Day 1: New Delhi
Arrive at New Delhi Indira Gandhi International Airport. If your cruise/tour package includes a group arrival transfer or if you have purchased a private arrival transfer, you will be greeted by a Uniworld representative and transferred to The Oberoi Guragon.
Day 2: New Delhi, Udaipur, Araveli
This morning, you’ll transfer from your hotel to your commercial flight to Udaipur, where you’ll then make your way to your home for two nights, the bespoke Araveli Cottages and Tented Camp, in Rajasthan. After a brief introduction and orientation about your time with ME to WE, you’ll prepare for your interactions with locals with a lesson in basic Hindi phrases. Then, it’s off to the local village to mingle with community members. To mark the beginning of your time in Rajasthan, you’ll partake in a Hindu tradition, a Poja, a Hindu prayer ceremony that marks the beginning of an auspicious event. The blessing ensures the success and prosperity of the work being undertaken.
Day 3: Araveli
After a blissful night’s sleep in your private cottage or luxury tent, choose to wake up to a sunrise yoga session overlooking the pink-hued Aravalli Mountain Range. Spend the rest of your morning with women in the community and learn what daily life in rural India is like. Enjoy a savory meal and cup of chai as you take in the beautiful surroundings and a traditional jhapki (Hindi for “siesta”). Then, meet a local farmer before venturing to the project site of your sustainable development project. Cap your first full day with a colorful performance showcasing local folk dance traditions.
Day 4: Araveli, Udaipur, Kolkata
Your time with ME to WE is coming to a close this afternoon, but not before a slew of authentic Indian experiences in nearby Udaipur, often nicknamed “Venice of the East.” Explore Udaipur’s splendor with stops at the world-renowned architectural marvels, City Palace and Taj Lake Palace, followed by lunch on the shores of beautiful Lake Pichola. The majestic City Palace was built nearly five centuries ago and sits on a hill overlooking the city below, while the opulent Taj Lake Palace appears to float over the water—it can only be reached by boat. The Palace also makes a guest appearance in a 1983 James Bond film. Visit a lively Indian market, teeming with shops, motorcycles, rickshaws, and cows before checking into The Oberoi Grand, Kolkata.
Day 5: Kolkata (Embark), Kalna
Settle into your beautifully appointed suite aboard the Ganges Voyager II in Kolkata (the city formerly known as Calcutta), the gateway to your journey along the world’s holiest river, the sacred Ganges. This evening, delight in a Captain’s reception dinner and welcome onboard.
Day 6: Kalna
As incredible as it sounds, India is the birthplace of four of the world’s major religions (including Buddhism and Hinduism), and Kalna—India’s “Temple City”—has some of the most magnificent examples of Hindu temples on the entire subcontinent. Kalna, once an important trade port on the river, is best known today for the magnificent Hindu temples built by the maharajas of Bardhaman in the late 18th and 19th centuries. They are your destination today.
Day 7: Matiari
Your ship serves as a time machine today, transporting you hundreds of years into the past, as we travel to an artisan village where craftsmen use materials and techniques that have remained unchanged for centuries. Matiari, a West Bengal village nestled above the banks of the river and surrounded by farms, is also home to a thriving metal-working tradition that you will see in action today.
Day 8: Murshidabad, Baranagar
Curiosities abound in India, and that includes the country’s eclectic architectural styles. But a palace with a thousand doors? Such a thing does indeed exist, as you’ll see for yourself today, along with some famous terra-cotta carvings, the ruins of a mosque and yet another cultural curiosity—the game of cricket, India’s beloved (and rather complex) national sport. Today’s adventures take you to a duo of Bengali towns - Murshidabad and Baranagar - each one boasting surprising and beautiful architectural monuments closely linked to the ruling families of the area.
This evening, following dinner onboard, take in a lively and fun-filled Bollywood-style show, complete with music and dancing.
Day 9: Mayapur
Today the ship heads back toward Kolkata, cruising past lush fields of rice, sugarcane, tomatoes and eggplant, among many other crops, but your river adventure is not over. You still have some fascinating locations to visit; they lie on the opposite bank of the river from your upstream ports of call. Your stop is in Mayapur, sometimes called the spiritual capital of the world. Few places of worship exist on such a head-spinning scale as what you will witness today in Mayapur, the center of the international Hare Krishna movement and home to the new Temple of the Vedic Planetarium, still under construction.
Day 10: Mayapur, Chandannagar, Kolkata
Most students of history know a thing or two about the British colonial powers in India, but few are aware that the French had colonies here, too—including one that existed as late as the 1950s. You’ll visit this former French outpost today, as well as a famous Shia pilgrimage center. You’ll continue to cruise toward Kolkata today, stopping en route in Bandel and Chandannagar, a little piece of France that survived in India for a couple hundred years.
Day 11: Kolkata
The city of Kolkota is virtually synonymous with the enduring legacies of Mother Teresa— recently canonized as a Catholic saint—and the colonial-era British Raj, both of which you will get better acquainted with today.
Enjoy a Farewell dinner tonight.
Day 12: Kolkata (Disembark)
Your incredible Indian adventure ends early this morning, as you disembark and transfer to the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport for your flight home, or extend your journey with an optional extension to Varanasi.
Join ME to WE for a one-of-a-kind adventure in India’s countryside for the first four days of our traditional India cruise/tour. ME to WE offers an immersive and transformative experience where you’ll explore India’s vibrant and fascinating culture through unforgettable encounters. In rural Udaipur, you’ll settle into the stunning Araveli Cottages and Tented Camp—luxury accommodations boasting Indian décor with a royal Rajasthani flair. Prepare for your time with ME to WE with a lesson in basic Hindi phrases before venturing out to the local village to mingle with community members. You’ll wake up the next day to a sunrise yoga session overlooking the pink-hued Aravalli Mountain Range prior to spending the rest of your morning with women in the community learning first-hand what life is like in rural India. After savoring traditional Indian cuisine, you’ll meet a local farmer who will lead you to the site of your sustainable development project. Discover the allure of Udaipur, affectionately called the “Venice of the East,” on a sightseeing excursion by boat and foot.
When your time with ME to WE ends, you’ll board the lavish Ganges Voyager II and head to the site of Kalna’s magnificent Hindu temples. Meander through Matiari’s authentic artisan village, Murshidabad’s and Baranagar’s architectural monuments and Mayapur’s captivating Temple of the Vedic Planetarium— the center of the international Hare Krishna movement. Discover why the French planted roots in Kolkata with a visit to the former French outpost before exploring the enduring legacies of Mother Teresa. Visit her home, where she lived and worked for decades and marvel at the museum dedicated to her, where her Nobel Peace Prize sits proudly on display.
Onboard, you’ll also enjoy our new Wellness Program, centered around the destination’s ancient tradition and practice of yoga. Available on every sailing, the complimentary Wellness Program – led by a certified and resident yogi – will celebrate the holistic health benefits of yoga with daily sessions introducing the different types of yoga, group lectures and classes as well as individualized meetings, so that guests at every stage of their practice can participate in this culturally immersive program comfortably. An accompanying “Nutrition and Wellness Food” menu has also been developed especially for this program. Featuring organic items and guidelines for eating healthy, the menu will be available daily during breakfast, lunch and dinner service.
7-night Ganges River cruise in a riverview suite onboard the Ganges Voyager II
Tips for local experts and drivers
All transportation throughout your trip
All transfers on arrival and departure days
Welcome and Farewell Dinners
Afternoon tea in the Governor’s Lounge
Complimentary local beers and soft drinks throughout the cruise
Onboard/onshore dinners include complimentary house wine, local beers, or soft drinks
Afternoon coffee, tea, and snacks in the Governor’s Lounge
11 days of captivating, fully escorted excursions with English-speaking local experts
Services of an experienced Uniworld Cruise/Tour Manager throughout your trip
State-of-the-art portable audio-headset system on all excursions throughout your trip
Flowers and fruit plate upon arrival
Onboard cultural enrichment, including traditional sitar music, a Bollywood-style song and dance show, and more