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Ganges Voyager Cruise, Kolkata [India]

 

A crucible of culture since pre-history and the birthplace of two of the world's most prevalent faiths - Hinduism and Buddhism - India has captured the imaginations, and desires, of outsiders spanning from Alexander the Great to Queen Victoria.

Traveling along its sacred river, the Ganges, you will spend your days immersed in some of India's most resplendent cities, villages, temples and forests, beginning in the teeming center of Kolkata (Calcutta). By night, you will relax in luxury aboard the Ganges Voyager, dining on cuisine inspired by local and western tastes, recanting the day’s experiences with fellow passengers, or gazing along the gently passing riverbanks for India's iconic wildlife.

Over eight days, you will visit destinations across nine cities - many rarely seen by outsiders.


Itinerary

7-night itinerary along India’s holiest river begins and ends in bustling Kolkata. Land Extensions to Delhi and Varanasi and/or to The Golden Triangle of Jaipur, Agra, and Delhi are available to enhance your India experience.

DAY 1 - KOLKATA / EMBARKATION

Upon arrival in Kolkata, guests will transfer to the ship and enjoy lunch on board. The afternoon excursion includes a visit to the Mother Teresa House and Tomb. Mother Teresa started the Missionary of Charity in 1952, then lived and worked here until her death in 1997. The permanent exhibition includes a visit to her personal room, then continue by foot a short distance to her orphanage, Sishu Bhaban (Children's Home), where one of the sisters will lead the tour. After this return to the ship for a relaxing welcome reception, dinner and a cultural performance.

(Lunch /Welcome Reception/Welcome Dinner/Cultural Performance)

DAY 2 - KOLKATA / BANDEL

Guests embark on an early-morning city tour, featuring a panoramic view of the well-preserved British colonial buildings in Kolkata: Writer's Building, General Post Office, High Court, Raj Bhawan (Governor's House), Town Hall, Council House, Treasury Building, Reserve Bank of India and Dalhousie Square.

The day continues with a visit to St. John's Church, the oldest Anglican Church in Kolkata, built in 1756. The tour features the oldest functioning pipe organ in India, a painting of the Last Summer by German artist, Johann Zoffany, and several tombs of British Generals who died during the Seige of Kolkata by Nawab Shriaj Ud Daula in 1756. Then visit the recently renovated Victoria Memorial Museum, which houses the largest collection of British colonial historical artifacts in India.

Then return to the Ganges Voyager for lunch and begin our journey upstream. The river ship sails through areas where various European settlers had established East Indian Companies, leaving many remnants of their settlements from the 17th through 19th Centuries.

Later in the day, take an excursion boat to the shore of Bandel. Visit the Hoogly Imambara, one of the famous Shiya pilgrimage centers in West Bengal, built in 1841 by Haji Mohammad Mahasin. The two-story building and surrounding rooms provide housing for pilgrims as well as classrooms, or Madras, that teach the Koran. The structure contains a Victorian-era clock with a winding key weighing 20kg. Large Persian chandeliers and lamps light the Imambara's stunning hallways and passages.

(Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner)

DAY 3 - KALNA

This morning enjoy a rickshaw ride through the city center of Kalna en route to the enchanting Rajbari complex, with the highest concentration of temples in the region. Bengal's mixture of temple architecture includes the Nabakailas Temples. Built in 1809 by the Bardhaman Maharaja, the complex contains 108 eight slope-roofed temples – 74 in the outer circle here and another 34 making an inner circle.

Another complex features diverse architecture, including the Pratepeshwar Temple, built in 1849. Terra cotta plaques depict themes of Hindu epics, 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, the oldest in the complex (1739), and Krishnachandra Temple (1751).

(Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner)

DAY 4 - MATIARI

Guests may enjoy an early morning shore-side bazaar. Matiari is known for manufacturing beautiful handcrafted brass items, utilizing traditional methods passed down for generations. These master craftsmen utilize recycled copper to create exquisite pots, platters and more from their workshops in the village.

Then continue journey upstream and sail past the battlefield of Plassey, where Robert Clive of British East India Company defeated the Mogul Nawabs in 1757. The rulers of Bengal and their French allies established the company rule in India, which spread through much of South Asia for the next 190 years.

(Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner)

Day 5 - KHUSHBAGH / BAGANAGAR / MURSHIDABAD

This morning visit the charming village of Khushbagh, passing through scenic fields to arrive to the well-preserved mosque complex built by Nawab Ali-Wardi-Khan, housing his family's private mosque. His grandson Siraj-al-Dawlah was defeated by the British East India Company at the Battle of Plassey in 1757

Visit the village of Baranagar. A lovely example of life in rural India, this village is home to several temples dating from the 18th century (1714 – 1793). Built by Rani (Queen) Bhabani, the landlady of Natore. The brick temples are considered to be among the best examples of Bengal terra cotta art. Then return to the ship for lunch and sail downstream.

This afternoon the cruise pass by charming countryside villages filled where locals greet from the banks. Then approach Murshidabad, a hidden architectural gem along the Ganges with dramatic whitewashed colonial era structures. A visit to Hazarduari Palace, built during the reign of Nawab Nazim Humayun Jah (1824 –1838 AD) by an English architect, McLeod Duncan, in the Greek “Doric” style. The palace has more than a thousand real and false doors in the vast corridors, and is filled with colonial era antiques, artwork and manuscripts. Opposite to the Palace is a vast Imambara – built by the Nawab for Muslim worship.

After this take a scenic ride by local buggy to the Katra mosque. Built by the first Nawab of Murshidabad –Murshid Quli Khan in the 1724 – 25, this mosque has distinctive minarets from which the muezzin calls the faithful to Friday prayers. This evening return for dinner and local cultural performance on-board.(Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner/Cultural Performance).

DAY 6 - MAYAPUR

After a restful morning, observing the local life along the riverbanks, stop in the village of Mayapur. Known as the birthplace of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu (1486) and considered an incarnation of Lord Krishna, this is the home of the Krishna Consciousness Movement also called ISKON. Guests can experience the fascinating culture of these followers and their ornate, colorful decorated statues of Krishna. Additionally, learn from Krishna followers leading the construction of the new temple located on the complex, due to be completed in 2016 during their Jubilee year. The new temple can be compared to the Vatican, and contains a 700,000 square-foot temple, measuring 340 feet high with a 75-foot domed planetarium. American Alfred B. Ford, the great grandson of Henry Ford, has funded more than 50% of the project.

(Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner)

DAY 7 - CHANDENAGOR

Begin the day in Chandenagor, established as a French colony in 1673. The French obtained permission from Ibrahim Khan, the then Nawab of Bengal to establish a trading post on the riverbanks of this city, which became a permanent French settlement in 1688. Explore the French colonial buildings along the promenade, including the former French governor's residence (now converted to a museum that features an exhibition of items that depict life during this period). Visit the Sacred Heart Church of Chandenagor and an old French bakery still baking fresh baguettes daily. Then return to the ship and continue our journey downstream to Kolkata.

(Bunch/Lunch/Farewell/ Dinner)

DAY 8 - KOLKATA / DISEMBARKATION

Following breakfast guests will disembark the vessel and transfer to the Kolkata Airport.


Land Extensions

Pre-Cruise Extension: Delhi & Varanasi

Begin your exciting journey to India with a visit to bustling New Delhi and colorful Varanasi. Join us for two nights at The Oberoi, one of the most luxurious hotels in New Delhi, and two nights at the Gateway Hotel Ganges in Varanasi. Enjoy a full-day tour to Old Delhi, Jama Mosque, Raj Ghat, Humayun’s Tomb, and the UNESCO World Heritage site of Qutab Minar. IN Varanasi, witness the daily rituals performed on the Ganges during an unforgettable sunrise cruise, and visit the major Buddhist pilgrimage destination of Sarnath, its village, and the archaeological museum.

Airport transfers, expert, English-speaking guides, porterage, all applicable taxes, and breakfast daily are included.

Post-Cruise Extension: The Golden Triangle of Jaipur, Agra, and Delhi

Complete your journey with our three-night extension to the fabled pink city of Jaipur and visits to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of the Taj Mahal and Agra Fort, must-sees when visiting India. In Jaipur, revel in the imposing City Palace and Observatory, and spend one night in the deluxe Oberoi Rajvilas hotel. Enjoy a scenic train ride to Agra Fort for a visit of this imposing structure turned palace. Transfer to the luxurious Oberoi Amarvilas, the closest hotel to the Taj Mahal, hotel for one night. In the morning, enjoy a sunrise visit to the Taj Mahal, then return to Delhi for one night before returning home.

Airport transfers, expert, English-speaking guides, porterage, all applicable taxes, and breakfast daily are included.


Deck Plan

Main Deck - Guests enter the Ganges Voyager on the Main Deck, where the 10 Signature Suites are conveniently located on an interior hallway. Just on the other side of the ship’s office is the East India Dining Room, where breakfast, lunch, and dinner are served daily.

Upper Deck - One deck up from the Main Deck is the Upper Deck, which is exclusively reserved for guests’ living spaces. This deck is home to the only Maharaja Suite on board, two Viceroy Suites, two Heritage Suites, and 13 Colonial Suites.

Sun Deck - At the top of the Ganges Voyager, guests will find the remaining public areas on the ship. Located on this level are the Governor’s Lounge, Spa and Fitness Center, and the Observation Deck, comfortably outfitted with chairs, loungers and sun beds.


Suites

Maharaja Suite - Located forward on the upper deck, the Maharaja Suite is the most luxurious and spacious suite aboard the Ganges Voyager. This truly one-of-a-kind suite offers 400 square feet of living space, and features floor to ceiling glass doors that open onto a French balcony with panoramic views of the passing landscape.

Complimentary laundry service, daily butler service, and in-room dining are also available.

  • 400 square feet / 37 square meters
  • King-size bed with premium mattress, pillow menu, and luxury cotton linens and duvet
  • Generous closet space and under-bed storage
  • French balcony
  • Writing desk
  • Flat-screen television with on-demand movie system
  • iPhone docking station with alarm clock
  • In-room, electronic safe
  • Multi-configuration electrical outlets
  • Individual climate control
  • Spacious, spa-style bathroom with soaking tub and separate shower and spa-quality bath amenities
  • Hair dryer
  • Luxury, honeycomb cotton, spa robes and spa-quality slippers
  • Bottled water, replenished daily
  • Welcome flower arrangement and fresh fruit upon arrival

The following amenities are included for Maharaja and Viceroy Suite guests:

Daily butler service, including:

  • Nightly turndown service
  • Assistance with pillow menu and bathroom amenity selection
  • Explains on-demand entertainment system
  • Polishes and conditions shoes, on request
  • Refreshes ice bucket
  • Unpacks and packs your luggage, on request

Complimentary, one-hour, spa treatment per person, per cruise

Complimentary bottle of wine upon embarkation

Complimentary laundry service

Complimentary evening canapés


The following amenities are exclusive to the Maharaja Suite:

  • Daily, in-room breakfast
  • Scented bath preparation, on request

Viceroy Suites - Located mid-ship on the upper deck, the Viceroy Suites offer a regal setting designed for the most discerning traveler. Furnished in opulent, traditional, Indian décor, the Viceroy Suite offers more than 360 square feet of living space, including a French balcony, a spacious spa-like bath, and daily butler service.

360 square feet / 33.4 square meters

  • King-size bed with premium mattress, pillow menu, and luxury cotton linens and duvet
  • Generous closet space and under-bed storage
  • French balcony
  • Writing desk
  • Flat-screen television with on-demand movie system
  • iPhone docking station with alarm clock
  • In-room, electronic safe
  • Multi-configuration electrical outlets
  • Individual climate control
  • Spacious, spa-style bathroom with shower and spa-quality bath amenities
  • Hair dryer
  • Luxury, honeycomb cotton, spa robes and spa-quality slippers
  • Bottled water, replenished daily
  • Welcome flower arrangement and fresh fruit upon arrival

The following amenities are included for Maharaja and Viceroy Suite guests:

Daily butler service, including:

  • o Nightly turndown service
  • o Assistance with pillow menu and bathroom amenity selection
  • o Explains on-demand entertainment system
  • o Polishes and conditions shoes, on request
  • o Refreshes ice bucket
  • o Unpacks and packs your luggage, on request

Complimentary, one-hour, spa treatment per person, per cruise

Complimentary bottle of wine upon embarkation

Complimentary laundry service

Complimentary evening canapés


Heritage Suite - The Heritage Suites offer 280 square feet of living space, with unparalleled, panoramic views of the landscapes that lie ahead. Featuring a French balcony, an exquisite, four-poster bed, and luxurious seating, this suite offers guests both privacy and comfort.

280 square feet / 26 square meters

  • Two twin beds or one queen bed, as requested, with premium mattress, pillow menu, and luxury cotton linens and duvet
  • Generous closet space and under-bed storage
  • French doors, opening onto a balcony at the bow of the ship
  • Writing desk
  • Flat-screen television with on-demand movie system
  • iPhone docking station with alarm clock
  • In-room, electronic safe
  • Multi-configuration electrical outlets
  • Individual climate control
  • Spacious, spa-style bathroom with shower and spa-quality bath amenities
  • Hair dryer
  • Luxury, honeycomb cotton, spa robes and spa-quality slippers
  • Bottled water, replenished daily
  • Welcome flower arrangement and fresh fruit upon arrival

Colonial Suite - Colonial Suites offer timeless elegance in 261 square feet of living space. The suites’ warm and inviting colors, original artwork, and comfortable seating area offer a restful space during the journey. The suites’ bathrooms offer spacious showers, premium toiletries, and luxurious robes and bath linens.

261 square feet / 24 square meters

  • Two twin beds or one queen bed, as requested, with premium mattress, pillow menu, and luxury cotton linens and duvet
  • Generous closet space and under-bed storage
  • French balcony
  • Writing desk
  • Flat-screen television with on-demand movie system
  • iPhone docking station with alarm clock
  • In-room, electronic safe
  • Multi-configuration electrical outlets
  • Individual climate control
  • Spacious, spa-style bathroom with shower and spa-quality bath amenities
  • Hair dryer
  • Luxury, honeycomb cotton, spa robes and spa-quality slippers
  • Bottled water, replenished daily
  • Welcome flower arrangement and fresh fruit upon arrival

Signature Suite - Located on the main deck, the Signature Suites are perfect retreats with more than 261 square feet of space. Outfitted with two twin beds or one queen bed, a comfortable seating area, and a French balcony, Signature Suites are designed with colorful elegance, creating a spacious retreat.

261 square feet / 24 square meters

  • Two twin beds or one queen bed, as requested, with premium mattress, pillow menu, and luxury cotton linens and duvet
  • Generous closet space and under-bed storage
  • French balcony
  • Writing desk
  • Flat-screen television with on-demand movie system
  • iPhone docking station with alarm clock
  • In-room, electronic safe
  • Multi-configuration electrical outlets
  • Individual climate control
  • Spacious, spa-style bathroom with shower and spa-quality bath amenities
  • Hair dryer
  • Luxury, honeycomb cotton, spa robes and spa-quality slippers
  • Bottled water, replenished daily
  • Welcome flower arrangement and fresh fruit upon arrival

Public Areas

Ship’s Offices - The Ganges Voyager’s Reception Center is located at the bow of the Main Deck, where guests embark and disembark. The administration office is also on the Main Deck, mid-ship, between the guest cabins and the East India Dining Room.

East India Dining Room - A tribute to the incredibly flavorful cuisine of India, the East India Dining Room delivers one sumptuous meal after another, throughout your journey. With beautiful murals and floor-to-ceiling windows surrounding the open seating area, guests will enjoy breakfast and lunch buffets and served dinners in elegance and comfort, watching the world around the Ganges passing by.

Governor’s Lounge - The Governor’s Lounge offers a comfortable and inviting venue to gather with new friends at the end of each day to share stores and compare photos of your days on “Mother Ganga.” While recounting the day’s activites, guests may enjoy handcrafted cocktails, fine wines, and an array of non-alcoholic beverages. On-board entertainment is presented in the Lounge to enhance guests’ knowledge and enjoyment of the cruise.

The Observation Deck on the Ganges Voyager is the perfect place to awaken with a fresh cup of coffee, relax with a good book, or watch the sun set with an evening cocktail. This area of the Sun Deck offers chaise lounges and comfortable, shaded, seating areas, where staff is always available to offer a cool beverage.

The Voyager Spa And Fitness Center - The Voyager Spa is an oasis where relaxation and pampering are offered. Guests may enjoy regional Indian, as well as Western spa treatments. The Voyager Spa only uses all-natural products.

The fitness center on board offers modern exercise equipment to guests who wish to work off the scrumptious desserts from last night’s dinner.

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