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  • Beautiful scenic view of sacred city Kanchipuram, Kolkata, India
  • Victoria Memorial in Calcutta (Kolkata) - India
  • Kolkata, India

Bhutan Land Tour and Brahmaputra River Cruise

16-day Land Tour & River Cruise from £3,299 pp

Summary

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In Brief

  • 1 Night Kolkata
  • 1 Night Thimphu
  • 1 Night Punakha
  • 1 Night Paro
  • 1 Night Guwahati
  • 1 Night Silghat
  • 1 Night Kaziranga National Park
  • 1 Night Biswanath Ghat
  • 1 Night Majuli
  • 1 Night Kolkata

Cruise

Recommended for:
River cruise

The Brahmaputra River is the only navigable river in the world (apart from the River Zambezi), from which elephant, jeep and boat safaris are conducted. It is a river that spans 3 kms at it's narrowest and 40 kms at it's widest. In floods, it rises by over 8 meters and spreads another 20 kms.

With national parks, temples, monasteries, tea plantations, migratory birds, fresh water dolphins and weaver's tribal villages, it is still a world of great adventures.

Fares include on board

  • Accommodation on twin sharing basis.
  • Accommodation at M.V Mahabaahu will be on full board basis.
  • Domestic Wine/Beer at welcome & farewell dinner only.
  • All Entrance fees at the Monuments and National Parks as per the itinerary.
  • 1 Game drive and one Elephant Safari to the Kaziranga National Park for the period when the Park is open.
  • All excursions/lectures/performances and activities as per the itinerary.
  • Services of English speaking guide during sightseeing at all the places as per the itinerary.
  • Arrival & departure assistance transfers with representative at the airports.
  • Assistance and porterage at the airports.
  • All Arrival & Departure transfers with Representative at the airport and Land transport by air-conditioned transportation.

Fares include - Bhutan land tour

  • Accommodation on twin sharing basis as per the above mentioned hotels OR similar in base category rooms as per
    above mentioned meal plan
  • Daily meals per the programme with one bottle of water per person per meal
  • All Entrance fees at the Monuments as per the itinerary
  • Services of English speaking local guide at all the places during the sightseeing
  • Domestic flights
  • Assistance and porterage at the airports/railway station
  • Attendance of a representative for all arrival & departure transfers at the airport using exclusive transfer vehicles:
  • 2 Pax : Air-conditioned Indigo Car
  • Bhutan Visa & Tourism Development fee
  • All currently applicable taxes

NOT INCLUDED:

  • Expenses of a personal nature such as laundry, telephone/fax calls, alcoholic beverages, camera/video camera fee
  • at monuments, medical expenses, airport departure tax etc.
  • Any insurance
  • Any tipping
  • Services of accompanying tour leader
  • Any meals or beverages that are not specified in the above Hotels with Meal Plan chart
  • Christmas & New Year evening dinner supplement
  • International air fares
  • Expenses caused by factors beyond our control like rail and flight delays, roadblocks, vehicle malfunctions,
  • political disturbances, taxes, lost luggage, etc.
  • Any other services not mentioned in the inclusions
  • Any further tax levied by the government of India/Bhutan

SPECIAL NOTES:

  • Hotel check-in 14:00 hours, check-out time 12:00 hours
  • Prices are subject to change with any increase in the cost
  • Prices include only those items specified in your itinerary
  • A supplement will be charged in case of any currency fluctuations, amendment to local Government taxes, or fuel
  • increase

Optional Extras

Contact us to add on

  • International flights
  • Goa and Cochin land extensions

...and other bespoke tailor-made travel arrangements and land-tour extensions.

Departure Dates

Departs weekly from October 2014 to March 2015 & October 2015 to March 2016

Reviews

Read a day-by-day review and photo blog for the river cruise here - Brahmaputra River Cruise review

Day by day itinerary

Day 1
Departure UK

Day 2
Arrive Kolkata

After clearing immigration and customs, you will be met by our representative in the receiving area and escort you to the
Oberoi Grand Hotel for check-in. Overnight at the Oberoi Grand Hotel

Day 3
Kolkata / Paro by Flight & Paro / Thimphu

This morning, we drive to the airport to take the flight to Paro. The flight into the Himalayas reveals breathtaking views of the World's highest peaks, taking you right into the Dragon Kingdom cloud-scraping airstrips at the lush green valley of Paro (alt. 7000 ft.). Upon arrival in Paro, meet your Bhutanese tour director, then drive to Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan. This afternoon, visit Tashichhodzong, the beautiful medieval fortress/monastery which houses most of the Government's office and the King's Throne room. It is also the summer residence of Je Khenpo, the Chief Abbot.

Overnight at the Phuntsho Pelri hotel (B, L, D)

Day 4
Thimphu

Get an insider's perspective of Bhutanese culture with exposure to the traditional arts at the famed School of Arts & Crafts in Thimphu, Tango Gompa and the National Library which houses an extensive collection of Buddhist literature, with some works dating back several hundred years'. Visit the nearby Institute for Zorig Chusum (commonly known as the Painting School). Evening visit to the colorful market of Bhutan.

Overnight at the Phuntsho Pelri hotel (B, L, D)

Day 5
Thimphu / Punakha

After early breakfast drive to Punakha. Afternoon, visit to Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten, the newly built stupa. Visit Wangduephodrang Dzong: Stretched along the hilltop above the confluence of the Punakha Chu and Tang Chu rivers, the imposing Wangduephodrang Dzong is the town's most visible feature. This district is famous for its fine bamboo work, stone carvings, and slate which are mined up in a valley a few kilometres from the town.

Overnight at the Zangtho Pelri hotel (B, L, D)

Day 6
Punakha / Paro

Morning at leisure and later drive to Paro. On arrival in Paro, check-in to the hotel.

Overnight at the Namsey Chholing hotel (B, L, D)

Day 7
Paro

After breakfast, we set off for sightseeing of Paro visiting Ta Dzong, originally built as a watchtower, which now houses the National Museum. We walk down the trail to visit Rinpung Dzong, meaning ("fortress of the heap of jewels"). Drive to Drukgyel Dzong, a ruined fortress where Bhutanese warriors fought Tibetan invaders centuries ago. Along the way, see the 7th century Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the 108 temples built in the Himalayas by a Tibetan King, Songtsen Gampo.

Overnight at the Namsey Chholing hotel (B, L, D)

Day 8
Paro / Guwahati / Embarkation

After breakfast, drive to the airport to board flight to Guwahati. Assam......a rich, green land of rolling plains and dense forests is the gateway to the northeastern part of India. The mighty Brahmaputra River that has its origins in Tibet, charts its majestic course through Assam. This mystic land of eternal blue hills and beautiful rivers is renowned for its tea, rich flora and fauna, the world famous one-horned rhinoceros and other rare species of wildlife on the verge of extinction. Except for Africa, there is perhaps no part of the world where such a variety of wildlife exists.

The one-horned Indian rhinoceros has been successfully saved from near extinction in the Kaziranga National Park. Assam also provides one of the last wild habitats for the Asian elephant. It is increasingly becoming a popular destination for wildlife tourism. Kaziranga National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. If time permits, we will visit the Temple of Kamakhya on the way to the ship (Closed from 13:00 - 15:30 hours). This temple is devoted to the eternal feminine, the goddess of desire whose name is Kama Khya, granter of desires. The temple symbolises the "fusion of faiths and practices" of Aryan and non-Aryan elements in Assam.

On arrival in Guwahati, you will be met and assisted by our representative for the drive to embark M.V Mahabaahu which sets sail at 16:00 hours on the Brahmaputra River to Kiriakara. After check-in and guest safety briefing, enjoy the Captain's Welcome Dinner.

Overnight on board (B, Packed Lunch from Ship, D)

Day 9
Kiriakara / Silghat

The upstream cruise offers a perfect vantage point for life on the mighty Brahmaputra River while we spend the day sailing to Silghat. Enjoy a massage in our spa, soak in the Jacuzzi, or swim in the pool. One may prefer to scan the river for a fleeting sight of the Gangetic Dolphin or do some bird watching from the decks. Book lovers are sure to enjoy our well stocked library. We enjoy a presentation on 'Wildlife of Kaziranga' later in the afternoon.

Overnight on board (B, L, D)

Day 10
Silghat - Kaziranga

We start sailing to Silghat enjoying our breakfast as we cruise. Lunch onboard and on arrival at Silghat, we drop anchor. In the afternoon disembark at Silghat and drive to a Tea Estate. The Kaliabor Manor is set in perfect ambiance and encompasses tasteful hospitality in all its hues. Experience a walk through the manicured tea gardens and watch tea pickers at work followed by a talk on the art of making that perfect cup of tea! Return to the ship for dinner.

Overnight on board (B, L, D)

Day 11
Kaziranga - Bishwanath

Rise before the sun to set off for the Kaziranga National Park and an once-in-a-lifetime elephant-backed safari where we search for the elusive rhinoceros and tiger. After breakfast at a resort in Kaziranga, we return to Kohora Gate to once again explore the wildlife experience in a Jeep Safari and to ensure we have had complete coverage of this magnificent park. We return to the ship for lunch and continue sailing to Bishwanath. We take the smaller boats to visit this charming village where we can watch the women weaving cotton and silk in almost all the households here. In the evening, enjoy a traditional dance performance on board followed by a demonstration of the technique of wearing an Assamese sari.

Overnight on board (B, L, D)

Day 12
Bishwanath Ghat - Towards Majuli

While the ship sails to Majuli, we enjoy a DVD on 'Tribes of the North East'. After lunch, we enjoy a boat safari before returning to M.V. Mahabaahu to continue our
journey to Majuli. Later in the evening, we enjoy a cooking demonstration on board followed by a bonfire at an isolated island. We then return to the vessel for dinner.
NOTE: (If a suitable sandbank cannot be found or we experience inclement weather conditions, dinner may be on board).

Overnight on board (B, L, D)

Day 13
Majuli Island

Continue sailing towards Majuli before disembarking for a visit to a Mishing Village where the community is happy to share their experiences whilst the children look at us with dreamy eyes.

Return to the ship for lunch before sailing again towards Majuli. This afternoon enjoy a massage in the spa, soak in the jacuzzi or swim laps in the pool. Alternatively, one may prefer to scan the river for a fleeting sight of the Gangetic Dolphin or bird watch from the decks.

Drop anchor at Majuli and before dinner you will be enlightened by a talk on Vaishnavism in Assam

Overnight on board (B, L, D)

Day 14
Majuli - Nimati - Sibsagar

This morning before breakfast we offer a Yoga session on board and then depart for Majuli Island to visit the Satras (Monasteries). Majuli is the treasure house of Assamese culture where ancient monasteries are dedicated to preservation of the arts that have existed here since the 15th century. Here we find records of the visit of Shankardeva, a social reformer, during the 16th century. He promulgated a form of Hinduism that was also called Vaishnavism. He established monasteries or hermitages that were called Satra and became the hub of culture, art, religion and lifestyle. Even today, the Satra preserve antiques weapons, utensils, jewellery and other articles of cultural importance.

In Majuli, we visit Samagudi Satra and enjoy the masked dance. We also explore the Kamlabadi Satra and experience young monks perform (Matia Khora).
Return to M.V Mahabaahu for lunch and set sail. Arrive at Nimati and drop anchor. This evening we enjoy our Farewell Dinner onboard together and share our latest experience of India with each other.

Overnight on board (B, L, D)

Day 15
Nimati Ghat - Jorhat - Kolkata or Delhi & Depart India

After breakfast, disembark and travel overland to Sibsagar, the ancient city of the Ahom Kings. The town, which literally means 'the ocean of Lord Shiva', is strewn with the tell-tale ruins of a powerful empire, the Ahom. Sibsagar was the capital of the Thai-speaking Ahoms who came to the area from Yunnan, China, in the 13th century AD.
Their unique architectural style is evident in the well-preserved monuments scattered around the town.

The town is built round the Sibsagar Lake (or tank), dug over 200 years ago. On its banks are located some of the famous temples of Sibsagar. The Shiva Temple, constructed in the year 1734 is believed to be the highest Hindu temple in India. From here we drive to the airport with packed lunch to board our flight to Delhi or Kolkata.
(B, L)

Day 16
Arrive UK

Map

Pricing

Any element of this cruise can be adjusted to suit your needs. Just contact us to find out more.

16-day Land Tour & River Cruise on board M.V. Mahabaahu (Far Horizon Tours) from £3,299

Superior Outside Cabin: £3,299
Superior Balcony Cabin: £3,399

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