16-Day Avalon India & Ganges River Cruise
Visit India, Nepal, and Ganges!
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.
You’ll enjoy the city of Jaipur, with its famous Palace of the Winds, and 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. Explore the fascinating Hare Krishna headquarters in Mayapur, and visit Saint Mother Teresa’s former home upon your return to Kolkata.
In Kathmandu, sightseeing is spread over two leisurely days. Visits include Hanuman Dhoka, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the Temple of Kumari, residence of the Living Goddess, a child thought to be the reincarnation of a Hindu goddess. You’ll also journey to Patan and Bouddhanath, Nepal’s largest stupa.
All of this and more await you on this once-in-a-lifetime guided tour of India and Nepal with a Ganges River cruise.
|Cruise Line:||Avalon Waterways|
|Sail Date:||September 15, 2020|
|From/To:||Delhi to Kathmandu|
|Categories A & B From||Suites From|
Day 1 Delhi, India: Welcome to India
Day 2 Delhi: See Red Fort, Jama Masjid, India Gate, and the Presidential Palace; rickshaw ride through Chandni Chowk bazaar
Day 3 Delhi–Agra: Sightseeing including visits to Qutab Minar, Humayun’s Tomb, and Gurudwara Bangla Sahib; drive to Agra
Day 4 Agra: Sunrise visit to Taj Mahal; Agra Fort; sunset visit to Taj Mahal
Day 5 Agra–Jaipur: Drive to Jaipur; afternoon sightseeing including visits to the City Palace and Jantar Mantar
Day 6 Jaipur: Excursion to Amber Fort; time at leisure; cultural performance in evening
Day 7 Jaipur–Kolkata (Embarkation): Fly to Kolkata; onboard welcome reception
Day 8 Kalna: Sightseeing by rickshaw; visit a temple complex to receive blessings from a priest and visit a muslin-weaver’s home
Day 9 Matiari: Walking tour of village to interact with brass craftsmen and see traditional sweets being made
Day 10 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 11 Mayapur–Guptipara: Morning visit to the ISKCON temple in Mayapur; rickshaw ride through Guptipara to see pottery-making and a farmer’s home
Day 12 Kolkata: Guided walk through the flower market; visit Mother Teresa’s Home, the Calcutta Rescue, and the Victoria Memorial Museum; farewell dance performance
Day 13 Kolkata–Kathmandu, Nepal: Fly to Nepal
Day 14 Kathmandu: Sightseeing with visits to Hanuman Dhoka and the Temple of Kumari
Day 15 Kathmandu: Visit Bouddahanath; excursion to Patan
Day 16 Kathmandu: Your vacation ends
Day 1 DELHI, INDIA
Welcome to India’s capital city! Hotel rooms are available for mid-afternoon check-in.
Day 2 DELHI
Saris, Spices, and Silver
CLASSIC Today’s Guided Sightseeing starts with an orientation to see the Red Fort, Jama Masjid, India Gate, and the Presidential Palace. Afterward, take a rickshaw ride through Chandni Chowk, a captivating local bazaar—with its ancient alleyways lined with quaint shops offering everything from silver and saris to spices and electronics.
After lunch in a local restaurant, enjoy a bit of leisure time. Tonight, your Tour Director hosts a lavish welcome dinner at your hotel.
Day 3 DELHI–AGRA
Monuments of Worship and Remembrance
CLASSIC This morning, take a Guided Excursion to visit Qutub Minar, the world’s tallest brick minaret, dating back to the 11th century. Next, visit Humayun’s Tomb and Gurudwara Bangla Sahib, Delhi’s largest and most prominent Sikh gurudwara (house of worship).
After lunch, drive to Agra and settle in at your hotel overlooking the Taj Mahal.
Day 4 AGRA
Love’s Crowning Achievement
CLASSIC Start your day with a Sunrise Excursion to the incomparable Taj Mahal—Moghul Emperor Shah Jahan’s memorial to his beloved wife—more than 20 years in the making.
CLASSIC Later, take a Guided Tour to Agra Fort, built by the Moghul Emperor Akbar. This formidable fortress of red sandstone conceals the imperial city of the Moghul rulers and its many palaces.
For those interested, an excursion to the Taj at sunset is included.
Day 5 AGRA–JAIPUR
Palaces and Rare Printings in the Pink City
Travel to Jaipur—the “Pink City” that was painted pink for the Prince of Wales’ 1876 visit.
CLASSIC This afternoon, take a Guided Tour of the City Palace and the adjoining museum, which houses a collection of rare manuscripts. Also, stop at Jantar Mantar and the famous Hawa Mahal (Palace of the Winds).
The evening is at your leisure.
Day 6 JAIPUR
A Maharaja’s Marble Palace
CLASSIC Today, join a Guided Excursion to Jaipur’s spectacular Amber Fort, built entirely of white marble and red sandstone, and featuring intricate mosaics, carvings, paintings, and mirror works.
Spend the afternoon at leisure.
DISCOVERY Tonight, and enjoy a festive dinner with a Cultural Performance.
Day 7 JAIPUR–KOLKATA (EMBARKATION)
Welcome to West Bengal. Your Ship Awaits.
Fly to Kolkata this morning to transfer to your ship. This afternoon, get acquainted with the ship prior to your welcome reception.
AFTERNOON/EVENING CRUISE TO KALNA
Day 8 KALNA
Rituals, Rickshaws, and a Weaver’s Wares
DISCOVERY Ride on cycle rickshaws during your Guided Tour of Kalna. Along the way visit the historic terracotta temple complex and receive blessings from the temple priest. Also visit a muslin-weaver’s home.
Enjoy a free afternoon on board your ship.
AFTERNOON/EVENING CRUISE TO MATIARI
Day 9 MATIARI
Shining Brass and Sweet Shops
DISCOVERY Join a Morning Walk in the brass-making village of Matiari to see and interact with the craftsmen there. You’ll also see traditional sweets being made.
Enjoy a free afternoon free onboard your ship.
AFTERNOON/EVENING CRUISE TO MURSHIDABAD
Day 10 MURSHIDABAD. EXCURSION TO AZIMGANJ & JIAGANJ
Silversmiths, Tea Service, and Saree Weaving
DISCOVERY Enjoy a short Guided Walk through Azhimganj to see the local gold and silversmith workshops. You’ll also visit a local landlord’s mansion for authentic Indian tea, then travel by electric richshaw in Jiaganj to see the art of Baluchari saree weaving.
Relax this afternoon free onboard your ship.
AFTERNOON/EVENING SAILING TO MAYAPUR
Day 11 MAYAPUR–GUPTIPARA
A Holy Pilgrimage on the Ganges
CLASSIC Join a Morning Walk through the pilgirm’s bazaar and visit the ISKCON temple, and meet and interact with a Krishna leader. You’ll also visit a goshala (rescue shelter for cows).
DISCOVERY This afternoon, take a Rickshaw (Toto) Ride, and explore the village of Guptipara to see pottery and idol-making. You’ll also take an Escorted Visit to a farmer’s home and interact with the family there.
AFTERNOON/EVENING SAILING TO KOLKATA
Day 12 KOLKATA
Flowers, Faith, and Victorian Art
CLASSIC This morning, take a Guided Walk through the colorful flower market. Afterward, stop to see Mother Teresa’s former home and the Calcutta rescue.
CLASSIC After lunch, join a Guided Visit to the Victoria Memorial Museum. Built to commemorate Queen Victoria, the museum houses a beautiful collection of paintings, textiles, weapons, and other artifacts from the Victorian era.
Tonight, a farewell Dance Performance is presented on the ship.
Day 13 KOLKATA–KATHMANDU, NEPAL
Today, fly to Nepal. The remainder of the day is at your leisure.
Day 14 KATHMANDU
Today, your Guided Sightseeing starts with a visit to Hanuman Dhoka, the historic seat of royalty. Then, visit the Temple of Kumari, residence of the Living Goddess and said to be constructed from the wood of a single tree. Enjoy the afternoon at leisure in Kathmandu.
Day 15 KATHMANDU
Start your Sightseeing Tour at Bouddahanath, one of the largest stupas in the world and a focal point of Tibetan Buddhism in Nepal. Then, continue to Patan, formerly known as Lalitpur (“City of Beauty”). Here, stop in Durbar Square, the city’s center of business and home to several Buddhist and Hindu sites. The remainder of the day is free.
Day 16 KATHMANDU
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning.
The pioneering Ganges Voyager carries just 56 guests and offers a warm and relaxed experience. The ship takes you back in time with the grace and style of the colonial era with wood furniture and hand-stenciled murals.
From the air-conditioned indoor lounge to the outdoor lounge, you’ll find plenty of seating and spots to relax. You’ll never feel cramped or crowded. Plus, the indoor lounge features large windows, so no matter where you sit, you’ll always have a great view.
Air-conditioned indoor lounge
Outdoor lounge with shade system & lounge chairs
Spacious, open-seating Panorama Dining Room
Bar serving premium spirits, wine & complimentary coffee, tea, soft drinks, and local beer/spirits throughout the day
Complimentary Wi-Fi access in the lounges (where signal is available)
Spa treatment room
Library and games
Non-smoking staterooms & ship interior