Bengal Despatch 9 & 10:

City of Light: Varanasi Summer Special

7 NIGHTS

From USD 1,470 per person

Choose your itinerary:

 

UPSTREAM ITINERARY

DAY 1

Arrive at Patna by road, rail or air; transfer from airport or railway station to ship is included in the cruise cost. Embark on your cruise ship from afternoon onwards, and enjoy dinner on board while sailing upstream.

DAY 2

This morning, cruise upstream during breakfast before landing to visit a spectacular small Moghul tomb at Maner. Reboard and continue past the confluence with the River Sone to the busy river port of Doriganj. Cruise on to an overnight stop near the confluence with the River Goghra.

DAY 3

Continue up past Ballia to Buxar, famous for the battle fought here in 1764 which, together with Plassey, laid the foundations of the British Raj. Visit the memorial on the battlefield and the old East India Company cemetery in town. Later, take a short cycle rickshaw ride up to the ghats of Buxar.

DAY 4

Sail upstream today past Chausa to Ghazipur, still a centre for (official) opium production. Visit the imposing tomb of Lord Cornwallis, the General responsible for the British defeat at Yorktown. We might also be able to spend a little time walking through the busy Ghazipur bazaar, a quintessential Indian experience.

DAY 5

This morning, sail to Varanasi (also known as Benaras). The so-called City of Light is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities of the world, dating back to 3000 years ago. Mark Twain once said: "Benaras is older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend, and looks twice as old as all of them put together". An accurate description, Varanasi is arresting to your every sense yet beautifully spiritual for those willing to let go and just be. It's the most important religious site for Hindus and visited by people from all walks of life who come here in the hope of attaining moksha or salvation.

 

After lunch, visit the Buddhist site at Sarnath and the Deer Park where the Buddha preached his first sermon, as well as the nearby archaelogical museum.

DAY 6

​This morning, drive to Chunar to visit the great Mughal Fort, the old British cemetery and the Mughal tombs nearby. Carpet-weaving and Chunar pottery are other attractions here. On the way back, visit Ramnagar to see the Maharaja’s Palace and museum.
 

DAY 7

​Take rowing boats at dawn past the busy and colourful bathing ghats of Varanasi. After breakfast on board Rajmahal, disembark again to take a walk through the busy alleys of Varanasi to experience the beating heart of the city. In the evening, take rowing boats to join the evening Ganga Aarti ceremony, where young priests perform their daily rituals with brass lamps and spiritual mantras in front of large crowds from all over India and the world. A truly mesmerising event, this aarti is the essence of Varanasi. Return to the ship moored at Rajghat.

DAY 8

​After breakfast, disembark and transfer to airport or railway station.

 

DOWNSTREAM ITINERARY

DAY 1

Arrive at Varanasi (or Benaras) by road, rail or air; transfer from airport or railway station is included in the cruise price. The City of Light is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities of the world, dating back to 3000 years ago. Mark Twain once said: "Benaras is older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend, and looks twice as old as all of them put together". An accurate description, Varanasi is arresting to your every sense yet beautifully spiritual for those willing to let go and just be. It's the most important religious site for Hindus and visited by people from all walks of life who come here in the hope of attaining moksha or salvation.

Embark on your cruise ship and sail downstream a short distance before putting down anchor for the night. Enjoy dinner on board.

 

DAY 2

This morning, sail up to anchor near Rajghat. Disembark and drive to Chunar to see the great Mughal fort, the old British cemetery and the Mughal tombs nearby. Carpet-weaving and Chunar pottery are other attractions here. On the way back, visit the Ramnagar Maharaja’s Palace and museum before re-boarding at Rajghat.

DAY 3

Take rowing boats at dawn past the busy and colourful bathing ghats of Varanasi. After breakfast, drive to visit the Buddhist site at Sarnath, the Deer Park where the Buddha preached his first sermon and the archaeological museum. This evening, disembark and take a walk through the busy alleys of Varanasi to experience the beating heart of the city. Join the Ganga Aarti ceremony, where young priests perform their daily rituals with brass lamps and spiritual mantras in front of large crowds from all over India and the world. A truly mesmerising event, this aarti is the essence of Varanasi. Return to the ship moored at Rajghat.

DAY 4

After breakfast on board, disembark and drive to the city of Jaunpur to see the Mughal Bridge, visit its ancient fort and walk to see the splendid Atala mosque. Return to the ship for lunch and sail downstream towards Ghazipur. Alternatively, some may prefer to stay back and explore Varanasi’s tempting shopping possibilities.

DAY 5

This morning, sail downstream and disembark at Ghazipur after breakfast. Visit the imposing tomb of Lord Cornwallis, the General defeated by George Washington in 1781 at Yorktown, so arguably responsible for the loss of the American colonies. We might also be able to spend a little time walking in the busy Ghazipur bazaar, a quintessential Indian experience. Later, sail down towards Buxar. 

After lunch, visit the Buddhist site at Sarnath and the Deer Park where the Buddha preached his first sermon, as well as the nearby archaelogical museum.

DAY 6

After breakfast, disembark to the country town of Buxar, famous for the battle fought here in 1764 which, together with Plassey, laid the foundations of the British Raj. Visit the memorial on the battlefield and the old East India Company cemetery in town. Later, take a short cycle rickshaw ride up to the ghats of Buxar. Sail down to anchor near confluence of Ghagra.

DAY 7

Cruise past the busy river port of Doriganj and the confluence with the Sone River to a ghat from which we visit the small yet spectacular Mughal tomb at Maner. Sail down to anchor at Patna and visit the great Sikh gurdwara.

DAY 8

After breakfast, disembark and transfer to airport or railway station.

These itineraries, including cruises and approximate durations, are subject to river and weather conditions.

ACCOMMODATION

The 'City of Light' cruises are offered only in the Boutique Expedition cruising style.

BOUTIQUE EXPEDITION CRUISING

with ABN Rajmahal

Our selection of boutique cruise ships are comfortable, contemporary, and celebratory of Assam and Bengal's rich regional heritage. They are designed to reflect a sense of homecoming to the region: the unique objets d'art and handicrafts aboard the ships have been carefully collected and curated over the years, and the locally made furniture and textiles are a product of traditional craftsmanship and modern design intervention.

As such, each boutique ship was designed to be purposefully distinct in its style, with interesting stories that accompany each ship's décor.

ABN Rajmahal has 22 cabins: 14 spacious twin/double cabins on the upper deck; four twin/double cabins on the main deck; and 4 single cabins on the main deck for which we charge no supplement.

 

All cabins have en suites with W.C., French balconies, a writing desk and chair, mini-fridge, individual climate control, and storage space.

 

There are three cabin categories on ABN Rajmahal:

UPPER DECK TWIN/DOUBLE-BEDDED CABIN

This cabin is located on the upper deck, offering travellers a better vantage point from which to watch rural India glide by.

MAIN DECK TWIN/DOUBLE-BEDDED CABIN

This cabin is identical to the upper deck cabins, but it is located on the main deck instead.

MAIN DECK SINGLE-BEDDED CABIN

Featuring a single bed, this cabin is ideal for solo travellers, for which we charge no supplement.

INTERESTED IN THIS TOUR?

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