Ganges cruises can be taken separately or together to offer a choice of durations from three to 15 nights (by combining two itineraries). Ganges and Lower Ganges (Hooghly) cruises are all about visits to villages, towns, temples and monuments in a little-known but fascinating and culturally rich part of India, on foot, by cycle rickshaw or minibus.
Cruises on the Lower Ganges operate all year round, while the Ganges proper cruises operate in the winter months only.
Due to river conditions, we cruise all the way up to Varanasi only in the months of August and September.
WHAT IS THERE TO SEE
The City of Palaces, Calcutta was the capital of British India for around 150 years, and boasts much superb colonial architecture. It can also claim to be the intellectual capital of modern India, and is a thriving, bustling, colourful and up to date city, with some excellent shops. In the northern suburbs lie the old French, Dutch and Danish colonial enclaves, still retaining a distinctive flavour.
A pleasant agricultural centre, boasting some of Bengal’s finest terracotta temples.
The battlefield of Plassey, where the foundations of the British Raj were laid, lies close to the river, with a commemorative obelisk.
Capital of the Nawabs of Bengal, losers at Plassey, and a delightful backwater town full of abandoned mosques, tombs and crumbling palaces. Nearby Baranagar boasts further examples of charming terracotta temples.
Where the Hooghly flows out from the Ganges, this great dam, opened in 1975, protects much of Bengal from flooding as well as generating electricity.
First Islamic capital of Bengal, now a collection of superb early mosques and other buildings standing amongst paddy fields and mango orchards.
An early Moghul capital of Bengal on the banks of the Ganges.
A fine Moghul fort further expanded by the East India Company.
One of the major centres of the East India Company, enriched by opium and indigo plantations, and now boasting a superb museum as well as fascinating places of worship.
Varanasi, known as the City of Light, is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities of the world, dating back to 3000 years ago. It's the most important religious site for Hindus who come here to attain moksha or salvation through intimate rituals of life and death, all of which add to the deeply spiritual atmosphere. There's no place on Earth like Varanasi.