Colorful India & the Ganges River with Southern India, Varanasi & Kathmandu 2020/21

21 day River Cruise from Cochin to Kathmandu

Cruise WDKY

From 

£6,394  pp

Cruise only

Departing 11 September 2020

From 

£7,531  pp

Cruise with flights & transfers

From London Gatwick

Overview

Enter a world of color, culture, and cherished spiritual tradition of India and Nepal. Your guided tour of India, Nepal, and Ganges River cruise begins in the Southern India city of Cochin, where you’ll take a cruise on the backwaters of Kerala to witness life along the scenic and serene waterways. Explore Mumbai, home to “Bollywood,” and Varanasi, to watch the Hindu’s devotional bathing in the Ganges. Continue on to the bustling city of Delhi. You’ll tour the city with your expert local guide, and take a rickshaw ride through the Chandni Chowk bazaar—brimming with everything from silver and spices to saris of every color. You’ll visit Qutub Minar—the world’s largest brick minaret, and see Delhi’s largest Sikh gurudwara (house of worship), before traveling to Agra—site of the legendary Taj Mahal. Join a sunrise excursion to the Taj Mahal—the iconic memorial build by Moghul emperor Shah Jahan for his beloved wife. More than 20 years in the making, the Taj Mahal stands as the pinnacle of love’s devotion, and is also yours to experience at sunset if you wish. You’ll enjoy the city of Jaipur, with its famous Palace of the Winds, and spectacular Amber Fort, before flying to Kolkata to board your Ganges river cruise. The holy river of Hinduism, the Ganges, slowly courses through one of the world’s most fertile and populated areas. Along its banks, human life is connected to its waters and you’ll get a glimpse of life away from India’s big cities. See muslin weaving in Kalna and candy making in Matiari. Stop in Murshidabad for an excursion to Azimganj and Jiaganj—to savor authentic Indian tea, as well as stunning gold and silversmith workshops. You’ll meet saree weavers, goldsmiths, and pottery makers. Explore the fascinating Hare Krishna headquarters in Mayapur, and visit Saint Mother Teresa’s former home upon your return to Kolkata. In Kathmandu, sightseeing is spread over two leisurely days. Visits include Hanuman Dhoka, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the Temple of Kumari, residence of the Living Goddess, a child thought to be the reincarnation of a Hindu goddess. You’ll also journey to Patan and Bouddhanath, Nepal’s largest stupa. All of this and more await you on this once-in-a-lifetime vacation with a guided tour of India and Nepal with a Ganges River cruise.

Enter a world of color, culture, and cherished spiritual tradition of India and Nepal. Your guided tour of India, Nepal, and Ganges River cruise begins in the Southern India city of Cochin, where you’ll take a cruise on the backwaters of Kerala to witness life along the scenic and serene waterways. Explore Mumbai, home to “Bollywood,” and Varanasi, to watch the Hindu’s devotional bathing in the Ganges. Continue on to the bustling city of Delhi. You’ll tour the city with your expert local guide, and take a rickshaw ride through the Chandni Chowk bazaar—brimming with everything from silver and spices to saris of every color. You’ll visit Qutub Minar—the world’s largest brick minaret, and see Delhi’s largest Sikh gurudwara (house of worship), before traveling to Agra—site of the legendary Taj Mahal. Join a sunrise excursion to the Taj Mahal—the iconic memorial build by Moghul emperor Shah Jahan for his beloved wife. More than 20 years in the making, the Taj Mahal stands as the pinnacle of love’s devotion, and is also yours to experience at sunset if you wish. You’ll enjoy the city of Jaipur, with its famous Palace of the Winds, and spectacular Amber Fort, before flying to Kolkata to board your Ganges river cruise. The holy river of Hinduism, the Ganges, slowly courses through one of the world’s most fertile and populated areas. Along its banks, human life is connected to its waters and you’ll get a glimpse of life away from India’s big cities. See muslin weaving in Kalna and candy making in Matiari. Stop in Murshidabad for an excursion to Azimganj and Jiaganj—to savor authentic Indian tea, as well as stunning gold and silversmith workshops. You’ll meet saree weavers, goldsmiths, and pottery makers. Explore the fascinating Hare Krishna headquarters in Mayapur, and visit Saint Mother Teresa’s former home upon your return to Kolkata. In Kathmandu, sightseeing is spread over two leisurely days. Visits include Hanuman Dhoka, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the Temple of Kumari, residence of the Living Goddess, a child thought to be the reincarnation of a Hindu goddess. You’ll also journey to Patan and Bouddhanath, Nepal’s largest stupa. All of this and more await you on this once-in-a-lifetime vacation with a guided tour of India and Nepal with a Ganges River cruise.

This cruise is on offer

Book a 2020 cruise before 31 October this year and save up to £2,000 per couple.

See full offer

Itinerary

Avalon has designed included activities with a choice of experiences. We invite you to select the tours, activities, and events that interest you most, so you can experience your cruise your way. There are three types of included shore excursion on every Europe cruise:

Classic

Your local expert is ready to guide you through the history and heritage of local destinations. You’ll marvel at the legends, lore, and spectacular architecture of iconic and historic sites.

Active

Embark on energetic excursions to keep you in motion and on the go - from a guided jogging tour of Amsterdam, to biking, paddling, and hiking your way through scenic locales.

Discovery

We’ve found inspiring and interactive activities to speak to your interests - from cooking classes, to painting workshops - to immerse yourself in each culture you explore.

Classic
<p>Embark on energetic excursions to keep you in motion and on the go - from a guided jogging tour of Amsterdam, to biking, paddling, and hiking your way through scenic locales.</p>
Active

Embark on energetic excursions to keep you in motion and on the go - from a guided jogging tour of Amsterdam, to biking, paddling, and hiking your way through scenic locales.

Discovery

We’ve found inspiring and interactive activities to speak to your interests - from cooking classes, to painting workshops - to immerse yourself in each culture you explore.

Day 1 COCHIN, INDIA


Welcome to Cochin, the “Gateway to Kerala.” Located on the Arabian Sea in Kerala, India’s southernmost state, Cochin is the perfect starting point to explore the region’s natural beauty. Your hotel room is available for mid-afternoon check-in.

Day 2 COCHIN


Your Guided Tour starts with the Chinese Fishing Nets that are the livelihood of many fishermen in the area, followed by a walk through the Jewish quarter. Next, visit the Kerala Folklore Museum which aims to preserve and educate people about the unique culture and heritage of South India. This afternoon, enjoy an unforgettable Cruise on the backwaters of Kerala. Explore and witness local life along these serene waterways surrounded by lush palm trees and paddy fields.

Day 3 COCHIN—MUMBAI

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast

Today, fly to Mumbai, a multicultural metropolis with a colorful history. This vibrant city is now India’s premier seaport, center of culture and industry, and home to the “Bollywood” movie industry.

Day 4 MUMBAI

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch

Your Guided Tour starts at the Gateway of India, Mumbai’s most famous monument commemorating the visit of Queen Mary. Then, drive along Marine Drive, a seafront promenade, and see a traditional Dhobi Ghat (open-air laundromat). You will also visit the Hanging Gardens, Mumbai Museum, and Mani Bhavan, the former residence of Mahatma Gandhi. The remainder of the day is at your leisure.

Day 5 MUMBAI—VARANASI

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

Fly to Varanasi, the holiest of Hindu pilgrim cities, situated on the banks of the sacred Ganges River. Early this evening, witness the Ganga Aarti (spiritual worship) on the ghats (steps) leading down to the Ganges.

Day 6 VARANASI—DELHI

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch

Around dawn, board a Boat and watch a striking religious ritual—the Hindus’ devotional bathing in the Ganges. You’ll observe hundreds of pilgrims gathered at the river’s edge, some practicing yoga, others meditating, and still others bathing fully clothed. Return to your hotel for breakfast. Afterwards, a Guided Excursion takes you to nearby Sarnath, the “Cradle of Buddhism,” where Buddha first spoke of his philosophy. Later fly to Delhi.

Day 7 DELHI

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Saris, Spices, and Silver

Classic

Your local expert is ready to guide you through the history and heritage of local destinations. You’ll marvel at the legends, lore, and spectacular architecture of iconic and historic sites.

Today’s Guided Sightseeing starts with an orientation to see the Red Fort, Jama Masjid, India Gate, and the Presidential Palace. Afterward, take a rickshaw ride through Chandni Chowk, a captivating local bazaar—with its ancient alleyways lined with quaint shops offering everything from silver and saris to spices and electronics.

After lunch in a local restaurant, enjoy a bit of leisure time. Tonight, your Tour Director hosts a lavish welcome dinner at your hotel.

Day 8 DELHI—AGRA

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch

Monuments of Worship and Remembrance

Classic

Your local expert is ready to guide you through the history and heritage of local destinations. You’ll marvel at the legends, lore, and spectacular architecture of iconic and historic sites.

This morning, take a Guided Excursion to visit Qutub Minar, the world’s tallest brick minaret, dating back to the 11th century. Next, visit Humayun’s Tomb and Gurudwara Bangla Sahib, Delhi’s largest and most prominent Sikh gurudwara (house of worship).

After lunch, drive to Agra and settle in at your hotel overlooking the Taj Mahal.

Day 9 AGRA

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

Love’s Crowning Achievement

Classic

Your local expert is ready to guide you through the history and heritage of local destinations. You’ll marvel at the legends, lore, and spectacular architecture of iconic and historic sites.

Start your day with a Sunrise Excursion to the incomparable Taj Mahal—Moghul Emperor Shah Jahan’s memorial to his beloved wife—more than 20 years in the making.

Classic

Your local expert is ready to guide you through the history and heritage of local destinations. You’ll marvel at the legends, lore, and spectacular architecture of iconic and historic sites.

Later, take a Guided Tour to Agra Fort, built by the Moghul Emperor Akbar. This formidable fortress of red sandstone conceals the imperial city of the Moghul rulers and its many palaces. 

For those interested, an excursion to the Taj at sunset is included.

Day 10 AGRA—JAIPUR

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch

Palaces and Rare Printings in the Pink City

Travel to Jaipur—the “Pink City” that was painted pink for the Prince of Wales’ 1876 visit.

Classic

Your local expert is ready to guide you through the history and heritage of local destinations. You’ll marvel at the legends, lore, and spectacular architecture of iconic and historic sites.

This afternoon, take a Guided Tour of the City Palace and the adjoining museum, which houses a collection of rare manuscripts. Also, stop at Jantar Mantar and the famous Hawa Mahal (Palace of the Winds).

The evening is at your leisure.

Day 11 JAIPUR

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

A Maharaja’s Marble Palace

Classic

Your local expert is ready to guide you through the history and heritage of local destinations. You’ll marvel at the legends, lore, and spectacular architecture of iconic and historic sites.

Today, join a Guided Excursion to Jaipur’s spectacular Amber Fort, built entirely of white marble and red sandstone, and featuring intricate mosaics, carvings, paintings, and mirror works.

Spend the afternoon at leisure.

Discovery

We’ve found inspiring and interactive activities to speak to your interests - from cooking classes, to painting workshops - to immerse yourself in each culture you explore.

Tonight, and enjoy a festive dinner with a Cultural Performance.

Day 12 JAIPUR—KOLKATA (EMBARKATION)

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Welcome to West Bengal. Your Ship Awaits.

Fly to Kolkata this morning to transfer to your ship. This afternoon, get acquainted with the ship prior to your welcome reception this evening.

AFTERNOON/EVENING CRUISE TO KALNA

Day 13 KALNA

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Rituals, Rickshaws, and Muslin Weavers

Discovery

We’ve found inspiring and interactive activities to speak to your interests - from cooking classes, to painting workshops - to immerse yourself in each culture you explore.

Ride on cycle rickshaws during your Guided Tour of Kalna. Along the way visit the historic terracotta temple complex and receive blessings from the temple priest. Also visit a muslin-weaver’s home.

Enjoy a free afternoon on board your ship.

AFTERNOON/EVENING CRUISE TO MATIARI


Day 14 MATIARI

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Shining Brass and Sweet Shops

Discovery

We’ve found inspiring and interactive activities to speak to your interests - from cooking classes, to painting workshops - to immerse yourself in each culture you explore.

Join a Morning Walk in the brass-making village of Matiari to see and interact with the craftsmen there. You’ll also see traditional sweets being made.

Enjoy a free afternoon onboard your ship.

AFTERNOON/EVENING CRUISE TO MURSHIDABAD

Day 15 MURSHIDABAD. EXCURSION TO AZIMGANJ & JIAGANJ

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Silversmiths, Tea Service, and Silk Sarees

Discovery

We’ve found inspiring and interactive activities to speak to your interests - from cooking classes, to painting workshops - to immerse yourself in each culture you explore.

Enjoy a short Guided Walk through Azhimganj to see the local gold and silversmith workshops. You’ll also visit a local landlord’s mansion for authentic Indian tea, then travel by electric richshaw in Jiaganj to see the art of Baluchari saree weaving.

Relax this afternoon onboard your ship.

AFTERNOON/EVENING SAILING TO MAYAPUR


Day 16 MAYAPUR—GUPTIPARA

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

A Holy Pilgrimage on the Ganges

Classic

Your local expert is ready to guide you through the history and heritage of local destinations. You’ll marvel at the legends, lore, and spectacular architecture of iconic and historic sites.

Join a Morning Walk through the pilgirm’s bazaar and visit the ISKCON temple, and meet and interact with a Krishna leader. You’ll also visit a goshala (rescue shelter for cows).

Discovery

We’ve found inspiring and interactive activities to speak to your interests - from cooking classes, to painting workshops - to immerse yourself in each culture you explore.

This afternoon, take a Rickshaw (Toto) Ride, and explore the village of Guptipara to see pottery and idol-making. You’ll also take an Escorted Visit to a farmer’s home and interact with the family there. 

AFTERNOON/EVENING SAILING TO KOLKATA

Day 17 KOLKATA

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Flowers, Faith, and Victorian Art

Classic

Your local expert is ready to guide you through the history and heritage of local destinations. You’ll marvel at the legends, lore, and spectacular architecture of iconic and historic sites.

This morning, take a Guided Walk through the colorful flower market. Afterward, stop to see Mother Teresa’s former home and the Calcutta rescue.

Classic

Your local expert is ready to guide you through the history and heritage of local destinations. You’ll marvel at the legends, lore, and spectacular architecture of iconic and historic sites.

After lunch, join a Guided Visit to the Victoria Memorial Museum. Built to commemorate Queen Victoria, the museum houses a beautiful collection of paintings, textiles, weapons, and other artifacts from the Victorian era.


Tonight, a farewell Dance Performance is presented on the ship.

Day 18 KOLKATA—KATHMANDU, NEPAL<span class="location"> </span>

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast

Today, fly to Nepal. The remainder of the day is at your leisure.

Day 19 KATHMANDU

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch

Today, your Guided Sightseeing starts with a visit to Hanuman Dhoka, the historic seat of royalty. Then, visit the Temple of Kumari, residence of the Living Goddess and said to be constructed from the wood of a single tree. Enjoy the afternoon at leisure in Kathmandu.

Day 20 KATHMANDU

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch

Start your Sightseeing Tour at Bouddahanath, one of the largest stupas in the world and a focal point of Tibetan Buddhism in Nepal. Then, continue to Patan, formerly known as Lalitpur (“City of Beauty”). Here, stop in Durbar Square, the city’s center of business and home to several Buddhist and Hindu sites. The remainder of the day is free.

Day 21 KATHMANDU

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast

Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning.

Questions? Our travel specialists can help with any queries, quotes or special requirements.  Request a callback or email us.

Cruise options

Start sooner, stay longer. Start your vacation earlier or stay longer with destination options before or after your Avalon cruise.

Colourful India and the Ganges River 2020

Ship details

Ganges Voyager I

The pioneering Ganges Voyager carries just 56 guests and offers a warm and relaxed experience. The ship takes you back in time with the grace and style of the colonial era with wood furniture and hand-stenciled murals.

From the air-conditioned indoor lounge to the outdoor lounge, you'll find plenty of seating and spots to relax. You'll never feel cramped or crowded. Plus, the indoor lounge features large windows, so no matter where you sit, you'll always have a great view.

Deluxe Suite (B,A)
260 sq. ft.
Picture of Deluxe Suite with French Balcony – Main Deck
  • 260 Square Feet
  • Premium mattresses
  • Soft & firm pillows
  • Nightly turn-down service
  • Large French balcony with floor-to-ceiling glass doors
  • Large private bathroom featuring full shower with rain shower head & glass door, hairdryer & premium bath amenities
  • Luggage rack
  • Writing desk/vanity with mirror & comfortable chair
  • In-room safe
  • In-house telephone
  • Fine linens & duvets
  • Choice of bed configuration (two twins or one king)
  • Bedside tables with reading lamps
  • Comfortable sitting area with two chairs
  • Spacious closets with shelves for ample storage
  • Flatscreen television with selection of on-demand movies
  • Bathrobes & slippers
  • Individual climate control
  • Mini-bar with complimentary local beer, soft drinks & bottled water
Heritage Suite (H)
280 sq. ft.
Picture of Heritage Suite with Juliette Balcony – Upper Deck
  • 280 Square Feet
  • Premium mattresses
  • Soft & firm pillows
  • Nightly turn-down service
  • Large French balcony with floor-to-ceiling glass doors
  • Large private bathroom featuring full shower with rain shower head & glass door, hairdryer & premium bath amenities
  • Luggage rack
  • Writing desk/vanity with mirror & comfortable chair
  • In-room safe
  • In-house telephone
  • Fine linens & duvets
  • Choice of bed configuration (two twins or one king)
  • Bedside tables with reading lamps
  • Comfortable sitting area with two chairs
  • Spacious closets with shelves for ample storage
  • Flatscreen television with selection of on-demand movies
  • Bathrobes & slippers
  • Individual climate control
  • Mini-bar with complimentary local beer, soft drinks & bottled water
Viceroy Suite (V)
360 sq. ft.
Picture of Viceroy Suite with French Balcony – Upper Deck
  • 360 Square Feet
  • Premium mattresses
  • Soft & firm pillows
  • Nightly turn-down service
  • Large French balcony with floor-to-ceiling glass doors
  • Large private bathroom featuring full shower with rain shower head & glass door, hairdryer & premium bath amenities
  • Luggage rack
  • Writing desk/vanity with mirror & comfortable chair
  • In-room safe
  • In-house telephone
  • Fine linens & duvets
  • Choice of bed configuration (two twins or one king)
  • Bedside tables with reading lamps
  • Comfortable sitting area with two chairs
  • Spacious closets with shelves for ample storage
  • Flatscreen television with selection of on-demand movies
  • Bathrobes & slippers
  • Individual climate control
  • Mini-bar with complimentary local beer, soft drinks & bottled water
Maharaja Suite (M)
400 sq. ft.
Picture of Maharajah Suite with French Balcony – Upper Deck
  • 400 Square Feet 
  • Premium mattresses
  • Soft & firm pillows
  • Nightly turn-down service
  • Large French balcony with floor-to-ceiling glass doors
  • Large private bathroom featuring full shower with rain shower head & glass door, hairdryer & premium bath amenities
  • Luggage rack
  • Writing desk/vanity with mirror & comfortable chair
  • In-room safe
  • In-house telephone
  • Fine linens & duvets
  • Choice of bed configuration (two twins or one king)
  • Bedside tables with reading lamps
  • Comfortable sitting area with two chairs
  • Spacious closets with shelves for ample storage
  • Flatscreen television with selection of on-demand movies
  • Bathrobes & slippers
  • Individual climate control
  • Mini-bar with complimentary local beer, soft drinks & bottled water
Deck Plans
Ganges Voyager deck plan

Stateroom categories

  • Maharaja Suite
  • Upper Deck Forward
  • Viceroy Suite
  • Upper Deck
  • Heritage Suite
  • Upper Deck
  • Cat A Deluxe Suite
  • Upper Deck
  • Cat B Deluxe Suite
  • Main Deck