Experience all the colours of India
- Save $1120 per couple – book by July 31, 2018
- Fly to India, cruise the Brahmaputra River and experience the Holi festival
Holi is India’s festival of colours, celebrating the triumph of good over evil with dances, bonfires and games using rich pigments, and Australians can experience this exotic festival as part of a new fly, cruise and stay package, which includes seven nights cruising the Brahmaputra – one of India’s most sacred rivers. Book by July 31, 2018, sand save $1120 per couple (unless sold out prior).
Released by Australia’s Cruise Traveller in partnership with Indian river cruise company, Adventure Resorts and Cruises (ARC), the 15-night holiday combines independent touring of Delhi, Agra, Kolkata and Jaipur – including sights such as the Taj Mahal, Mother Teresa’s house and the Victoria Memorial Hall – with a seven-night river cruise aboard the MV Mahabaahu in the shadow of the Himalayas.
Departing from Australia March 15, 2019, the package is timed to coincide with the vibrant Holi festival, which guests will celebrate at Jaipur as brightly-coloured powders and water balloons are thrown in the air, traditional Indian songs are sung, and special Holi sweets are baked.
The cruise tour will begin in Delhi, where guests will ride a rickshaw and visit lively bazaars, the Jama Masjid mosque and the 70-metre high Qutab Minar, the city’s most striking monument. From there, the journey continues into Agra, home to the majestic Red Fort of Agra – a world heritage site, and the world-famous Taj Mahal – a monument constructed by Emperor Shah Jahan as a mausoleum for his believed queen. Guests will drive to Jaipur in time for the Holi festival on March 21, before journeying on to Kolkata, where they will visit one of the oldest museums in the world – the Indian Museum, with its rare antiques, armour, ornaments, mummies and skeletons – as well as Mother Tereasa’s house and the majestic Victoria Memorial.
Guests will then fly to Neamati Ghat in India’s far north-eastern state of Assam, where they will board ARC’s boutique, 46-guest river ship, MV Mahabaahu. As the ship sails down the sacred Brahmaputra River, the mighty Himalayas nearby, guests will take day excursions to ancient temples, monuments and monasteries, visit artisan markets, listen to talks from expert guides, participate in morning yoga, enjoy a bonfire on a deserted island and spot elephants, otters, buffaloes and rhinos. The cruise finishes at Guwahati, where guests visit the Kamakhya Temple – dedicated to the goddess of desire – before returning home.
The cruise features aromatic Indian cuisine, complimentary excursions and activities. The Brahmaputra River also boasts views of the 7000m-high Himalayas and, apart from the Zambezi River, is the only river cruise in the world from which boat, jeep and elephant safaris are offered. The journey is also the only cruise in the world from which 7000m high peaks can be viewed on a clear day.
Including international return flights with Singapore Airlines from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide or Perth plus domestic flights in India and cruise excursions, the 15-night land and river cruise package is available from A$7995 per person, twin-share, which includes a saving of $560 per person if booked by July 31, 2018. Subject to availability.