We put together a list of the best cruise extensions for you, that can be completed either before or after your cruise.
FOR AN IMMERSIVE CULTURAL AND SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCE, GO TO VARANASI
This is a short clip of our 'City of Light' 7-night Ganges River Cruise that is only navigable in this prominent stretch of the Ganges River during the months of August and September. RV Rajmahal gives you the best vantage point of the famous Varanasi Ghats but for the rest of the year, we recommend a 2-night stay at the Gateway Hotel by Taj Hotels or at the Brijrama Palace in Varanasi. You have direct flights from Delhi and Kolkata to Varanasi.
Here are our suggested post - cruise overland extensions to combine with a Ganges River Cruise.
FOR A WILDLIFE EXPERIENCE, GO TO KAZIRANGA NATIONAL PARK
We recommend a 3-night stay at Diphlu River Lodge in Kaziranga National Park. 'When William and Kate visited the UNESCO World Heritage site Kaziranga National Park wildlife sanctuary, they brought attention to conservation efforts of endangered species, as well as admire the area’s plentiful Bengal tigers, elephants, swamp deer, Hoolock gibbon, one-horned rhinos, and water buffalos. After a long day of game drives, they stayed in a private thatched-roof cottage at Diphlu River Lodge. Cottages feature large terraces overlooking the surrounding land and river, and guests can book to enjoy festive nightly group barbecues with locals performing dancing and singing rituals.' - Vogue
FOR A PRIVATE HOUSEBOAT CRUISE, SAIL THE BRAHMAPUTRA RIVER IN ASSAM
We recommend a 3-night stay on the houseboat MV.Rudra Singha of Eastern Odyssey (our bespoke travel company partner). This deluxe houseboat is ideal for a couple or a small family who want adventure yet a relaxing cultural holiday. With just one bedroom, a bathroom, kitchen and a living room with a sofa that can be converted to a bed for kids. You will have a private butler, a chef, a guide and the boat captain to accompany you, plus bi-cycles onboard! Combine this private houseboat sailing experience on the Brahmaputra River with a stay at Diphlu River Lodge. We guarantee that you will love it!
FOR AN EASTERN HIMALAYAN EXPERIENCE, GO TO DARJEELING
We recommend a 3-night stay at The Glenburn Tea Estate in Darjeeling. You can take a direct flight from Kolkata, Delhi and Guwahati to Bagdogra airport after which it is approx 2 hrs drive to Glenburn Tea estate in Darjeeling.
FOR A MUCH-NEEDED BEACH TIME, GO TO THE ANDAMAN & NICOBAR ISLANDS
We recommend a 3-night stay at the chic new boutique hotel, Jalakara in Havelock Island of the Andamans. There are direct flights from Kolkata, Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai to Port Blair in Andaman Islands, from where you have to take a ferry (approx 90min) to Havelock Island.
Insider tip: Last scheduled boats from Port Blair to Havelock leave at 2pm - so please make sure you book a flight landing before 12.30pm. Also, book return flights in the afternoon after 2pm to avoid an overnight stay in Port Blair.
TO THE MOUNTAIN KINGDOM OF BHUTAN
Eastern India is closely intertwined with Bhutan especially the bordering states of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim and West Bengal. There are direct flights from Kolkata, Guwahati and Delhi to Bhutan.
In the recent news:
“Bhutan’s social, cultural and economic ties with Assam are deep-rooted, and Guwahati has been a prime destination for Bhutanese traders, students and patients referred by our doctors to hospitals in India. Bhutan’s diplomatic relationship with Assam precedes that with India, and history refers to cordial relationship between the kings of Bhutan and medieval Assam. It is thus apt for us to set up our second consulate here in Guwahati,” said Bhutan’s Foreign Minister Damcho Dorji, after inaugurating the consulate along with Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal." - The Hindu Newspaper, February 2nd, 2018
NO VISIT TO EAST INDIA IS COMPLETE WITHOUT KOLKATA
There is more to Kolkata than the monuments. "Kolkata is vibrant, uplifting and probably the friendliest city in the subcontinent. Strangers will invite you for a chai just to talk and exchange ideas. Friendships are struck up in an instant and the city is abuzz with intellect and creativity." - Fiona Caulfield, author of 'Love Travel Guides'- Kolkata, in her article for The Guardian. Once, Kolkata, formerly known as, Calcutta was a jewel, first city of India and the second capital of the British Empire. Fortune-hunters founded this city at the end of the 17th century, built the imposing buildings where they lived (still visible today), counted their money, and imposed their laws.
You have to fly into Kolkata to embark on a Ganges River Cruise. Kolkata is one of the major international airports of India, frequented by almost all international airlines with a stop in south-east Asia or Dubai if you are flying Emirates. There are daily direct flights to every major hub city in India. In Kolkata, we recommend a 2-night stay at The Oberoi Grand.
Please consult your travel agent for all the best options tailored to your interests. We hope that we have been able to give you a wide choice of experiences with comfortable charismatic stays to ideally combine with our Ganges River Cruise.