A combined cruise and tour revealing an excellent itinerary from the heart of the Raj to the soul of India via the crucible of Buddhism, finishing amongst Ghats & Gods
Day 1 - Flight
Day 2 - Kolkata
Days 3- 10 - Cruise
Days 11 & 12 - Bodhgaya
Day 13 & 14 - Varanasi
Day 15 - Delhi
Day 16 - Return Flight
The historic city of Calcutta (Kolkata), famous for its colonial buildings, vibrant atmosphere and artistic lifestyle is a spiritual kaleidoscope; with its Armenian Church, Roman Catholic cathedral and temple to Kali, goddess of death and creation.
Join the delightful RV Bengal Ganga to cruise along the Hoogly River through the Bengal countryside, far from the frenetic roads, enjoying a grandeur of scenery and a tranquility and join the River Ganges, the most sacred of Rivers. The cruise ends in Munger, from here travel to the university remains at Nalanda and on to Bodhgaya, the crucible of Buddhism.
Continue to mystical Varanasi, India’s holiest site. Varanasi, one of the most fascinating places on earth is colourful and surprising, older than time itself, when walking through the crumbling city to the Ghats of the holiest river, you take steps that are unchanged in millennia.
Culture and Riverscapes
Free Cabin Selection
UNESCO Site: Bodhgaya
Group Size: 2 – 24
Day 1 Fly overnight from your chosen airport to Kolkata via Dubai.
Day 2 Arrive in Kolkata. Transfer to the RV Bengal Ganga for a 9-night cruise. (D)
Day 3 Orientation tour of Kolkata. Later depart for Kalna. (B, L, D)
Day 4 Rickshaw ride to the Rajbari Temple Complex. The sculptures tell a story of Bengali culture. Cruise to Matiari. (B, L, D)
Day 5 Visit the village of Matiari, continue to Murshidabad sailing past the Battlefield of Plassey where in 1757 Robert Clive of the British East India Company defeated the then rulers of Bengal. (B, L, D)
Day 6 Excursion of Murshidabad by Tonga (horse cart) and the Hazarduari Palace Museum. Sail onwards to Jangipur. (B, L, D)
Day 7 Cruise to Farakka Lock Gate. See the birdlife on the banks as we cross onto the Ganges, revealing vast panoramas. (B, L, D)
Day 8 Cruise towards Bateshwarsthan. By jeep to the site of Vikramshila. (B, L, D)
Day 9 Cruise to Sultanganj, an important place of pilgrimage. (B, L, D)
Day 10 Cruise to Munge and visit the Bihar School of Yoga. (B, L, D)
Day 11 Disembark and drive to Nalanda ruins (4 hrs). Continue to Bodhgaya (3 hrs) for two nights at the 3-star Royal Residency hotel. (B, L, D)
Day 12 Visit Mahabodhi Temple, where Buddha is said to have attained enlightenment beneath the “Bodhi Tree”. (B, D)
Day 13 Travel to Varanasi (6 hrs). Two nights at the 4-star Taj Ganges. (B)
Day 14 Dawn boat ride on the Ganges followed by a visit to Sarnath. Evening Aarti ceremony on the Ghats. (B)
Day 15 Fly to Delhi. Overnight at the 4-star Novotel Aerocity. (B)
Day 16 Return flight via Dubai. (B)
Excursions are on foot and may be over uneven ground and inclines.
The river vessel takes up to 56 passengers but groups will be divided for sightseeing.
Bihar is a dry state, no alcohol will be served on board from Days 8-10.
The programme may be altered due to navigational factors with locks, water levels or congestion at certain sites.
A 3-star hotel near to Mahabodhi Temple in Bodhgaya with 64 rooms, each with private facilities, air-conditioning, TV and WiFi (free). The hotel has a multi-cuisine restaurant and bar.
A 4-star hotel located amidst 40 acres of lush green gardens. Restaurants, bar, pool, gym, spa and WiFi (free). 140 air-conditioned rooms with private facilities, hairdryer, safe, mini-bar, satellite TV and tea/coffee making facilities.
Located just four kilometers from Delhi Airport. A 4-star airport hotel with restaurants, bars, pool, gym and WiFi (free). 265 air-conditioned rooms with private facilities, hairdryer, mini-bar, TV and tea/coffee making facilities.
Operated by Heritage River Cruises, the 200 ft. RV Bengal Ganga was built in 2004, is powered by twin diesel engines with a crew of 32. Designed as a replica of the colonial style ‘Clyde’ steamers, popular at the height of Empire. The RV Bengal Ganga has 4 decks and 28 cabins split between the Main and Upper Decks. Meals are served in a single sitting with a buffet breakfast and lunch, and served dinner. Tea, coffee and water are available on a complimentary basis throughout the day. Food will include local specialities from the regions through which we cruise. All cabins have their own air-conditioning units, mini-safe, luggage storage, wardrobe, writing desk and amenities including hairdryer, bath robes and slippers. Cabins have their own deck space with rattan chairs and a table. The vessel has a lounge bar, dining room and observation deck. Main Deck twin cabin (145 sq. ft.) Upper Deck twin cabin (145 sq. ft.) Upper Deck Premier cabin (224 sq. ft.)
Wifi is free and available in the public areas, connectivity may be limited in more remote areas.
Time to relax or see even more of India!
No one can cover all of India on one tour, so why not make the most of your time in India by choosing further experiences?
We invite you to customise your tour by adding one or more extensions from our great range shown on the following pages. Relax in a resort or discover more of India with our specialist guides.
Also please consider adding extra nights before the tour if you would like to draw breath after the flight to India or stay on to reflect, relax or explore independently. Extra nights can also be added to most extensions. Please talk to one of our knowledgeable Personal Travel Experts to let us know what you are looking for and they will work out the best way. Sometimes extra transfers, internal flights and nights are recommended or needed, and sometimes two extensions can be combined into a more logical sequence.
per person in a twin Main Deck cabin
Emirates from London Heathrow
per person in a twin Main Deck cabin
Emirates from London Heathrow
Supplements per person
Single supplement £695
Upper Deck cabin £445
Sole use of Upper Deck £945
Upper Deck Premier cabin £995
Emirates from Gatwick, Manchester, Birmingham or Glasgow - nil
Emirates Business Class from £2095
We offer a wide variety of pre- and post-tour extensions, click here for more information.
Pre/post tour extra nights and transfers are available.
Arrival transfer add £22
Departure transfer add £22
Air travel and taxes, all port charges, transfers 9-night cruise, 5 nights’ hotel accommodation, breakfast daily, full board on cruise, services of cruise director, expert local guides and representatives. If our specially negotiated airfares are unavailable at the time of booking, a supplement may apply.
Travel insurance, visa procurement, optional excursions, tipping, porterage, any government taxes or compulsory charges introduced after publication.
Please complete this form and a member of our sales department will contact you as soon as possible to confirm your booking and take payment. Our opening hours are Monday to Friday 9am to 5.30pm and Saturdays 10am to 2pm