Maharaja Express (Gems of India) with MVM Cruise

12 NIGHTS | 13 DAYS

Region, State: Delhi, Agra, Ranthambore, Jaipur, Delhi, Jorhat, Brahmaputra Cruise

Itinerary at a Glance:

Day Activities Activities
Day 1 Tuesday, February 19, 2019 Arrive Delhi
Day 2 Wednesday, February 20, 2019 Delhi – Board Maharaja Express
Day 3 Thursday, February 21, 2019 Maharaja Express – Agra
Day 4 Friday, February 22, 2019 Maharaja Express – Ranthambore & Jaipur
Day 5 Saturday, February 23, 2019 Maharaja Express – Delhi & de-board
Day 6 Sunday, February 24, 2019 Delhi – Jorhat & board MV Mahabaahu Cruise
Day 7 Monday, February 25, 2019 MV Mahabaahu Cruise
Day 8 Tuesday, February 26, 2019 MV Mahabaahu Cruise
Day 9 Wednesday, February 27, 2019 MV Mahabaahu Cruise
Day 10 Thursday, February 28, 2019 MV Mahabaahu Cruise
Day 11 Friday, March 01, 2019 MV Mahabaahu Cruise
Day 12 Saturday, March 02, 2019 MV Mahabaahu Cruise
Day 13 Sunday, March 03, 2019 MV Mahabaahu Cruise – Guwahati – Kolkata - Departure

DETAILED ITINERARY

Day 1: Tuesday: Arrive Delhi

You arrive at Delhi airport. After clearing India Immigration and Customs, you step into the receiving area where you will be met by our representative.

Overnight at hotel Shangri-La Hotel (D)

Day 2: Wednesday: Delhi – board Maharaja Express

Morning breakfast at hotel. Morning is free at leisure.

Later check out at hotel and transfer to Safdarjung railway station. You will get to enjoy a traditional welcome and welcome drink. Enjoy dinner onboard on Maharaja Express. The Maharajas' Express proceeds for the alluring city of Agra. Guests spend overnight on the palatial train

Overnight on-board Maharaja Express (B, D)

Day 3: Thursday: Maharaja Express - Agra

The second day of the Gems of India tour begins at Agra where guests visit the Taj Mahal, the famous epitaph of Mughal Queen, Mumtaz Mahal; an architectural marvel and an eternal symbol of love. Visit to Taj Mahal is followed by a sumptuous Champagne breakfast a top Taj Khema.

Later return back to the comfort of Maharaja Express. Post-on-board Lunch proceeds to visit Agra Fort. The evening is free to relax on-board or you can choose from the optional activities available. Enjoy dinner on-board.

Overnight on-board Maharaja Express (B, L, D)

Day 4: Friday: Maharaja Express – Ranthambore & Jaipur

Early morning Maharaja Express reaches Ranthambore and proceed for an exciting Game Drive at Ranthambore National Park, where they can spot the elusive tiger crouching amidst the sprawling greenery.

After an adventurous odyssey return to Maharaja Express and treat yourself with a wholesome breakfast. Lunch will also be served on-board, as Maharaja Express leaves for Pink City, Jaipur. Reach Jaipur and proceed to visit Amber Fort. With Gems of India tour you can soak in the brilliance of the archaic era as guests can proceed to City Palace/Jai Mahal Palace for an exclusive Elephant Activity, where guests may choose to indulge to paint them, feed them or take the royal ride followed by an enchanting dance performance and dinner.          

Overnight on-board Maharaja Express (B, L, D)

Day 5: Saturday: Maharaja Express – Delhi & de-board

Morning enjoy breakfast & lunch on-board as trains continues to Delhi. Reach Delhi and de-board. Later transfer to your hotel. Rest of the day is free at leisure.

Overnight at the hotel (B, L)

Day 6: Sunday: Delhi – Jorhat & board MV Mahabaahu Cruise

Delhi to Jorhat by flight: 9W 956 at 1105/1350 Hrs.

After breakfast, check-out from the hotel and transfer to airport to connect with flight to Jorhat. On arrival at the Jorhat Airport, you will be met in the receiving area. Drive to Neamati Ghat to board the MV Mahabaahu.

We gather for introductions, safety briefing and are ushered to the cabins. All gather on the open deck to enjoy the first sail and scan the river for a fleeting sight of the Gangetic Dolphins.

The evening starts with a talk and orientation on ‘Majuli, the seat of Vaishnavism in Assam’. 
Soon the MV Mahabaahu drops anchor, and we proceed for ‘Welcome Dinner’.

Overnight on-board on MV Mahabaahu (B, L, D)

Day 7: Monday: MV Mahabaahu Cruise – visit Majuli

Start the day with Yog and enjoy an early breakfast as we sail towards Majuli Island, which is one of the largest river island systems of the world.

After breakfast we take a short boat ride to the mainland where a drive takes us to a scenic corner of ‘Garamur Satra’ for an interesting cultural performance by Satriya singers and dancers.

Move to ‘Kamlabari Satra’ to witness another performance by the Vaishnavite priests in the temple premise. Walk through the humble dwellings of the monks and talk about their daily chores and this is an insight into their chosen path.

Enjoy an early lunch as we sail and then after a detailed talk and orientation on ‘Sibsagar and the Ahom Civilization’ we embark on an excursion to Sibsagar, the ancient city of the Ahom Kings; a town that literally means 'the ocean of Lord Shiva’.

We visit the Talatal or Karen Ghar which was the Palace of the Ahom Kings and after a leisurely stroll in and around the monument, we go on to Rang Ghar which was a place for entertainment for the Royals and their guests. Proceed to Sibsagar town where on its banks are located some of the famous temples of Sibsagar. The Shiva Dol, constructed in the year 1734 is believed to be the highest Shiva temple in India.

By late evening, we return to MV Mahabaahu and proceed on to the dinner.

Overnight on-board on MV Mahabaahu (B, L, D)

Day 8: Tuesday: MV Mahabaahu Cruise - Tea estate home-hosted lunch/Sail

Early birds can start the day with Yog on an island/or a jog/or a walk with the naturalist and then join others for breakfast.

After breakfast, enjoy a talk on ‘Silk in Assam’ and an orientation of the tea-estate visit. We move on to the tea estate for a nice leisurely Assamese theme lunch. A talk by professionals on tea and tea-tasting too is on the agenda.

We drive back to the MV Mahabaahu by late afternoon to enjoy a relaxed sunset as we sail out to a deserted island.  In the evening, we enjoy a talk on ‘Assam, its geographical location and importance’.

Overnight on-board on MV Mahabaahu (B, L, D)

Day 9: Wednesday: MV Mahabaahu Cruise - Mishing Village Visit/ Sail to Dhansiri for Boat Safari

Yoga enthusiasts enjoy an early morning Yogic walk and a Yoga session as others enjoy a walk with the naturalist, the MV Mahabaahu sails onwards to a Mishing Village.  After breakfast we gather for a short orientation on ‘The Mishing tribals’ and then leave in our tenders for the visit.

Generally the Mishing live on the bank of the River. They live in Chang ghar, a house with a raised platform.  Almost all Mishing women are expert weavers. After climbing up to the house platform and exploring Mishing homes, purchasing some of their weavings and fresh vegetables and more, we return to the comfort of the M.V. Mahabaahu for lunch and to set sail. (Carrying cash would be a good idea)

Embark on a boat safari adventure after lunch to the Eastern Range of the Kaziranga National Park at the point where the two waters of the Dhansiri River and the Brahmaputra River meet

We return to the MV Mahabaahu and enjoy a cooking demonstration by the Chef with freshly cooked Indian snacks and Assamese tea or coffee.

Overnight on-board on MV Mahabaahu (B, L, D)

Day 10: Thursday: MV Mahabaahu Cruise - Bishwanath Ghat for traditional weavers/ Tea factory and/or Jute factory visit

As we indulge in Yog the MV Mahabaahu sails towards Bishwanath Ghat; also called "Gupta Kashi”

We enjoy breakfast and gather for a talk on ‘Tea & Jute in Assam’ and a short orientation on Bishwanath Ghat. We take the tenders to visit this charming village. Visit the Shiva temple in reverence of Lord Shiva and there is no way that we can escape the women with their weaves and enjoy an excellent bargaining hour for the home-spun weaves. (We carry cash to the village to buy silk and cotton weaves by the villagers to encourage local craft).

We sail on for the next couple of hours and enjoy lunch. After lunch we get together for a talk on ‘Kaziranga and the wild life in India’.

We take a short drive to the tea estate and enjoy a nature walk to this verdant undulating tea garden that straddles on the bank of the river Brahmaputra. Witness the ‘bagania’ women plucking the tea leaves and to finally see the process of producing Assam Tea and coming to terms with ‘all that goes into preparing a cup of tea’.

(The tea factory is operational from mid-March to mid-December) We visit the Jute mill from mid-December to mid-March.

The Jute mill is the bread and butter of 600 local workers and runs in three shifts; one can see the complete process of producing gunny bags from the Jute fibre.

By sunset, we are ready to drive back to MV Mahabaahu to enjoy a cultural evening followed by dinner.

Overnight on-board on MV Mahabaahu (B, L, D)

Day 11: Friday: MV Mahabaahu Cruise - Kaziranga National Park / Sail

After breakfast, drive on to Bagori, the Western Range of Kaziranga National Park and get into open jeeps. The most prized inhabitant of Kaziranga is the Greater One-Horned Indian Rhinoceros, but the Park is home to as many as 180 different mammals including wild elephants, tiger, deer, Asiatic wild buffalo and a rich variety of birds.

Return to the ship for early lunch and take time off to catch up on the lost sleep for a couple of hours as MV Mahabaahu sails towards Guwahati.

Overnight on-board on MV Mahabaahu (B, L, D)

Day 12: Saturday: MV Mahabaahu Cruise - Full day sail dotted with a village visit

A full day of cruising today, passing by inhabited islands that may or may not survive the flood season.

Activities onboard include a talk this morning on ‘The Brahmaputra River and the life that exists alongside’ and scanning the River for a fleeting sight of the Gangetic Dolphins, bird watching from the deck or enjoying the spa.  We look out for an interesting village and spend an hour on this village excursion.

This evening, we enjoy a talk on ‘Kamakhya and the Occult in Assam’ together with a short orientation on the visit to the Peacock Island.

Tonight, anchor at an island and enjoy a Farewell Dinner where a toast is made to Devi Kamakhya for the journey safely completed and the one ahead.

Overnight on-board on MV Mahabaahu (B, L, D)

Day 13: Sunday: MV Mahabaahu Cruise – Guwahati – Kolkata – Departure

Guwahati to Kolkata by flight: 9W 853 at 1600/1725 Hrs.

This morning we de-board for a short visit to the picturesque Peacock Island that is famous for the highly endangered Golden Langur and is the smallest island in the Brahmaputra. The island is also famous for Umananda temple and attracts a large number of devotees on Shivaratri. Close at hand is the light tower on a beautiful rocky outcrop from colonial times.

After breakfast, disembark from the M.V. Mahabaahu and move on to Kamakhya Temple. This Temple is devoted to the eternal feminine; the goddess of desire whose name is Kama Khya, granter of desires.
Thereafter, transfer to the Guwahati airport to board flight to Kolkata to connect your international flight.

(B)

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