All the nooks and corners of India are steeped in rich culture and experiences. This journey from Kolkata to Varanasi is destined to familiarise you with the ethnicity of the country and why it needs to be discovered. This 12-Day voyage, complemented with our luxurious accommodation will become a memorable travel experience for you to remember for a lifetime.
The holy city of Varanasi is an epitome of Indian culture and spiritual ethos resting on the serene banks of River Ganges. The tour starts with an exploration of this sacred city and continues with a visit to the major cities and districts of Bihar. From the seventh day we reach to West Bengal and embark on exploring the jewels of the state. The tour lasts for 12 days with 3 nights in the hotel and 8 nights in RV Bengal Ganga. The cruise schedule includes the latest information regarding the program where last minutes adjustments can be made.
Day 1 : ARRIVE AT KOLKATA – EMBARK AND SAIL TO KALNA
After the morning arrival in Kolkata, relax, and proceed to the various colonial monuments of the city post lunch. It is followed by a visit to the Writer’s Building and Treasury Building, accompanied by a photo walk at St. John’s Church and the Victoria Memorial. Sail to Kalna.
Day 2 : KALNA – MATIARI
The next morning starts with a cycle rickshaw ride to the enchanting Rajbari Temple Complex in Kalna. Here we observe Bengal’s temple architecture and themes of Hindu epics and mythical lives of saints, gods & goddesses. Sail to Matiari.
Day 3 : SAIL MATIARI – MURSHIDABAD
The third day starts with an early morning visit to the village of Matiari to observe the process of brass making. After that, we return to the ship, cast off and cruise towards Murshidabad, sailing past Plassey.
Day 4 : SAIL MURSHIDABAD – JANGIPUR
The morning starts with a visit to the historic town of Murshidabad and a tonga ride to witness the oldest mosque in town, Katra Mosque. It is then followed by a visit to the Hazarduari Palace Museum, built during the reign of Nawab Nazim Humayun Jah (1824-1838 AD).
Day 5 : SAIL JANGIPUR - FARAKKA – SAMTAGHAT
On the fifth day we explore the historic Farakka Lock Gate. After exploring the Feeder Canal, we sail through the Farakka barrage at a distance, which regulates the water of the Ganges in Bangladesh and India. Reach Samtaghat.
Day 6 : SAIL BATESHWARSTHAN
We set on sail to Bateshwarsthan in the morning. After arrival we ride in jeeps/cars (about 15 minutes) to the excavation site of the Vikramshila University, one of the largest Buddhist universities in the past, with more than one hundred teachers and about one thousand students.
Day 7 : SAIL BATESHWARSTHAN – SULTANGANJ
The morning starts by sailing towards the rocky island Sultanganj, which is known for two great rocks of granite and an important pilgrim centre. It is known as Jahngira, which means ‘the hill of Jahnu’.
Day 8 : SAIL TO MUNGER
The eighth day starts with a sail towards Munger, one of the largest cities and most industrialized in the state of Bihar. Its history can be traced back to the mythological era of Ramayana and Mahabharata. Post lunch, we visit the Bihar School of Yoga, founded in 1964 by Satyananda Saraswati and his spiritual successor Niranjanananda Saraswati.
Day 9 : DISEMBARK AT MUNGER & DRIVE TO NALANDA AND BODHGAYA
This day starts with the ship disembarking at 0700 hrs to visit Nalanda. It treasures a glorious past of academia in India and extraordinary architectural ruins. During late afternoon, we visit the Mahabodhi temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Day 10 : DRIVE TO BODHGAYA AND VARANASI
After early breakfast, we drive to Varanasi, one of the holiest cities for Hindus in India. During late afternoon, we ride on a cycle rickshaw and experience the enchanting and incredible life on the streets of Varanasi, followed by a visit to the ghats.
Day 11 : VARANASI CITY TOUR
Start the day with a sunrise Boat Tour to witness the incredible scenes along the Holy River. Post lunch, we visit Sarnath, where Lord Buddha gave his first sermon after attaining enlightenment. The Archeological Museum at Sarnath houses a large collection of sculptures from the glorious Indian past.
Day 12 : DEPARTURE FROM VARANASI
On the last day, bid farewell to the beautiful Ganges by departing for the airport or to your desired destination.
Day 1 : ARRIVAL AT VARANASI
Our tour commences with one of the holiest cities of India, Varanasi. Upon arrival, the passengers will be directly taken for the check-in at the hotel. Late afternoon, join us to experience the enchanting and the incredible streets of Varanasi on a cycle rickshaw. This is followed by a boat ride on the Ganges where the passengers will witness the mesmerizing evening ‘Aarti’ after which they will be taken back to the hotel.
Day 2 : VARANASI CITY TOUR
Witness the splendid views along the Holy River through our Sunrise Boat Tour early morning. After the ride, we take you to the hotel for a scrumptious breakfast. Post lunch, we take you to Sarnath, a place that acquired recognition as the seat where Lord Buddha gave his first sermon after attaining enlightenment in Bodhgaya. After this spiritual tour, we take you back to the hotel.
Day 3 : DRIVE VARANASI – BODHGAYA
After breakfast, we commence our journey for Bodhgaya. It is a sacred Buddhist pilgrimage site located in the state of Bihar. The village houses a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Mahabodhi Temple, which is a highly revered shrine in the village and is believed to be a place where Buddha attained enlightenment. After the exploration, we take you back to the hotel at night.
Day 4 : BODHGAYA – NALANDA – MUNGER
The 4th day starts with a drive to Rajgir, the first capital of the Magadha Empire. Buddha spent several years in this ancient city delivering important sermons for those embarking on a spiritual path. After the Rajgir exploration, we drive to Nalanda after picking up the lunch from a local restaurant. Nalanda district treasures a glorious past, rich spiritual heritage and extraordinary architecture dating back to 5th century. Our last stop for the day will be Munger Jetty, one of the largest and most industrialized cities of Bihar, where the passengers will aboard RV Bengal Ganga.
Day 5 : SAIL MUNGER – SULTANGANJ – BHAGALPUR
After breakfast, we take you to visit the Bihar School of Yoga, a modern school founded in 1964 by Satyananda Saraswati. After exploring this school, the passengers are taken back to the ship where we cast off towards Bhagalpur by sailing past Sultanganj. The river here impinges on a stone and carries an immense religious significance. We spend the night in Bhagalpur.
Day 6 : SAIL BHAGALPUR – BATESHWARSTHAN – SAMTAGHAT
We sail down to Bateshwarsthan on the morning of the 6th day. After breakfast, we drive to Vikramshila University, one of the two most important centers of Buddhist learning in India during the reign of the Pala dynasty. After exploring the University, we return to the ship and sail downwards to Samtaghat and spend the night in the cruise.
Day 7 : SAIL SAMTAGHAT – FARAKKA - JANGIPUR
On the 7th day, we cruise towards Farakka Barrage Township, the Barrage which regulates the Ganges into Bangladesh. Midday we cross the historic Farakka Lock Gate, which dates back to 1963-75, and cruise to Bhagirathi-Hooghly River. All throughout the journey, the passengers will come across various species of birds worth capturing on their cameras. During the night, we cruise towards Jangipur and spend the night in RV Bengal Ganga.
Day 8 : SAIL JANGIPUR – MURSHIDABAD
As we reach Murshidabad in the afternoon, the passengers will be taken for a walk to Hazarduari Palace Museum. Built during the reign of Nawab Nazim Humayun Jah (1824-1838 AD), the palace is adorned with thousand doors and vast corridors. The gallery of the palace museum houses a wide collection of antiques, including various kinds of weapons, oil paintings, statues and manuscripts. While we walk back, we take the passengers to the local market after which they’ll spend the night in RV Bengal Ganga.
Day 9 : SAIL MURSHIDABAD – MATIARI
In the morning after breakfast, passengers will be given a ride to the Katra Mosque, the oldest mosque of the town built in the year 1725. After a quick tour, we head back to the jetty and commence our cruise towards Matiari, sailing past Plassey. It is a well-known battlefield where Robert Clive of British East India Company defeated the Mogul Nawab. We arrive at Matiari and spend the night in RV Bengal Ganga.
Day 10 : SAIL MATIARI – KALNA
Early in the morning, we visit Matiari, a village which is famous for brass and copper production. We let you experience the process of brass making through a stroll in the village with a chance of buying artifacts and souvenirs. Then we cruise towards Kalna where we are expected to arrive by afternoon. Post lunch, guests will be taken to Rajbari Temple Complex, which houses a commendable number of shrines with immense religious significance and impressive architecture. We sail further down at Bandel for the night and spend overnight on board RV Bengal Ganga.
Day 11 : SAIL KALNA – KOLKATA
On the 11th day, we cruise through the vast countryside of golden Bengal towards Kolkata. We cruise through the areas of European trading posts. After lunch, a heritage tour will be organized to the popular monuments such as Writer’s Building, General Post Office, High Court, Raj Bhawan, Town Hall, Council House, Treasury Building and the Reserve Bank of India. The heritage tour is followed by a visit to the popular landmarks of the city such as St. John’s Church and Victoria Memorial. We spend the night in RV Bengal Ganga.
Day 12 : DEPARTURE FROM KOLKATA
After breakfast, we take you to the airport for your flight or depart to your onward destination.
Accommodation and all meals as indicated by the programs
Indian brand mineral water, tea/coffee throughout the cruise and during meal times at hotels
Sightseeing as per itinerary,
Onboard English Speaking Guide
All Entrance Fees,
Transfers by car/minivan/coach as applicable,
Still camera fees,
Taxes and Jetty Fees as separately mentioned,
International or domestic flights,
Juices & Drinks (soft, alcohol),
all visa costs,
Tips & Gratuities,
All items of a personal nature;
health-accident-baggage or travel protection plan outside the ship’s boundaries.