The Story

Best time to go: August and September
Best for: Slow Travel, River Cruises, Cultural & Immersive, Historical

Drift slowly down the Ganges right in the heart of this magical corner of spiritual India, from Varanasi to Patna. Available during the summer months of August and September. The area will be lush and green, and you’ll see a timeless showcase of traditional Indian history and culture.

For those who have been to India before, this magical journey takes you even further off the beaten track where quite simply, hotels don’t really exist. You’ll start by staying just south of Calcutta in a restored 250-year old mansion, from where you can walk through the surrounding villages seeing a timeless rural culture, unchanged by time. If you haven’t been to Calcutta before, we can arrange a trip into the city with a superb private guide.

Fly to Patna and begin a 7 day cruise along the Ganges towards Varanasi. You’ll witness such a remarkable corner of India. You’ll start by seeing  Mughal tombs the sight of the fierce battle of Buxar in 1764 and the adjacent an East India Company cemetery. Continue to Ghazipur and see tomb of Lord Cornwallis (of Yorktown fame) and its bustling bazaars. You’ll then arrive into Varanasi, complete with its temples, ghats and immersive sights and sounds. Visit Sarnath where the Buddha preached his first sermon, and the superb Mughal fort at Chunar.

After your cruise, fly to Delhi for a night (or two) before returning home. We can of course tailor the itinerary to see more of India.

Guide Pricing

Starting At

  • £1795
    Price per person including all accommodation, private transfers, unique experiences and excluding international flights. We can arrange international flights should you wish.


    • Stay at the charming Bajbari south of Calcutta
    • Take a 7 night cruise from Patna to Varanasi (or in reverse) on the lovely ABN Rajmahal
    • Superb itinerary if you want to see India during the summer months
    • Departures for 2017 are: 1st August 2017, 8th August 2017, 15th August 2017, 22nd August 2017, 29th August 2017 & 5th September 2017
    Days Location Hotel
    Day 1 Fly to Calcutta
    Day 2-3 Calcutta The Rajbari Bawali
    Days 4-10 Ganges River Assam Bengal ABN Rajmahal
    Day 11-12 Delhi Trident Gurgaon

    Suggested Hotels

    Day 2-3

    The Rajbari Bawali

    $ $ $ $ $  

    The Rajbari Bawali is a lovingly restored 250 year old neo-classical palatial heritage hotel located an hour’s drive south of Calcutta.

    View hotel
    Days 4-10

    Assam Bengal ABN Rajmahal

    $ $ $ $ $  

    The superb ABN Rajmahal entered service in 2014 and features just 22 en-suite cabins.

    View hotel
    Day 11-12
    Trident Gurgaon, Delhi, India

    Trident Gurgaon

    $ $ $ $ $  

    The Trident Gurgaon is a luxury city resort located close to Delhi’s International Airport, perfect for a first or final night on a tour if India.

    View hotel

    Itinerary Experiences

    Customise Your Itinerary

    We can tweak and change any element of this itinerary and you can depart on any day you want, add nights here and there, and we can fully customise your day-to-day experiences depending on your interests. Here are just a few ideas of many that we can look at and discuss when we come to plan your tailor-made itinerary.

    Another time of year?

    The Rajmahal cruises throughout the year, and you can experience the superb cruise from Calcutta to Farakka on the lower Ganges

    Add on more time

    We can tailor an itinerary to include extra nights in Delhi, or perhaps continue your journey into Rajasthan or other parts of India

    Further Itinerary Suggestions

    Remote Burma: Cruising the Chindwin

    Mandalay - Chindwin River - Yangon  

    The further you get off-the-beaten track in Burma, the more remarkable the destination becomes. Ideal for a second-time trip, this tour explores the hidden Chindwin on the luxury Belmond Orcaella.

    17 days from £6150 p. p.

    The Road to Mandalay: Cruising the Irrawaddy

    Yangon - Mandalay - Irrawaddy Cruise - Bagan - Inle Lake - Ngapali Beach  

    Nothing quite compares to a gentle cruise along the Irrawaddy from Mandalay to Bagan. You’ll see the major sights of Burma, but also see the traditional villages and rural charm along the banks of the river.

    12 days from £3795 p. p.