Colorful India & the Ganges River with Southern India & Varanasi

18 Day River Cruise Cochin to Kolkata

Cruise WDKQ

Was from

£7,012pp

Now from

£6,212pp

Prices shown exclude flights and transfers

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Overview

Enter a world of color, culture, and cherished spiritual tradition of India. Your guided tour of India 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.

In Jaipur, see the famous Palace of the Winds, and tour the 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 tour a historic mansion and see a gold and silver making demonstration You’ll also visit the fascinating Hare Krishna headquarters in Mayapur, and visit Saint Mother Teresa’s former home upon your return to Kolkata.

All of this and more await you on this once-in-a-lifetime guided tour of India and a Ganges River cruise.
Enter a world of color, culture, and cherished spiritual tradition of India. Your guided tour of India 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.

In Jaipur, see the famous Palace of the Winds, and tour the 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 tour a historic mansion and see a gold and silver making demonstration You’ll also visit the fascinating Hare Krishna headquarters in Mayapur, and visit Saint Mother Teresa’s former home upon your return to Kolkata.

All of this and more await you on this once-in-a-lifetime guided tour of India and a Ganges River cruise.

Book your cruise with or without flights

Cruise prices are shown without flights included in case you wish to book them separately, or aren't ready to return home when you disembark! Or we can book your flights for you from most UK airports, with overseas transfers and ATOL protection included. The choice is yours!

Book your cruise with or without flights

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,” India’s southernmost state known for its natural beauty. Your hotel room is available for mid-afternoon check-in.

Day 2 COCHIN

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch

Your Guided Tour starts with a visit to the Kerala Folklore Museum which aims to educate people about the unique culture and heritage of South India. Then, drive out of the city to embark an unforgettable afternoon 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 with an orientation for photos at some of the cities famous sites, including Victoria Terminus and the Gateway of India. Then, witness Mumbai’s fascinating tiffen lunch box delivery system. At Churchgate Station, the dabbawalas (box carriers) transfer the lunch boxes onto a wooden cart on a local train. Board the train for the short ride to Mahalaxmi Station where you’ll disembark and watch the boxes being sorted by color for final delivery. Lastly, stop to see a traditional Dhobi Ghat (open-air laundromat) and visit Mani Bhavan, the former residence of Mahatma Gandhi. After lunch, enjoy the remainder of the day at your leisure.

Day 5 MUMBAI–VARANASI

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

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

Day 6 VARANASI–DELHI

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch

Around dawn, board a Boat Excursion 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 and some time at leisure prior to flying 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.

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 Mahal at sunset is included.

Day 10 AGRA–JAIPUR

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch

Welcome to the Pink City
Travel to Jaipur—the “Pink City” that was painted pink for the Prince of Wales’ 1876 visit.
After lunch, enjoy the afternoon and evening at your leisure.

Day 11 JAIPUR

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

A Maharaja’s Marble Palace and Gateway to the Stars

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.


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, a fascinating astronomical observatory built in the early 18th century.


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. 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 Exploration 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

Sweet Shops and Shiny Brass

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 Guided Walk through the village of Matiari where fascinating scenes of everyday life unfold in front of you. Stop to see how traditional sweets are made and explore the local produce market. The village is best known for brass-making and you’ll see how scrap metal is recycled to make figurines and functional items such as tea sets and vases. For the final step, watch a talented craftsman delicately hand-hammer intricate patterns into the brass.

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.

Guided Sightseeing brings you to two towns on opposite sides of the river. In Jiaganj, travel by electric rickshaw to see the art of Baluchari saree weaving. In Azimganj, walk through the local crafts market and explore Bari Kothi, a former residence that has been restored to its former grandeur after being abandoned for over half a century. You’ll also witness a silver- and gold-making demonstration.


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.

Your Morning Excursion brings you to the fascinating ISKCON campus at Mayapur, the worldwide headquarters of the Hare Krishna movement. A Krishna leader will guide you throughout your visit to introduce you to their philosophy and life on campus, Along the way, you’ll tour the main temple and have time for questions.


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, climb aboard a Rickshaw (Toto) for your visit to the small riverside village of Guptipara. Along the way, see pottery and idol making. You’ll also visit a farmer’s home to interact with the family.

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, focus on the life and work of Mother Teresa who dedicated her life to helping the city’s poor. Stop at her former home prior to visiting Nirmala Shishu Bhavan, a home for orphaned children run by Missionaries of Charity which she founded in 1950.


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 (DISEMBARKATION)

  • 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.

Start sooner, stay longer

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

Ship details

Ganges Voyager

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.

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

Hotels

It may occasionally be necessary to use alternative, similar standard, hotels to those shown