Find a Trip

or

X

Find the Right Trip for You

Select your travel style--whether it's our signature expeditions, our active outdoors adventures, or our lower-priced journeys. Or choose how you want to travel: by train or small ship, on an expedition geared for photographers or for families, and more.

Small Ship Trips

Small Ship Voyages

Take to the sea aboard one of the six ships of the National Geographic–Lindblad fleet and explore the Galápagos, Alaska, and more with a team of experts.
See All »

Land Trips

Land Trips

Our land trips are designed to immerse you in fascinating cultures and draw out the uniqueness of each destination through enriching and authentic experiences.
See All »

Private Jet Trips

Private Jet Trips

Experience fascinating places as far-flung as Easter Island and Marrakech on one epic journey, traveling with a team of experts in the comfort of a VIP-configured jet.
See All »

Adventures

Active Adventures

Explore by foot, by camel or kayak, or even by dogsled on an active adventure that combines spectacular places, physical challenge, and cultural interaction.
See All »

Journeys

Journeys

Our newest small-group trips, provided in partnership with G Adventures, blend fun, hands-on exploration with meaningful cultural encounters, as well as more free time and choices, all for an unbeatable value.
See All »

Photography

Photography

Improve your photography skills with the guidance of a National Geographic photographer— whether you’re traveling through Japan or heading out on shoots during an intensive weekend workshop in New York City.
See All »

Private Expeditions

Private Expeditions

Explore independently—with all the benefits of traveling with National Geographic—on a private trip with the travel companions and dates of your choosing.
See All »

Train Trips

Train Trips

Wind through dramatic mountain scenery or observe scenes of everyday life, experiencing the world through the nostalgic lens of train travel.
See All »

Family Trips

Family Trips

Introduce your family to the magic of travel on trips designed for travelers of all ages that combine learning, discovery, and fun.
See All »

Student Trips

Student Expeditions

Send your high school or middle school student on assignment with National Geographic to explore inspiring destinations in depth alongside our experts and trip leaders.
See All »

Cruise the Ganges

  • Trip Type: Journeys
  • 12 Days | Kolkata to Varanasi
  • Group Size: Max 24

Trip Details

 

On a journey by boat and by land, discover a host of fascinating sites along the Ganges River: picturesque villages; Hindu rock carvings; and incredible temples, forts, and palaces. Conclude your journey in Varanasi, known as the spiritual heart of India, and observe age-old rituals taking place at the water’s edge.

Trip Highlights

    • Cruise the Ganges aboard a classic riverboat.
    • Meet with a monk at the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Mahabodhi Temple complex.
    • Take a bicycle rickshaw ride to view Mughal ruins.
    • In Varanasi, talk with a scholar about the river’s role in daily life.

Itinerary - 12 Days

Day 1 — Kolkata (Calcutta)

Arrive at any time. Arrival transfer is included.

Days 2 & 3 — Farakka/Manihāri Ghāt

Catch a train from Kolkata to Farakka, where we embark our riverboat in the afternoon. Sail upstream to Rajmahal, founded by the Mughal Emperor Akbar as his eastern capital. Today, the town exudes a lively atmosphere. Explore the ruins of palaces, forts, and mosques shrouded in vegetation. Then continue onward to Manihāri Ghāt. (2B, 1L, 2D)

Days 4 & 5 — Kahalgaon/Sultānganj

Cruise upriver to idyllic Bateshwar, home to eighth-century rock carvings, and explore the impressive ruins of a Buddhist stupa and monastery at Vikramshila. Keep an eye out for South Asian river dolphins as we sail to Bhagalpur, a center of silk production. Visit an 18th-century mansion and silk-weaving village, then venture to Jahangira Island to view early Hindu rock carvings. Opt to stroll through the local market. (2B, 2L, 2D)

Days 6 & 7 — Sita Kund/Bārh

Sail to Munger and take a bicycle rickshaw ride through the town to view the remnants of a Mughal fort and East India Company cemetery. Visit Pirpahar Hill, crowned by an elegant mansion; the local bazaar; and Sitakund hot springs. Stroll through the village and fields, observing scenes of everyday life. The next leg of our journey takes us under the bridge at Mokama, where we stop at a riverside village and stretch our legs. Cruise to Bārh and moor for the evening. (2B, 2L, 2D)

Day 8 — Bārh/Patna

Enjoy a full-day excursion to Nalanda. Visit an excavated Buddhist monastery and the adjoining museum. Then encounter the picturesque Jain temple at Pawapuri, situated in the middle of a lake. As we explore, learn about the unique beliefs and practices of Jainism—one of India’s oldest religious traditions still in existence. (1B, 1L, 1D)

Day 9 — Patna/Bodh Gaya

Explore Patna on a morning visit to the 18th-century Golghar granary, the great Sikh temple, and the state museum. Next, transfer to the small town of Bodh Gaya to explore the Mahabodhi Temple complex, a World Heritage site. Meet with a monk to discuss the history of the area and visit the spot where the Buddha found enlightenment. (1B)

Day 10 — Varanasi

Drive to the ancient city of Varanasi, the center of Hindu culture. This afternoon, enjoy a lecture by a local scholar at the ghats (stairs) of the Ganges. Discuss the river’s significance and the spiritual and social role it plays in daily life here. Later, embark on a sunset boat ride on the Ganges. Enjoy a candle and flower ceremony accompanied by sitar and tabla playing, and observe an aarti prayer ceremony. (1B)

Day 11 — Varansi

Rise early for a sunrise boat ride along the Ganges to observe the dawn rituals of bathing and burial. Afterward, have breakfast at a G Adventures–supported vocational training café whose mission is to provide meaningful job opportunities to underprivileged people in India. This afternoon, visit the Buddhist pilgrimage site of Sarnath, where the Buddha is said to have preached his first sermon. (1B)

Day 12 — Varansi

Depart at any time. (1B)

Related Trips

Our newest line of trips, offered in partnership with
G Adventures, blends fun, hands-on exploration, meaningful encounters with people and cultures, and more free time and choices—with the structure and security of traveling in a small group.

Dates

2018
  • Feb 01 - 12, 2018

Trip Cost

Price From

$3,299

Contact Us: 1-800-281-2354

Call to speak with a specialist about this trip.

Cost Details

All trip prices are per person based on double occupancy. If you're traveling on your own, we'll pair you up with a roommate of the same gender so that you can pay the same rate as other travelers. Prices are subject to change without notice and do not include airfare. All prices and fares are quoted in U.S. dollars.

What's Included

Arrival transfer, transport between destinations and to/from included activities, and activities as listed in the itinerary.

Accommodations
Aboard a riverboat (7 nights), comfortable, mid-range hotels (4 nights)

Meals Included
10 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 7 dinners

Transportation
Riverboat, minibus, train, auto-rickshaw, cycle-rickshaw

Optional Experience

You can do whatever you wish during your free time on tour, but if you're in need of suggestions, we've got them. Details about any optional experiences for this trip will be available during the booking process. Please note, these are at an additional cost.