• Sold Out

Central India and Assam

Including a 7 day Brahmaputra River Cruise

For centuries people from many distant lands have wanted a piece of India and its treasures and strangely India has accepted these foreigners into the Indian way of life.

India is a country that weaves races, cultures and philosophies into a tapestry that becomes more intricate by the day.
Delhi, Agra and Jaipur are known as the jewels of India and we have added the Thar Desert – also known as the ‘Land of the Maharajas.’

This tour immerses you in North Rajasthan and Assam, the latter stretching out in the shadow of the Himalayas.

The seven-day cruise along the mighty Brahmaputra River allows us to experience this North-Eastern state of golden-green vistas of jigsaw like rice fields and manicured tea estates framed in the distance by the mountains that feed the Brahmaputra River.

The option to visit the mountain state of Bhutan is an added adventure.

Your travel itinerary

Wednesday 07 November

Auckland – Singapore

Depart Auckland on Singapore Airlines Flight. Overnight in Singapore

Thursday 08 November

Singapore - Delhi

Arrive in Delhi and transfer to your hotel with time to relax.

Delhi is a dynamic city of two parts where the past coexists with the present.  In 1911, the British decided to make it the capital of India and commissioned Sir Edwin Lutyens to draw up the plans.  The result is slightly surprising, with spacious tree-lined avenues punctuated with architecture that is amongst the most striking in the world.

Friday 09 November

Delhi

Breakfast iconBreakfast Lunch iconLunch Dinner iconDinner

This morning experience the combined charm of Old and New Delhi beginning with a drive past the Red Fort, Jama Masjid followed by a Rickshaw Ride through the bazaars of Chandni Chowk. Visit the Sikh temple Bangla Sahib.

 The place of ‘Sikh’ worship is open to people of all faiths, castes or creeds.  The ‘Langars’ or the community kitchens proves to be the ideal example of prodigious hospitality of the Sikhs where anyone and everyone can have scrumptious meal. 

Continue past the historical India Gate, the Presidents estate and the Parliament House and visit Gandi Smriti. Welcome Dinner tonight.

Saturday 10 November

Delhi – Jodhpur - Jamba

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A morning flight to the ‘Blue City’ of Jodhpur and the gateway to the desert.
On arrival, lunch is at the local restaurant. This afternoon drive to Jamba and the Dera Dunes Retreat – the world’s first resort on top of a high sand dune.

Sunday 11 November

Jamba

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This morning, ride in 4WD vehicles to visit Bishnoi Village. The Bishnoi tribe live a simple life and are the natural conservators of the region and the Demoiselle cranes that inhabit the region. We also visit the Raikas and carpet weavers.

Monday 12 November

Jamba – Jodhpur

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Drive to Jodhpur, arriving around lunch time. This afternoon visit the Meherangarh Fort and Jaswant Thada, a graceful marble cenotaph. 

Tuesday 13 November

Jodhpur - Jaipur

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Today’s drive journeys through Northern Rajasthan. On arrival in Jaiphur, time to relax at the hotel with dinner included.

Wednesday 14 November

Jaipur

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A full day sightseeing tour of Jaipur. After a photo stop at the Palace of the Winds (the Hawa Mahal), on to the immense Amber Fort – a palace complex built from pale yellow and pink sandstone and white marble. Time for a photo stop

Lunch is at a local restaurant before the afternoon tour that includes the City Palace – now museums with fine textiles, costumes, an armory, manuscripts and paintings.

Visit Jantar Mantar to see a collection of architectural astronomical instruments dating from 1734.

Thursday 15 November

Jaipur – Agra via Abhaneri

Breakfast iconBreakfast

An early start today for the drive to Abhaneri step wells (Chand Baori) – more than 1000 years old. Continue on to Agra with a break in the journey midway.

Arrive at the hotel with time to relax.

Friday 16 November

Agra

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Morning visit to the Mehtab Bagh, a garden built on the banks of the Yamuna River and an ideal place from which to view the Taj. Enjoy a home-hosted lunch with local families.

Later drive to the red sandstone Agra Fort, which stands like a crescent on the banks of the Yamuna River. Three successive Mughal emperors helped create the massive structure.
Evening at leisure to explore the city.

Saturday 17 November

Agra – Delhi

Breakfast iconBreakfast

This morning visit to the Taj Mahal - one of the wonders of the modern world, completed in 1652 as a mausoleum for the beloved queen Mumtaz Mahal. Return to the hotel before departing for Delhi. Check into hotel with the evening at leisure.

Sunday 18 November

Delhi – Jorhat

Breakfast iconBreakfast Dinner iconDinner

Transfer to the airport for your flight to Jorhat. On arrival, drive to Neamati Ghat to board the MV Mahabaahu in time for lunch and a seven night cruise.

This evening raise a traditional toast to the mighty Brahmaputra River that carves the valley of Assam.  This afternoon keep watch for a fleeting glimpse of the Gangetic dolphins, bar headed geese, egrets and cormorants returning to their abodes on deserted islands as the sun lowers itself in the western horizon.  Talk of ‘Sibsagar, the seat of Ahom Civilization’ that ruled the north eastern region of India for six centuries. Short talk of ‘Tea in Assam’ continues over High Tea.

Monday 19 November

Sibsagar

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A day-excursion to 13th century Sibsagar.
Drive to a tea estate for a relaxed afternoon for a traditional Assamese lunch with the tea-estate family who have been involved in the tea business for more than a century. 

Return to MV Mahabaahu by sunset.

Tuesday 20 November

Majuli Island Visit

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Begin the day with Yoga or a walk along the swamps to catch a sight of owls, eagles, adjutant storks, sea gulls, king fishers and swallows.

Enjoy a talk of ‘Majuli, the seat of Vaishnav culture’ later drive to ‘Satra’ (monastery) for a cultural performance by singers and dancers.

Sail towards the Mishing Village whose people live on the banks of the river in houses with raised platforms and are expert weavers.  Opportunity to buy ethnic colourful cotton weaves and indulge in a dhoti tying and a Mekhela Chaadar wearing demonstration.

Evening under the stars on a deserted island for dinner.

Wednesday 21 November

Boat Safari

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Thursday 22 November

On Board

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A talk on ‘Kaziranga and the wild life in India, then go ashore to the Bishwanath Ghat and walk through the village to see how this suburban village thrives.

An afternoon drive to the Kalibore tea estate and the tea factory to see the process of finally producing Assam Tea.  Then visit a jute mill
At sunset, we enjoy a cultural evening on board.

Friday 23 November

On Board

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An early morning drive to the Kaziranga National Park - home to the Greater One horned Indian Rhinoceros, wild elephants, tiger, deer, Asiatic wild buffalo and a rich variety of birds.

After breakfast drive to Bagori, the Western Range of Kaziranga for an open jeep wild life adventure.

Return to our boat for a leisurely lunch.  This evening a traditional Assamese theme dinner.

Saturday 24 November

On Board

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This morning visit an island that is occupied predominantly by a bangla- speaking Muslim community involved in extensive farming. 

Later sail towards Pandu Port and anchor at a jetty before dinner ‘Alvida Bhoj’.

Sunday 25 November

Guwahati – Kolkata

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Disembark and drive to the Kamakhya Temple, devoted to the eternal feminine, Kama Khya before a transfer to the airport for your flight to Kolkata.

Check into your hotel with the rest of the day at leisure.

Kolkata mainly gained importance in the times of British rule as it had been the capital of India till the year 1912.  At present, it is the capital of West Bengal and is one of the most important places of cultural workshop and industrial centre.

Monday 26 November

Kolkata

Breakfast iconBreakfast

Visit Colonial Kolkata and Mother Theresa’s House called ‘Nirmal Hriday’ and Shishu Bhawan. Mother Teresa’s great work caring for abandoned children is carried out at this centre. Visit the Newmarket area to familiarize and continue shopping or relax.

Farewell Dinner tonight.

Tuesday 27 November

Kolkata

Breakfast iconBreakfast Dinner iconDinner

After breakfast, visit to the flower market – Eastern India’s largest flower market with hundreds of stalls where 2,000 flower growers from the surrounding areas sell their flowers and garlands.

Afterwards visit the Victoria Memorial.  This marble white monument is one of the most fascinating landmarks of Kolkata and the Jain Temple.

Transfer to the airport for a late evening flight

Wednesday 28 November

Kolkata - Singapore

Breakfast iconBreakfast

Change planes and continue on to Auckland, arriving midnight.

Thursday 29 November

Thursday 29

Optional Extension

Bhutan Five Night extenstion

28 November - 04 December 2018

The Kingdom of Bhutan is a country of dramatic landscapes - sub-tropical plains to steep mountains and valleys with a balance between contemporary and medieval.
Monks transcribe ancient Buddhist text onto laptops, traditionally-dressed archers use alloy-steel bows and arrows. Its far-sighted leaders maintain Bhutan’s pristine,
mountainous environment and unique culture.

Optional Extension

Varanasi- three night optional extension

Varanasi is a medley of contrasts, colour, ceremony, cremations - even cows and the odd game of cricket. Visitors are drawn into the mystique and fascination of this spiritual capital of India where both life and death
are celebrated alongside one another. Activity centres on the Ganges River – a mass of sacred waters and funeral rites, swimmers and a richness of activity and colour that will leave an indelible mark.

Inclusions

  • Return economy airfares Auckland / Singapore - Delhi // Kolkata – Singapore – Auckland
  • Domestic air flights Jodhpur – Delhi / Guwahati - Kolkata
  • Travel in air conditioned coaches
  • Accommodation in 4 star hotels with private facilities
  • Breakfasts daily, lunches and dinners as specified
  • Entrance fees at monuments outlined in the itinerary
  • Shared boat ride on Lake Pichola
  • Jeep safari
  • Seven day river boat cruise with included meals
  • Excursions off the boat
  • One home-hosted meal
  • Two bottles of mineral water per person, per day
  • Government Service Tax @ 4.5%
  • English speaking guide for the 10 days prior to the cruise
  • Services of English speaking naturalist / destination manager during all the included boat excursions
  • Pukekohe Travel tour escort (subject to 15 people travelling)

Cost

Cost Per Person *
Auckland - Auckland
Twin ShareSingle Supplement
 Suite (1 only)    $11,489  N/A 
 Superior Cabin - Deck One      

With Balcony (86 sqm)

 $10,539    + $4,987
 Superior Cabin – Deck Two              (32 sqm)   $9,997                         +4,639
 Land Only - Deduct $1,700   

Business Class Upgrade

(Singapore Airlines flights only)

+$4,000

Premium Economy Class Upgrade

Singapore Airlines flights only)

+$1,900
Early Booking Discount ( 30/04/2018 ) $150
Previous International Pukekohe Travel Tour Discount $100

*This is a cash or cheque price. Credit cards will incur a 2% fee
*Itinerary and costs subject to change, airline and fuel charges and currency fluctuations prior to final payment

Exclusions

  •  Airport and security taxes (approx. $142 per person)
  •  Items of a personal nature
  •  Camera / video fees at monuments
  •  Indian visa (approx. NZD115 per person) - NZ Passport holders. All other passport holders please ask
  •  Travel Insurance (Please ask us for a quote)
  •  Gratuities and tips

Booking Conditions

  • A non-refundable deposit of $1000 per person will secure a place on the tour 
  • Full payment due no later than 17 August 2018

Cancellations

  • From the date of booking until 17 August 2018 – loss of deposit
  • After 17 August 2018 – no refund

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance is essential. Please feel free to contact us for a quote.

General Information

Temperatures ˚c Max       Min                                                                                                                                                 
Delhi 31 18
Jorhat 11 -07
Agra 31 16
Gulwhati 28     16
Jodhpur 28 13
Kolkata 29  18
Bhutan 01    -06

Clothing

Comfortable clothes are the order of the day – the laundry service in the hotels is inexpensive and efficient. Hats, sunglasses and comfortable sandals are a must.  A scarf or pareu is handy for temples etc or for sun protection. A small umbrella is great for rain showers or sunshade. Photographic opportunities are plentiful – respect the local people and ask before taking photos.

Currency / Money

  •  Cash is king in India. Take USD, Euro or Pounds Sterling to change into Rupees
    ATMs are available in the cities and it is advisable to use ones located inside a bank – this can be time-consuming!
  • Credit Cards, Visa and Mastercard are accepted in all the hotels we will be staying in and larger more up-market restaurants and shops

Health and Fitness

  •  There are no obligatory inoculations required
  •  The tour stays in 4 Star hotels and included meals will be at recommended restaurants which will minimise health risks
  • Hepatitis should not be an issue but precautionary measures are you choice
  • Update your tetanus and polio
  • Assam is a Malaria-risk area. A good Deet insect repellent is recommended and long sleeved trousers and shirts early morning and evening are advised Malaria prevention varies considerably. Check with your medical professional
  • • The streets of India are busy and pavements crowded and rough. A good standard of health and mobility are required with the ability to climb steps and walk up hills

Ship Information

The Brahmaputra River – 2900km long - one of the major rivers in Asia – flows through Tibet, the Himalayas, India (the Assam Valley), Bangladesh into the Bay of Bengal - possibly one of the
holiest rivers of the World! - the only river in the world considered holy by Hindus, Buddhists, Jains and Bonpas, amounting to four religions!

Assam - a rich, green land of rolling hills, plains and dense forests, is the gateway to north-east India. The mighty Brahmaputra River that has its origin near Lake Mansarovar and Mount Kailash, charts its course through Tibet, Assam and Bangladesh. Assam, the mystic land of blue hills and beautiful rivers, is renowned for its tea, rich flora and fauna. 70% of the population are involved in agriculture.

MV Mahabaahu Facts
Year Built 2011
Length 55m
Speed 12 knots / 22 kph
Cabins 23
Passengers 46
Crew 30
Life on Board Guests on board will be treated to an unforgettable journey on the beautiful Brahmaputra River under the shadows of the Himalayan Mountains and surrounded by abundant wildlife.
The stunning countryside of North-Eastern India and its tribal cultures are sure to captivate. Nightly entertainment in the form of local tribal dances or guest lectures are held in the theatre.
Recreational facilities on board include a swimming pool. Sports room, spa, hair salon, sundeck, a well-stocked library, internet café and various board games.

Features
All cabins incorporate satellite TV, personal safe, mini bar, inhouse telephone and an ensuite.
Air Conditioning
All cabins and the restaurant / lounge are centrally airconditioned.

Dining
The chefs devise local / Indian and continental menus, sourcing
local ingredients.
Shore Visits
Two supervised excursion tenders ferry guests safely to and
from the ship. All shore excursions are escorted.

Currency onboard
Indian Rupees only.

Cruising Times
All cruising takes place between 6am and 6pm to take full
advantage of the spectacular scenery


Note: Pukekohe Travel reserves the right to correct errors and omissions on our website without recourse.
* Itinerary subject to change

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