Sign Up For Email Deals:

Bhutan & the Ganges River

Reserve Now!

Departure Dates

  • Mar 05, 2019 - Mar 17, 2019

TOUR RATES FROM: $9,990

Download Brochure

Bhutan & the Ganges River

This classic program combines an intimate look at the spectacular natural beauty, fascinating cultural traditions, and charming people of Bhutan, the smallest of the Himalayan kingdoms, with a four-night cruise aboard the Ganges Voyager riverboat along the venerated Ganges River in the Indian state of West Bengal.

Guest Lecturer
Annapurna Garimella
is a Delhi-based designer and an art historian. Her research focuses on late medieval Indic architecture and the history and practices of vernacular art forms in India after Independence. She heads Jackfruit Research and Design, an organization with a specialized portfolio of design, research, and curation. Jackfruit’s recent curatorial projects include Vernacular, in the Contemporary (Devi Art Foundation, New Delhi); Faith: Manu Parekh in Benaras 1980-2012 (Art Alive, New Delhi); Drawing 2014 (Gallery Espace, New Delhi); Mutable: Ceramic and Clay Art in India Since 1947 (Piramal Museum of Art, 2017); and Barefoot College of Craft in Goa (Serendipity Arts Festival, 2017). Dr. Annapurna’s most recent book is about a collaboration between a Rajasthani miniature painter and an expatriate American photographer and is titled The Artful Life of R. Vijay (Serindia, 2016). In 2017, she was awarded the India Today Emerging Curator of the Year Award. Garimella is also the founder and managing trustee of Art, Resources and Teaching Trust, a not-for-profit organization that runs a public art library, conducts independent research projects, and does teaching and advisement for college and university students and the general public.

Tour Map

Download Tour Brochure Reserve Today!

For more information or with any questions call 888-484-8785 or email info@nationaltrusttours.com

Ship Information

The elegant all-suite Ganges Voyager, launched in 2015, transports guests in style, comfort, and luxury along the Ganges River, an ideal way to observe the ever-changing tapestry of life unfolding along the riverbanks. Accommodations embody the grace and style of India’s colonial era, with modern conveniences and luxuries that rival the finest hotels. Spacious, well-appointed suites provide individual climate control, panoramic floor-to ceiling French doors, flat-screen television with on-demand movies, electronic safe, en suite bathroom with spa quality robes, slippers, hair dryer, and bath amenities, generous storage, daily housekeeping with turndown service, fine bed linens, premium mattresses, duvets, your choice of pillows, and daily international news. The friendly staff provides the level of attentive service that makes for a memorable river cruise, and the ship’s culinary team prepares sumptuous meals incorporating both the incredibly flavorful cuisine of India as well as the diverse cuisines of Europe, served in the beautifully appointed dining room. Public spaces include an inviting lounge, a sun deck with chaise lounges and shaded seating areas, and a spa and fitness center with state-of-the-art equipment.

View Brochure »

Itinerary

Tuesday–Wednesday, March 5–6
Home / Delhi, India
Depart home on an overnight flight to Delhi. Arrive on March 6 and transfer to the hotel. Enjoy a welcome reception and orientation this evening. Radisson Blu Plaza (R)

Thursday, March 7
Delhi
Old Delhi, the capital of Muslim India for seven centuries, consists of eight different cities built by a succession of empires. New Delhi was created as the capital of India by the British in 1911, and is the epicenter of contemporary Indian political activity. In Old Delhi, visit Jama Masjid, the largest mosque in India, with its tapering minarets and marble domes. In New Delhi, visit two World Heritage sites: the red sandstone and marble Qutab Minar, the tallest minaret in India, and Humayun’s Tomb, the architectural forerunner of the Taj Mahal. Also see the India Gate, a memorial to Indian soldiers killed during World War I.

Radisson Blu Plaza (B,L,D)
Friday, March 8
Paro, Bhutan / Thimphu This morning fly to Paro, site of the only airport in the tiny country of Bhutan, and drive to Thimphu, Bhutan’s capital since 1955. Visit the 169-foot-tall, massive golden Buddha Dordenma statue, which sits atop a gilded meditation hall and contains more than 100,000 miniature bronze and gilded Buddhas. The statue commemorates the centennial of the Bhutanese monarchy and fulfills two ancient prophecies. Then explore Motithang Takin Preserve, a wildlife reserve area for takin, a goat-antelope that is the national animal of Bhutan.
Le Meridien (B,L,D)

Saturday, March 9
Thimphu
Begin the day with a visit to the Memorial Stupa, or Thimphu Chorten, a prominent landmark embellished with golden spires and bells, built in 1974 to honor the third king of Bhutan. Continue to the Royal Textile Academy, dedicated to preserving and promoting the art of weaving, a significant part of the cultural traditions of Bhutan; and Simtokha Dzong, an important historical monastery/fortress that also houses one of Bhutan’s premier learning institutes. Le Meridien (B,L,D)

Sunday, March 10
Paro
Drive through the picturesque countryside to Paro, observing local village life along the way. Visit Dungtse Lakhang, a Buddhist temple in the form of a chorten, rare in Bhutan. Explore the National Museum, which houses some of the finest specimens of Bhutanese art, including bronze statues and paintings covering more than 1,500 years of Bhutan’s cultural history. In the afternoon, visit the 17th-century Paro Dzong, the center of civil and religious authority in the Paro Valley, and popularized by the film The Little Buddha. Back at the hotel, enjoy a performance of folk dancing. Hotel Zhiwaling (B,L,D)

Monday, March 11
Paro
By special arrangement, visit the iconic Taktsang (“Tiger’s Nest”) Monastery, whose white temples cling to a soaring cliff 10,000 feet above the valley. The monastery is a pilgrimage destination that all Bhutanese people aspire to visit at least once in their lives. Hotel Zhiwaling (B,L,D)

Tuesday, March 12
Kolkata, India / Hooghly
After a morning flight to Kolkata, embark the Ganges Voyager, your home for the remainder of this program. This afternoon cruise to Hooghly for a visit to the Hooghly Imambara, a mosque/congregation hall for Shia Muslim commemoration ceremonies in West Bengal. Hooghly Imambara is famous for its clock, located between twin towers constructed over the doorway of the main entrance. The clock has two dials with different sizes of bells that ring to signify the hours and quarter hours, and requires two people to wind it for half an hour each week with a key that weighs 44 pounds. Cruise to Kalna this evening. Ganges Voyager (B,L,D)

Wednesday, March 13
Kalna
Ride in rickshaws to the enchanting Rajbari complex, whose impressive concentration of temples includes the Pratapeshwas Temple, richly ornamented with terracotta, and the Nabakailas Temples, 108 slope-roofed Shiva temples arranged in two concentric circles. Relax aboard Ganges Voyager this afternoon en route to Mayapur. Ganges Voyager (B,L,D)

Thursday, March 14
Mayapur / Guptipara
Experience the fascinating culture of Krishna followers with a visit to the International Society of Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) temple, comparable in size to the Vatican. Also walk through the Pilgrim’s Bazaar and visit a goshala (cow shelter), where cows are protected because of their religious significance. This afternoon explore the interesting mix of Bengal temple architecture exhibited by the four great Vaishnava temples at Guptipara: the Krishna Chandra temple, in the aatchala style; the Brindaban Chandra temple, with its beautiful frescoes; the Chaitanya temple, the oldest and smallest; and the Ram Chandra temple, the richest in terra cotta work. Ganges Voyager (B,L,D)

Friday, March 15
Chandannagar
Cruise to Chandannagar, a former French colony established in 1673. Explore the many historic buildings along the treeshaded Strand, and the nearby Sacred Heart Church, a prime example of French colonial architecture. This evening celebrate your Bhutan and Ganges River adventure at a farewell dinner. Ganges Voyager (B,L,D)

Saturday–Sunday, March 16–17
Kolkata / Home
Explore colonial Kolkata, the capital of British India until 1912, including Dalhousie Square; the Writers’ Building, once the administrative offices of the British East India Company; and Raj Bhavan (the Governor’s House), seat of imperial British power. Also visit the Mother Teresa of Calcutta Center. Later this evening, transfer to the airport for flights home, arriving on March 17. (B,L,D)

View Pre/Post Tours »

Pre or Post Tours

Optional Pre-Tour Extension Agra & Fatehpur Sikri
March 2–6, 2019

Visit Agra and the incomparable Taj Mahal, completed in 1654 in memory of Emperor Shah Jahan’s wife, Mumtaz, and often described as the most beautiful monument to love ever built. Also explore the UNESCO World Heritage site of Fatehpur Sikri, the deserted imperial capital built by Emperor Akbar in the late 16th century and abandoned after only 14 years due to the lack of an adequate water supply. A perfectly preserved example of a Mughal city, Fatehpur Sikri, with its audience halls, palaces, courtyards, pools, and enormous mosque, remains nearly untouched by time. Arrive in Delhi in time to join the main program on March 6.

Rates: $1,395 per person, double occupancy; $1,920 per person, single occupancy.
Complete details will be sent to confirmed participants.

View Ship Information »