Pandaw River Cruises
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HIGHLIGHTS OF INDIA RIVER & LAND TOUR

HIGHLIGHTS OF INDIA

22 NIGHTS FROM US$10,915.33

Join Pandaw for this exclusive land and river adventure in India, taking in the highlights of this magnificently vibrant and diverse country. Including Pandaw’s 14 night expedition along the Ganges plus guided touring of the famous Taj Mahal in Agra as well as Kolkata, Delhi and Jaipur. This once-in-a-lifetime 22 night trip is now available for all departure dates and is the perfect way to experience the best that India has to offer in comfort and style.

From September 2024, Pandaw is happy to announce that our India expeditions will be all-inclusive, with complimentary local beers, spirits, mixers and soft drinks for all guests. Also included free of charge is select house wines during lunch and dinner only. Subject to availability, drinks included onboard your Pandaw ship only and does not include land segments of this tour.

Please Note: The Upper Ganges segment of this itinerary passes through the state of Bihar. In this state it is illegal to serve any drinks containing alcohol. For this reason we will not be able to serve alcohol onboard the ship.

CHECK AVAILABILITY & BOOK ONLINE

or call TOLL FREE 1-877-872-6329
represented by Sayang Holidays
22 NIGHTS FROM US$10,915.33

IMAGES

EXPEDITION MAP

YOUR SHIP

YOUR HOTELS

PRE CRUISE HOTELS
The Imperial Delhi

The Imperial Delhi

Visit Hotel Website

Taj Convention

Taj Convention

Visit Hotel Website

Taj Jai Mahal Palace, Jaipur

Taj Jai Mahal Palace, Jaipur

Visit Hotel Website

Oberoi Grand Kolkata

Oberoi Grand Kolkata

Visit Hotel Website

POST CRUISE HOTELS
Taj Ganges

Taj Ganges

Visit Hotel Website

OPTIONAL EXTENSIONS

PRE CRUISE EXTENSIONS

Delhi & Taj Mahal & Kolkata 4 Nights Pre Tour

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Ancient Kingdom of Bhutan & Kolkata Pre Tour 6 Nights

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POST CRUISE EXTENSIONS

Delhi & Taj Mahal 3 Nights Post Tour

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Darjeeling Post Tour 3 Nights

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OPTIONAL PACKAGE ADDONS
NOTE: This package is only available on the cruise section

Private Dining

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NOTE: This package is only available on the cruise section

Free Flow Drinks & Wine Package (India)

Inclusive Add On
This package is now included free on your cruise for all guests.

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ITINERARY

Upstream      Downstream

DAY 1 ARRIVAL NEW DELHI

Welcome to India! Transfer from airport to your hotel. Rest of day at leisure.

Rest of day at leisure.

Meals: none

Arrival New Delhi
Arrival New Delhi

DAY 2 CITY TOUR OF DELHI

Today’s tour includes heritage rich Old and New Delhi including a Heritage Walk inside India’s largest Mosque ‘Jama Masjid’ built in 1644 AD showcasing finest Islamic style of architecture. Explore real life of Old Delhi through maze like streets of the iconic Ancient Bazaar ‘Chandni Chowk’ and Asia’s largest Spice Market. Experience colonial-era at ‘Lutyens Delhi’ including Mahatma Gandhi Museum ‘Birla House’, Temple ‘Bangla Sahib Gurudwara’ and volunteer inside its holy Community Kitchen that daily feeds over 10,000 devotees, pilgrims and homeless. Visit Ceremonial Boulevard ‘Raj Path’ to witness ‘Sir Edwin Lutyens’ finest works from 1920’s British Raj Era including Colonial Government Buildings, India Gate, President and Parliament House from outside. Journey to the City Centre Market ‘Connaught Place’ named after the ‘Duke of Connaught’ and surrounds the central park of Delhi.

Transfer back to your hotel.

Meals: breakfast at your hotel

DAY 3 AGRA

Drive to Agra, the Mughal Era city that is home to the wonder of the world ‘Taj Mahal’! After check-in at the hotel, continue with a Heritage Walk inside India’s finest Mughal fortress The Red Fort of Agra, an acclaimed UNESCO heritage site and the imperial residence of 16th century rulers of the ‘Mughal Dynasty’. If time permits, visit marble workshops renowned for finest Mughal artwork. Enjoy traditional Indian Chai Tea prepared and served on-spot along with Indian delights.

Meals: breakfast at your hotel

Agra
Agra

DAY 4 AGRA - JAIPUR

Start the day with a Sunrise Grand Tour of the Taj Mahal, which was built in 1630 by Mughal Emperor ‘Shah Jahan’ in memory of his beloved wife ‘Mumtaz Mahal’ who died giving birth to their 14th child.

Continue the jewel of India’s crown, the royal heritage state of Rajasthan, and arrive in its pink colored capital city ‘Jaipur’. Enroute visit spectacular Underground Step-wells ‘Chand Baori’ that lie hidden deep in the village of ‘Abhaneri’. This 10th century built zigzagged stepwells is a geometric wonder where Royals used to picnic, and today a popular spot through the film ‘Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’. Check-in at your hotel in Jaipur.

Meals: breakfast at your hotel

DAY 5 JAIPUR

Begin the day with a morning ceremony of Indian turbans and stoles. Explore the uphill located Amber Fortress, a “must see” of Jaipur. Built in the 16th century by Rajput commander ‘Raja Man Singh I’, the fortress offers magnificent hilltop views with an intricate Mirror Palace and fine blends of Hindu- Rajasthani architecture. Next a photo-stop outside the Water Palace ‘Jal Mahal’ located in the center of ‘Man Sagar Lake’ housing various migratory birds. Arrive in the heart of the Old City to visit the Astronomical Observatory ‘Jantar Mantar. Visit the residence of the Royal Family locally called Jaipur City Palace and Museum. Built in 1700 AD by ‘Raja Jai Singh II’, this Palace is a paradise of Royal heritage history as it houses rare galleries from the British Raj and Rajput Era. Later, take a walking tour through Jaipur’s most colorful bazaars. Visit Jaipur’s most distinctive landmark: The Palace of Winds, ‘Hawa Mahal’ built in a unique pink-colored beehive design that is certainly hard to miss.

Meals: breakfast at your hotel

Jaipur
Jaipur

DAY 6 JAIPUR - DELHI - KOLKATA

Travel back to Delhi (5 hrs) for your domestic flight to your departure point. Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel.

Meals: breakfast at your hotel

DAY 7 KOLKATA - BARRACKPORE

Transfer to your ship.

Meals: breakfast at your hotel.

Transfer from your hotel or airport in Kolkata to embark and sail at noon. Sail past the old Danish colony of Serampore to Barrackpore to land and take a walk through the cantonment - past the Semaphore Tower, Government House, the Temple of Fame and Flagstaff House.

Kolkata - Barrackpore
Kolkata - Barrackpore

DAY 8 CHANDENAGORE

Continue sailing upstream to Chandernagore, a French possession until 1950. Visit the 18th century church and Dupleix’s House, erstwhile Governor-General of French India.

DAY 9 KALNA

After breakfast sail upstream and land at the country town of Kalna and take rickshaws to see a group of some of Bengal’s most attractive terracotta temples, as well as the unique Shiva temple with concentric rings made up of 108 lesser shrines. Sail on through the night to a mooring near Matiari.

Kalna
Kalna

DAY 10 MAYAPUR

Explore the village of Mayapur, the headquarters of the ISKCON movement with a new temple comparable in size to the Vatican and largely funded by Alfred B. Ford, the great grandson of car maker Henry Ford. Meet Krishna followers and walk through the pilgrims’ bazaar.

DAY 11 MATIARI

Visit the brass-working village of Matiari, a charming riverside village. Interact with the locals of Matiari and witness the whole primitive process of beating out brass water pots and other vessels. Continue cruising upstream and time permitting visit the battlefield of Plassey where, in 1757, Robert Clive, the Commander-in-Chief of British India, defeated Siraj-ud-Daulah, the last independent Nawab of Bengal, to change the course of Indian history. Moor close to Murshidabad for the night.

Matiari
Matiari

DAY 12 MURSHIDABAD

This morning, walk to the Khushbagh, a peaceful Mughal-style garden that encloses the tombs of Siraj-ud-Daulah – the last independent Nawab of Bengal – and his family. Continue a little way upstream to where the great Hazarduari Palace dominates the waterfront. Built by an English architect in 1837, the palace hosts an extensive collection of pictures, china, weapons and other objects. Carry on to visit the great Katra Mosque and Nashipara Palace before driving out to see the Katgola Palace. Built in classical Georgian style by rich local merchants, Katgola Palace represents the other side of the coin of the 'White Mughal' period when English and Indian cultures came close to fusion. Moor overnight on the riverbank across from town.

DAY 13 AJIMGANJ - FARAKKA

Continue up the Hoogly which transforms into a charming waterway twisting and turning between banks lined with mustard fields and mango orchards. Morning walk through the fields of the delightfully sleepy village of Baranagar to visit its three gorgeous miniature terracotta temples. This is rural India at its most idyllic. Visit the Jain temples at Azimganj before continuing on to the Farakka Barrage.

Ajimganj - Farakka
Ajimganj - Farakka

DAY 14 FARAKKA - RAJMAHAL

Today pass through the Farraka Barrage onto the Ganges proper. In the afternoon we explore the quaint town of Rajmahal.

DAY 15 SAILING

We sail up the mighty Ganges river toward the confluence with the Koshi river. Stop along the way for a short village walk and enjoy our onboard entertainment.

Sailing
Sailing

DAY 16 BHAGLAPUR – SULTANGANJ

We sail early morning toward Bhaglapur, a hub of silk production. We witness the silk weaving and explore this small town before returning to the ship for lunch. In the afternoon we visit Sultanganj with its pair of great granite rocks, one crowned with a mosque and the other a small temple dating from the 16th century.

DAY 17 MUNGER

Munger is now a large and industrialised city but has an interesting history. In 1762, Mir Qasim, the Nawab of Bengal, shifted his capital from Murshidabad to Munger, and established a firearms manufacturing centre here. Explore the Mughal fort, East India Company cemetery and step inside the Bihar School of Yoga founded in 1964 by Satyananda Saraswati. One of the leading yoga schools in the country. The institution has developed yogic techniques through a synthesis of traditional yogic, vedantic and tantric practices and contemporary health science.

Munger
Munger

DAY 18 MOKAMA

Stop at Mokama, once home to Jim Corbett the naturalist and protector of the Indian tigers. Surrounded by farmlands, Mokama has the second hightest production of lentils in the country. Learn about the freedom fighters from Mokama such as Lalldin Saheb, whose during the freedom struggle was sentenced to jail during the British rule.

DAY 19 BARH

Explore Barh, a town famous for Hindu ritual cremation at Urmanath and the Alakhnath Temple.

DAY 20 PATNA

Enjoy a city tour of Patna, capital of Bihar state including a visit to The Golghar, a large stupa styled granary built in 1786. Farewell dinner with your crew.

DAY 21 DISEMBARK SHIP - ARRIVE VARANASI

Disembark your Pandaw vessel ready and transfer to Patna station for your 1st class train to Varanasi. Upon arrival to Varanasi, transfer to your hotel or the airport.

Overnight: Taj Ganges Hotel Varanasi
Meals: None

DAY 22 VARANASI

Take rowing boats for sunrise over the bathing ghats along the Ganges. After breakfast, visit the old city and explore the labyrinth of narrow streets, visiting Kashi Vishwanath temple and witnessing local weavers in action. After lunch, visit Sarnath where Lord Buddha gave his first sermon at the Deer Park. Finish the day with a walk along the Ghats to witness the Aarti rituals before feasting on the local delicacies at the Kebab Factory.

Overnight: Taj Ganges Hotel Varanasi
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 23 ONWARD TRAVELS

After breakfast in your hotel, check out and transfer to the airport for your onward journey.

Meals: Breakfast

WHATS INCLUDED

Cruise Price Includes: Airport transfer on arrival to Varanasi (Downstream) or Delhi (Upstream). Transfers, hotels and meals during land tour as noted in the itinerary. 1x flight Kolkata to Delhi (Downstream) or Delhi to Kolkata (Upstream). Transfer between Ship and Kolkata, all meals onboard your ship from lunch on embarkation to breakfast before disembarkation, entrance fees, guide services (English language), gratuities to crew, main meals, local mineral water, jugged coffee, teas & tisanes plus our India complimentary drinks package

Cruise Price Excludes: International flights, port dues (if levied), laundry, all visa costs, fuel surcharges (see terms and conditions), all beverages except local mineral water, jugged coffee, teas & tisanes and tips to tour guides, local guides, bus drivers, boat operators and cyclo drivers.

Note: Drink packages are only available on the cruise section.

Weather Condition Warning: River cruising on the Lower and Upper Ganges can be severely affected by fog during the months of December and January. This may impact the sailing schedules and the planned excursions. While every effort will be made to make up time and include all activities this is not always possible. Similarly temperatures can drop significantly overnight and in the early mornings, though during the day warmer temperatures can be expected. Winter temperatures can be below average with many destinations in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh experiencing long spells of cold.

TRANSFERS & JOINING

DAY 23 ONWARD TRAVELS

Check out of your hotel after breakfast and transfer to the airport for your onward travels.

TESTIMONIALS

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