die and one that ensures an instant routing to heaven. This evening witness the ‘Aarti’ on the Ganges’ banks before taking a short rickshaw ride through intriguingly narrowlanes.

Overnight at the Taj Ganges Gateway.

Varanasi  Aarti
The banks of the Ganges in Varanasi and an Aarti ceremony

Day 13 – Varanasi

An early start allows a visit to the Daswamedh Ghat for the sunrise before meandering by boat along this most sacred river. During pilgrimages, the faithful use the steps to perform their religious ablutions.Watching people worship is an extraordinary experience and there is also the possibility of seeing a funeral pyre. Returning to the hotel, breakfast is provided before a city tour.

The Bharat Mata Temple is an important stop. Mahatma Gandhi inaugurated it so that citizens could respect Mother India in a statue form.

The Banaras Hindu University (with some 20,000 students) and the Durga Temple are among other highlights visited before arriving at the buried city of Sarnath. Chosen by Buddha to deliver his first sermon, this site is as holy to Buddhists as Varanasi is to Hindus.

Overnight at the Taj Ganges Gateway.

Day 14 – Varanasi and Delhi

In the morning there’s time to enjoy Varanasi at leisure before an afternoon transfer to the airport for a flight to Delhi. Delhi is home to some 14 million, it sprawls over nearly 1,500 square kilometres and dates some 3,000 years. Divided in two (Old and New Delhi) the old part was founded as Shahjahanabad and has the famous Red Fort as a focal point. The planning for New Delhi started in 1911 after the British decreed that Calcutta would no longer be India’s capital. An evening at leisure allows further exploration of this alluring city.

Overnight at the Imperial Hotel.

The Imperial New Delhi
The Imperial New Delhi

Day 15 – Delhi

A tour of Old Delhi starts after breakfast, visiting Jama Masjid, India’s largest mosque and Shah Jahan’s final architectural extravagance. Of course, the tour also includes the Red Fort and its massive walls extending an amazing two kilometres. A rickshaw ride follows, along the main street of Old Delhi to the colourful Chandni Chowk shopping bazaar. The morning’s final stop is at Raj Ghat where a simple square of black marble marks Mahatma Gandhi’s cremation following his assassination in 1948.

After lunching at a local restaurant, the tour proceeds to NewDelhi to visit Humayun’s Tomb. An early example of Mughal architecture, it is an awesome combination of sandstone and marble with wondrous inlay patterns and commanding regional views. Next is the Qutub Minar, an ornate tower dating from 1192 and reaching a staggering 73 metres high. Equally surprising, a iron pillar standing nearby has remained rust free for 1500 years. Other highlights include driving on Raj Path avenue to the imposing

India Gate monument before enjoying the rest of the evening at leisure.

Overnight at the Imperial Hotel.

Day 16 – Delhi and Agra

Following breakfast, it’s a half day drive to Agra. The afternoon is at leisure to delight in the contrast of red sand stone and white marble edifices, and exploring narrow alleys with quaint buggies. This evening visit one of the world’s most revered buildings: the Taj Mahal. A mausoleum to the beloved spouse of Shah Jahan, it includes a forecourt, a lofty entrance, a charming Mughal garden with canals, fountains, the tomb proper, and mosques. It took 20,000 workers and 1,000 elephants to construct this wonder.

This evening enjoy pre dinner drinks in the hotel bar, whilst gazing at the Taj Mahal from the bar terrace. Following, we will have dinner in the hotel restaurant.

Overnight at The Oberoi Amarvilas.

Day 17 – Agra

After breakfast, it is time to visit the awe-inspiring Agra Fort (though at 40 hectares, it’s more a walled city). Originally a brick fortress, visitors delight in this immense mix of Hindu and Islamic architecture and wonder at defensive systems that defeated war-elephants. The afternoon will be at leisure.

Overnight at The Oberoi Amarvilas.

Day 18 – Agra and Ranthambore

Sunrise allows for a revisiting of the Taj Mahal, this time to see it in all of its fabulous morning glory.

Returning to the hotel for breakfast, the morning continues with a drive of some two hours to Bharatpur. En route there’s time to visit Fatehpur Sikri—a 16th century fairy tale city deserted upon completion, it is a fascinatingly bizarre ‘ghost town’. Buland Darwaza, the world’s largest gateway, guards the city’s southern entrance and is worthy of a visit in its own right.

After lunch at The Bagh, a historic resort in Bharatpur, transfer to the railway station for an express to Ranthambore. Upon arrival guests will be met and transferred to the hotel. Spanning about 65,000 hectares, this national park includes lakes, rivers, forests and open bush land. Once the Maharajahs’ private hunting grounds, the park is now active in tiger conservation and they can be spotted while hunting prey or rolling lazily in the sun .

The park is a World Heritage Site with many picturesque ruins and the majestic centuries-old Ranthambore Fort standing witness to the region’s glorious past. Leopard, hyena, jackal, sloth bear and wild boar roam the reserve along with deer, nilgai, chinkara and langur monkeys.

Please note: accommodation is either at The Oberoi Vanyavilas in a luxury tent (for suite guests) or Vivanta by Taj Lodge (for state – room guests). Upgrades to Vanyavilas are an additional $980 per person twin share. As space is limited at Vanyavilas upgrades are offered on a ‘first come, first served’ basis.

Day 19 – Ranthambore and Jaipur

Today’s adventures include two game drives (one early morning and another in the afternoon) in search of tigers, nilgai, sloth bears, crocodiles, eagles and rare red jungle fowl.

Overnight at selected Ranthambore accommodation.

Day 20 – Ranthambore and Jaipur

An early start this morning allows for still one more exciting game drive before returning for breakfast in the hotel. Next, it’s time to drive a couple of hours to experience the wonders of Jaipur. Now a bustling metropolis, it retains the character of its 18th century founding and presents an engaging fusion of yesteryears and modernity.

It is known as ‘the Pink City’ due to an abundance of pink plastered stone, painted so in honour of the royal consort of Queen Victoria. Jaipur never fails to thrill visitors with its massive forts, magnificent palaces, exquisite temples and lush gardens.

Overnight at The Rambagh Palace.

Day 21 – Jaipur

Tour Amber Fort with its distinctly Mughal influenced architecture. Commenced in 1600, this opulent palace stunningly combines red sandstone and marble. Afterwards, there’s an elephant ride at Dera Amer — a private farm near the fort—before enjoying a champagne lunch.

During the afternoon visit Jaipur and the exquisite Hawa Mahal. Famed for a pink façade, it was built for the Maharaja’s harem with 953 windows and intricate latticework. Cool air circulates readily and the royal ladies could watch everyday life. The City Palace entices visitors back into the centre of Jaipur.

This enormous complex comprises several palaces along with pavilions, temples, wonderful gardens and a museum. Today’s exploration concludes with visiting the famous Jantar Mantar Observatory. Built in the 18th century, its instruments measure ‘the harmony of heavens’ correctly to within half a second.

Overnight at The Rambagh Palace

Day 22 – Jaipur and Jodhpur

After breakfast, a full day drive to Jodhpur includes a lunch stop. Founded in 1459, the city gradually expanded beyond the walls of the imposing Meharangarh Fort. Lying on the ancient silk route linking Central Asia to northern India, it became a major trading centre and still serves as such for cattle, camels and crops. As temples, monuments and grand gardens were added, its beauty evolved in a captivating contrast to the harsh surrounding land.

Overnight at Umaid Bhawan Palace

Day 23 – Jodhpur

This morning features an excursion to Bishnoi village to learn of the teachings of Guru Jambheshwar, a visionary who linked famine to deforestation and compiled 29 rules (including ‘don’t kill animals, don’t cut green trees and take only what you need’) that underpin today’s Bishnoi philosophy. As vegetarians they value all living things and ask visitors to respect their way of life.

In the afternoon, a guided tour of Jodhpur visits the mighty Meharangarh Fort with its charmingly latticed windows, elaborately carved panels and porches. Next, is the famed Jaswant Thada, a white marble memorial with impossibly intricate stone sculptings — so thin that its outside surface emits a warm glow as the sun plays across it.

Overnight at Umaid Bhawan Palace.

Day 24 – Jodhpur and Udaipur

After breakfast there’s a full day drive to Udaipur with time for a refreshing lunch in Ranakpur. An important pilgrim centre for the Jain community, this village is surrounded by forests and home to monkeys cavorting in its courtyards. Arriving in Udaipur, visitors are struck by this serene vision.

In particular, they note how the shimmering blue water lakes reflect the green hills and delight in the lake palaces emerging from the placid Lake Pichola to whisper of a bygone era. Little wonder it’s known as the ‘Venice of the East’.

Overnight at Taj Lake Palace.

Taj Lake Palace
View from Atop Taj Lake Palace

Day 25 – Udaipur

After breakfast, a sightseeing tour visits the city palace standing on the shore of Lake Pichola. Paintings, mosaics, intricately carved chhatries and an architecturally brilliant façade combine to make this a particularly memorable experience. The tour then moves to the Crystal Gallery and its wondrous display of crystal ornaments, fountains, crockery and furniture. Next, a visit to the splendid Sahelion Ki Bar gardens offers extensive lawns and shady walks along the shores of Fateh Sagar lake. The afternoon is at leisure. 

This evening features a cruise on Lake Pichola’s placid waters, offering wonderful views of the city rising majestically above this lake in the middle of the Rajasthan desert. It also includes a visit to the island of Jag Mandir. A pleasure palace for royal parties, this magnificent monument has domes, pillars, fountains, and a row of marble elephants standing in silent vigil over the island. Following the cruise enjoy dinner at the hotel.

Overnight at Taj Lake Palace.

Day 26 – Udaipur to Mumbai

Today is at leisure to explore Udaipur before a late afternoon airport transfer for the flight to Mumbai. Upon arrival guests will be transferred to the hotel with the remainder of the day at leisure. Some 300 years ago Mumbai was just seven islands inhabited by fisherman but with the opening of the Suez Canal it began to overtake Kolkata as India’s main port.

Today, with a beautiful harbour, hilly islands and a palm-fringed shore rising gradually to mountain peaks, it is truly the ‘Gateway of India’. Besides being a major port, this engaging city is also the nation’s commercial capital with a population of about eight million.

Overnight at the Taj Mahal Palace and Towers.

Day 27 – Mumbai

This morning’s guided tour of Mumbai includes its most prominent landmark, the Gateway of India, and the Prince of Wales Museum to see fascinating 18-19th century miniature paintings, elegant ivory-art and a superb collection of Nepalese and Tibetan Art. Driving through the city’s colonial part reveals its rich heritage,

including the Victoria terminus (Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus), the Marine Drive and Malabar Hill. This tour also visits Mani Bhawan, a museum dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi before making a photostop at the famous Dhobi Ghats. The rest of the afternoon is at leisure before a farwell dinner at the hotel.

Overnight at the Taj Mahal Palace and Towers.

Day 28 – Mumbai to Australia

This morning features a one hour boat ride across Mumbai Harbor to the engaging greenery of Elephanta Island with its huge, intricately carved cave temples. Dating from the 8th century, they are dedicated to Shiva, the Hindu Sun God.

This evening transfer to the airport for a Singapore Airlines flight home to Australia.

 

Haimark Luxury River Expeditions
Haimark was founded in Breckenridge, Colorado, in 2013, and is a partnership between Marcus Leskovar, an Austrian national, Tom Markwell, a US national, and Hai Giang, a Vietnam national. With more than 70 years of combined experience in the tourism industry, the partners discovered the absence of true luxury ships on the rivers of Southeast Asia, committing their new company to provide a product that would appeal to travelers from around the world, and inspire them to visit some of the world’s most fascinating, but rarely visited locations. Haimark Luxury River Expeditions

Intimate, all-suite ships

Haimark offers the largest, most luxurious suites on the rivers we sail, with interior hallways and floor-to-ceiling windows, French balconies, or full balconies on more than 95% of all suites.

Interesting, educational itineraries

Haimark endeavors to visit the most fascinating sites, with English-speaking, informative guides to enhance the experience. Each day brings a new opportunity to discover a different part of the world in a unique way.

Outstanding, gracious service

Relax during your cruise, while being looked after by the thoughtful, efficient staff.

Culinary arts

Culinary director, Jorg Penneke, a Slow Food advocate, is pleased to offer our guests a selection of local and western dishes on each of our ships.

Extensive beverage service

Haimark makes every effort to stock their ships with the finest local and imported beer, wine, and spirits available in each country. In Myanmar, only locally made beer, wine, and spirits are available, by law. Details on included beverages can be found in the list of each ship’s amenities.


 
 

Call a Luxury Cruise Specialist on 1300 308 081 and Quote #12142

(During Business Hours)