Day 1 – New Delhi
A Uniworld representative will greet you at the airport and transfer you to The Oberoi Gurgaon, an award-winning hotel conveniently located just thirty minutes from Central Delhi.
Day 2 – New Delhi
FEATURED EXCURSION: India’s Capital City, Old and New
India’s seat of power for nearly a thousand years, Delhi bridges two distinctly different worlds—Old Delhi, the former capital, with its narrow lanes and splendid mosques; and New Delhi, established by the British, with wide tree-lined boulevards and handsome buildings. Spend your first full day in India getting a panoramic overview of the city’s top sights, including the two-toned sandstone and marble Red Fort, Humayun’s Tomb—inspiration for the UNESCO-designated Taj Mahal—and Raj Ghat, a black granite memorial to Mahatma Gandhi, India’s beloved father of independence. Your initial encounters with the local residents will be equally compelling—proud and dignified, generous and quick to smile, the Indian people will rank amongst your favorite memories of this enchanting country.
Day 3 – New Delhi, transfer to Agra
FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Majesty and Grace— Agra Fort and the Taj Mahal at sundown
Check in and enjoy lunch at the spectacular Oberoi Amarvilas, which offers stunning views of the Taj mahal from every room. Agra Fort, the palatial walled city where Shah Jahan lived, is your first destination, followed by the Taj Mahal, India’s most awe-inspiring and iconic monument, which was commissioned by the broken-hearted Emperor Shah Jahan after his beloved wife died in childbirth. Your first glimpse of the Taj Mahal at sundown will literally take your breath away.
Day 4 – Agra, transfer to Jaipur
FEATURED EXCURSION: Early morning at the Taj Mahal
Venture back to the Taj Mahal early in the morning, when the pristine white marble monument is aglow with the soft pink luster of dawn, and learn more about the mausoleum’s fascinating history, perfect proportions, precious building materials and intricate craftsmanship. After a scenic drive to Jaipur, the magnificent capital of the Indian state of Rajasthan, check in at the regal Oberoi Rajvilas and relax over lunch at the hotel. If you wish, take a complimentary shuttle to the city’s colorful bazaar.
Day 5 – Jaipur
FEATURED EXCURSION: Jaipur—Rajasthan’s Princely City
Your tour of the romantic Pink City of Jaipur includes City Palace—a sprawling complex with lovely courtyards and gardens where the former royal family still lives—
and the UNESCO-designated Jantar Mantar, a centuries-old observatory housing the world’s largest sundial and a superb collection of astronomical instruments. Relax during the afternoon or take a complimentary shuttle into town to explore the city’s bazaars, which overflows with high-quality textiles, jewelry, gemstones. Enjoy dinner at the magnificent Oberoi Rajvilas.
Day 6 – Jaipur, fly to Kolkata (embark)
FEATURED EXCURSION: Mother Teresa’s Home and Tomb; onboard Welcome Dinner
Transfer to the Jaipur International Airport and fly to Kolkata, India’s second-largest city, a clamorous yet captivating metropolis situated on the Lower Ganges. Visit Mother Teresa’s former home, where the late Roman Catholic nun established the Missionaries of Charity in 1950, and her tomb, her final resting place. Cap off the day with a Welcome Dinner, followed by a cultural performance onboard the Ganges Voyager II.
Day 7 – Kolkata, Bandel
FEATURED EXCURSIONS: The enduring legacy of the British Raj
The former capital of the Raj, Kolkata offers intriguing glimpses of the British colonial period, including grand architecture such as the Writers’ Building, High Court, and General Post Office. Return to the ship for lunch and a scenic cruise that passes a number of former colonial settlements. Later, take an excursion to Bandel to visit Hooghly Imambara, a mosque that’s a triumph of Bengali architecture.
Day 8 – Kalna
FEATURED EXCURSION: India’s “Temple City”
There is no better way to see the sights of Kalna than via an exhilarating trishaw ride through the heart of the city. Kalna’s Rajbari complex has the region’s densest concentration of temples, including 108 intricately carved, slope-roofed structures devoted to Shiva, the Hindu god.
Day 9 – Matiari
FEATURED EXCURSION: Matiari master craftsmen
Observe master craftsmen at work in Matiari, an artisans’ village revered for its finely wrought brassware. If time allows, you may also learn some of the nuances of the game of cricket-India’s favorite sport. There will also be time to shop for village-made goods. Back onboard, roll up your sleeves for a mehndi demonstration—intricate henna designs—and learn how to tie a sari and turban.
Day 10 – Khushbagh, Baranagar, Murshidabad
FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Bengal’s architectural curiosities
A trio of Bengali towns—Khushbagh, Baranagar and Murshidabad—boast beautiful architectural monuments closely linked to the ruling families of the area. The well-preserved 18th-century tomb and mosque in Khushbagh and beautiful brick temples in Baranagar both stand in quiet rural areas that invite contemplation. Enjoy lunch back onboard the ship as you continue downstream to Murshidabad. As you round the river’s bend, a most unexpected sight unfolds before you—the massive Hazarduari Palace, famous for its thousand doors, both real and false, and its fine collection of antiques and British colonial artwork. Climb aboard a horse cart for a lively ride to Katra Mosque, one of the largest and most interesting in the region. Indulge in a lovely dinner followed by the evening’s entertainment.
Day 11 – Mayapur
FEATURED EXCURSION: Hare Krishna complex and Temple of the Vedic Planetarium
After a scenic morning cruise, the wildly colorful village of Mayapur, birthplace of the founder of the Hare Krishna movement, and its colossal Vedic temple await you. Millions of scholars and devout followers visit here every year. The village is also home to hundreds of second-generation Hare Krishnas born to North Americans and Europeans who relocated to India back in the 1960s.
Day 12 – Chandannagar, Kolkata
FEATURED EXCURSION: India’s French Colonial heritage
A French colony for 275 years, from 1678–1950, Chandannagar is a fascinating place to visit because its cultural heritage and character are so very different from the rest of India (most of which fell under British rule). The city is situated on a crescent-shaped bend of the river, views of which are best admired on a leisurely stroll along the Strand, Chandannagar’s waterfront promenade. The Strand also features many lovely colonial-era buildings that have stood the test of time, such as the former French governor’s residence and the Roman Catholic Sacred Heart Church. Chandannagar’s intriguing dual nature is evident elsewhere in the city, such as the elementary schools that still teach both English and French, generations after the colonial rulers left India for good. Spend your last evening onboard enjoying a Farewell Dinner.
Day 13 – Kolkata (disembark), transfer to the airport
Disembark the ship and transfer to the Kolkata Airport for your return flight home, or fly to Varanasi for a 3-day optional extension in the holiest city on India’s holiest river, the sacred Ganges.