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EXPLORE INDIA FURTHER

THE UPPER GANGES & BRAHMAPUTRA RIVER

21 NIGHTS FROM US$10,249.00
NO SINGLE SUPPLEMENT ON SELECTED DATES

New 21 night combo cruise with No Single Supplements

Join us for a grand tour of India sailing 21 days along the glorious Ganges & mighty Brahmaputra rivers. Inclusive of flights and transfers between Kolkata and Guwahati, Pandaw's newest combo cruise invites you to experience the best of India's waterways aboard our timeless colonial vessels. Add on one of our pre and post-cruise packages to Dehli & the golden triangle for a truly 'All India' experience.

CHECK AVAILABILITY & BOOK ONLINE

21 NIGHTS FROM US$10,249.00
NO SINGLE SUPPLEMENT ON SELECTED DATES

New 21 night combo cruise with No Single Supplements

Click Here to choose your dates and Book Online

IMAGES

EXPEDITION MAP

YOUR SHIP

EXTENSIONS

PRE CRUISE EXTENSIONS

Varanasi Pre Tour 2 Nights

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POST CRUISE EXTENSIONS

Exploring Kolkata 2 Night Post Tour

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Delhi & Taj Mahal 3 Night Post Tour

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OPTIONAL PACKAGE ADDONS

Pre-Bookable House Wine Package (India - Upper Ganges)

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Free Flow Drinks

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Free Flow Drinks & Wine Package

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Free Flow Drinks & Wine Package (India - Upper Ganges)

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Free Flow Drinks (India - Upper Ganges)

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ITINERARY

DAY 1 VARANASI

Varanasi, the oldest and holiest city of India established in the 11th century BC and today with over 2,000 living temples. Transfer from your hotel or airport in Varanasi to Sarnath and the Deer Park where the Lord Buddha gave his first sermon with its archaeological museum. Check-in to your hotel with time to freshen up before and evening cruise along the sacred river to witness the Aarti ritual. Enjoy a dinner at The Great Kebab Factory, a contemporary and stylish Indian restaurant specialising in delectable kebabs.

Overnight in the Tree of Life Resort & Spa or similar

More about Varanasi

DAY 2 VARANASI

Take a sunrise boat cruise past the bathing ghats and observe the people as they come to the river to perform their morning prayers and rituals. Following breakfast explore the Old City on a walking tour through the ancient by-lanes and discover the colourful and chaotic life that exists. Return to the hotel and enjoy some time to relax before a village walk. Later enjoy a musical performance comprising a sitar and table.

Overnight in the Tree of Life Resort & Spa or similar

DAY 3 BODH GAYA

Board a flight to Bodh Gaya, a UNESCO World Heritage Site arranged around the Maha Bodhi temple where the Lord Buddha attained enlightenment in the 5th century BC. Spend time exploring this global centre of pilgrimage for Buddhists of all denominations and admire the many monasteries built in various national styles – Tibetan, Burmese, Thai, Japanese, etc.

Overnight in Oaks Bodh Gaya or similar

DAY 4 PATNA - EMBARK SHIP

Drive to the archaeological site of Nalanda, the great 5th century Buddhist university. Discover the monumental red brick walls and stupas standing on the site of what was the longest running university in Indian history. Immerse yourself in the tranquil surrounds of this UNESCO World Heritage Site which is thought to have accommodated over 10,000 students and hosted Buddha Siddhartha himself. Continue your journey and embark your Pandaw ship.

More about Patna

DAY 5 BARH

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

DAY 6 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 7 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.

DAY 8 SULTANGANJ

Contunue to Jahanigra Island, a place of pilgrimage with many rock carvings in high relief dating from the eighth century depicting aspects of Siva and Vishnu. In the evening moor off 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 9 BATESHWARSTHAN

Sailing along this stretch of the river provides an opportunity to spot the rare Gangeatic dolphins. Land at Bhaglapur, a centre of silk production, and visit the 18th century mansion of the Collector, Augustus Cleveland. Passing the confluence of the Kosi river that flows down from Nepal, moor at the pretty town of Bateshwarsthan to uncover the 8th century Buddhist site of Vikramshila, one of the two most important centres of learning in India during the Pala Empire, along with Nalanda.

DAY 10 FARAKKA

Enter a section of river rich in bird life, before stopping at Samtaghat, otherwise known as Raj Mahal. Cross from the Lower Ganges or Hooghly River to the Ganges itself through the Farraka canal and lock, that was constructed 1963-75. Passing into the great river the great Farraka barrage will be visible just downstream. This effectively dams the Ganges and strategically controls the flow of water into neighbouring Bangaladesh.

DAY 11 MURSHIDABAD

Continue cruising towards Murshidabad to where the great Hazarduari Palace dominates the waterfront. Explore the city, a hidden architectural gem along the river with dramatic, whitewashed, colonial-era structures including Katra Mosque and Katgola palaces.

More about Murshidabad

DAY 12 KHUSHBAGH

Take a late afternoon 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. Later, cruise on past 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.

DAY 13 MAYAPUR

Set off to discover the brass-working village of Matiari. Interact with the local artisans learn how these skilled craftsmen all specialise in a different process – from beating the metal, to etching the designs. Witness the whole process involved to create brass water pots, trays and other vessels. Continue sailing towards Mayapur to explore the vast new ISKCON (International Society for Krishna Consciousness) temple which dominates the skyline. As the headquarters of ISKCON or the Hare Krishna movement, the temple receives over a million singing and dancing devotees a year from around the world.

More about Mayapur

DAY 14 KOLKATA

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. On the way back to the ship explore the colourful local market full of fruit sellers and fish mongers. Sail past the Portuguese settlement of Bandel and the old Dutch settlement of Chinsura before arriving at Chandernagore, a French possession until 1950. Stroll along the riverside promenade, visit the 18th century church and Dupleix’s House, the erstwhile Governor-General of French India. Moor overnight near Kolkata.

More about Kolkata

DAY 15 KOLKATA - GUWAHATI

Disembark the ship at 08:00 and transfer to the airport for your flight to Guwahati. On arrival transfer to ship and explore this pleasant Assami city visiting the Nilachai Hill temple and Commonwealth Graves. Late afternoon cast off upriver.

DAY 16 SAILING

Sail all day making headway against strong currents through the lush Assami countryside stopping for some exercise in a village of market gardens.

DAY 17 TEZPUR

Exploring the town by trishaw we visit the De Parbatia temple with its richly carved portals and Cole Park with its collection of medieval carvings collected from across the region.

DAY 18 NAMERI NATIONAL PARK

After an early breakfast, drive for some two hours to the Nameri National Park at the foot of the blue hills of Arunachal Pradesh, the old North East Frontier Agency. Here, we take a float trip of around two hours down the Jia-Bhoreli River through the park. There are excellent bird-watching opportunities here (look out for the great Hornbills) and, perhaps, the chance of sighting wild elephants. After lunch, take a village walk before returning to the ship. Continue upstream, passing below a seemingly endless new bridge across the vast width of the riverbed, to moor at Silghat.

DAY 19 KAZIRANGA NATIONAL PARK

Jeep safari to Kaziranga an area of approximately 430 sq kms, this UNESCO World Heritage is home to the world’s largest population of the Indian One-Horned Rhinoceros as well as the Indian Wild Water Buffalo. It has the highest density of Royal Bengal Tigers withone every five sq. km. The park an incredibly rich biodiversity hotspot with its marshy swamps and thickets of elephant grass, this park supports large populations of Indian elephants, Indian bison, swamp deer, and capped langurs.

Besides wildlife, Kaziranga National Park is also a birding paradise. A few of the bird species found here are the oriental honey buzzard, black-shouldered kite, white-tailed eagle, himalayan griffon to mention a few.

More about Kaziranga National Park

DAY 20 TEA GARDENS

Return downstream to visit a tea estate and historic plantation house on the way. Learn about the tea production process from start to finish in this idyllic setting.

DAY 21 SUALKUCHI SILK VILLAGE

Sailing down past Guwhati moor here in the afternoon to see silk production from the cocoon, to spinning and weaving to make the typical saree worn by Assami women.

DAY 22 GUWAHATI

Disembark in the morning and transfer to airport.

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WHATS INCLUDED

Cruise Price Includes: Transfer to/from/between Ship, entrance fees, guide services (English language), gratuities to crew, main meals, local mineral water, jugged coffee, teas & tisanes.

Price Excludes: International flights, laundry, all visa costs, fuel surcharges (see terms and conditions), all beverages except local mineral water, jugged coffee, teas & tisanes, tipping for guide and drivers.

Please Note:

  • Entry to the Bihar School of Yoga is subject to approval and may not always be possible.
  • Lunch and dinner taken at local restaurants in Nalanda and Bodh Gaya will be vegetarian only given the nature of these pilgrim destinations.
  • Laundry service is only applicable whilst onboard the ship and drinks taken at local restaurants will be chargeable directly with the venue.
  • Due to the inclusion of flights in the revised itinerary, please provide copies of all travelling guest's passports to assist with bookings.
  • We suggest to change money at a bank at the international airport before exiting (currently there is shortage of new money bills in India).

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 during 2019/2020 were well below average with many destinations in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh experiencing long spells of cold, the most extreme and severe since 1997.

TRANSFERS & JOINING

DAY 1 VARANASI

Transfer from your hotel or airport in Varanasi at 10:30am to Sarnath to check into your hotel for the start of your expedition.

DAY 15 KOLKATA - GUWAHATI

Disembark the ship at 08:00 and transfer to the airport for your flight to Guwahati.

DAY 22 GUWAHATI

Disembark after breakfast 08.30. Transfer to Guwahati airport (15km / 30 min).

TESTIMONIALS

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