All India river cruises take place on the Ganges River in northern India. The Ganges River is known as the holy river of Hinduism. The wide and slow-flowing 1,560-mile stream follows one of the most populated and fertile areas of the world. While shorter India river cruises (such as those for 7 days) normally leave out cities, such as New Delhi and explore attractions, such as Agra (home of the Taj Mahal), and Jaipur, shorter river cruises of 7 days cover destinations, such as Kolkata, Kalna, Matiari, or Murshidabad without the need to connect by air or bus. With river cruise volume buys plus our low everyday prices you can save up to 50% versus the brochure price! Book your India river cruise today with AffordableTours.com, your discounted river cruise headquarters.India Travel Guide
|Sep 11, 2021||Avalon Waterways||Ganges Voyager||Cochin||Kathmandu||21||$8,654|
|Sep 11, 2021||Avalon Waterways||Ganges Voyager||Cochin||Kolkata||18||$7,336|
|Sep 16, 2021||Avalon Waterways||Ganges Voyager||New Delhi||Kolkata||13||$5,252|
|Sep 16, 2021||Avalon Waterways||Ganges Voyager||New Delhi||Kathmandu||16||$6,570|
|Sep 22, 2021||Avalon Waterways||Ganges Voyager||Kolkata||Kolkata||7||$3,499|
|Sep 27, 2021||Uniworld||Ganges Voyager II||New Delhi||Kolkata||13||$7,499|
|Oct 06, 2021||Avalon Waterways||Ganges Voyager||Cochin||Kathmandu||21||$9,694|
|Oct 06, 2021||Avalon Waterways||Ganges Voyager||Cochin||Kolkata||18||$8,376|
|Oct 07, 2021||Uniworld||Ganges Voyager II||New Delhi||Kolkata||13||$7,499|
|Oct 11, 2021||Avalon Waterways||Ganges Voyager||New Delhi||Kolkata||13||$5,952|
|Oct 11, 2021||Avalon Waterways||Ganges Voyager||New Delhi||Kathmandu||16||$7,270|
|Oct 17, 2021||Avalon Waterways||Ganges Voyager||Kolkata||Kolkata||7||$3,889|
|Oct 23, 2021||Uniworld||Ganges Voyager II||New Delhi||Kolkata||13||$7,499|
|Oct 23, 2021||Avalon Waterways||Ganges Voyager||Cochin||Kathmandu||21||$9,694|
|Oct 23, 2021||Avalon Waterways||Ganges Voyager||Cochin||Kolkata||18||$8,376|
|Oct 28, 2021||Avalon Waterways||Ganges Voyager||New Delhi||Kolkata||13||$5,952|
|Oct 28, 2021||Avalon Waterways||Ganges Voyager||New Delhi||Kathmandu||16||$7,270|
|Oct 31, 2021||Avalon Waterways||Ganges Voyager||Cochin||Kathmandu||21||$9,694|
|Oct 31, 2021||Avalon Waterways||Ganges Voyager||Cochin||Kolkata||18||$8,376|
|Nov 01, 2021||Uniworld||Ganges Voyager II||New Delhi||Kolkata||13||$7,499|
|Nov 03, 2021||Avalon Waterways||Ganges Voyager||Kolkata||Kolkata||7||$3,889|
|Nov 05, 2021||Avalon Waterways||Ganges Voyager||New Delhi||Kolkata||13||$5,952|
|Nov 05, 2021||Avalon Waterways||Ganges Voyager||New Delhi||Kathmandu||16||$7,270|
|Nov 11, 2021||Uniworld||Ganges Voyager II||New Delhi||Kolkata||13||$7,499|
|Nov 11, 2021||Avalon Waterways||Ganges Voyager||Kolkata||Kolkata||7||$3,889|
|Nov 19, 2021||Uniworld||Ganges Voyager II||New Delhi||Kolkata||13||$7,499|
|Nov 27, 2021||Uniworld||Ganges Voyager II||New Delhi||Kolkata||13||$7,499|
|Dec 06, 2021||Uniworld||Ganges Voyager II||New Delhi||Kolkata||13||$7,499|
|Jan 21, 2022||Avalon Waterways||Ganges Voyager||Cochin||Kathmandu||21||$10,133|
|Jan 21, 2022||Avalon Waterways||Ganges Voyager||Cochin||Kolkata||18||$8,754|
|Jan 26, 2022||Avalon Waterways||Ganges Voyager||New Delhi||Kolkata||13||$6,219|
|Jan 26, 2022||Avalon Waterways||Ganges Voyager||New Delhi||Kathmandu||16||$7,602|
|Feb 01, 2022||Avalon Waterways||Ganges Voyager||Kolkata||Kolkata||7||$4,059|
|Feb 22, 2022||Avalon Waterways||Ganges Voyager||Cochin||Kathmandu||21||$9,933|
|Feb 22, 2022||Avalon Waterways||Ganges Voyager||Cochin||Kolkata||18||$8,554|
|Feb 27, 2022||Avalon Waterways||Ganges Voyager||New Delhi||Kolkata||13||$6,019|
|Feb 27, 2022||Avalon Waterways||Ganges Voyager||New Delhi||Kathmandu||16||$7,402|
|Mar 05, 2022||Avalon Waterways||Ganges Voyager||Kolkata||Kolkata||7||$3,859|
|Sep 11, 2022||Avalon Waterways||Ganges Voyager||Cochin||Kathmandu||21||$9,003|
|Sep 11, 2022||Avalon Waterways||Ganges Voyager||Cochin||Kolkata||18||$7,624|
India Travel Guide
India River Cruises Highlights
- See the legendary Taj Mahal at sunrise on longer tours.
- Visit New Delhi and travel by rickshaw through the city's Chandni Chowk bazaar.
- Visit the world's largest minaret monument, the Qutub Minar in New Delhi.
- See the Palace of the Winds in Jaipur
- Journey to Kolkata, the former home city of Mother Teresa.
- Witness the making of sweets in Matiari
- Take a tour of the Hare Krishna headquarters in Kolkata
- Observe Muslim weaving in Kalna
- Enjoy delectable and complimentary onboard cuisine, including all meals—breakfast, lunch, and dinner—each day of your journey
India River Cruises Travel Tips
- Most India river cruises take place from October to March. Try to avoid river cruising during December and early January, as smog can be a problem. According to river cruise professionals, February is one of the best months to travel down the Ganges, as the temperatures range between the mid-60s and low-70s on the Fahrenheit scale.
- The standard India river cruise runs 7 days and is a round-trip journey, which covers smaller ports.
- Make an appointment with a doctor to check if you need vaccinations for Hepatitis A and B and typhoid. You may also need to get a prescription for malarial drugs, as mosquitoes, in India, are prevalent along the river. Xifaxan is the preferred medication for alleviating stomach distress.
- Getting money in India can be tricky, as you won't find many ATM machines. Either bring money with you for exchange or use the ATM at the airport.
- Most of the river cruise companies that feature India river cruises do not include tips in the river cruise price.
- Wear closed-toed footwear, as you will be traveling through villages, where the terrain is not always even or free of debris.
- Remember – you normally will have to remove your shoes when visiting a temple. Sometimes you will have to remove your socks as well.
India River Cruises Things To Do
- New Delhi
River cruise lines with longer river cruise itineraries normally start in New Delhi. While some people think New Delhi and Delhi are the same places, they are wrong. New Delhi is the capital of India while Delhi describes the surrounding area. Indeed, a visit to New Deli gives you a seamless blend of the ancient and the new, with temples, landmarks, and palaces providing revelations about the city's culture and past.
You Should KnowThe Mughal landmark, the Qutub Minar, is the world's tallest brick structure at 73 meters or 240 feet tall. With respect to population, New Delhi is only second in size to the world's most populated city, Tokyo. The city regularly experiences earthquakes and tremors. On average, about one-third of the quakes will rank higher than 2.5 on the Richter scale. The city features the Lotus Temple – the only one of its kind representing the Bhai faith. However, people of all faiths can visit the temple.
- Agra and the Taj Mahal
Known as the home for the Taj Mahal, Agra, India lies south of the India capital of New Deli. The 17th century Taj Mahal was named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1983 and is frequently regarded as the best example of Mughal architectural design.
Best Time To VisitTo avoid crowds and enjoy better temperatures, it is best to see the attraction in February.
You Should KnowThe Mughal ruler, Shah Jahan, built the Taj Mahal in memory of his beloved third wife, Mumtaz Mahal in the mid-1600s. In the Arabic language, the Taj Mahal means "crown of palaces."The Taj Mahal is considered a treasure of Islamic artistic design, although India is primarily Hindu.
The capital of Rajasthan state, Jaipur still evokes a royal feel with its Pink City, which references Jaipur's palace complex – a pink colonnaded structure that features courtyards, gardens, and museums. Part of the building is still used as a royal residence.
Best Time To VisitSchedule a trip to Jaipur in February when the temperatures and weather are milder.
You Should KnowUnder the reign of Sawai Ram Singh, Jaipur gained its reputation as the "Pink City." The ruler ordered Jaipur to be painted pink to welcome Edward, Prince of Wales. The color is still preserved today, giving the city its pink claim to fame. Built by Maharaja Sawai Singh, Hawa Mahal allowed royal ladies to watch daily life in the street below without being seen.
Originally known as Calcutta, Kolkata was considered the epicenter of the British Empire for hundreds of years. Today, the visages of Kolkata's colonial past are seen in the city's buildings and the massive Victoria Memorial Hall, which features a garden and museum. However, the city also has its slums – places where Mother Teresa ministered to the poor. When stopping here, a must-see attraction is Mother Teresa's former home.
Best Time To VisitVisit Kolkata in February when the smog subsides and you can see more of the sights.
You Should KnowThe Hare Krishna headquarters is based in Kolkata. Some river cruise operators feature a guided tour of the facility. Chess is a favorite game in Kolkata. In fact, it is so famous that people play the game in the middle of Gariahat Road. After work, chess enthusiasts visit the place to take their turn at playing the game.
Ambika Kalna, referred to simply as Kalna, was named for Ma Ambika, a deity. It is mainly known for its temples with terra cotta designs, which were built during the late 1700s by Maharajas of Bardhaman. While the city no longer flourishes as it once did, the temples still remind visitors of Kalna's rich history and thriving past.
Best Time To VisitMark February on your calendar as the best time to see Kalna.
You Should KnowThe only way to get around in town, besides walking, is by toto (a three-wheeler battery-operated vehicle) or by rickshaws. The fares are not fixed, so you need to know how to barter. The Rajbari temple complex highlights two of the 25 Kalna pinnacled temples. Nicely laid out, the complex boasts crisscrossing walking paths and nicely maintained lawns with beds of flowers and manicured hedges. One of the best examples of Kalna's terracotta temples is the Pratapeswar Temple, which can be found at the Rajbari Complex's west entry. The 1849-built religious structure displays a facade of terracotta embellishments. A side trip to see Muslim weaving in Kalna is featured on some India river cruise itineraries.
The town of Matiari sits along the Hooghly River, which is a branch of the Ganges River. Kolkata craftspeople, who specialized in brass-work, founded Matiari about a century ago. Local vendors display metal souvenirs, such as copper and brass bangles, and statues depicting Hindu gods.
Best Time To VisitVisit Matiari in February, when the weather is milder and clearer.
You Should KnowThe city is referred to as the "Brass Working Village" by residents. When it first was settled, the village's elders applied their brass-making craft, learned in Calcutta factories, to support their families. If you love history, add the Krishna Rai Jeu Temple to your trip's itinerary. The religious building sits a small distance from the center of town.
Located in West Bengal, Murshidabad district and town lies on the Ganges River's left bank. Famous for producing silk, Murshidabad was made the Bengal capital in 1717 until the British shifted the location to the city of Calcutta (now Kolkata) in 1773.
Best Time To VisitVisit Murshidabad in February when the area has not yet been hit with increased humidity. Temperatures normally range from 68 degrees to 72 degrees Fahrenheit.
You Should KnowSome river cruise-goers opt to visit the Katra Mosque by horse-drawn cart. The mosque was built in 1724 by local Muslim rulers. The Hazarduari Palace, built in the 1800s, features 1,000 doors, most of which are fake. Tuk-tuk rides can be taken to the center of Murshidabad to shop for textiles.
Varanasi sits next to the Ganges city and is often featured on India river cruises because of its religious significance. The Hindu people believe that if they die in this holy city that they will instantly receive enlightenment.
Best Time To VisitThe best time to see Varanasi is during February when the temperature and level of humidity is comfortable.
You Should KnowHindu pilgrims bathe in the sacred waters of the Ganges at the site as well as perform last rites. The city features 2,000+ temples, including the famed Golden Temple, which has been dedicated to the Hindu deity, Shiva.
India River Cruises When To Visit
Most of the river cruise operators offer trips along the Ganges River and tours from October to March. However, do not wait until March to travel, even if you can get a discount. At that time, the humidity and temperatures climb, making it difficult to enjoy yourself while visiting villages or temples. If you plan a visit to the sights and attractions along the Ganges or planned side trips, you should set your sights on traveling in the month of February. At this time, most days are free of smog and the high temperatures range around 72 degrees Fahrenheit. Should you wish to get better river cruise deals, price-wise, you might opt for taking a trip in October or November, although February, again, is a better time to go weather-wise. Don't plan river cruise travel during December or up to mid-January, as you are likely to get hit with smog.
India River Cruises Frequently Asked Questions
Tour operators normally offer India river cruises along the lower Ganges River in 7-day and 14-day trips. If you opt for a longer trip, some of the cities you visit will not be located along the Ganges River, but are important, if not, major attractions. These cities include New Delhi (India's capital); Agra (home of the Taj Mahal); and Jaipur. These trips then continue along the Ganges, or toward destinations, which usually are the starting points for the 7-day trips. Some of the river cruise ports include Kolkata (formerly Calcutta), Kalna, and Varanasi. People who take the 7-day journeys usually start in Kolkata and make a return trip back.
Typically, top India river cruises highlight itineraries that immerse travelers in the culture of local life and in a country's history. Guided tours are included as well as activities that feature local craft-making or weaving. You get Wi-Fi access during your journey on board the ship as well as free meals and snacks, including your choice of complimentary beverages.
The best river cruise for you will be defined by your personal interests and the time you can spend traveling. One of the premier river cruise providers that feature shorter and longer India river cruises is Avalon Waterways. Avalon features most, if not all, of the above-described destinations in its river cruise offerings.
Naturally, how much you spend on one of the India river cruises featured online will depend on when you plan to travel. On average, expect to spend $3,500 (if you apply discounts) to $4,500 per person.
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