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Price Guide
15 Nights - £4,295pp

Flight Inclusive Price from the UK

Tour Info
  • International Flights from the UK
  • 7 night Lower Ganges River Cruise
  • 3 nights Calcutta
  • 5 nights Bhutan Tour
  • Most meals
  • Shore Excursions

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Pandaw Club Member Packages

Ganges Cruise & Bhutan - Pandaw

25980
25981
25982
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25984
 

Enjoy a luxury river cruise on the Lower Ganges in India aboard the boutique river cruises RV Pandaw Orient before heading to the Himalayas to discover the mountain kingdom of Bhutan.

Embarking from Calcutta, begin a journey along the lower reaches of one of the world's great rivers. There can be no river in the world as sacred as the Ganges and an expedition on the Lower Ganges or Hooghly is one of the prettiest river journeys imaginable.

The river wends its way through the lush countryside of West Bengal with its culturally significant towns crammed with temples and palaces.

Your cruise vessel for this remarkable journey will be the RV Pandaw, a boutique river cruiser built in 2012, with 30 staterooms on two decks, all with private veranda space.

After your cruise fly to Bhutan for a 5-night tour of Bhutan, one of the least visited countries in the world. See the highlights of this mysterious mountain kingdom including the finest monasteries and cultural highlights.

All of our India & Bhutan holidays are totally tailor made around the cruise itinerary and can be tailored to your interests, with pre and post cruise accommodation, touring or other extensions added to your requirements.

At a Glance

  • International flights from the UK
  • All domestic flights
  • All taxes
  • 7 night Lower Ganges River Cruise
  • 2 nights Calcutta
  • 5 nights Bhutan
  • Shore excursions

Day 1: Depart the UK

Fly from UK to Calcutta.

Day 2: Calcutta

On arrival you will be met and transferred to your chosen hotel with the rest of the day at leisure.

Overnight Calcutta. Breakfast included.

Day 3: Calcutta

Enjoy a full day tour of Calcutta.

In the morning, join the Heritage Tram Ride across the Old Town to witness the bygone era of charming Bengali colonies, chic cafes and traditional houses.

Visit the sacred Hooghly Riverside to see Howrah Bridge, 1906 Howrah Junction Railway Station, St John's Church, the Old Court House and the Colonial Secretariat Buildings.

The next stop is the riverside located Mullik Ghat to explore some of India’s most colourful Flower Bazaar Markets.

Continue to the Victoria Memorial, a landmark of Calcutta and now serving as a royal museum of British Rule in India. From here, visit the iconic Eden Garden Cricket Stadium.

Visit Mother Teresa’s Mission and House and afterwards discover the curious lanes of Kumartuli. The tour ends at Calcutta's New Market area to enjoy some street shopping and bargaining with the locals.

Overnight Calcutta. Breakfast included.

Day 4: Calcutta - Barrackpore

Transfer from your hotel to embark and sail at noon. Sail past the old Danish colony of Serampore to Barrackpore to land and take a walk through the cantonment – past the Semaphore Tower, Government House, the Temple of Fame and Flagstaff House.

Overnight On Board. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner included.

Day 5: Chandernagore

Sail up to Chandernagore, a French possession until 1950.

Visit the 18th century church and Dupleix’s House, the erstwhile Governor-General of French India.

Sail upstream past the old Dutch settlement of Chinsura before landing to visit the imposing Imambara at Hooghly.

With verses from the Koran written on its walls, the Imambara is an opportunity to step back in time and relive a slice of Islamic history in Bengal. Sail into the night to a mooring near Kalna.

Overnight on board. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner included.

Day 6: Kalna

Sail upstream and, after breakfast, land at the country town of Kalna and take cycle rickshaws to see a group of some of Bengal’s most attractive terracotta temples, as well as the unique Shiva temple with concentric rings made up of 108 lesser shrines.

Continue on through the countryside to Mayapur to visit the vast new ISKCON (International Society for Krishna Consciousness) temple which dominates the skyline.

As the headquarters of ISKCON or the Hare Krishna movement, the temple receives over a million singing and dancing devotees a year from around the world. Sail on through the night to a mooring near Matiari.

Overnight on board. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner included.

Day 7: Matiari

This morning visit the brass-working village of Matiari, a charming riverside village.

Interact with the locals and witness the whole process of beating out brass water pots and other vessels.

Later, cruise on and visit the battlefield of Plassey where, in 1757, Robert Clive, the Commander-in-Chief of British India, defeated Siraj-ud-Daulah, the last independent Nawab of Bengal, to change the course of Indian history. Moor close to Murshidabad for the night.

Overnight on board. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner included.

Day 8: Murshidabad

This morning, walk to the Khushbagh, a peaceful Mughal-style garden that encloses the tombs of Siraj-ud-Daulah – the last independent Nawab of Bengal – and his family.

Continue a little way upstream to where the great Hazarduari Palace dominates the waterfront. Built by an English architect in 1837, the palace hosts an extensive collection of pictures, china, weapons and other objects.

Carry on to visit the great Katra Mosque and Nashipara Palace before driving out to see the Katgola Palace.

Built in classical Georgian style by rich local merchants, Katgola Palace represents the other side of the coin of the 'White Mughal' period when English and Indian cultures came close to fusion. Moor overnight on the riverbank across from town.

Overnight on board. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner included.

Day 9: Baranagar

This morning, walk through the fields of the delightfully sleepy village of Baranagar to visit its three gorgeous miniature terracotta temples.

This is rural India at its most idyllic. Continue up the lower Ganges (or the Hooghly), which transforms into a charming waterway twisting and turning between banks lined with mustard fields and mango orchards.

Carry on up a long canal section to a mooring close to the Farakka Barrage.

Overnight on board. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner included.

Day 10: Gaur

During breakfast, cruise to a mooring by the Farakka lock. Disembark and go on a full-day excursion by road to Gaur, near the town of Malda, or English Bazar.

This quiet, deserted place was once one of India’s great cities, first under the Hindus in 12th century, then as the Muslim capital of Eastern India from the 14th to the 16th century.

There are plentiful remains of mosques, palaces and gateways and you visit a number of the most interesting before rejoining the ship in the evening above the Farakka lock gate to continue your cruise upstream.

Overnight on board. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner included.

Day 11: Farakka - Calcutta

Disembark the RV Orient and transfer back to Calcutta by train (about 4 hours). Transfer to your chosen hotel.

Overnight Calcutta. Breakfast included.

Day 12: Paro - Thimphu

Transfer to the airport for your flight to Paro, Bhutan.

On arrival in Paro you will be met and transferred to Thimphu (about one hour).

Visit Tashichho Dzong, Bhutan's most impressive building, traditionally the seat of the head of Bhutan's government. The current Dzong is the impressive result of a redesign of the original medieval structure.

Overnight Thimphu. Breakfast & Lunch included.

Day 13: Thimphu

After breakfast visit the Memorial Chorten, also known as the Thimphu Chorten, a large Tibetan-style Buddhist Monastery with golden spires and bells.

Continue to the Folk Heritage Museum, offerring a glimpse into the traditional Bhutanese material culture and way of life.

Visit the National Institute of Zorig Chusum and learn about handmade paper production.

Visit the Bhutan Postal Museum which tells the story of Bhutan’s progress and development through the lens of the postal system.

Overnight Thimphu. Breakfast included.

Day 14: Thimphu - Punakha

After breakfast, take the Dochula pass, located 30 km from the capital, on the way to Punakha which offers a 360-degree panoramic view of the Himalayas.

The 108 chortens that adorn the beauty of this place were built by Queen Mother of Bhutan. The pass is also a popular spiritual place.

Visit Chimi Lhakhang, located near Lobesa, standing on a round hillock and flanked by hundreds of prayer flags.

Continue to Drukpa Kinley, also a cultural icon in Bhutan around whom countless yarns, fictions, stories and legends have been spun.

Overnight Punakha. Breakfast included.

Day 15: Punakha - Paro

After breakfast, visit Punakha Dzong, the second oldest and second largest dzong in Bhutan and one of its most majestic structures.

Drive to Paro then and visit the National Museum and Paro Dzong.

The National Museum of Bhutan is housed inside the revamped circular Ta-dzong building, an ancient watchtower above the Paro Dzong and houses some of the finest specimens of Bhutanese art.

Visit Paro Dzong, one of the most impressive and well-known dzongs in Bhutan and one of the finest examples of Bhutanese architecture.

Overnight Paro. Breakfast included.

Day 16: Paro Taktsang Soft Hike

Drive to Satsam Chorten for a soft hike to Taktsang Monastery (Tiger’s Nest).

The monastery is perched on a rocky ledge with a sheer drop of nearly 800m, overlooking the Paro Valley and the river.

The hike takes about 4 hours back and forth. Once you reach the view point of the monastery you have the option to visit the monastery which takes another hour on foot.

The first monastery was constructed 1694, but in 1998 a tragic fire destroyed most of the original buildings - which have since been painstakingly restored to their former glory.

Later visit Kyichu Lhakhang, a Buddhist temple in Paro, one of the oldest monasteries in the country.

Afterwards, visit a Farm House where your dinner will be arranged with a local family.

Overnight Paro. Breakfast & Dinner with a local family included.

Day 17: Paro - UK

After breakfast depart for the airport for your return flight back to the UK or your next destination.

Day 18: Arrive UK

Arrive back in the UK.

Life on Board Pandaw

Life on board a river cruise is quite different from ocean cruising. Things are very much more informal, with no ‘Captain’s Table' or dressing up for dinner.

Unlike ocean cruising, all excursions and most other things are included in the price, such as drinks and tips for the crew.

With one member of crew per two passengers, the service on board is incredibly high and very personal.

Things are very relaxed on board a Pandaw River Cruise - with no unnecessary and wearisome PA announcements and no disturbing TV’s from neighbouring cabins.

Cabins all open on to a social promenade deck, creating a very relaxed and social atmosphere on board.

One of the best things about a Pandaw River Cruise is the amount of space on board, which is said to be the highest per passenger of any ocean or river cruise vessel in the world.

Cabins don’t have minibars – instead there is a bar service on the sundeck from dawn until dusk.

All excursions are included but there is no compulsion to join in. A daily briefing updates guests on the cultural activities of the day ahead.

Pandaw Club Members

Cruised with Pandaw before?

Then make sure you sign up as a Pandaw Club Member with us to receive further discounts and benefits on your next Pandaw Cruise holiday with Jasmine Holidays.

Benefits include:

  • Exclusive Members Club Cruise Discount
  • Unlimited in-house wine package worth up to $220
  • Free Laundry Service worth $50
  • Pre-post Expedition Discount

Remember that we guarantee a better price than booking direct and your holiday can be completely tailor made and will always be ATOL Protected if your holiday is flight inclusive.

Exclusive Expeditions for Pandaw Club Members

Pandaw have recently introduced special departures exclusive for Pandaw Club Members.

These offer the opportunity to bring like minded people together and for old ship mates to travel together again.

Members only Expeditions are a great chance to relive old experiences and encounter new ones in a more exclusive atmosphere.

A handful of selected departures are available and offer a considerable discount on standard departures as well.

Ask us for details of upcoming departures.

Deluxe Hotel Calcutta:

Oberoi Grand Calcutta

Superior Hotel Thimpu:

Zhiwaling Ascent

Superior Hotel Punakha:

Dhumra Farm Resort

Superior Hotel Paro:

The Naksel

15 night Lower Ganges River Cruise & Bhutan:

  • Price from £4,295 pp (Aug - Sep)
  • Price from £4,545 pp (most other dates)

This is a guide price only, based on travel in low season.

Prices will vary according to choice of hotel and seasonal airfare and hotel surcharges. Please ask us for any current special offers.

Contact Us:

All of our India River Cruise Holidays are completely tailor made and we can put together any kind of India River Cruise itinerary to suit your interests and budget.

Call us now to speak to a India expert about your tailor made India River Cruise holiday.

Call us now on 0333 7000 747

Click to enquire by email

We're open from 9 until 9 daily and our 0333 number is a local rate number included in most call packages.