Arrive in Calcutta and transfer to your hotel for your overnight.

Enjoy breakfast this morning and check out of your room. You embark on a 6 hr train journey from Calcutta to Farakka, and short road transfer to the ship. An excursion by road takes you to Gaur. This quiet, deserted place was once one of India’s great cities, first under the Hindus in the 12th century, then as the muslim capital of Eastern India from the 14th to the 16th century. There are plentiful remain of mosques, palaces and gateways. Later travel on through the town of Malda, or English Bazar, to Pandua where you will visit the great 14th century Adina Mosque before returning to Farakka where your ship will have passed through the lock at the barrage. (B, D)

This morning’s cruise is along a straight canal section to Jangipur, where there is time for a brief excursion to native villages where silk is woven and “bidis” (primitive cigarettes) are rolled. In the afternoon,  set sail down the Hooghly proper, a charming waterway twisting and turning between banks lined with mustard fields and mango orchards. Moor at the delightful sleepy village of Baranagar with three gorgeous miniature terracotta temples to which you walk through the fields. This is rural India at its most idyllic. (B)

Sail on downriver past Azimganj with some fine riverside mansions to Murshidabad where the Nawab’s great Hazarduari Palace, built by an English architect in 1837, dominates the waterfront. Inside are an extensive collection of pictures, china, weapons and other objects. You also visit the great Katra Mosque and drive out to two amazing buildings of the late 18th century, the Nashipara Palace and the Katgola Palace. Both were built in classical Georgian style by rich local merchants and represent the other side of the coin of the “White Moghul” period when English and Indian cultures came close to fusion. Continue downstream for a short distance, then travel by cycle rickshaw to the Khushbagh, a peaceful Moghul-style garden enclosing the tombs of Siraj-ud-Daulah and his family.  (B)

Continue downstream past the old British cantonment of Berhampur to a rural mooring close to the battlefield of Plassey where in 1757 Clive’s defeat of Siraj-ud-Daulah changed the course of Indian history - you can walk through the fields to the commemorative obelisk. Cruise on past Katwa, a market town with narrow bustling bazaars, to the brassworking village of Matiari where you can see the whole primitive process of beating out brass water pots and other vessels.  (B)

This morning we reach Mayapur, its skyline dominated by the vast new ISKCON temple which we are able to visit. Visit also the older and humbler temples as well as the giant banyan tree at Nabadwip on the opposite bank before sailing on to  the country town of Kalna. Here we 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 shrinelets. (B)

Continue sailing and arrive at the outskirts of Calcutta. Dock at Bandel to visit the Portuguese church as well as the nearby Imambara and the Dutch cemetery at Chinsura. Then, sail past fine waterfront buildings before you land at Chandernagore, a French possession until 1950. There, you visit the 18th century church and Dupleix’s House containing a small museum. (B)

Continue down to Barrackpore, land and take a walk through the cantonment past the Semaphore Tower, Government House, the Temple of Fame, and Flagstaff House, its garden housing many of the British statues removed from central Calcutta. If time permits, cross to the other bank to visit the old Danish colony of Serampore, then sail on under the Howrah Bridge to central Calcutta. This afternoon take a sightseeing tour of Calcutta including the Victoria Memorial, South Park Street Cemetery, St John’s Church and other colonial relics.  (B)

Disembark after breakfast and transfer to Calcutta airport for your mid-day flight to Delhi. Upon arrival, you will be met and transferred to your hotel.  (B)

In the morning start your sightseeing with a visit the 7th city of Delhi, Shahjahanabad (Old Delhi), built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan (1639-48 AD) after he shifted his capital from Agra to Delhi. Red Fort – the 17th century imposing fortress built in red sandstone is surrounded by a huge boundary wall 33m high. Inside are exquisite palaces and beautiful gardens. Opposite the Red Fort lies Jama Masjid (Friday Mosque) made of red sandstone and white marble, completed in 1656. It is India’s largest mosque where more than 20.000 people can kneel in prayer. Visit Raj Ghat on the banks of the river Yamuna, Mahatma Gandhi’s Memorial, where he was cremated following his assassination in January 1948. An eternal flame burns 24 hours. In the afternoon, visit New Delhi. Start with Qutub Minar – the landmark of Delhi, a huge tower of victory started in 1199 and completed in 1368. Proceed to the Rashtrapati Bhawan which is now the official residence of the President of India. Designed by Lutyens, it combines western and eastern styles. Overnight at the hotel.  (B)

Travel in air conditioned comfort to Agra. Afternoon tour of the Taj Mahal. Also referred to as a poem in white marble, this monument of love was built by Shah Jahan in memory of his beloved wife, Mumtaj Mahal. Also visit the Agra fort, built alongside the Yamuna river stretching almost 2.5 km. The fort’s colossal double walls rise 20 m in height and measure 2.5 km in circumference. (B)

After breakfast, check out of the hotel and depart for Jaipur. En route visit Fatehpursikri, built by Emperor Akbar in 1569 and abandoned after 15 years due to scarcity of water. Visit the remarkably well-preserved, graceful buildings within the 'Ghost City' including the Jama Masjid, tomb of Salim Chisti, Panch Mahal Palace and other palaces that speak of the grandeur and splendor of the Mughal empire at the height of its power. After visiting Fatehpursikri, continue your drive to Jaipur. Lunch will be provided at the Laxmi Vilas Palace. On arrival, check-in at hotel. (B, L)

This morning’s excursion takes you to Amber Fort. En route, make a photo stop at the palace of winds the Hawa Mahal.  This 5-storied building with 25cm thick facade from the 18 century has windows and niches so that ladies of royal family could see the processions and events in the city without being visible to the people. Proceed to the Amber Fort situated 130m high, with the Aravalli hills around. It was the ancient capital of the Rajputs till 1037. Enjoy an Elephant ride from the parking to the entrance of the fort.   Then, visit the `Pink City’ of Jaipur: The City Palace occupies the center of Jaipur. It now houses the Royal residence and museums with collections of textiles and costumes, armoury, manuscripts, paintings etc. (B)

After breakfast, depart to Delhi. Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel and free time. (B)

Check out of your hotel and transfer to the airport on your own account. (B)