The Lower Ganges River Cruise

The Lower Ganges River Cruise

8 Days / 7 Nights

Price fromUSD$1,701

There is no river in the world as sacred as the Ganges and an expedition on the Hooghly is one of the prettiest journeys imaginable. The river winds its way through the lush countryside of West Bengal with its culturally significant towns boosting stunning temples and palaces. A rich and vibrant rural life abounds and there is never a dull moment as you sedately ply this pleasant waterway.

ORIENT PANDAW There can be no better vessel to explore this rich tapestry than the stately Orient Pandaw. Built in Vietnam in 2012, this ship is the pride of the fleet! There is thirty staterooms on two decks with personal verandahs, an indoor dining area, deck bar, movie / lecture theatre and spa.

The Lower Ganges River Cruise map

UPSTREAM

Day 1: Kolkata - Barrackpore Depart your hotel and transfer to the ship. Sail out at noon and cruise past the Old Danish colony of Serampore to Barrackpore. Land and take a walk through the cantonment, wandering past the Semaphore Tower, Government House, the Temple of Fame and Flagstaff House.

Day 2: Chandernagore - Hooghly Sail up to Chandernagore, a French possession until 1950. Visit the 18th century church and the Dupleix House. Sail upstream past the Old Dutch settlement of Chinsura before landing for a visit to the imposing Imambara at Hooghly. With verses from the Koran written on its walls, the Imambara is an opportunity to step back in time and relive a slice of Islamic history in Bengal. Sail into the night to a mooring near Kalna.

Day 3: Kalna Sail upstream and, after breakfast, land at the country town of Kalna. Take cycle 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. Continue on through the countryside to Mayapur to visit the vast new ISKCON (International Society for Krishna Consciousness) temple which dominates the skyline. As the headquarters of ISKCON, also known as the Hare Krishna movement, the temple receives over a million singing and dancing devotees a year from around the world. Sail on through the night to a mooring near Matiari.

Day 4: Matiari This morning visit the brass-working village of Matiari, a charming riverside village. Interact with the locals and witness the primitive process of beating out brass water pots and other vessels. Later, cruise on and visit the battlefield of Plassey. Here, in 1757, Robert Clive (the Commander-in-Chief of British India) defeated Siraj-ud-Daulah, the last independent Nawab of Bengal, and changed the course of Indian history. Moor close to Murshidabad for the night.

Day 5: 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 upstream to the great Hazarduari Palace, a grand building dominating 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 Katgola Palace. Built in classical Georgian style by rich local merchants, Katgola Palace represents the other side of the coin for the 'White Mughal' period, a time when English and Indian cultures came close to fusion. Moor overnight on the riverbank across from town.

Day 6: Baranagar This 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. Continue up the lower Ganges, which transforms into a charming waterway twisting and turning between banks lined with mustard fields and mango orchards. Carry on up a long canal section to a mooring close to the Farakka Barrage.

Day 7: Gaur During breakfast, we cruise to a mooring by the Farakka lock. Disembark and go on a full-day excursion by road to Gaur, near the town of Malda, or English Bazar. This quiet, deserted place was once one of India's great cities, first under the Hindus in the 12th century, then as the Muslim capital of Eastern India from the 14th to the 16th century. Here, you are spoiled with abundant remains of mosques, palaces and gateways before rejoining the ship in the evening to continue your cruise upstream.

Day 8: Farakka - Kolkata Journey for approximately four hours by train from Farakka to Kolkata and transfer to Oberoi Grand Kolkata.

DOWNSTREAM

Day 1: Kolkata - Farakka Journey for approximately four hours by train from Kolkata to Farakka and then take a short road transfer to the ship. This quiet, deserted place was once one of India's great cities, first under the Hindus in the 12th century, then as the Muslim capital of Eastern India from the 14th to the 16th century. There are abundant remains of mosques, palaces and gateways.

Day 2: Baranagar This morning, set sail down the Lower Ganges, a charming waterway twisting and turning between banks lined with mustard fields and mango orchards. Moor at the delightful sleepy village of Baranagar and walk through the fields of three gorgeous miniature terracotta temples.

Day 3: Murshidabad Continue down past Azimganj, boasting fine riverside mansions, to Murshidabad where the Nawab's 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 Katgola Palace. Built in classical Georgian style by rich local merchants, Katgola Palace represents the other side of the coin from the 'White Mughal' period, a time when English and Indian cultures came close to fusion. Moor overnight on the riverbank across from town.

Day 4: Khushbagh - Katwa Sail downstream then walk to the Khushbagh, a peaceful Mughul-style garden enclosing the tombs of Siraj-ud-Daulah, the last independent Nawab of Bengal, and his family. Return to the ship and continue down past the old British cantonment of Berhampur to a rural mooring close to the battlefield of Plassey. Here, in 1757, Robert Clive (the Commander-in-Chief of British India) defeated Siraj-ud-Daulah, the last independent Nawab of Bengal, and changed the course of Indian history. Moor close to Murshidabad for the night. You can walk through the fields to the commemorative obelisk. Cruise on to a mooring near Katwa, a market town with narrow bustling bazaars.

Day 5: Matiari - Mayapur Visit the brassworking village of Matiari, here you can witness the primitive process of beating out brass water pots and other vessels. Continue on through the countryside to Mayapur to visit the vast new ISKCON (International Society for Krishna Consciousness) temple which dominates the skyline. As the headquarters of ISKCON, also known as the Hare Krishna movement, the temple receives over a million singing and dancing devotees a year from around the world.

Day 6 Kalna - Kolkata Continue down to the country town of Kalna. Take cycle 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 shrinelets. Sail on and arrive at the outskirts of Kolkata. Land near Bandel to visit the imposing Imambara at Hooghly. With verses from the Koran written on its walls, the Imambara is an opportunity to step back in time and relive a slice of Islamic history in Bengal.

Day 7: Chandernagore - Barrackpore Sail downstream passing fine waterfront buildings and the Old Dutch settlement at Chinsura. Land at Chandernagore, a French possession until 1950. Visit the 18th century church and the Dupleix House before continuing down to Barrackpore. Land and take a walk through the cantonment. Pass the Semaphore Tower, Government House, the Temple of Fame and the Flagstaff House to get a better understanding of India's journey to independence.

Day 8: Kolkata Early this morning, cruise under the Howrah Bridge to central Kolkata to disembark. Transfer to Oberoi Grand Kolkata.

• Tailor-made journey with English-speaking guides • 7 nights' accommodation on board the Orient Pandaw • Transfers and transport • Train ticket Farakka > Kolkata or v.v. • Entrance fees • Gratuities to crew • Locally made soft drinks • Local beer and spirits • Coffee, selection of teas and tisanes, mineral water • 7 breakfasts, 8 lunches and 7 dinners

Pricing (per person) $USD

Type TWIN

2019

UPSTREAM

6 Jan

20 Jan

17 Feb

3 Mar

31 Mar

14 Apr, 28 Apr

21 July, 18 Aug

15 Sep, 13 Oct

10 Nov, 24 Nov, 22 Dec

-

DOWNSTREAM

13 Jan, 10 Feb

24 Feb

10 Mar

7 Apr

21 Apr

14 July, 11 Aug

8 Sep, 6 Oct

3 Nov, 17 Nov, 1 Dec, 2 Dec

-

-

$2,650

$3,100

$2,790

$2,650

$2,385

$2,650

$1,701

$1,890

$2,650

-

-

$2,790

$3,100

$2,650

$2,385

$2,650

$1,701

$1,890

$2,650

Departs

Upstream 6, 20 Jan
17 Feb
3, 31 Mar
14, 28 Apr
21 July
18 Aug
15 Sep
13 Oct
10,24 Nov
22 Dec

Downstream 13 Jan
10, 24 Feb
10 Mar
7, 21 Apr
14 July
11 Aug
8 Sep
6 Oct
3, 17 Nov
1, 2 Dec

Not included

• Flights • Port dues (if levied) • Laundry • All visa costs • Fuel surcharges • Imported beverages • Wines, premium spirits and liqueurs • Fancy soft drinks (e.g. Perrier) espressos and cappuccinos at bar • Tips to tour guides, local guides, bus drivers, boat operators and cyclo drivers