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Gay Group Trip: Splendours of India - Ganges River Cruise

FROM £5799 PER PERSON
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TRIP SUMMARY

Take the chance to broaden your horizons with a group tour through India. Stay in a luxurious New Delhi hotel as you explore the capital territory. Fly to exotic West Bengal for an unforgettable cruise along the lower Ganges River with powerful visits to Bandel, Kalna, Murshidabad, Chandernagore, and the stunning new temple complex at Mayapur. Back in Kolkata, the journey continues to Rajasthan and India’s Golden Triangle, with astounding visits to the fabled pink city of Jaipur, the 11th century Agra Fort, and the legendary Taj Mahal.

time difference

TIME DIFFERENCE

4.5 hours ahead of the UK

flight time

FLIGHT TIME

8-9 hours direct from UK

Available Dates : 5th November 2018

Days 1, 2 and 3 - New Delhi

First you will arrive at the Delhi airport where you will be transferred to your hotel for two nights, at the deluxe Imperial New Delhi.

After the welcome briefing, the comprehensive tour introduces you to the bustling city’s landmarks, passing the imposing Red Fort, President’s Palace and City Gate, and discovering the narrow lanes of Old Delhi via a rickshaw ride. Visit Raj Ghat, the memorial to Mahatma Gandhi, Humayun’s Tomb, a 16th century landmark of Mughal architecture inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list, and Qutab Minar, also a UNESCO site. This evening, join your fellow travelers for dinner at the hotel.
 

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Day 4 - Kolkata

Enjoy breakfast at the hotel before transferring to the airport for your flight to Kolkata. Transfer from the airport to the ship. After settling into your suite aboard the Ganges Voyager, we’ll gather for a welcome reception and dinner, followed by a musical performance featuring songs of the Bengal region.

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Day 5 - Bandell

This morning, we’ll go ashore to explore the legacy of Kolkata’s British colonial era, visiting a number of different sites. We’ll the return to the Ganges Voyager for lunch and the start of our journey upstream.This afternoon, we’ll board our excursion boats and go ashore at Bandel, a port founded by Portuguese settlers in the 1800s. Our visit includes a tour of the Hooghly Imambara (completed in 1861), an important Shia pilgrimage center with a clock- tower lookout that boasts views of the Ganges. The structure contains a working clock with a winding key weighing approximately 20 kilograms (44 pounds). Inside the main building, large Persian chandeliers and smaller lamps light the main prayer hall where text from the Quran is engraved in the walls. After our visit, we’ll return to the ship for dinner in the East India Dining Room.

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Day 6 - Kalna

Today begins with a ride through the city center of Kalna en route to the enchanting Rajbari complex, where we’ll find the highest concentration of temples in the region. The complex contains a unique mixture of West Bengal architecture. Built in 1849, this marvelous structure features terra cotta tablets depicting scenes from Hindu epics, the mythical life of Sree Chaitanya, images of Durga, and various aspects of day-to-day life in the region. Other temples on the site include: Lalji temple, built in 1739, and Krishnachandra, built in 1751. After a day of exploration, we’ll return to the ship for relaxation, restoration, and an evening of fine dining.
 

Day 7 - Matiari

Early this morning, you’ll have the opportunity to stroll through the streets of the brass working village of Matiari. Here, skilled craftsmen have earned a reputation for transforming recycled copper into beautiful brass platters, bowls, and figurines using traditional methods passed down through the generations. After our visit, we’ll return to the ship for breakfast and continue upstream to Khushbagh. En route, we’ll sail past Plassey where, in 1757, Robert Clive of the British East India Company defeated the Mughal Nawabs and their French allies, establishing the company rule in India that expanded over much of South Asia for the next 190 years. 

Day 9 - Mayapur

Following a restful morning of river cruising we’ll arrive in Mayapur, home of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Learn from devotees who are leading the construction of the spectacular new Temple of the Vedic Planetarium, scheduled for completion in 2016 for the organization’s 50th anniversary. The finished complex will rival Vatican City in size and feature a 700,000 square-foot temple measuring 340 feet high with a 75-foot domed planetarium. After this remarkable experience, we’ll return to the ship for dinner and an evening of relaxation. 

Day 10 - Chandannagar

Not to be outdone by their British counterparts, in 1673 the French obtained permission from Nawab Ibrahim Khan to establish a trading post on the riverbanks of Chandannagar. See the French colonial buildings along the city’s promenade, including the former French Governor’s residence, which is now a museum. Then, visit the Sacred Heart Church of Chandannagar and then return to the ship and gather for a festive farewell dinner.

Day 11 - Kolkata/Jaipur

This morning, arrive in Kolkata. Following breakfast, visit the home and final resting place of Nobel Peace Prize recipient, Mother Teresa, who founded the Missionary of Charity here in 1950. During our visit, we’ll peruse the permanent exhibition of Mother Teresa’s life and work, view her sparse living quarters, and the tomb where she was laid to rest in 1997. Bid farewell to Kolkata and board your flight to the capital of Rajasthan, Jaipur (via New Delhi). Transfer to your hotel, the magnificent Rambagh Palace. Enjoy some time at leisure and dinner at the hotel. 
 

Days 12 and 13 - Jaipur/Agra

Enjoy the opulent breakfast at the hotel this morning and join today’s tour of the “Pink City” featuring an elephant back ride up the hill to the Amber Fort, the former seat of the Rajput rulers of Jaipur. Visit the UNESCO-designated site of the Jantar Mantar Observatory and the residence of the former royal family City Palace, a complex of lovely courtyards and gardens. Dinner is on your own tonight to explore northern India cuisine.

Day 13 includes a scenic ride that takes you to the city of Agra, located on the banks of the river Yamuna in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh. Check into the sumptuous Oberoi Amarvilas for one night. This afternoon, visit the massive and impressive Agra Fort, a red sandstone stonewalled complex of palatial buildings. End the tour with an unforgettable visit to the Taj Mahal. Venture inside India’s most iconic monument and capture the mesmerising sunset.

Days 14 and 15 - Agra and New Delhi

Early risers may join the captivating sunrise tour of the Taj Mahal for one last glimpse at the UNESCO site. Enjoy breakfast and some time at leisure at your beautiful hotel this morning. After lunch, the scenic ride takes you to New Delhi for the rest of the day at leisure. Overnight at the deluxe Radisson Blu Plaza, or use the hotel room to refresh and relax before your transfer to the airport if you have a late evening international flight. Alternatively if your flight is the next day you can enjoy one last night to round of your amazing group trip to India!













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