2019 : Colorful India & the Ganges River with Southern India & Varanasi (WDKQ) - Ganges Voyager
18 Day River Cruise Cochin to Kolkata
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.
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 performanceDay 18 Kolkata: End of vacation
You've always forged your own path...with your own distinct perspective of looking at the world. Avalon Waterways presents a river cruise experience with your unique style in mind-offering expansive views, wider perspectives, and more cruising. That's why we've designed an intimate cruise experience, with a maximum of 36 guests, that's just a bit different. Here are just some of the features and amenities you'll experience on board our Avalon ships.
Here are just some of the features and amenities you'll experience on board. See the Ship Amenities Section below for more information about the amenities in our fleet's unique ships.
Throughout the Ship: Complimentary Wi-Fi in the lounges (when signal available)Large windows throughoutLocally inspired design & décorFriendly, English-speaking crew & Cruise DirectorAir-conditioned indoor loungeCovered outdoor loungeBar serving premium spirits, wine & complimentary coffee, tea, soft drinks, and local beer/spirits throughout the day
Suites: Premium mattresses Large French balcony with floor-to-ceiling glass doorsComfortable sitting area with & chairsLarge private bathroom featuring full shower with rain shower head Premium bath products Spacious closets with shelves for ample storageComplimentary bottled water dailyIn-room safeIndividual climate controlAnd, much more
Avalon has designed included excursions and onboard activities for a choice of experiences. We invite you to select the included tours, adventures, and events that interest you most, so you can enjoy your cruise your way. Classic: Your local expert is ready to guide you through the history and heritage of local destinations. You'll marvel at the legends, lore, and spectacular architecture of iconic and historic sites.Discovery: We've found inspiring and interactive activities designed to speak to your interests-from cooking classes to blessing ceremonies-making it easy to immerse yourself in each culture you explore.Active: Embark on energetic excursions to keep you in motion and on the go-with guided walking through scenic locales.
Dining Spacious, open-seating dining roomDelectable regional & Western cuisine with all onboard mealsSeasonal recipes featuring the freshest local ingredientsVegetarian options available with all mealsDaily early-riser coffee & teaFull breakfast buffet with live cooking stationLunch buffet with live cooking station showcasing local specialties served by our Head ChefFour-course à la carte dinners with choice of salads, soups, entrées, dessert or cheeseComplimentary wine, local beer/spirits, soft drinks, coffee & tea at lunch & dinner
(B) = Breakfast (L) = Lunch (D) = Dinner
ARRIVE IN COCHIN, INDIA
Welcome to Cochin, the "Gateway to Kerala." Located on the Arabian Sea in Kerala, India's southernmost state, Cochin is the perfect starting point to explore the region's natural beauty. Your hotel room is available for mid-afternoon check-in.
Your Guided Tour starts with the Chinese Fishing Nets that are the livelihood of many fishermen in the area and a walk through the Jewish quarter. Next, visit the Kerala Folklore Museum which aims to preserve and educate people about the unique culture and heritage of South India. This afternoon, enjoy an unforgettable Cruise on the backwaters of Kerala. Explore and witness local life along these serene waterways surrounded by lush palm trees and paddy fields.
Today, fly to Mumbai, a multicultural metropolis with a colorful history. This vibrant city is now India's premier seaport, center of culture and industry, and home to the "Bollywood" movie industry.
Your Guided Tour starts at the Gateway of India, Mumbai's most famous monument commemorating the visit of Queen Mary. Then, drive along Marine Drive, a seafront promenade, and see a traditional Dhobi Ghat (open-air laundromat). You will also visit the Hanging Gardens, Mumbai Museum, and Mani Bhavan, the former residence of Mahatma Gandhi. The remainder of the day is at your leisure.
Fly to Varanasi, the holiest of Hindu pilgrim cities, situated on the banks of the sacred Ganges River. Early this evening, witness the Ganga Aarti (spiritual worship) on the ghats (steps) leading down to the Ganges.
Around dawn, board a Boat and watch a striking religious ritual-the Hindus' devotional bathing in the Ganges. You'll observe hundreds of pilgrims gathered at the river's edge, some practicing yoga, others meditating, and still others bathing fully clothed. Return to your hotel for breakfast. Afterwards, a Guided Excursion takes you to nearby Sarnath, the "Cradle of Buddhism," where Buddha first spoke of his philosophy. Later fly to Delhi.
(B, L, D)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
(B, L, D)
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
(B, L, D)
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
(B, L, D)
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
(B, L, D)
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
(B, L, D)
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
(B, L, D)
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.
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning.
|Call (516) 625-0300 for more information or to book today! Mention code 13849106|
|Offer valid through 6/30/2018|
|Day 1||Cochin|| || |
|Day 2||Cochin|| || |
|Day 3||Mumbai|| || |
|Day 4||Mumbai|| || |
|Day 5||Varanasi|| || |
|Day 6||Delhi|| || |
|Day 7||Delhi|| || |
|Day 8||Delhi-Agra|| || |
|Day 9||Agra|| || |
|Day 10||Jaipur|| || |
|Day 11||Jaipur|| || |
|Day 12||Kolkata|| || |
|Day 13||Kalna|| || |
|Day 14||Matiari|| || |
|Day 15||Murshidabad|| || |
|Day 16||GUPTIPARA|| || |
|Day 17||Kolkata|| || |
|Day 18||Kolkata|| || |
Dates and Prices do not include air travel.
Participation in this vacation requires purchase of the following flights from Avalon Waterways, not included in pricing: (1) roundtrip air from your U.S. gateway and intra-vacation air segments; or (2) intra-vacation air segments only, starting at $570. Required intra-vacation air segment: Cochin/Mumbai; Mumbai/Varanasi; Varanasi/Delhi; Jaipur/Kolkata. Air prices were effective on February 7, 2018 and their availability is limited. At the time you purchase your tour, air prices may be higher.
Gratuities to Local Guides & drivers are included. Gratuities for drivers and local hosts on extensions are not included and should be paid locally.
Avalon offers the opportunity for solo travelers to sail with no single supplement (subject to availability). Please call for single accommodation price. Triples not available.
All prices are per person based on double room occupancy. Cruise price based on Category B in a Deluxe Suite on Main Deck.
Category / Deck / Price
B / Main Deck /
A / Upper Deck / $400
Heritage Suite / Upper Deck / $800
Viceroy Suite / Upper Deck / $1,200
Maharajah Suite / Upper Deck / $1,600
Prices shown are "starting at" prices and do not include airfare.
Travel Terms & Conditions
The purchase of any travel services offered by Avalon Waterways, constitutes a contractual arrangement between you (the Traveler) and Avalon Waterways, and represents your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions. Please ensure that you read carefully and understand the Terms & Conditions prior to booking. These Terms & Conditions cover Deposit & Final Payment information, Air-Inclusive Deposits & Final Payment, Revisions & Revision Fees, Air Arrangements, Participation, Travelers Who Need Special Assistance, Young Travelers, Smoking, Price Policy, Visas and Passports, Hotels & Accommodations, Baggage Allowance, Travel Documents, Not Included in the Land Price, Refunds, Service Inquires After the Vacation, Holidays, Safety, Photos & Pictures, Optional Excursions, and Responsibility.
Important NotesVacation departures, itineraries and prices are subject to change.A non-refundable, non-transferable deposit is required for Avalon Waterways to reserve space for you. View Terms & Conditions for limited exceptions.The following charges are not included in the land/cruise vacation price unless otherwise noted: airfare to and from the start of your vacation; intra-vacation air, unless specified in the itinerary; airline baggage fees including checked and/or excess baggage fees; Federal inspection fees for the Federal U.S. Customs and Immigrations; International Air Transportation tax; agricultural tax; other per person taxes imposed by government entities; airport taxes and fees, including the September 11th Security fee up to $11.20 per person, passenger facility charges up to $18 per person, Federal domestic flight segment fees up to $4.10 per segment, and U.S. and international arrival and departure and other government-imposed added by the airline and applicable at time of booking; port taxes; passports; visas and vaccinations; tips to your Cruise Director, Local Host, driver, Local Guides, and/or ship's crew; gratuities on ferries, trains, and cruise ships; laundry; telephone; minibar; alcohol, beverages, and food outside of the contracted Avalon menu as presented at a hotel or restaurant or onboard your vessel (these extra items will be billed to you before leaving the hotel, ship, or restaurant); airport transfers on non-qualifying flights; optional excursions; additional activities and excursions purchased online; porterage at airports and train stations; Travel Protection; and all other items of a personal nature. Additional airline-imposed fees for seat assignments may apply and are not included in your total package cost. Please refer to carrier websites for seat assignment policies and applicable pricing.
Booking your Vacation with Air
Our volume buying power saves you money. We may be able to provide you with flight arrangements from your gateway city. Avalon Waterways offers 2 air options: Flex Air and Instant Purchase Air. Early Airfare Price Guarantee locks in a price that is guaranteed not to increase. Air pricing and schedules are available approximately 330 days prior to last travel date in the itinerary. At that time the best air price will be utilized and a new invoice with the air cost and confirmed schedule will be sent. The identity of the carrier, which may include the carrier's codeshare partner, will be assigned and disclosed at this time. If the guaranteed price is the lowest, the schedule with the lowest fare per contracted classes of service will be booked. Any voluntary change to the confirmed flights negates the guaranteed price and is subject to air pricing at the time of the change.
Guaranteed air-inclusive prices - air is only available to passengers traveling from the United States and only available when booked in conjunction with a land vacation. An additional non-refundable air deposit of $300 per person is required for Flex Air booked in conjunction with any land vacation (i.e. air-inclusive vacation). Air can only be booked by Avalon in conjunction with a vacation package. Instant Purchase Air requires air payment in full at time of booking (i.e. air-inclusive vacation) plus a non-refundable per person service fee of $30 (North/Central America), $50 (Europe/Middle East) or $80 (all other international destinations). Once booked, Instant Purchase Air is non-refundable, and non-changeable. Some vacations may only offer one Air type option. However, once your airfare is confirmed and Avalon has received your full air and land deposit, your air-inclusive vacation price is guaranteed.
Air-Inclusive Vacations - Applicable Taxes & Fees
Air-inclusive vacations include government-imposed taxes and fees applicable at the time of booking and will be shown as a Total Amount. Additional airline fees for baggage may apply. At the time of booking your air-inclusive vacation online, carrier Websites will be provided to check baggage fees, or you can visit www.iflybags.com for up-to-date baggage pricing/restrictions. For return travel from some countries, international travelers are required to pay entry and/or exit fees at the airport. These fees will be collected by the local government and are payable by the traveler at time of travel. Your confirmation booking information will contain information about these fees.