Spirit of India’s Ganges River

009764 - W18

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.

Not Included
Tour Notes
  • Discover picturesque temples
  • Explore ancient palaces and historical sights
  • Savour Indian cuisine on board
  • Enjoy a rickshaw ride to view Mughal ruins
Group Size: 
2020 Dates:
January: 30
February: 08, 25
March: 04*
September: 22
October: 08, 17*, 25*
November: 11*, 28*
* single supplement waived

2020 Prices:
From CA$4,309 – twin to CA$4,089 – single

Port charges: CA$84 per person

Prices are “starting from” rates, shown in CA$, per person based on two people sharing a twin cabin. On select sailings solo travellers have their own cabin without paying the usual single supplement and would pay the per person twin-share rate.

Tour Code:
009764 - W18

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Day 1: Kolkata - Embarkation

Arrive Kolkata, West Bengal and make your way to the harbour to board your river cruise ship. Get acquainted with the ship prior to the welcome reception this evening. Cruise along the river to Kalna. We would recommend planning to arrive a day or two before your cruise embarkation date, to allow time to recover from jet lag before cruising on the Ganges.

Enter a world of color, culture, and cherished spiritual tradition on this India 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 Mother Teresa’s former home upon your return to Kolkata.

Day 2: Kalna

Ride on cycle rickshaws during your guided tour of Kalna, along the way visiting 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 the ship before sailing this evening to Matiari.

Day 3: Matiari

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 on board the ship before sailing this evening to Murshidabad.

Day 4: Murshidabad

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. Enjoy a free afternoon on board the ship before sailing this evening to Mayapur.

Day 5: Mayapur - Guptipara

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). 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. Evening sailing to Kolkata.

Day 6: Kolkata

This morning, take a Guided Walk through the colorful flower market. Afterward, stop to see Mother Teresa’s former home and the Calcutta rescue. 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.

Day 7: Disembark Kolkata

Your Ganges River cruise holiday ends after breakfast this morning. We can arrange for you to extend your time here or travel on to another fascinating destination in India or beyond.

  • Arrival transfer, Patna airport to ship
  • Patna city tour
  • Buddhist monastery and stupa visit (Nalanda)
  • Pawapuri Jain temple visit
  • Rickshaw ride to a Mughal Fort and the East India Company cemetery (Munger)
  • Pirpahar Hill and Sitakund Hot Springs visit
  • Sultanganj visit
  • Mansion and silk-weaving village visit (Bhagalpur)
  • Bateshwar Temple visit
  • 8th-century Buddhist stupa ruins and monastery visit (Vikramshila)
  • Rajmahal visit
  • Train to Kolkata
  • All meals on board Varuna
  • All transport to/from included activities and between destinations
  • Pre-trip packing list and practical information
  • Full documents package
Not Included
  • Flights to Patna and from Kolkata
  • Meals not specified
  • Optional hotel stays pre and post cruise, as required
  • Gratuities to on board staff
  • Passport and visa fees
  • Travel insurance
  • Items of a personal nature
Tour Notes

Explore palace ruins at Rajmahal, trace 6th-century rock carvings with your own fingers, and photograph to your heart’s content the picturesque Pawapuri Jain temple in the middle of a lake. Experience India in a way you haven’t yet imagined.

While it is the intention of the tour operator to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary. On occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Aboard expedition trips visits to research stations depend on final permission. Any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.

Additionally, some modifications to the itinerary are occasionally needed if water levels become very low. If changes need to be made, they may involve docking the boat just before a scheduled port and using overland transportation to reach the destination.

International flights:  If arranging your transportation your own, such as flights, please take into consideration the below time restrictions for joining and departing from your group. These times have taken into account travel time to/from the airport in the given destination and required time for check-in or baggage collection/immigration.
Your flight must arrive by or before: Arrive at any time.
Your flight must depart no earlier than: 08:00 p.m.

Local notes:  
Alcohol – due to laws in the sate of Bihar that have banned the sale and consumption of alcohol, you will be unable to purchase alcoholic drinks on this cruise.

Dress code – dress on board the boat is informal. Bring comfortable, casual, light weight clothing that can be worn in layers. In India, as most of Asia, the dress standard is more conservative than in North America. It is requested that you dress respectfully for the local Indian cultures and avoid very short shorts and skirts, singlets and tank tops, especially when visiting temples, mosques or other holy sites.

Disclaimer: We do our utmost to ensure that information posted on our website is correct at the time of publication, however trip details are subject to change without notice by the suppliers and operators involved. We update the information as soon as possible when changes are advised to us, however, we cannot assume responsibility for such changes made by the suppliers and operators.