Blue Water Holidays
Blue Water Holidays - ABTA - ATOL - CLIA
Experts in River and Small Ship Cruising Holidays since 2002
01756 706500 +44 1756 706500
Blue Water Holidays - ABTA - ATOL - CLIA
01756 706500
+44 1756 706500

Upper Ganges

This unique voyage covers an incredible one thousand miles from Kolkata, formerly Calcutta, to Varanasi, one of the most sacred places in Hinduism, taking in revered Buddhist sites along the way

Cruise Only
14 nights from £4990pp

River Adventures Holiday
  • Kolkata
  • Nalanda
  • Varanassi

Call us now on 01756 706500 to secure your cabin!

PD

No single supplement! Applies to selected departures. Subject to availability

Upper Ganges Special Offer

Cruise the Upper Ganges between the fascinating cities of Kolkata and Varnassi on this exciting holiday.

See the intricate architecture of the striking Hooghly Imambara which has writing from the holy Quran engraved on its walls before exploring some of Bengal’s most attractive terracotta temples in the country town of Kalna. Interact with the friendly locals in the charming riverside village of Matiari on the banks of the Hooghly River.

Witness the great Hazarduari Palace in Murshidabad and journey through the Farraka canal and lock to the Ganges. Discover the magnificent 8th century Buddhist site of Vikramshila, and visit the famous Bihar School of Yoga, before disembarking your ship. Drive to the fascinating archaeological site of Nalanda, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Enjoy hotel stays in Bodh Gaya and Varanassi, one of the most colourful and spiritual cities in India. Without a doubt, it is one of the highlights of this incredible holiday along the Upper River Ganges.

PD247 Operated by Pandaw River Adventures

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Upstream Itinerary

Day 1 - Kolkata (India)

Embark your ship in Kolkata and set sail to Chandernagore, a French possession until 1950. One of the city's major landmarks in Maidan, a park along the banks of the Hooghly River. To the east of Maidan is the Victoria Memorial, built to commemorate the reign of Queen Victoria.

Day 2 - Kalna

In the town of Kalna, hop on a rickshaw which will take you to Bengal’s most attractive terracotta temples. Explore this array of remarkable temples which include the fascinating Shiva temple with concentric rings made up of 108 lesser shrines. Further into the countryside, visit the ISKCON (International Society for Krishna Consciousness) temple which dominates Mayapur's skyline. This important temple receives over a million singing and dancing devotees a year from around the world.

Day 3 - Matiari

This morning, arrive in the charming riverside village of Matiari and spend time socialising with the friendly locals. Watch the fascinating process of beating out brass water pots and other vessels before cruising on to the battlefield of Plassey. It was on this battlefield in 1757 that the Commander-in-Chief of British India Robert Clive defeated Siraj-ud-Daulah, the last independent Nawab of Bengal.

Day 4 - Murshidabad

This morning, stroll through the tranquil Khushbagh, a Mughal-style garden which houses the tombs of Siraj-ud-Daulah and his family. Witness the majestic Hazarduari Palace as you cruise upstream and explore the great Katra Mosque as well as the Nashipara and Katgola palaces.

Day 5 - Farakka

Journey through the Farakka canal and lock which was constructed in 1963-75 whilst crossing from the Lower Ganges (or Hoogly River) to the Ganges. See the Farakka barrage which effectively dams the Ganges and strategically controls the flow of water into neighbouring Bangaladesh. Stay on the look out as this area is teeming with spectacular bird life.

Day 6 - Bateshwarsthan

After passing the confluence of the Kosi river that flows down from Nepal, arrive at the lovely town of Bateshwarsthan. Discover the 8th century Buddhist site of Vikramshila which was an important centre of Buddhist learning.

Day 7 - Bhaglapur

Sailing along this stretch of the river provides an opportunity to spot the rare Gangeatic dolphins. Land at Bhaglapur, a centre of silk production, and visit the 18th century mansion of the Collector, Augustus Cleveland.

Day 8 - Sultanganj

Contunue to Jahanigra Island, a place of pilgrimage with many rock carvings in high relief dating from the eighth century depicting aspects of Siva and Vishnu. In the evening moor off Sultanganj, with its pair of great granite rocks, one crowned with a mosque and the other a small temple dating from the 16th century.

Day 9 - Munger

Munger is now a large and industrialised city but has an interesting history. In 1762, Mir Qasim, the Nawab of Bengal, shifted his capital from Murshidabad to Munger, and established a firearms manufacturing centre here. Explore the Mughal fort, East India Company cemetery and step inside the Bihar School of Yoga founded in 1964 by Satyananda Saraswati. One of the leading yoga schools in the country. The institution has developed yogic techniques through a synthesis of traditional yogic, vedantic and tantric practices and contemporary health science.

Day 10 - Mokama

Stop at Mokama, once home to Jim Corbett the naturalist and protector of the Indian tigers. Surrounded by farmlands, Mokama has the second hightest production of lentils in the country. Learn about the freedom fighters from Mokama such as Lalldin Saheb, whose during the freedom struggle was sentenced to jail during the British rule.

Day 11 - Barh

Explore Barh, a town famous for Hindu ritual cremation at Urmanath and the Alakhnath Temple.

Day 12 - Nalanda

Disembark your Pandaw ship early and drive to the archaeological site of Nalanda, the great 5th century Buddhist university. Discover the monumental red brick walls and stupas standing on the site of what was the longest running university in Indian history. Immerse yourself in the tranquil surrounds of this UNESCO World Heritage Site which is thought to have accommodated over 10,000 students and hosted Buddha Siddhartha himself. Continue to Bodh Gaya, another UNESCO World Heritage Site arranged around the Maha Bodhi temple where the Lord Buddha attained enlightenment in the 5th century BC. Spend time exploring this global centre of pilgrimage for Buddhists of all denominations and admire the many monasteries built in various national styles – Tibetan, Burmese, Thai, Japanese, etc. Overnight in Oaks Bodh Gaya or similar

Day 13 - Varanasi

Board a flight to Varanasi, the oldest and holiest city of India established in the 11th century BC and today with over 2,000 living temples. Check-in to your hotel with time to freshen up before and evening cruise along the sacred river to witness the Aarti ritual. Enjoy a dinner at The Great Kebab Factory, a contemporary and stylish Indian restaurant specialising in delectable kebabs. Overnight in Tree of Life Varanasi or similar

Day 14 - Varanasi

Take a sunrise boat cruise past the bathing ghats and observe the people as they come to the river to perform their morning prayers and rituals. Following breakfast explore the Old City on a walking tour through the ancient by-lanes and discover the colourful and chaotic life that exists. Later visit Sarnath and the Deer Park where the Lord Buddha gave his first sermon with its archaeological museum. Return to the hotel and enjoy a musical performance comprising a sitar and tabla before your farewell dinner. Overnight in Tree of Life Varanasi or similar

Day 15 - Varanasi

Check-out after breakfast and receive a group transfer to the airport or the Taj Ganges hotel.

For navigational reasons the Captain of the ship reserves the right to modify the cruise itinerary. The reverse itinerary (Downstream) varies slightly. PLEASE NOTE: It is illegal to serve alcoholic drinks whilst cruising through the state of Bihar. For this reason, alcohol will not be served onboard the ship. This will affect the upstream itinerary from Day 6 until the afternoon of Day 12, and the Downstream itinerary from Day 3 until the afternoon of Day 9.

Price Includes

  • 14-night full board cruise
  • 1-night hotel stay in Bodh Gaya
  • 2-night hotel stay in Varanasi
  • All sightseeing, tours and entrance fees as outlined in itinerary
  • Local mineral water, jugged coffee, teas and tisanes on board
  • Onboard gratuities

Price Does Not Include

  • Travel insurance
  • All beverages except local mineral water, jugged coffee, teas and tisanes
  • Tips to tour guides, bus, boat and cycle operators
  • Port taxes

Special Features

  • It is illegal to serve alcoholic drinks whilst cruising through the state of Bihar. For this reason, alcohol will not be served onboard the ship. This will affect the upstream itinerary from Day 6 until the afternoon of Day 12, and the Downstream itinerary from Day 3 until the afternoon of Day 9.
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2021 Departures £ price per person based on 2 people sharing

  • October
    • Oct 18th - Kolkata (ex Calcutta) to Varanasi - Sailing on: Katha Pandaw From: £4990
      Main Deck Upper Deck
      Brochure Price From: £4990 Brochure Price From: £5473
    • Oct 30th - Varanasi to Kolkata (ex Calcutta) - Sailing on: Katha Pandaw From: £4990
      Main Deck Upper Deck
      Brochure Price From: £4990 Brochure Price From: £5473
  • November
    • Nov 11th - Kolkata (ex Calcutta) to Varanasi - Sailing on: Katha Pandaw From: £4990
      Main Deck Upper Deck
      Brochure Price From: £4990 Brochure Price From: £5473
    • Nov 23rd - Varanasi to Kolkata (ex Calcutta) - Sailing on: Katha Pandaw From: £4990
      Main Deck Upper Deck
      Brochure Price From: £4990 Brochure Price From: £5473
  • December
    • Dec 18th - Kolkata (ex Calcutta) to Varanasi - Sailing on: Katha Pandaw From: £4990
      Main Deck Upper Deck
      Brochure Price From: £4990 Brochure Price From: £5473
    • Dec 30th - Varanasi to Kolkata (ex Calcutta) - Sailing on: Katha Pandaw From: £4990
      Main Deck Upper Deck
      Brochure Price From: £4990 Brochure Price From: £5473

2022 Departures £ price per person based on 2 people sharing

  • January
    • Jan 11th - Kolkata (ex Calcutta) to Varanasi - Sailing on: Katha Pandaw From: £4990
      Main Deck Upper Deck
      Brochure Price From: £4990 Brochure Price From: £5473
    • Jan 23rd - Varanasi to Kolkata (ex Calcutta) - Sailing on: Katha Pandaw From: £4990
      Main Deck Upper Deck
      Brochure Price From: £4990 Brochure Price From: £5473
  • February
    • Feb 4th - Kolkata (ex Calcutta) to Varanasi - Sailing on: Katha Pandaw From: £4990
      Main Deck Upper Deck
      Brochure Price From: £4990 Brochure Price From: £5473
    • Feb 16th - Varanasi to Kolkata (ex Calcutta) - Sailing on: Katha Pandaw From: £4990
      Main Deck Upper Deck
      Brochure Price From: £4990 Brochure Price From: £5473
    • Feb 28th - Kolkata (ex Calcutta) to Varanasi - Sailing on: Katha Pandaw From: £4990
      Main Deck Upper Deck
      Brochure Price From: £4990 Brochure Price From: £5473
  • March
    • Mar 12th - Varanasi to Kolkata (ex Calcutta) - Sailing on: Katha Pandaw From: £4990
      Main Deck Upper Deck
      Brochure Price From: £4990 Brochure Price From: £5473
Map for Upper Ganges