Abn Rajmahal Ship Near Hazarduari Palace

A Cruise on the Ganges and Tea in Darjeeling

13 nights from £3615pp (excl. international flights)

Kolkata  – Ganges Cruise  – Darjeeling

Our experts say

Roll down the holy river Ganges in a luxury cruise ship, with plenty stops to experience life on the riverbanks, and finish off with a fine cup of tea in the Darjeeling hills.

For Hindus the Ganges is not just a holy river, but the goddess Ganga herself, flowing from Himalayan glaciers to the Bay of Bengal, bringing water and life to the vast plains of North India. By far the best way to explore all the life on its riverbanks is on a luxury river cruise. You can choose from difference sections of the river, upstream and downstream, and cruise from 4 to 15 nights. Aside from enjoying the gentle rhythm of life on the Ganges, there are lots of interesting stops along the way – ancient holy cities like Varanasi, small villages, temples and historical sites far off the tourist trail.

The ships have stylish interiors with colonial touches, complete with bar, restaurant, sun deck and spa. So go on, splash out and enjoy yourself. There is also an expert naturalist on board to point out the wildlife.

Finish off your holiday with a few days relaxing and sipping fine tea in Darjeeling.

Remember, this is just a suggested itinerary - your own holiday can be tailored to your preference of budget, duration, locations and experiences. Get in touch to find out more.

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The itinerary…

Day 1: Take to the skies

Victoria  Memorial In  Kolkata

Victoria Memorial in Kolkata

Take the overnight flight from wherever you are to Kolkata (formerly known as Calcutta)

Day 2: Welcome to India!

Museum In  Kolkata

Kolkata museum

On arrival in Kolkata you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Put your feet up and get ready for the adventure ahead.

Day 3: Kolkata

Kolkata City

Kolkata City

Kolkata is a fascinating city, so head out with your private guide to explore it. You can visit the Victoria Memorial and gallery, Botanical Gardens and Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity. The afternoon’s “confluence of cultures” walking tour explores all the global communities who have made a home in Kolkata over the years, including the Chinese, Parsis, Armenians, Anglo-Indians and people from all over India. End the day with an evening cruise on the Hooghly, a tributary of the river Ganges.

Day 4: Train to Farakka & board your ship

Ganges Sunset

See the Ganges at sunset

Few things (in our opinion) are as exciting as heading to India’s busiest railway station at Howrah to board the train up country. Spend the morning at leisure and we will drop you at Howrah in time for the 14:15 Shatabdi Express to Farakka, arriving at 18:30. At Farakka we will meet you off the train and drive you to the river to board your ship for the Ganges cruise.

Day 5: Cruise the Ganges – Gaur ruins

Baradwari  Mosque In  Gaur

Baradwari Mosque in Gaur

Cruise down the holy river Ganges today, with a full day excursion to the medieval ruins of Gaur with its mosques, palaces and gateways.

Day 6: Cruise the Ganges – villages, mosques & palaces

Village Sunset

Village sunset

Today’s journey cruises down the waterways of the lower Ganges lined with mustard fields and mango orchards, with a stop at Baranagar. Literally meaning “big town”, this is actually a sleepy and idyllic Indian village, and home to some delightful terracotta temples. There’s plenty more to see today including riverside mansions, mosques and palaces.

Day 7: Cruise the Ganges – the Battle of Plassey

Abn  Rajmahal Near  Hazarduari  Palace

Cruising the Ganges

Rolling on gently down the Ganges, today’s stops include the Mughal style gardens of Khushbagh and the site of the historic Battle of Plassey. Moor up by the bustling market town of Katwa.

Day 8: Cruising the Ganges – brass pots & the Krishna temple

Katra  Masjid  Baharampore

Katra Masjid Maharampore

Today make a stop to explore Matiari village to see the traditional local craft of beating out brass pots, and later the large Krishna temple at Mayapur, world headquarters of the Hare Krishna movement.

Day 9: Cruising the Ganges – Terracotta temples

After stopping at Kalna and taking cycle rickshaws to explore the local terracotta temples, continue downstream to the outskirts of Kolkata.

Day 10: Cruising the Ganges - Old European colonies of Kolkata

Cruise downstream past the old Dutch settlement at Chinsura, the former French colony at Chandernagore and on to walk around the old British cantonment at Barrackpore.

Day 11: Disembark & fly to Darjeeling

Darjeeling Mountain Views


On your final morning aboard your floating home you will cruise under the mighty Howrah Bridge and into central Kolkata. After bidding the crew farewell, we will drive you to the airport to board your flight to Bagdogra, and then drive you 3 hours into the hills to Darjeeling.

Day 12: Darjeeling – tea and toy trains

Darjeeling  Toy  Train

Darjeeling toy trains

The old British hill station of Darjeeling sits in the foothills of the Himalayas at 2,100 metres / 6,900 feet with views of snowy Himalayan peaks dominated by Kanchenjunga. We will take you on a private guided tour of the town, including a short ride on the old Darjeeling Himalayan Railway to Ghoom.

Day 13: Darjeeling

Mountain View From  Darjeeling

Darjeeling views

Spend your final day in Darjeeling at leisure to explore the town and do some last minute shopping.

Day 14: Fly home

We will drive you 3 hours downhill to the airport at Bagdogra, to fly to Delhi and connect with your international flight home.

Duration: 13 nights

Location: Kolkata and Darjeeling Holidays, India

Price: £3615pp

Our 'Cruise on the Ganges and Tea in Darjeeling' itinerary includes: internal flights, accommodation, daily breakfast (with lunches & dinners while on the cruise), transfers & drives in chauffeur-driven AC vehicle, sightseeing and activities as indicated.

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