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National Geographic Journeys: Cruise the Ganges

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Price From: R 43,859.00

12 days, Kolkata to Varanasi.

Immensely powerful and deeply vital to those who call its banks home, the Ganges River is a must-see travel destination in and of itself. Take this rare opportunity to cruise its storied waters on a 12-day adventure on riverboat and land. Sail to picturesque local villages to explore stunning temples and palaces. Wrap up with a four-day land excursion to the city of Varanasi, often considered the spiritual capital of India.

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC JOURNEY - greater exploration, insider access, and the freedom to roam!

Booking Details for this Small Group National Geographic Tour

  • Price: R 43,859.00 per person sharing
  • Departs on: 1 March 2018
  • Trip Code: AHLKNG
  • Trip Type: Small Group. National Geographic Journey
     

National Geographic Tour Itinerary

Day 1: Kolkata

Arrive at any time and transfer to your hotel. Arrival transfer included. Meals included: Breakfast

Day 2: Kolkata/Farakka

Catch a train from Kolkata to Farakka and embark on the riverboat this afternoon. Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 3: Farakka/Manihāri Ghāt

Sail upstream to Rajmahal, a village with a fantastic local atmosphere. Explore the remains of palaces, forts, and mosques submerged in vegetation before sailing on as far as Manihari Ghat. Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Manihāri Ghāt/Kahalgaon

Cruise upriver to idyllic Bateshwar and visit 6th century rock carvings. Afterwards, drive a short distance to the impressive ruins of a Buddhist monastery at Vikramshila. Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Kahalgaon/Sultānganj

Keep an eye out for South Asian river dolphins this morning as you sail to Bhagalpur, a centre of silk production. Visit a mansion and silk-weaving village. Continue on to Jehangira Island and enjoy an excursion to view ancient Hindu rock carvings.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Sultānganj/Sita Kund

Sail to Munger and take a rickshaw ride through the town to view the remnants of a Mughal fort and an East India Company cemetery. Visit the local bazaar, Pirpahar Hill, and Sitakund hot springs. Walk through the village and fields before getting back on board.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Sita Kund/Bārh

This morning pass under the great bridge at Mokama, where the naturalist Jim Corbett spent his working life overseeing the ferry crossing. Stop to visit a bankside village and stretch your legs. Cruise on to Barh and moor for the evening. Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Bārh/Patna

Enjoy a full day excursion to Nalanda. Visit an excavated Buddhist monastery and stupa, and the picturesque Jain temple at Pawapuri. Continue to Patna and reboard the boat for the night. Meals included: Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Day 9: Patna/Bodh Gaya

Disembark and discover Patna on a morning tour visiting the Golghar granary, the great Sikh temple, and the State Museum. Afterwards, transfer to the small town of Bodh Gaya to explore the Mahabodhi Temple Complex, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Meet with a monk to discuss the history of the area and visit the spot where the Buddha found enlightenment. Meals included: Breakfast

Day 10: Bodh Gaya/Varanasi

Drive to Varanasi, the quintessential Indian holy city. This afternoon, enjoy a lecture at the Ghats of the Ganges by a Research Scholar from Benaras Hindu University, and talk about the river's significance spiritually, socially, economically and politically. After, embark on a boat trip on the sacred Ganges at sunset. Enjoy a candle and flower ceremony accompanied by sitar and tabla playing, and observe an evening aarti (prayer) ceremony. Meals included: Breakfast

Day 11: Varanasi

Rise early for a sunrise boat ride along the Ganges to observe the dawn rituals of bathing and burial. After, have breakfast at Open Hand, a vocational training cafe and one of G Adventures' grassroots partners. Learn about this social enterprise whose mission is to provide dignified and meaningful job opportunities to underprivileged people in India. This afternoon take an excursion to Sarnath, a pilgrimage site where it is said the Buddha preached his first sermon. Meals included: Breakfast

Day 12: Varanasi

Depart at any time. Meals included: Breakfast.
 

Validity 1 March 2018 departure
Currency NB. Our prices are quoted in ZAR, and subject to exchange rate fluctuations.
Tour Identifiers Trip Code: AHLKNG
Inclusions • Arrival transfer
• Excursion to Rajmahal
• Visit Bateshwar and Vikramshila Buddhist Monastery
• Visit Jehangira Island
• Rickshaw excursion to Monghyr
• Explore Nalanda Buddhist Monastery and museum
• Visit Pawapuri Lake and a Jain temple
• Patna city tour
• Explore the Mahabodhi temple complex and meet with a local monk
• Orientation walk of Varanasi
• Lecture on the Ganges
• Sunset and sunrise boat trips on the Ganges River
• Breakfast at Open Hand vocational training cafe
• Interesting articles, helpful tips, and photography advice from National Geographic before you depart
• All transport between destinations and to/from included activities
• Accommodation in hotels (4 nights), riverboat (7 nights)
• 12 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 7 dinners
• Transportation by riverboat, minibus, train, auto-rickshaws, cycle-rickshaws, walking
• Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, local guides
Exclusions • International flights and taxes
• Visas, where required
• Drinks and items of personal nature
• Allow USD135-175 for meals and drinks not included
• Drinks and tips on board
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