Tailor-made Tour 13 days from £5175 per person

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  Places Visited: Kolkata, Farakka, Samtaghat, Bateshwarsthan, Sultanganj, Munger, Simaria, Patna, Nalanda, Bodhgaya, Varanasi, Delhi

Considered the most luxurious ships in India, Antara operates a fleet of varying sizes, including catamarans, small private cruise ships and some richly appointed triple-deck ships that offer luxurious living and a choice of suites, fine-dining, including Michelin-inspired menus, and excellent service.

While Antara operates a few regular sailing, unlike others, Antara specialises in one-off journeys to celebrate major festivals such as Holi, Diwali, Easter, Christmas and New Year or venture into remote regions and circuits that are otherwise difficult to access by road, rail or air.

A world away from the more well-trodden roads of India, cruises on the Ganges offer a chance to witness life as lived in riverbank villages and towns, and marvel at ornate historic temples and monuments. A little-known but fascinating and culturally rich part of India, travelling by boat opens up areas otherwise largely inaccessible to the traveller.

This itinerary departs Kolkata on 13th October 2024. 

Holiday Types

Cultural Holidays Wildlife Holidays River Cruising Holidays Luxury Train Holidays Family Holidays Honeymoons Beach Holidays Adventure Holidays


Suggested itinerary

Day 1

You will be met on arrival and transferred to your hotel, The Oberoi Grand, for the night. The remainder of your day will be at leisure.

Kolkata, or ‘Calcutta’ as it was known prior to 2001, is the capital of West Bengal state, and India’s third largest city, with a population of approximately 14.1 million. The trading post originally founded by the East India Company in the 17th century served as the country’s capital until 1911, and continues to be a major regional hub, albeit one with well-chronicled problems.

The backdrop to this vibrant cultural life is an architectural heritage spanning two-and-a-half centuries of colonial rule. Built to commemorate the British Raj at its zenith, the Victoria Memorial is Kolkata’s most grandiloquent monument – a stately blend of British, Mughal, Deccani, Moorish and Venetian styles whose marble domes soar majestically above the banks of the Hooghly River, surrounded by ornamental lakes and parched maidans.

Elsewhere in the city – connected by an efficient Metro system – lies a wealth of museums and art galleries, the famous Kali Ghat temple (after which the city was originally named) and hallowed turf of the Eden Gardens, high altar of Indian cricket. But above all, Kolkata is a place whose everyday sights frequently prove the most arresting: the flower sellers spreading out their wares in the dawn light at Mullick Ghat; the wrestlers, devotees of the Monkey God Hanuman, exercising on the nearby riverside steps; the overloaded barges of straw arriving at Kumartuli Ghat, where voluptuous deities are fashioned out of clay for the annual Durga Puja festival; and the streams of rickshaws, trucks and pedestrians pouring across Howrah Bridge at rush hours.

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Day 2
Kolkata, Farakka, Samtaghat

Board an early morning train in Kolkata to arrive at Farakka by midday. Transfer from the train station to the jetty for embarkation. Lunch onboard while the ship sails on the main Ganges River towards Samtaghat.

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Day 3
Samtaghat, Bateshwarsthan

Today is a full day sailing towards Bateshwarsthan enjoying breakfast and lunch onboard. You will be fascinated by the passing landscape and the lively life on the river. Arrive in Bateshwarsthan by evening.

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Day 4
Bateshwarsthan, Sultanganj

After breakfast drive in cars to the 8-9th century excavation site of the Vikramshila University and walk around the ruins. Vikramshila University was an important Buddhist centre of learning under the rule of the Pala Dynasty. Subjects like theology, philosophy, grammar, metaphysics, and logic were taught here. Return to the ship and sail towards Sultanganj whilst enjoying lunch onboard.

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Day 5
Sultanganj, Munger

After breakfast, take an excursion to Sultanganj, which is notable for two prominent granite rock islands in the river connected to the mainland by a causeway. On one of the islands is a mosque; on the other larger one is the Ajgaibinath Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. We will visit the Shiva temple. Return to the ship and sail towards Munger while enjoying lunch onboard.

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Day 6

After breakfast visit the Chandika Sthan Temple, which is dedicated to Goddess Shakti. It is one of the fifty-one Shakti Peethas, associated with the legend of Lord Vishnu who to save the world from Lord Shiva’s wrath, cut into pieces the corpse of Devi Sati that Shiva was carrying. Return to the ship for lunch. In the afternoon, visit the Munger Fort and the local market popular for fruits, vegetables, textiles, and readymade garments.

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Day 7
Munger, Simaria

Enjoying breakfast and lunch onboard, your journey continues further upstream sailing under the great bridge at Mokameh Ghat. Arrive in Simaria by late afternoon. In the evening walk in the riverside village of Simaria to see the daily activities of the local people.

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Day 8
Simaria, Patna

Today is a full day sailing through the wonderful countryside to Patna, enjoying breakfast and lunch onboard. Patna is the capital of the State of Bihar and is one of the oldest continuously inhabited places in the world founded in 490 BCE as Pataliputra.

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Day 9

Your cruise comes to an end today as you continue the rest of your journey by road. Disembark early, with a packed breakfast, and drive to the World Heritage Site of Nalanda which was a renowned Mahavihara (Buddhist monastic university) in ancient Magadha operating from 427 until 1197 CE. Continue to Rajgir, which was one of Buddha's most important preaching locations. Lunch is at a restaurant here before continuing to Bodhgaya, which is one of the four pilgrimage sites related to the life of Gautama Buddha. Spend two night at a hotel in Bodhgaya.

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Day 10

After breakfast visit the World Heritage Mahabodhi Temple, which was the place where Gautama Buddha attained Enlightenment under the “Bodhi Tree.” Return to the hotel for lunch, before exploring the several Buddhist temples and monasteries that have been built by the people of various countries like Bhutan, Mongolia, China, Japan, Korea, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Tibet, and Vietnam. These buildings reflect the architectural style exterior and interior decoration of their respective countries.

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Day 11

After an early breakfast at the hotel drive to Varanasi, the holiest town for the Hindus. It also played an important role in the development of Buddhism. Upon arrival, check-in at the hotel and have lunch. In the evening visit the ghats to experience the activities and hustle-bustle in the by-lanes. Continue to the riverside and witness the evening “Ganga Aarti” ritual. Dinner & overnight at a hotel in Varanasi.

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Day 12
Sarnath, Delhi

At early dawn enjoy a sunrise boat tour to witness the incredible scenes along the holy Ganges River. Return to the hotel for breakfast. Thereafter visit the archaeological site of Sarnath, where Buddha after attaining enlightenment at Bodhgaya, preached his first discourse to his first five disciples. The Dhamek Stupa here is one of the eight stupas where Buddha’s ashes after his cremation were divided and buried. Thereafter transfer to the airport for your flight to Delhi. You will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel for an overnight stay.

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Day 13
Delhi, UK

Transfer to the airport for your return flight to the UK.

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Tailor-made Tour 13 days from £5175 per person

What's included

✓   Arrival and departure transfers 

✓  Twelve nights accommodation, including seven nights on the cruise

✓   All excursions on board with English-speaking guides

✓   Meal Plan: Full board on days 2-11 and Bed & Breakfast in Kolkata and Delhi.

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