Sri Lanka

B-Driven – Your Style

Formerly known as Ceylon, Sri Lanka is a similar size to Tasmania. It is a tropical island nation where the original soul of Buddhism still flourishes and nature’s beauty remains abundant and unspoiled. Sri Lanka B-Driven and discover a remarkable combination of stunning landscapes, pristine beaches, captivating cultural heritage and unique experiences.

Make the most of your Sri Lanka experience; we assist you to choose your own style and budget. Most recommended is “B-Driven”© by modern, air-conditioned vehicle with your very own chauffeur, who doubles as your fully licensed guide. This method is perfect for navigating Sri Lanka’s winding, mostly narrow roads. Enjoy more flexibility stopping at local places of interest. Your chauffeur will greet you on arrival at Colombo Int’l Airport and stay with you until your last day.

Your itinerary allows adequate time for sightseeing, lunchtimes, tasting local snacks and local traffic conditions. Local train experiences may also be included. Prior to returning extend your program to include extra days at any one of many fantastic beach resorts.

Planning your holiday is easy, or speak to our friendly Consultants.

Tour TypeTrip NameNo. DaysBookingsPrices per person
Independent TourClassic Sri Lanka15
Independent TourBoutique Sri Lanka15
Independent TourBackroads of Sri Lanka20

Classic Sri Lanka

With tea plantations, leopard safaris, a former British hill station and UNESCO World Heritage sites, this 15-day itinerary is an ideal introduction to Sri Lanka.

2019 Dates & PricesTwin ShareSolo Traveller
Departs Colombo daily:Price on ApplicationPrice on Application
Inclusions: 
Meals:14 breakfasts
Transport: Airport transfers & private air-conditioned vehicle
Rail:Train Ticket: Kandy / Nuwara Eliya
Accommodation: 14 nights accommodation
Guide:Local English Speaking Guide
Entrance Fees & Touring:Entrance fees & activities as per itinerary

Boutique Sri Lanka

This leisurely paced 15 day itinerary features a selection of Sri Lanka’s unique and elegant boutique hotels – a truly indulgent way of touring this fascinating country.

2019 Dates & PricesTwin ShareSolo Traveller
Departs Colombo daily:Price on ApplicationPrice on Application

Inclusions: 
Meals:14 breakfasts
Transport: Airport transfers & private air-conditioned vehicle
Accommodation: 14 nights accommodation
Guide:Local English Speaking Guide
Entrance Fees & Touring:Entrance fees & activities as per itinerary

Backroads of Sri Lanka

The jewel of the Indian Ocean with ancient sites, beautiful beaches, pristine wilderness, fascinating culture and delectable cuisine. Sri Lanka has it all! This is a fascinating journey including some of the island’s better-known sites, and some of its more off-beat locations, with authentic dining experiences along the way.

2019 Dates & PricesTwin ShareSolo Traveller
Departs Colombo daily:From $6,400.00Price on Application

Inclusions 
Meals:20 breakfasts, all meals at Anamaduwa and Jaffna, 1 dinner
Transport: Airport transfers & private air-conditioned vehicle
Rail: Train Ticket: Anuradhapura - Jaffna / Kandy - Ella
Accommodation: 20 nights accommodation
Guide:Local English Speaking Guide
Entrance Fees & Touring:Entrance fees & activities as per itinerary
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Airlines Online – Air India | Key Selling Points

Air India

Air India, a member of Star Alliance connects you to a network of 37 international destinations across the USA, Europe, Far-East and South-East Asia and the Middle East and more than 69 destinations across India.

Welcome aboard our Dreamliner and enjoy a great range of in-flights features at a competitive price. You’ll have a choice of continental or Indian cuisine, in vegetarian and non-vegetarian varieties as well as complimentary liquor. Enjoy features like larger windows, dynamic LED lighting to suit your mood, higher level of cabin pressurisation for a smoother ride and less fatigue. Our In-flight entertainment promises to add zing to your journey with our large number of channels and variety of programmes.

Buckle in, you are set for a Dream Flight!

Key Selling Points
Air India occupies a special place in the global and Indian aviation scenario. It pioneered the aviation in India and its history is synonymous with the history of civil aviation in India. Air India is not a mere airline that transports passengers, baggage and cargo.

It is a multi-faceted organization. The aviation infrastructure it has created over the years is a testimony of its contribution. Apart from servicing of all its aircraft in-house with its own engineering facilities, Air India also undertakes ground handling services of many airlines in many cities in India. Air India has grown to become a mega international airline with a network of 33 destinations across the USA, Europe, Far-East and South-East Asia and the Gulf.

Hotel Free Stopover
Hotel stopover is provided for passengers travelling from Australia/ New Zealand to Europe/ USA/ Colombo / Kabul, provided the transit time at Delhi is between 8-24 hours and a single ticket is issued for the entire journey.Free Accommodation for transit passengers** is at The New Delhi Airport Transit Hotel, conveniently located within the airport’s sleek new Terminal 3.** Indian Visa not required for Transiting passengers.
Destinations Include:

The airline’s domestic network covers 50 destinations, including far-flung areas of the North-East, Ladakh, Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Air India, today, flies one of the youngest, state-of-the-art, fleet of aircraft comprising a mix of the wide-body Boeing B777s, B747s, Airbus A330s, latest acquisition- the B787 Dreamliner and the narrow body Airbus A321s, A320s and A319 aircraft.

Code Share Routes:

Attractive Interline Fares from Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra and other cities in Australia and New Zealand  with Qantas, Virgin Australia and Air New Zealand.

Aircraft

Air India, today, flies one of the youngest, state-of-the-art, fleet of aircraft comprising a mix of the wide-body Boeing B777s, B747s, Airbus A330s, latest acquisition- the B787 Dreamliner and the narrow body Airbus A321s, A320s and A319 aircraft.

In-Flight Catering

Air India lets you savour the very essence of India that has transcended boundaries to gain worldwide awe and recognition.

Further details on http://www.airindia.in/inflight-experience.htm

Luggage Allowances
Economy Class – 30 kg (66 lbs) / 158 cm (62 inches) Business Class – 40 kg (88 lbs) / 158 cm (62 inches). (Exception, one way travel to Melbourne/Sydney baggage allowance 40 kg in Economy Class).
Luggage Allowances for infants
(any class of travel) One bag with a maximum dimension of 115 cm (45 inches), which may be carried as cabin baggage.One fully collapsible baby pushchair or stroller or carrying basket.The weight of the allowed items may not exceed 10 kg (22 lbs) in total.
 Lounges

Our customers’ comfort is of utmost priority in our Lounges and an array of facilities and services have been included to ensure your needs are well met. Sample a variety of food and beverage from our self service buffet and bar counters or keep yourself updated with a variety of newspapers and magazines.

http://www.airindia.in/airport-lounges.htm

FOR BEST DEALS CONTACT US NOW!

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Tibet

Lonely peaks, Buddhist monasteries and welcoming people, Tibet’s a place unlike any other. Centuries of isolation have lent the kingdom of Tibet a deep sense of spirituality and mysticism. Once upon a time you could only get there after conquering treacherous terrain and fierce warrior monks, but now – despite the complex political situation – Tibet’s open for travellers to explore. Surround yourself with smoke, incense and the murmuring of the faithful in the country’s endless temples and monasteries and experience giddy Everest views. Cross high-altitude passes, twist through towering peaks past plodding yaks, and discover contemporary Tibetan life – a mix of pilgrims and pop music, monks and mobile phones.

For centuries the Buddhist Kingdom of Tibet was hidden away from the rest of the world, nestled in the vast snow-capped peaks of the Himalayas. A land of mysterious treasures, rich history, sublime beauty and welcoming people, Tibet has long enthralled travellers. With breathtaking mountain peaks, glistening lakes and a wealth of trekking trails, the adventurous will delight in this Land of Snows.

As the home of the Dalai Lama, and brimming with sacred temples and ancient monasteries draped in prayer flags, Tibet also offers an unique insight into Buddhism.

Planning your holiday is easy, and speak to your friendly Consultant.



Accounts

Accounts

From $1,232.00 per person

Mountain locked and remote, Lhasa has a thousand years of cultural and spiritual history. The Tibetan capital is surrounded with a romance and mystique that captures the imagination like few other cities in the world.  

From $1,648.00 per person

Tibet; the forbidden land on the roof of the world. The exotic characteristics of Buddhism’s powerfully sublime and mystical spiritual forces.  The rugged terrain and the raw and intense environment.

From $1,782.00 per person

This 8-day trip of Central Tibet & Namtso Lakes takes you on the journey of a life-time, visiting the most impressive sights Tibet has to offer.



Accounts

Accounts

From $2,922.00 per person

Tibet is located on the immense Qinghai-Tibet Plateau with the altitude averaging 4,000 metres. Locked in its mountain fortress of the Himalayas, Tibet has long exercised a unique hold on the imagination of people the world over.

From $3,475.00 per person

Discover the Highlights of Tibet – the rooftop of the world, locked away in its Himalayan fortress! Discover enchanting Lhasa – home to the famous Potala Palace and Jokhang Monastery.

From $4,166.00 per person

This 17 day Kailash Manasarovar & Guge Kingdom Exploration Tour will show you the best parts Tibet has to offer including a 3 day pilgrimage of Kora, protecting you from misfortune and providing you with merits on your journey towards enlightenment.

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Heritage River Cruises

India’s Ganges River Journeys:

Full of mystery, enchantment, intrigue and beauty in every direction. It’s all here. In the ornate sacred spaces, the vivid sarees you pass on the street, and the warm, gracious smiles that greet at every turn.

India and the Ganges River is simply a magical destination that Heritage River Journeys, the pioneer of luxury river ship cruising in India, is proud to introduce to avid travelers.

Whether you are an experienced river cruiser, or this is your maiden voyage, we invite you on this luxury expedition along this most sacred of Indian rivers, Mother Ganga.

Heritage River Journeys is proud to introduce the all-suite M.V. Ganges Voyager and M.V. Ganges Voyager II respectively launched in 2015 and 2016. Exquisite and ever-changing, watch the tapestry of life along the Ganges River unfold before your very eyes in sublime comfort and elegance aboard these elegant ships.

Welcome aboard!
RV Bengal GangaGanges Voyager - Heritage River Cruises

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India – Ganges Discovery Journeys

Experience the rich history and diverse culture of the Ganges between Kolkata and Varanasi. These amazing itineraries will transport you to world famous destinations such as the ghats of Varanasi and the colonial monuments of Kolkata as well as rarely visited sites such as the medieval Buddhist university at Nalanda, the extravagant Neoclassical palace of a local ruler at Murshidabad and the muslim and silk weaving centre of Kalna.

Contact us for availability, latest offers, pre or post cruise touring options and flight detail.

Tour TypeTrip NameNo. DaysTour DetailsPrices
CruiseIncredibly on The Ganges12ItineraryContact Us
Cruise
(Conditions Apply)
Bengal Yatra 7ItineraryContact Us
Cruise
(Conditions Apply)
Ganga Yatra9ItineraryContact Us
CruiseKolkata-Murshidabad-Kolkata8ItineraryContact Us

Incredibly on the Ganges

Sail on one of the most renowned sacred rivers of the world as the Ganga flows through the four states of eastern India. See crafts such as weaving and brassware and markets that sell vegetates, spices, tools and dentistry! Learn about places where Chinese monks, kings, West Asian adventurers and European colonists sought knowledge, power, and fortune. Stay in the best hotels for three nights and then sail on the beautiful RV Bengal Ganga with its unique Interiors, exquisite cuisine, and relaxing accommodations. Experience India in comfort and beauty!

Itinerary  
Day 1: Arrive At Kolkata – Embark / Sail To Kalna Arrival at Kolkata by morning flight and transfer to jetty to board the cruise ship RV Bengal Ganga. Lunch onboard.
Post lunch embark on an Orientation Tour of KOLKATA, which will take us to the Dalhousie Square that houses several Colonial/Heritage monuments like Writer’s Building, General Post Office, High Court, Raj Bhawan (Governor’s Palace), Town Hall, Council House, Treasury Building and the Reserve Bank of India.
We then visit St. John’s Church and the Victoria Memorial for a photo stop and walk in the gardens. St. John’s Church, originally a cathedral, was among the first public buildings erected by the East India Company after Kolkata became the effective capital of British India. It was modeled according to the St Martin-in-the-Fields of London. The Victoria Memorial is a grand marble building built during 1906-1921 in the memory of Queen Victoria (1819–1901). The Memorial lies on the Maidan (grounds) by the bank of the Hooghly River.
Return to the ship and cast off to Kalna. Our upstream journey towards Kalna sails through the areas where the different European settlers had established their respective East Indian Companies leaving back reminiscence of their settlements during the period of 17th to 19th century.
Overnight on board RV Bengal Ganga
Day 2: Kalna – Matiari Morning we ride Cycle Rickshaws to visit the enchanting Rajbari Temple Complex in KALNA. The temples of Kalna take elements from mosques and temple architecture to create a new congregational space of worship. On one side of the road lies the Nabakailas Temples. Built in 1809 by the Bardhaman Maharaja, it contains 108 'aat-chala' or “eight slope-roofed” Shiva temples arranged in two concentric circles. The outer circle consists of 74 temples of alternate black and white lingams; while the 34 temples of the inner circle have only white lingams. On the other side of the road lies a walled complex, containing the most diversified form of Bengal’s temple architecture: Pratapeshwar Temple, contains terra cotta plaques depicting themes of Hindu epics and mythical life of saints, gods & goddesses and various aspects of day-to-day life. The other notable temples here are the Lalji temple, Krishnachandra temple and the flat roofed temple of Giri Govardhan.
Return to the ship and cruise towards Matiari, arriving by the evening and moor for the night.
Overnight on board RV Bengal Ganga
Day 3: Sail Matiari / Murshidabad Early in the morning we will visit the village of MATIARI, which is famous for its work in brass and copper. Here copper is still processed manually. The unique character of the area is that as we start walking towards the village, we can hear loud noises of beating metal coming from all the houses. Stroll in the village and visit some homes to see and experience the different process of the brass making with a chance of buying artifacts and souvenirs.
Return to the ship, cast off and cruise towards Murshidabad sailing past Plassey, which is well known for the battle that took place in 1757 that turned the history of India. The battlefield of Plassey is where Robert Clive of British East India Company defeated the Mogul Nawab, the then ruler of Bengal and his French Allies; establishing the company rule in India which expanded over much of South Asia for the next 190 years.
Arrive at Murshidabad and moor for the night.
Overnight on board RV Bengal Ganga
Day 4: Sail Murshidabad / Jangipur Morning excursion of the historic town of MURSHIDABAD. We ride the local Tonga (horse cart) to visit the oldest mosque of this town the Katra Mosque built by the first Nawab of Murshidabad, Nawab Murshid Quli Khan in the year 1724-25. From there we ride the Tonga to the Hazarduari Palace Museum. Built during the reign of Nawab Nazim Humayun Jah (1824-1838 AD) by an English architect, Duncan McLeod following the Greek “Doric” style. The palace has more than a thousand real and false doors in the vast corridors. Inside the palace museum one can observe a wide collection of antiquities including various kinds of weapons, oil paintings of Dutch, French and Italian artists, marble, porcelain & stucco statues, manuscripts and palanquins mostly belonging to the 18th-19th centuries. Opposite to the Palace is the vast Imambara open only during the religious ceremony time.
Return to the ship and sail onwards to Jangipur and moor for the night.
Overnight on board RV Bengal Ganga
Day 5: Sail Jangipur / Farakka / Samtaghat We cast off in the morning to reach the historic FARAKKA LOCK GATE, which was built during the years 1963-75. The travel through the Feeder Canal will give us a chance to see the different birds of the region. After crossing the lock we cruise through the connecting canal to the Ganges revealing vast panoramas. We can also see the Farakka barrage at a distance, which regulates the Ganges water into Bangladesh and India.
We continue our sail upstream and moor for the night at Samtaghat.
Overnight on board RV Bengal Ganga
Day 6: Sail Samtaghat / Bateshwarsthan This morning we sail towards Bateshwarsthan. Afternoon, we ride in jeeps/cars (about 15 minutes) to the excavation site of the VIKRAMSHILA UNIVERSITY and walk around the ruins. Established by King Dharampala in late 8th or early 9th Century A.D. Vikramshila University was one of the two most important centers of Buddhist learning in India during the reign of the Pala dynasty along with Nalanda University. Vikramshila was one of the largest Buddhist universities having more than one hundred teachers and about one thousand students. Subjects like theology, philosophy, grammar, meta-physics and logic were taught here.
We moor for the night at Bateshwarsthan.
Overnight on board RV Bengal Ganga
Day 7: Sail Bateshwarsthan – Sultanganj Up Today we sail towards Sultanganj, which is conspicuous for two great rocks of granite, one of which on the river bank is crowned by a mosque. The second and larger one is occupied by the 16th century temple of Ajgaibinath Shiva. The river here impinges on a stone cliff. The folklore of river Ganga being seized here by a curse of the sage Jahnu and later getting released by the penance performed by king Bhagirath makes this place an important pilgrimage. The rocky island is known as Jahngira meaning ‘the hill of Jahnu’ derives the name from this historical event. There is a long causeway that connects the mainland with the island rock on which the cluster of shrines is entwined along with the seemingly floating rock.
We sail further upstream and moor for the night.
Overnight on board RV Bengal Ganga
Day 8: Sail To Munger Today we sail towards MUNGER, one of the largest city and most industrialized cities in the state of Bihar. It is a hub for railway, gun, tobacco and dairy product manufacturing. Its history can be traced back to the mythological era of Ramayana and Mahabharata. In modern times Munger came into prominence in 1762 when the Nawab of Bengal Mir Qasim made Munger his capital instead of Murshidabad in Bengal. The new ruler established arsenal for the manufacture of firearms. Subsequently Munger came in to the hands of the British Empire after Mir Qasim lost the Battle of Buxar. The tradition of manufacturing of arms is continued till now. Arrive Munger by the afternoon and moor for the night.
Post lunch visit the Bihar School of Yoga, a modern school of Yoga founded in 1964 by Satyananda Saraswati and his spiritual successor Niranjanananda Saraswati. In addition to providing spiritual instruction to aspirants, the school also guides yoga projects and medical research in association with various corporations, state government and public works.
Overnight on board RV Bengal Ganga
Day 9: Disembark At Munger & Drive Nalanda / Bodhgaya We disembark the ship at 0700 hrs and drive to visit Nalanda, perhaps the oldest seat of learning in India. It treasures a glorious past, rich spiritual heritage and some extraordinary architectural ruins believed to be established in 5th century BC by the Gupta Kings.
Thereafter we drive to Rajgir, the first capital of the Magadha Empire. Buddha not only spent many years in Rajgir, but also delivered important sermons here. Lunch halt at a local restaurant in Rajgir, thereafter continue the journey to BODHGAYA – one of the most important and sacred Buddhist pilgrimage center for the Buddhists.
Late afternoon visit the Mahabodhi temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is a Buddhist temple that marks the location where Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha, is said to have attained enlightenment under a banyan tree, the “Bodhi Tree”. Buddhist chanting and prayers can be witnessed in the temple premises.
Overnight at Hotel Royal Residency / Hotel Sujata at Bodhgaya OR Indo Hokke Hotel, Rajgir
Day 10: Drive Bodhgaya / Varanasi After early breakfast we drive to VARANASI – the holiest town for Hindus. Upon arrival, check in at the hotel and have our lunch.
Late afternoon we experience the enchanting and the incredible life on the Streets of Varanasi riding Cycle Rickshaws. We continue to visit the Ghats (riverbank) by walk and witness the evening “Aarti” ritual on the Ganges from a boat.
Overnight at Hotel Gateway Ganges / Radisson Hotel / Clarks Varanasi
Day 11: Varanasi City Tour Sunrise Boat Tour to witness the incredible scenes along the Holy River.
Return to hotel for breakfast, rest and lunch.
Post lunch visit Sarnath. The city is famous as the seat where Lord Buddha gave his first sermon after attaining enlightenment in Bodhgaya. The Archeological Museum at Sarnath contains a large collection of sculptures that stand testimony to the fervent artistic and religious activity for more than a thousand years.
Overnight at Hotel Gateway Ganges / Radisson Hotel / Clarks Varanasi
Day 12: Departure From Varanasi Transfer to airport for your flight or depart to your onward destination.
Inclusions: 
Meals: 11 Breakfasts, 11 Lunches and 11 dinners
Activities:All activities as per itinerary

Bengal Yatra


Conditions Apply: Group bookings only – minimum of 15

The cruise schedule includes the latest information regarding your program, but last minute adjustments may occur. The schedule may shift due to the weather or to take advantage of unexpected opportunities. The exact time for each activity will be announced or posted by the onboard tour staff.

Itinerary  
Day 1: Arrive At Kolkata – Embark / Sail To Kalna Arrival at Kolkata by morning flight and transfer to jetty to board the cruise ship RV Bengal Ganga. Lunch onboard.
Post lunch embark on an Orientation Tour of KOLKATA, which will take us to the Dalhousie Square that houses several Colonial/Heritage monuments like Writer’s Building, General Post Office, High Court, Raj Bhawan (Governor’s Palace), Town Hall, Council House, Treasury Building and the Reserve Bank of India.
We then visit St. John’s Church and the Victoria Memorial for a photo stop and walk in the gardens. St. John’s Church, originally a cathedral, was among the first public buildings erected by the East India Company after Kolkata became the effective capital of British India. It was modeled according to the St Martin-in-the-Fields of London. The Victoria Memorial is a grand marble building built during 1906-1921 in the memory of Queen Victoria (1819–1901). The Memorial lies on the Maidan (grounds) by the bank of the Hooghly River.
Return to the ship and cast off to Kalna. Our upstream journey towards Kalna sails through the areas where the different European settlers had established their respective East Indian Companies leaving back reminiscence of their settlements during the period of 17th to 19th century.
Overnight on board RV Bengal Ganga
Day 2: Kalna – Matiari Morning we ride Cycle Rickshaws to visit the enchanting Rajbari Temple Complex in KALNA. The temples of Kalna take elements from mosques and temple architecture to create a new congregational space of worship. On one side of the road lies the Nabakailas Temples. Built in 1809 by the Bardhaman Maharaja, it contains 108 'aat-chala' or “eight slope-roofed” Shiva temples arranged in two concentric circles. The outer circle consists of 74 temples of alternate black and white lingams; while the 34 temples of the inner circle have only white lingams. On the other side of the road lies a walled complex, containing the most diversified form of Bengal’s temple architecture: Pratapeshwar Temple, contains terra cotta plaques depicting themes of Hindu epics and mythical life of saints, gods & goddesses and various aspects of day-to-day life. The other notable temples here are the Lalji temple, Krishnachandra temple and the flat roofed temple of Giri Govardhan.
Return to the ship and cruise towards Matiari, arriving by the evening and moor for the night.
Overnight on board RV Bengal Ganga.
Day 3: Sail Matiari / Murshidabad Early in the morning we will visit the village of MATIARI, which is famous for its work in brass and copper. Here copper is still processed manually. The unique character of the area is that as we start walking towards the village, we can hear loud noises of beating metal coming from all the houses. Stroll in the village and visit some homes to see and experience the different process of the brass making with a chance of buying artifacts and souvenirs.
Return to the ship, cast off and cruise towards Murshidabad sailing past Plassey, which is well known for the battle that took place in 1757 that turned the history of India. The battlefield of Plassey is where Robert Clive of British East India Company defeated the Mogul Nawab, the then ruler of Bengal and his French Allies; establishing the company rule in India which expanded over much of South Asia for the next 190 years.
Arrive at Murshidabad and moor for the night.
Overnight on board RV Bengal Ganga.
Day 4: Sail Murshidabad / Jangipur Morning excursion of the historic town of MURSHIDABAD. We ride the local Tonga (horse cart) to visit the oldest mosque of this town the Katra Mosque built by the first Nawab of Murshidabad, Nawab Murshid Quli Khan in the year 1724-25. From there we ride the Tonga to the Hazarduari Palace Museum. Built during the reign of Nawab Nazim Humayun Jah (1824-1838 AD) by an English architect, Duncan McLeod following the Greek “Doric” style. The palace has more than a thousand real and false doors in the vast corridors. Inside the palace museum one can observe a wide collection of antiquities including various kinds of weapons, oil paintings of Dutch, French and Italian artists, marble, porcelain & stucco statues, are manuscripts and palanquins mostly belonging to the 18th-19th centuries. Opposite to the Palace is the vast Imambara open only during the religious ceremony time.
Return to the ship and sail onwards to Jangipur and moor for the night.
Overnight on board RV Bengal Ganga.
Day 5: Disembark Jangipur – Train To Kolkata Early this morning disembark the ship with packed snack boxes and transfer to Jangipur train station to board train to Kolkata: Train Intercity Express, 07:40 – 12:50 hrs
On arrival in Kolkata, lunch at a local restaurant and transfer to hotel. Rest of the day at leisure.
Overnight at Hotel Taj Bengal / Oberoi Grand or similar.
Day 6: Departure From Kolkata Transfer to airport for your flight or depart to your onward destination.
Inclusions: 
Meals: 5 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches and 5 dinners
Activities:All activities as per itinerary

Ganga Yatra

Conditions Apply: Group bookings only – minimum of 15

Cruise through the colonial settlements of Bengal, once the centre of the global indigo, opium and textile trade! See textiles, crafts, local markets, villages as you sail on the Lower Ganges all in the ease and the subtle elegance of the RV Bengal Ganga. Enjoy onboard hospitality, wonderful Indian and European Cuisine, cultural performances, and other activities.

Itinerary  
Day 1: Arrive Kolkata – Train To Jangipur / Embark Arrival midday in Kolkata and transfer to the train station with packed snack boxes.
En route to the train station Orientation Tour of KOLKATA
Train Intercity Express, 15:15 – 20:15.
On arrival at Jangipur train station transfer to board the ship.
Overnight on board RV Bengal Ganga.
Day 2: Kalna – Matiari Morning we ride Cycle Rickshaws to visit the enchanting Rajbari Temple Complex in KALNA. The temples of Kalna take elements from mosques and temple architecture to create a new congregational space of worship. On one side of the road lies the Nabakailas Temples. Built in 1809 by the Bardhaman Maharaja, it contains 108 'aat-chala' or “eight slope-roofed” Shiva temples arranged in two concentric circles. The outer circle consists of 74 temples of alternate black and white lingams; while the 34 temples of the inner circle have only white lingams. On the other side of the road lies a walled complex, containing the most diversified form of Bengal’s temple architecture: Pratapeshwar Temple, contains terra cotta plaques depicting themes of Hindu epics and mythical life of saints, gods & goddesses and various aspects of day-to-day life. The other notable temples here are the Lalji temple, Krishnachandra temple and the flat roofed temple of Giri Govardhan.
Return to the ship and cruise towards Matiari, arriving by the evening and moor for the night.
Overnight on board RV Bengal Ganga
Day 3: Sail Matiari / Murshidabad Early in the morning we will visit the village of MATIARI, which is famous for its work in brass and copper. Here copper is still processed manually. The unique character of the area is that as we start walking towards the village, we can hear loud noises of beating metal coming from all the houses. Stroll in the village and visit some homes to see and experience the different process of the brass making with a chance of buying artifacts and souvenirs.
Return to the ship, cast off and cruise towards Murshidabad sailing past Plassey, which is well known for the battle that took place in 1757 that turned the history of India. The battlefield of Plassey is where Robert Clive of British East India Company defeated the Mogul Nawab, the then ruler of Bengal and his French Allies; establishing the company rule in India which expanded over much of South Asia for the next 190 years.
Arrive at Murshidabad and moor for the night.
Overnight on board RV Bengal Ganga
Day 4: Sail Bateshwarsthan – Sultanganj Up Today we sail towards Sultanganj, which is conspicuous for two great rocks of granite, one of which on the river bank is crowned by a mosque. The second and larger one is occupied by the 16th century temple of Ajgaibinath Shiva. The river here impinges on a stone cliff. The folklore of river Ganga being seized here by a curse of the sage Jahnu and later getting released by the penance performed by king Bhagirath makes this place an important pilgrimage. The rocky island is known as Jahngira meaning ‘the hill of Jahnu’ derives the name from this historical event. There is a long causeway that connects the mainland with the island rock on which the cluster of shrines is entwined along with the seemingly floating rock.
We sail further upstream and moor for the night.
Overnight on board RV Bengal Ganga.
Day 5: Sail To Munger Today we sail towards MUNGER, one of the largest city and most industrialized cities in the state of Bihar. It is a hub for railway, gun, tobacco and dairy product manufacturing. Its history can be traced back to the mythological era of Ramayana and Mahabharata. In modern times Munger came into prominence in 1762 when the Nawab of Bengal Mir Qasim made Munger his capital instead of Murshidabad in Bengal. The new ruler established arsenal for the manufacture of firearms. Subsequently Munger came in to the hands of the British Empire after Mir Qasim lost the Battle of Buxar. The tradition of manufacturing of arms is continued till now. Arrive Munger by the afternoon and moor for the night.
Post lunch visit the Bihar School of Yoga, a modern school of Yoga founded in 1964 by Satyananda Saraswati and his spiritual successor Niranjanananda Saraswati. In addition to providing spiritual instruction to aspirants, the school also guides yoga projects and medical research in association with various corporations, state government and public works.
Overnight on board RV Bengal Ganga
Day 6: Disembark At Munger & Drive Nalanda / Bodhgaya We disembark the ship at 0700 hrs and drive to visit Nalanda, perhaps the oldest seat of learning in India. It treasures a glorious past, rich spiritual heritage and some extraordinary architectural ruins believed to be established in 5th century BC by the Gupta Kings.
Thereafter we drive to Rajgir, the first capital of the Magadha Empire. Buddha not only spent many years in Rajgir, but also delivered important sermons here. Lunch halt at a local restaurant in Rajgir, thereafter continue the journey to BODHGAYA – one of the most important and sacred Buddhist pilgrimage center for the Buddhists.
Late afternoon visit the Mahabodhi temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is a Buddhist temple that marks the location where Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha, is said to have attained enlightenment under a banyan tree, the “Bodhi Tree”. Buddhist chanting and prayers can be witnessed in the temple premises.
Overnight at Hotel Royal Residency / Hotel Sujata at Bodhgaya OR Indo Hokke Hotel, Rajgir
Day 7: Drive Bodhgaya / Varanasi After early breakfast we drive to VARANASI – the holiest town for Hindus. Upon arrival, check in at the hotel and have our lunch.
Late afternoon we experience the enchanting and the incredible life on the Streets of Varanasi riding Cycle Rickshaws. We continue to visit the Ghats (riverbank) by walk and witness the evening “Aarti” ritual on the Ganges from a boat.
Overnight at Hotel Gateway Ganges / Radisson Hotel / Clarks Varanasi
Day 8: Varanasi City TourSunrise Boat Tour to witness the incredible scenes along the Holy River.
Return to hotel for breakfast, rest and lunch.
Post lunch we visit Sarnath. The city is famous as the seat where Lord Buddha gave his first sermon after attaining enlightenment in Bodhgaya. The Archeological Museum at Sarnath contains a large collection of sculptures that stand testimony to the fervent artistic and religious activity for more than a thousand years.
Overnight at Hotel Gateway Ganges / Radisson Hotel / Clarks Varanasi
Day 9: Departure From Varanasi Transfer to airport for your flight or depart to your onward destination.
Inclusions: 
Meals:8 Breakfasts, 8 Lunches and 8 dinners
Activities:All activities as per itinerary

Kolkata-Murshidabad-Kolkata

The colonial decor of the RV Ganges Voyager is the perfect cruise ship to experience the colonial heritage of India. On the banks of the Lower Ganges, the French, Dutch, Danish, Portuguese and English made settlements to trade, preach and farm while local rulers, saints, agriculturalists, musicians and writers created new ways of living as they encountered European commerce, tastes and power. Learn, observe, relax and enjoy on this remarkable tour while staying in luxury and enjoying the care and hospitality of the
Ganges Voyager and its crew!

In this program last minute sailing adjustments may occur. The schedule may shift due to the weather or to take advantage of unexpected opportunities. The exact time for each activity will be announced or posted by the onboard tour staff.

Itinerary  
Day 1: Kolkata / EmbarkationUpon arrival in Kolkata, guests will transfer to the ship and enjoy lunch on board. The afternoon excursion includes a visit to Mother Teresa’s Home and Tomb (closed on Thursdays). Mother Teresa started the Missionary of Charity in 1952, then lived and worked here until her death in 1997. The permanent exhibition includes a visit to her personal room, we learn her life story, and see her charity that is still active. We continue by foot a short distance to her orphanage, Sishu Bhawan (Children's Home), where one of the sisters will lead us on a tour.
Then we return to the ship for overnight.
Day 2: Kolkata / Bandel / Kalna Guests embark on an early-morning city tour, featuring a panoramic view of the well-preserved British colonial buildings in Kolkata: Writer's Building, General Post Office, High Court, Raj Bhawan (Governor's House), Town Hall, Council House, Treasury Building, Reserve Bank of India and Dalhousie Square.
The day continues with a visit to St. John's Church, the oldest Anglican Church in Kolkata, built in 1756. The tour features the oldest functioning pipe organ in India and several tombs of British Generals who died during the Siege of Kolkata by Nawab Siraj-ud-Daula in 1756. Then we visit the recently renovated Victoria Memorial Museum, which houses the largest collection of British colonial historical artifacts in India.
We then return to the ship for lunch and begin our journey upstream. The river ship sails through areas where various European settlers had established East Indian Companies, leaving many remnants of their settlements from the 17th through 19th Centuries.
Later in the day, we take an excursion boat to the shore of Bandel. We visit the Hooghly Imambara, one of the famous Shiya pilgrimage centers in West Bengal, built in 1841 by Haji Mohammad Mahasin. The two-story building and surrounding rooms provide housing for pilgrims as well as classrooms, or Madrasa that teach the Koran. The structure contains a Victorian-era clock with a winding key weighing 20kg. Large Persian chandeliers and lamps light the Imambara's stunning hallways and passages.
Day 3: Kalna / MatiariThis morning we enjoy a rickshaw ride through the city center of Kalna en route to the enchanting Rajbari complex, with the highest concentration of temples in the region. Bengal's mixture of temple architecture includes the Nabakailas Temples. Built in 1809 by the Bardhaman Maharaja, the complex contains 108 eight slope-roofed temples – 74 in the outer circle here and another 34 making an inner circle.
Another complex features diverse architecture, including the Pratapeshwar Temple, built in 1849. Terra cotta plaques depict themes of Hindu epics, mythical life of Sree Chaitanya, images of Durga, and various aspects of day-to-day life in the region. Other temples on the site include Lalji Temple, the oldest in the complex (1739), and Krishnachandra Temple (1751).
Day 4: Matiari / KhushbaghEnjoy an early morning walk to the shore-side village of Matiari, which is known for manufacturing beautiful handcrafted brass items, utilizing traditional methods passed down for generations. These master craftsmen utilize recycled copper to create exquisite pots, platters and more from their workshops in the village.
We then continue our journey upstream. We sail past the battlefield of Plassey, where Robert Clive of British East India Company defeated the Mogul Nawabs in 1757. The rulers of Bengal and their French allies established the company rule in India, which spread through much of South Asia for the next 190 years.
Day 5: Khushbagh / Baranagar / MurshidabadThis morning we visit the charming village of Khushbagh, passing through scenic fields to arrive at the well-preserved mosque complex built by Nawab Ali-Wardi-Khan, housing his family's private mosque. His grandson Siraj-ud-Daula was defeated by the British East India Company at the Battle of Plassey in 1757.
After an on-board breakfast and morning sail, we visit the village of Baranagar. A lovely example of life in rural India, this village is home to several temples dating from the 18th century (1714 – 1793). Built by Rani (Queen) Bhabani, the landlady of Natore. The brick temples are considered to be among the best examples of Bengal terra cotta art. We then return to the ship for lunch and sail downstream.
This afternoon we pass by charming countryside villages where locals greet us from the banks. We approach Murshidabad, a hidden architectural gem along the Ganges with dramatic whitewashed colonial era structures. We visit the Hazarduari Palace, built during the reign of Nawab Nazim Humayun Jah (1824 –1838 AD) by an English architect, McLeod Duncan, in the Greek “Doric” style. The palace has more than a thousand real and false doors in the vast corridors, and is filled with colonial era antiques, artwork and manuscripts. Opposite to the Palace is a vast Imambara – built by the Nawab for worship.
We then take a scenic ride by local buggy to the Katra mosque. Built by the first Nawab of Murshidabad – Murshid Quli Khan in the 1724 – 25, this mosque has distinctive minarets from which the muezzin calls the faithful to Friday prayers. This evening we return for dinner and local cultural performance on-board.
Day 6: Murshidabad / MayapurAfter a restful morning, observing the local life along the riverbanks, we stop in the village of Mayapur. Known as the birthplace of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu (1486) and considered an incarnation of Lord Krishna. Mayapur is also the headquarters of the International Society of Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) movement with a new temple comparable in size to the Vatican and largely funded by Alfred B. Ford, the great grandson of car maker Henry Ford. Meet Krishna followers and walk through the pilgrim’s bazaar.
Day 7: Mayapur / Chanderagore / KolkataMorning sail to Chandernagore, established as a French colony in 1673. The French obtained permission from Ibrahim Khan, the then Nawab of Bengal to establish a trading post on the riverbanks of this city, which became a permanent French settlement in 1688.
Afternoon we will explore the French colonial buildings along the promenade, including the former French governor's residence (now converted to a museum that features an exhibition of items that depict life during this period). We then will visit the Sacred Heart Church of Chandernagore. We then return to the ship and continue our journey downstream to Kolkata.
Day 8: Kolkata / DisembarkationFollowing breakfast guests will disembark the vessel and transfer to Kolkata Airport.
Inclusions: 
Meals:7 Breakfasts, 7 Lunches and 7 dinners
Activities:All activities as per itinerary
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Pandaw River Expeditions

Pandaw River Expeditions Fleet information & picture Galleries

Cruising Asia’s most famous Rivers; the mighty Mekong, Red River, Irrawaddy River and the Chindwin – a Pandaw River Expeditions is not an ocean cruise. Dressing up for dinner is not compulsory nor is there a ‘captain’s table’!

The atmosphere on board is friendly and informal, more like a party on board a private yacht than a cruise ship. Mostly everything is included in the pre-paid price and there are no hidden extras for shore excursions. Even most of your drinks are included in the price of your ticket!

With a crew passenger ratio of 1:2 there is an incredibly high level of personalised service and care. For all these reasons, passengers keep coming back and exploring more of a lost South-East Asia.

Pandaw River Expeditions have 15 vessel’s cruising in China, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia and Myanmar (Burma) with itineraries ranging from short 3 night cruises to the longer 10-14 nights.

Pandaw’s popular, mostly unique colonial-era character ships, are well known for their friendly and efficient crew and definitive style. There is an itinerary that will fit any budget or style you may wish for.

All of the Pandaw River Expeditions ships have ultra-shallow drafts which enable travel to remote areas, otherwise unreachable by other passenger-carrying vessels.

Our Pandaw River Expeditions experts have travelled to most Pandaw destinations and know the ships and area very well. You are very welcome to call and discuss in detail the variety of itineraries on offer.

Below is a photo gallery of all 15 ships, click the below ship name and find out more about each vessel!!!

Cambodia & Vietnam

 Laos & China 

 Myanmar (Burma)

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Boutique Sri Lanka

This leisurely paced 15 Day Boutique Sri Lanka itinerary features a selection of Sri Lanka’s unique and elegant boutique hotels – a truly indulgent way of touring this fascinating country.

Visit two of Sri Lanka’s eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites – the spectacular rock citadel of Sigiriya and the Dambulla Rock Cave Temple. Stay at the exclusive Madulkelle Tea and Eco Lodge with its breathtaking views of mist covered mountains, lush green valleys and crystal clear streams.

Take the time to indulge in a spa treatment at the Stone House in Kandy – offering magnificent views over lush green hills and valleys to the central mountains. Visit historic Galle with its unique blend of Persian, Arab, Greek, Roman, Malay, Indian, Chinese, Dutch & British influences before you relax on the beautiful beaches of Bentota from your private beach side hideaway.

Planning your holiday is easy, or speak to our friendly Consultants.

Day 1: Colombo

You will be met on arrival at Colombo International Airport and transferred to your hotel, The Wallawwa, for an overnight stay.

A small property of seventeen guestrooms, it has a real sense of tranquillity. It is set in a lush tropical garden with glorious large trees and a magnificent pool. There are plenty of outdoor spaces for relaxation – verandas dotted with couches, a pretty courtyard and pond, and comfy chairs set out under umbrellas. A popular feature here is the spa – a wonderful place to unwind after a long international flight.

Day 2: Dambulla

Depart for Dambulla, making a stop en route to visit the Dambulla Rock Cave Temple, one of Sri Lanka’s eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites.  Festooned with a marvellous array of sculptures and murals, these temples, dating from 1st century BC, are the most beautiful in the country.

Continue on to your accommodation at Dambulla, Kalundewa Retreat.  This is an idyllic hide-away nestled in 40 hectares of land, an extension of a secluded rural village and farming community.  It boasts a large collection of herbal plants, varieties of fruit trees and an extensive vegetable garden. It is also blessed with many waterways, which have been restored from derelict conditions.

Take a dip in the ‘Ulpatha’, a natural spring with cool sparkling water converted into a pool, hidden away under giant trees, surrounded by breathtaking views.  This evening enjoy your dinner by the lake’s edge, on the pool deck, on a floating raft or under the stars in a rice field.

Day 3: Dambulla

Rise early this morning for your visit to another of Sri Lanka’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites – the spectacular rock citadel of Sigiriya. Rising 200 metres above green scrub jungle, this massive rock embellished with the remains of one of the country’s most remarkable royal palaces is a stunning sight.  It includes caved temples, frescoes, bathing pools, ponds and Asia’s oldest surviving landscaped gardens.

Later drive to the marvellous ruined city of Polonnaruwa.  Once the country’s capital, this is home to some of medieval Sri Lanka’s finest art and architecture, including the giant Buddha statues of the Gal Vihara.

Day 4: Madulkelle

Depart Dambulla this morning for Madulkelle, making a stop en route at Matale where you will have an opportunity at Matale to explore the delightful green and fragrant Spice Garden. Enjoy a hot cup of spice tea or cocoa tea as trained herbalists introduce you to a variety of different spices, explaining how they are grown and processed and their Ayurvedic uses.

Your accommodation at Madulkelle, Madulkelle Tea and Eco Lodge, nestles on a picturesque tea plantation, on the Knuckles Mountain Range 1000 meters above sea level.  The lodges’ main attractions though are their breathtaking views – mist covered mountains, lush green valleys, crystal clear streams, as well as the sounds of chirping birds and the sighting of the occasional deer or giant squirrel outside your front door. Food here is a special treat, with around 60% of the organically grown vegetables, fruits and herbs used in the hotel kitchen harvested from its own garden.

Seating areas placed within the tea estate, are ideal for a quiet read, meditation or just to spend some quiet time alone with nature.

Day 5: Madulkelle

Today is at leisure.  You can simply spend the day lazing by the infinity pool with its fabulous views of the Madulkelle Village and the majestic Knuckles Mountain range and indulge in a rejuvenating treatment in the Spa.

Alternatively, the hotel offers a range of activities and excursions including: hiking and trekking, bird watching, wildlife viewing, yoga sessions and cooking classes.

Day 6: Kandy

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before departing Madukelle for the historic city of Kandy, located in the hills at the heart of Sri Lanka.

Your accommodation here, Stone House, is located on a secluded plateau in the hills of Kandy, with magnificent views over lush green hills and valleys to the central mountains. This 1940’s built colonial mansion has been converted in to a luxurious, architect-designed boutique hotel with each elegant room designed using a blend of local culture and western influences – including artworks by renowned local artists – to create an inviting individual décor.

You may like to indulge in a spa treatment, take a dip in the pool, stroll in the beautifully landscaped tropical gardens or have a browse in the library.  If Sri Lankan cuisine is of interest, be sure to take a cooking class with the chef at some point during your stay here. If you want to explore the surrounding area you can take a tuk tuk ride around the town or make use of the mountain bikes on offer.

Early this evening attend a display of traditional Kandyan dance. Following the performance visit the Dalada Maligawa – the Buddhist ‘Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic’, which houses the relic of the tooth of Buddha. Here you can witness the evening puja ceremony, a daily religious observation that has been followed for generations.

Day 7: Kandy

Kandy is a delight to explore.  Spend this morning touring this atmospheric town with your guide, beginning with a drive around its lovely centrepiece, Kandy Lake. Stroll through the bustling town centre and colourful bazaar, visit the arts and crafts centre, a gem museum and a lapidary.

You may also like to visit the lovely Royal Botanical Garden at Peradeniya. Once the pleasure garden of 14th century Kandyan queen, today it is one of the best gardens in Asia with over 4,000 tropical and subtropical flora, including spice and herbal gardens as well as a stunning collection of orchids.

The afternoon is at leisure.

Day 8: Colombo

After breakfast depart for Colombo.

You have the option to make a stop en route at the Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage – an orphanage, nursery and captive breeding ground for wild Asian elephants.  Established in 1975 by the Sri Lanka Department of Wildlife Conservation, today it houses the largest herd of captive elephants in the world. This is an opportunity to observe the care and daily routine of these gentle creatures, such as the bottle-feeding of calves, and to view elephants from the broad river bank as the herd interacts socially, bathing and playing.

Your accommodation here, the elegant Lake Lodge, is perfectly situated to combine the peace and quiet of a residential lane location with the convenience of being in the heart of the business district of the city. Recently refurbished, its stylish interiors and comfortable surroundings aim to offer guests a ‘home away from home’ experience.

Day 9: Colombo

This morning enjoy a guided walk through the city of Colombo with its fascinating variety of colonial architecture, beautiful mosques and Hindu temples.  Interact with locals as you shop for gifts from streets devoted to different products – from gold to Ayurveda items –and sample typical Sri Lankan food and beverages in the amazing atmosphere of the hundred year old vegetable market.

This evening enjoy dinner at Ministry of Crab. Located in the Old Dutch Hospital district, this popular restaurant was started by a couple of Sri Lankan cricketers and deserves all the praise it’s getting.

Day 10: Galle

Depart for Galle this morning. A UNESCO `World Heritage City’, this is the most perfectly preserved colonial town in Sri Lanka.   Although a prominent seaport long before western rule in the country – Persians, Arabs, Greeks, Romans, Malays, Indians and Chinese all traded through Galle port – the city’s ‘modern’ history began with the arrival of the Portuguese in 1502. In 1640, the Portuguese surrendered to the Dutch East India Company and Galle reached the height of its development in the 18th century, during the Dutch colonial period.

Your accommodation here, Rampart Street, is located inside Galle Fort itself. A recently refurbished heritage property, it has been styled in an elegant combination of colonial charm – with antique furniture, rich fabrics and tapestries – and modern amenities that cater to all creature comforts.  It comprises only four guest rooms, a spacious common living room, a plush TV room and a number of outdoor living areas.

The remainder of the day is at leisure.  You may like to take a refreshing dip in the villa pool  – this is one of the few properties within the Galle Fort that provides the luxury of a private swimming pool.

Day 11: Galle

Spend this morning with your guide exploring the fortified city of Galle. The Old Town of Galle and its fortifications were built by the Portuguese who arrived in the 16th century. Learn about some of the fort’s important heritage monuments, including the Dutch Reformed Church, the old Dutch government house, the residence of the Commander, the National Maritime Museum, the Old Dutch Hospital, Meera Mosque, All Saints Anglican Church, the Clock Tower and the Galle Lighthouse.

The afternoon is at leisure. A nice end to a day here is a sunset walk along the fort’s ramparts overlooking the Indian Ocean.

Day 12: Galle

Today is at leisure. If shopping is of interest, Galle is renowned for its intricate lace and ebony carvings.

Day 13: Bentota

After a leisurely breakfast, depart Galle for the short drive to Bentota and your ‘home’ for the next two nights, Paradise Road The Villa Bentota – a unique and private beach side hotel.

The world renowned Sri Lankan architect, Geoffrey Bawa, was originally drawn to this property in the 1970s, converting the then dilapidated ancestral home into the country’s first boutique hotel. In 2007 the property was acquired by ‘Paradise Road’ (the company that owns the famous Colombo shop of the same name), who refurbished and extended it in keeping with the original design. A new wing and entrance pavilion and a new swimming pool were added and the gardens were re-landscaped.  Re-opened in 2009, today the hotel comprises fifteen rooms and suites with all modern amenities.  Each room is unique in decoration, style and layout.

Day 14: Bentota

Today is at leisure.  The beaches of Bentota are perfect for swimming, lounging and sunbathing and walking along.  In addition, the hotel offers a number of activities.

Just ten minutes down the Galle Road, the Bentota Lake provides the perfect location to water ski, ride a jet ski or go for a group trip on a banana boat.

A boat safari is a unique experience for nature lovers. The mangroves of Sri Lanka are protected by the environmental authorities and contain some of the island’s beautiful wildlife. The lakes of Bentota and surrounding areas provide a memorable discovery trip with temples hidden on islands and breathtaking views.

The turtle hatchery is another attraction. The hatcheries house turtles that have been saved from fisherman or injury and also play a huge role in protecting the endangered species by safely providing nesting grounds.  On the right day visitors can help release baby turtles into the wild.

Day 15: Colombo

Depart Bentota for the 2-hour drive to the Airport to board your flight home.

 

2019 Dates & PricesTwin ShareSolo Traveller
Departs Colombo daily:Price on ApplicationPrice on Application

Inclusions: 
Meals:14 breakfasts
Transport: Airport transfers & private air-conditioned vehicle
Accommodation: 14 nights accommodation
Guide:Local English Speaking Guide
Entrance Fees & Touring:Entrance fees & activities as per itinerary

* Tour departure dates are subject to availability at time of booking.
* Prices and itinerary are correct at time of publication and are subject to change without notice.

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Classic Sri Lanka

With tea plantations, leopard safaris, a former British hill station and UNESCO World Heritage sites, this 15 day Classic Sri Lanka itinerary is an ideal introduction to Sri Lanka.

The pace is easy going, with mostly two night stays.
 This Classic Sri Lanka trip is unique to India Unbound. We have designed it to showcase the cultural highlights and diversity of the country, while allowing time for rest and relaxation along the way.

The trip includes several significant and renowned UNESCO World Heritage Sites – from the Sigiriya Rock Fortress to the Buddhist `Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic’ – plus the World Heritage city of Galle Fort where cafes, boutiques and artisan workshops line the cobbled streets.

Away from the archaeological wonders, see the picturesque landscape with a comfortable local train ride into the hills and visit tea plantations to learn (and taste!) more about Sri Lanka’s best known crop – after all Ceylon grows some of the world’s best tea!

Concluding in the capital Colombo, this trip also features jeep safaris in Yala National Park, a traditional dance performance and an optional bicycle tour, and is an ideal introduction to Sri Lanka.

Planning your holiday is easy, or speak to our friendly Consultants.

Day 1: Arrive Colombo

You will be met on arrival and transferred to your hotel near the airport for an overnight stay.

Day 2: Anuradhapura

Depart for Anuradhapura this morning. This was the first ancient capital of the ‘country of kings’ for approximately 1,400 years. At the pinnacle of its glory, the city extended over 52 square kilometres. Its magnificent monuments, refined sculpture and paintings are testimony to a veritable and original Sri Lankan culture.

Check in to your accommodation on arrival and afterwards take in the sights of the ancient city, with its rich collection of archaeological and architectural wonders.

Day 3: Sigiriya

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before departing for the 2-hour drive to Sigiriya.

This afternoon visit one of Sri Lanka’s eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the famous Sigiriya Rock Fortress. Set in green scrub jungle, this massive rock was a retreat for Buddhist monks in ancient times. The well-planned monastic complex includes caved temples, frescoes, bathing pools, ponds and Asia’s oldest surviving landscaped gardens. Today Sigiriya is best known for its frescos painted in the pocket of the rock. Other highlights of the site include the ‘Lion Stairway’, the ‘Mirror Wall’ and the ‘Water Gardens’.

Day 4: Sigiriya

This morning visit Polonnaruwa (where you have the option to tour by bicycle).  Once the medieval capital, this is one of the most beautiful centres in Sri Lanka’s cultural heritage. Explore the ancient ruins and the Gal Vihara complex, where three gigantic Buddha statues are carved out of a single rock.

This afternoon take a safari in to Minneriya National Park. Comprising 88.9 sq kms of scrub and light forest, it provides shelter for a number of animals, including toque macaques, sambar deer, leopards and elephants. The park is also of interest because of its ancient Minneriya Tank, which was built by King Mahasen in the 3rd century AD.

Day 4: Sigiriya

This morning visit Polonnaruwa (where you have the option to tour by bicycle).  Once the medieval capital, this is one of the most beautiful centres in Sri Lanka’s cultural heritage. Explore the ancient ruins and the Gal Vihara complex, where three gigantic Buddha statues are carved out of a single rock.

This afternoon take a safari in to Minneriya National Park. Comprising 88.9 sq kms of scrub and light forest, it provides shelter for a number of animals, including toque macaques, sambar deer, leopards and elephants. The park is also of interest because of its ancient Minneriya Tank, which was built by King Mahasen in the 3rd century AD.

Day 5: Kandy

Depart for Kandy this morning, making stops en route to visit the Dambulla Rock Cave Temple and a spice garden at Matale.

Another of Sri Lanka’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Dambulla Rock cave temple is thought to date back to the 1st century BC; this is the largest and best-preserved cave temple complex in the country.

Sri Lanka is famous for its spices. At Matale you will have an opportunity to explore the delightful green and fragrant Spice Garden. Trained staff will introduce you to different spices including nutmeg, pepper vines, cloves trees, curry, cinnamon, and the precious cardamom (which grows in the shade of high jungle trees and can only be harvested by hand). They will explain how some of these are grown and show you how they are processed. If you are interested, you can purchase spices, traditional remedies and cosmetics here. (A processing and training unit has been set up in the area and farmers are grouped in a cooperative to ensure fair prices).

Kandy, a UNESCO World Heritage site, was established in the 14th century and the Kingdom of Kandy became the country’s capital city in the 16th century. Under the patronage of the ancient kings of Sri Lanka indigenous culture flourished for more than 2,500 years until the occupation by the British in 1815. Steeped in political, cultural and religious history, Kandy also played a central role in the tea plantation industry once tea production began in Ceylon.

Day 6: Kandy

After breakfast drive to Pinnawela to visit the Elephant Orphanage, which was established to feed, nurse and house young elephants abandoned by their mothers and displaced from their natural environment due to development projects. Most orphans cannot be introduced back into the wild, as other elephant family groups will not accept them. They enjoy a good life with their human ‘parents’ and many find foster homes in zoos around the world. Arrive at the Orphanage early this morning in order to see the baby elephants being bottle-fed. Afterwards, the entire herd is taken to the river for a bath.

This afternoon, take a city tour. The charming, easy-going capital of the hill country, Kandy’s lovely centrepiece is Kandy Lake. An artificial lake 4 kilometres in circumference, it was created in 1807 by Sri Wickrama Rajasinha, the last ruler of the kingdom of Kandy. The island in the centre was used as his personal harem, to which he crossed on a barge. Later the British used it as an ammunition store and added the fortress style parapet around the perimeter. The town centre, close to the lake is a delightful jumble of old shops, antique and gemstones specialists, a bustling market and a good selection of restaurants.

You may also like to visit the Royal Botanical Garden at Peradeniya. Established in 1821, the garden is well known for its spectacular ornamental plants, large variety of tropical trees and creepers, including a nutmeg grove and its orchid house, which contains more than three hundred orchids.

Later this afternoon visit the Dalada Maligawa – the Buddhist ‘Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic’, which houses the relic of the tooth of Buddha. Kandy is a UNESCO World Heritage site partly due to this temple. Here you can witness the puja ceremony, a daily religious observation that has been followed for generations.

This evening, enjoy a Kandyan Dance performance; this traditional Sri Lankan dance flourished in the hill country during ancient times. The dancers, who are attired in frilled costumes with glistening head-dresses and breastplates, skip and whirl to the beat of drums executing astonishing acrobatics in mid-air; the highlight is the fire walking at the end of the performance.

Day 7: Nuwara Eliya

Transfer to the railway station this morning to board a train to Nuwara Eliya. Set in a picturesque landscape, it is located at an altitude of 1884 metres; it is overlooked by Pidurutalagala, the tallest mountain in Sri Lanka.

The town was founded in about 1825 as a retreat for British civil servants and planters seeking to escape from the heat of the plains. A ‘hill station’, where they could indulge in pastimes such as fox hunting, polo, golf and cricket, it was known as “Little England” due to its picturesque landscape and cool climate and the many buildings that retain features from the colonial period.

Day 8: Nuwara Eliya

Nuwara Eliya is considered to be the most important location for tea production in Sri Lanka. This morning visit a tea plantation. The tour includes observing the day-to-day operations of an estate – and also enables you to participate in some activities such as tea picking, etc (and tea tasting, of course!).

Return to your hotel and the remainder of the day is at leisure. You may like to take a stroll around the town; many of the buildings here, such as the Queen’s Cottage, General’s House, Grand Hotel, Hill Club and Town Post Office retain features from the colonial period; many private homes still maintain their old English-style lawns and gardens.

Day 9: Yala

Depart Nuwara Eliya this morning for Yala and your accommodation here, close to Yala National Park, Sri Lanka’s most visited wildlife reserve.

Check in to your accommodation on arrival and afterwards take an afternoon jeep safari in to the park accompanied by a tracker. The park is home to herds of elephants, wild boar, wild buffalo, crocodiles, sloth bears, monkeys and other animals. Its most famous residents, however, are its elusive leopards. There are also about 130 species of resident and migrant birds in the park including fantailed peacocks, painted storks, jackals, serpent eagles, sea eagles and pelicans.

Day 10: Yala

Enjoy an early morning jeep safari in to Yala National Park (breakfast packets will be provided).

Return to your accommodation and the remainder of the day is at leisure.

Day 11: Galle

Depart for Galle this morning. One of the best-preserved colonial-era cities in Southeast Asia, Galle has been declared a UNESCO `World Heritage City’.

Galle was a prominent seaport long before western rule in the country as Persians, Arabs, Greeks, Romans, Malays, Indians and Chinese were doing business through Galle port. The ‘modern’ history of the city began with the arrival of the Portuguese in 1502. In 1640, the Portuguese surrendered to the Dutch East India Company and Galle reached the height of its development in the 18th century, during the Dutch colonial period.

Day 12: Galle

Full day at leisure. Galle Fort is a delightful place to explore with its narrow, cobbled streets, laid back cafes, boutique hotels, and artisan workshops. Outside the fort’s walls are long stretches of beach backed by coconut palms and lush hillsides.

Day 13: Colombo

After breakfast depart for Colombo. The largest city and commercial capital of Sri Lanka, Colombo stretches for 14 kilometres along the western shore of the country. Due to its large harbour and strategic position along the East West sea-trade routes, it was well known to ancient traders as long as 2,000 years ago. Today it is a metropolis of over two million people where different ethnic groups, religions and cultures mingle. The contrast between high-rise hotels and colonial mansions, supermarkets and street bazaars, dazzling cars and motor-rickshaws, is found everywhere.

Day 14: Colombo

Spend today sightseeing with a local guide, including visits to many of the city’s famous landmarks such as Galle Face Green, Viharamahadevi Park, the National Museum, the Old Parliament, Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall, Independence Square, the Town Hall and Buddhist and Hindu Temples.

Day 15: Depart Colombo

Transfer to the airport to board your departure flight.

2019 Dates & PricesTwin ShareSolo Traveller
Departs Colombo daily:Price on ApplicationPrice on Application

Inclusions: 
Meals:14 breakfasts
Transport: Airport transfers & private air-conditioned vehicle
Rail:Train Ticket: Kandy / Nuwara Eliya
Accommodation: 14 nights accommodation
Guide:Local English Speaking Guide
Entrance Fees & Touring:Entrance fees & activities as per itinerary

* Tour departure dates are subject to availability at time of booking.
* Prices and itinerary are correct at time of publication and are subject to change without notice.

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Wildlife of Sri Lanka

Wildlife lovers will visit and experience three of Sri Lanka’s top wildlife destinations as part of this trip. Combining some of Sri Lanka’s most important archaeological sites, World Heritage-listed locations and the country’s best national parks abundant with wildlife – this is an ideal introduction to all Sri Lanka has to offer.

This comprehensive 17-day exploration of Sri Lanka’s ‘must see’ locations commences at the wonderful Horathapola Estate – where the tranquility of rural Sri Lanka is lay before you. Search for the elusive Sri Lankan leopard in Wilpattu National Park on guided game drives, wander the ancient sacred grounds of Anuradhapura and explore the mediational pathways of Ritigala.

You will have the opportunity to climb of the magnificent Rock Fortress of Sigiriya – a rare jewel amongst the treasures this land has to offer. Visit the charming capital of the hill country – Kandy and explore this former capital city by bicycle. See swimming elephant herds at Gal Oya National Park, stay at a luxurious tented camp from where you will take game drives into the world famous Yala National Park and walk the historical streets of the UNESCO World Heritage City of Galle – once a prominent sea port hosting traders from all over the world.

A wonderful 17-day wildlife and sightseeing trip in Sri Lanka.

Planning your holiday is easy, or speak to our friendly Consultants.

Day 1: Colombo

Welcome to Sri Lanka! You will be met upon arrival at Colombo’s international airport and make the short drive to the seclusion of Horathapola Estate. This astutely renovated plantation bungalow offers you contemporary comforts coupled with local charm that will entice you from the moment you reach this property.

Day 2: Horathapola

Morning at leisure to enjoy the ambiance of the 50-acre estate. With its large agricultural expanse you may like to stroll through the coconut trees and paddy fields or  take a guided village walk. You are also welcome to help prepare lunch or dinner and learn about the local spices and cooking methods.

Day 3: Wilpattu

Drive to Wilpattu National Park. Wilpattu is the largest national park in Sri Lanka and popular due to the high prevalence of Sri Lankan leopards. The park is also home to a diverse range of other wildlife, including the highly threatened Sri Lankan sloth bear, elephant, spotted deer, water buffalo, sambar and mongoose. A number of wetland bird species are found here including garganey, pintail and whistling teal. Spend the next two days exploring this amazing eco system on guided game drives.

Day 4: Wilpattu

Today continue your exploration of the Wilpattu National Park on guided game drives.

Day 5: Sigiriya

This morning drive to Anuradhapura. Wander the sacred and ancient grounds of Anuradhapura with its rich collection of archaeological treasures dating back over 2,000 years. Anuradhapura is a sprawling complex and is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. Afterwards, visit Ritigala archeological site to explore its long meditational pathways that open into the thick jungle and large stone-lined reservoirs. Continue onto Sigiriya.

Day 6: Sigiriya

This morning visit the magnificent Rock Fortress of Sigiriya. The rock fortress also known as Lion Rock, is a rare jewel among the many treasures in Sri Lanka. The site was the domain of King Kashyapa whose aim was to build an impregnable fortress and within it, a heavenly abode. Later visit the massive rock formation of Pidurangala located just a few kilometers north.

Day 7: Sigiriya

Morning at leisure before you set out on a jeep safari to either Kaudulla or Minneriya National Park where you can see elephants in their natural habitat. Encountering these giants at close range is an unforgettable experience. Both parks also present sightings of bird-flocks such as painted storks, pelicans and little cormorants as well as toque macaques, sambar deer, buffalo and crocodiles.

Day 8: Kandy

Continue on to Kandy today. The charming, easy-going capital of the hill country, Kandy once served as the country’s capital of the Sinhalese kingdom until its fall to the British in 1815. With the lovely centerpiece of Kandy Lake, Kandy is a big city that still retains touches of its colonial history in its buildings.  Visit the Buddhist ‘Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic’, which houses the relic of the tooth of Buddha.

Day 9: Kandy

Mounting the older Sri Lankan style of bikes, take a guided cycling tour rolling along small lanes and back roads to discover the heritage of Kandy through its people who carry on the traditions of the Kandyan Kingdom, from the keeper of a Buddhist temple, to a lady selling coconuts.  Enjoy a snack break along the way and stop by some local cottage industries.

Day 10: Gal Oya

Gal Oya is the only place in Sri Lanka where safaris can be conducted by boat, giving you an opportunity to observe animals as they come to the water’s edge to drink. A highlight is seeing the spectacle of herds of elephants swimming from one island to another in search of greener pastures. Nearby are the Veddha – the forest-dwelling indigenous people of Sri Lanka who will take you through the jungles to learn more about their way of life. Spend the next three days at Gal Oya exploring by boat, jeep and on foot.

Day 11: Gal Oya

Today continue your exploration of Gal Oya on guided game drives. Gal Oya is the only place in Sri Lanka where safaris can also be conducted by boat providing an opportunity to observe Wildlife by the waters edge.

Day 12: Gal Oya

Today we take an excursion to a nearby Veddha village – the forest dwelling indigenous people of Sri Lanka who will share their knowledge of the jungle and their way of life.

Day 13: Yala

Continue on to Yala. Your stay for the next two nights will be at a luxury campsite where you can set out for game drives into the Yala National Park. This is Sri Lanka’s most visited wildlife reserve and is home to herds of elephants, wild boar, wild buffalo, crocodiles, sloth bears, monkeys and other animals. Its most famous residents, however, are its leopards.

Day 14: Yala

Further exploration today by way of game drives into the Yala National Park – Sri Lanka’s most popular and home to an incredible variety of wildlife.  Today you will have yet another chance to spot the most famous resident of the park – the Sri Lankan Leopard.

Day 15: Galle

One of the best-preserved colonial-era cities in Southeast Asia, Galle has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage City. Galle was a prominent seaport long before western rule in the country as Persians, Arabs, Greeks, Romans, Malays, Indians and Chinese were doing business through Galle port. A leisurely day to relax by the pool or you can take a walk and enjoy the views of the sunset from the ramparts of the fort.

Day 16: Galle

Discover Galle Fort with its narrow, cobbled streets, laid back cafes, boutique hotels, and artisan workshops. The Fort remains a working community with locals going about their business as they have done here for centuries. Dine at a local home tonight to taste some of Sri Lanka’s finest curries.

Day 17: Colombo

Transfer to Colombo for international departing flight.

2019 Dates & PricesTwin ShareSolo Traveller
Departs Colombo daily:From $9,915.00 per personPrice on Application
Inclusions: 
Meals:16 breakfasts, all meals at Wilpattu, Gal Oya & Yalla, dinner in Galle Day 16
Transport: Airport transfers & private air-conditioned vehicle
Accommodation: 16 nights accommodation
Guide:Local English Speaking Guide
Entrance Fees & Touring:Entrance fees & activities as per itinerary

* Tour departure dates are subject to availability at time of booking.
* Prices and itinerary are correct at time of publication and are subject to change without notice.

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Spirit of Sri Lanka

Your flight arrives late at the airport tonight when you will be transferred to your hotel.

Hotel: The Heritance Negombo, 2 nights

Today you will get a feel for the Sri Lankan way of life on a guided walking tour of Negombo, exclusively designed by local expert Mark Forbes. Embrace the local verve for seafood as you visit a fish market, then embark on a sunset cruise on the city’s spectacular lagoon.

After breakfast travel to the magnificent Dambulla Cave Temple. This World Heritage-listed Buddhist temple complex is one of the largest and best-preserved in Sri Lanka. The temple’s five incredible sanctuaries are home to a number of ornate statues and a variety of ancient art relating to the life of Buddha. This evening, savour a unique dining experience as you enjoy dinner underground in the Caves of Heritance. Indulge in a variety of local Sri Lankan dishes as you dine by the light of flaming torches and candle lanterns.

Hotel: Heritance Kandalama, 3 nights

Glimpse Sri Lanka’s majestic past with a tour of the World Heritage-listed Sigiriya Rock Fortress, an ancient citadel and castle ruins, once the home to King Kasyapa. This afternoon, you might choose to head out on a village trek, cycle around the local countryside, or relax with a spa treatment. Tonight, dine like royalty as you indulge in a seven course feast for dinner.

After breakfast, the World Heritage-listed ancient city of Polonnaruwa awaits. Later, embark on a safari of the captivating Minneriya National Park, to spy Sri Lankan elephants in their natural environment. Choose from a range of dining options for dinner this evening.

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