Antara Cruises

Dev Diwali in Varanashi

Kolkata to Varanasi Upstream

Kolkata – Kalna – Matiari – Murshidabad – Bateshwarsthan – Sultanganj – Munger – Simaria – Patna – Buxar – Ghazipur - Varanasi

19 nights / 20 days Cruise
8 to 27 Oct 2024   |   14 Oct to 2 Nov 2025
Day 1

Arrival in Kolkata and transfer to the jetty for embarkation. Lunch onboard. Thereafter Panoramic Tour of Dalhousie Square’s heritage buildings; St. John's Church, Victoria Memorial, and Mother Teresa’s Home. Return to ship overnight. Enjoy cultural performance onboard.

Dinner & overnight onboard Ganga Vilas

Day 2

After breakfast, visit the Flower Market, where you can see artists creating a variety of garlands, ornaments, and other items made of flowers and leaves for temples, weddings, and other uses. Thereafter, visit Kumartuli, a traditional potters’ quarter renowned for its sculpting prowess. Return to the ship for lunch and start sailing upstream, passing below the Howrah Bridge, and seeing various colonial buildings along the Ganges River.

Dinner & overnight onboard Ganga Vilas

Day 3

After breakfast ride e-rickshaws through the town of Kalna to visit the enchanting Rajbari Temple complex. The Nabakailas Temple contains 108 eight-slope-roofed shrines dedicated to Lord Shiva. Other temples in the complex feature diverse architecture and terracotta plaques depict themes of Hindu epics and various aspects of day-to-day life in the region. Return to the ship walking through the local vegetable market. Begin sail towards the shore-side village of Matiari, while having lunch onboard.

Dinner & overnight onboard Ganga Vilas

Day 4

Early this morning walks in the village to see and experience the craftsmen at work. These master craftsmen utilize recycled copper to create exquisite pots, platters, and more from their workshops in the village. Return to ship for breakfast and sail full day towards Murshidabad, a hidden architectural gem with dramatic whitewashed colonial era structures. Lunch onboard.

Dinner & overnight onboard Ganga Vilas

Day 5

After breakfast ride the Toto (e-rickshaw) through the countryside to the Katra mosque, which has distinctive minarets. Thereafter visit the Hazarduari Palace, which dominates the waterfront. Built by an English architect, McLeod Duncan, in the Greek "Doric" style, the palace has more than a thousand real and false doors in the vast corridors and is filled with colonial-era antiques. Return to the ship for lunch and sail towards Jangipur.

Dinner & overnight onboard Ganga Vilas

Day 6

Enjoying breakfast onboard we sail in the morning to cross the historic Farakka Lock Gate. The travel through the Feeder Canal will give us a chance to see the different birds of the region. After crossing the Lock Gate, we cruise through the connecting canal to the Ganges revealing vast panoramas. We continue to sail towards Samtaghat.

Dinner & overnight onboard Ganga Vilas

Day 7

Today we sail full day towards Bateshwarsthan enjoying breakfast and lunch. You will be fascinated by the passing landscape and the lively life on the river. We will arrive in Bateshwarsthan by evening.

Dinner & overnight onboard Ganga Vilas

Day 8

After breakfast drive in cars to the 8-9th century excavation site of the Vikramshila University and walk around the ruins. Vikramshila University was an important Buddhist centre of learning under the rule of the Pala Dynasty. Subjects like theology, philosophy, grammar, metaphysics, and logic were taught here. We return to the ship and sail towards Sultanganj while enjoying lunch onboard.

Dinner & overnight onboard Ganga Vilas

Day 9

After breakfast excursion to Sultanganj, which is notable for two prominent granite rock islands in the river connected to the mainland by a causeway. On one of the islands is a mosque; on the other larger one is the Ajgaibinath Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. We will visit the Shiva temple. Return to the ship and sail towards Munger while enjoying lunch onboard.

Dinner & overnight onboard Ganga Vilas

Day 10

After breakfast visit the Chandika Sthan Temple, which is dedicated to Goddess Shakti. It is one of the fifty-one Shakti Peethas, associated with the legend of Lord Vishnu who to save the world from Lord Shiva’s wrath, cut into pieces the corpse of Devi Sati that Shiva was carrying. Return to ship for lunch. Thereafter visit the Munger Fort and the local market popular for fruits, vegetables, textiles, and readymade garments.

Dinner & overnight onboard Ganga Vilas

Day 11

Enjoying our breakfast and lunch onboard, we continue our journey further upstream sailing under the great bridge at Mokameh Ghat. We will arrive in Simaria by late afternoon. In the evening walk in the riverside village of Simaria to see the daily activities of the local people.

Dinner & overnight onboard Ganga Vilas

Day 12

Today we sail full day through wonderful countryside to Patna, enjoying breakfast and lunch. Patna is the capital of the State of Bihar and is one of the oldest continuously inhabited places in the world founded in 490 BCE as Pataliputra.

Dinner & overnight onboard Ganga Vilas

Day 13

After breakfast and proceed to visit the Golghar and Patna Museum. Return to ship. Lunch onboard. Thereafter sail towards Ghaghra Mod, the confluence where River Ghaghra meets River Ganges.

Dinner & overnight onboard Ganga Vilas

Day 14

After breakfast enjoy a walk in the riverbank village. Thereafter sail full day towards Buxar, anchoring en route. Buxar is one of the most prominent towns of western Bihar, bordering the State of Uttar Pradesh.

Dinner & overnight onboard Ganga Vilas

Day 16

Today we sail full day towards Ghazipur enjoying breakfast and lunch onboard. Ghazipur in the State of Uttar Pradesh was established by the British East India Company in 1820 as an opium factory. It still produces the drug for the global pharmaceutical industry. Post lunch visit to the Tomb of Lord Cornwallis, one of the major figures of Indian and British history. 

Dinner & overnight onboard Ganga Vilas

Day 17

Today we sail full day further upstream towards Varanasi enjoying breakfast and lunch onboard. We will moor for the night before Varanasi, subject to river tide conditions.

Dinner & overnight onboard Ganga Vilas

Day 18

We sail further upstream through the day to arrive in Varanasi by late afternoon. Varanasi is a major religious hub in India, and is considered the holiest city in Hinduism and Jainism. It also played an important role in the development of Buddhism. It is also an important industrial centre, famous for its muslin and silk fabrics, perfumes, ivory works, and sculpture. 

Dinner & overnight onboard Ganga Vilas

Day 19

After breakfast we visit the excavation site of Sarnath, the seat where Lord Buddha gave his first sermon after attaining enlightenment in Bodhgaya. Return to the ship for lunch. Thereafter, visit the Ghats by walk to experience the activities and hustle-bustle in the by-lanes. Continue to the riverside and witness the evening “Ganga Aarti” ritual.

Dinner & overnight onboard Ganga Vilas

Day 20

Following breakfast disembark the ship and transfer for your onward journey.

Important Note:

  • The itinerary may be readjusted due to local conditions and days of the week, to avoid closure of monuments/museums. Last-minute sailing adjustments may also occur. The onboard tour staff will announce or post the exact time for each activity.
  • The letters in parentheses indicate the included meal of the day B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner.
  • As per government restrictions, from Farakka to Varanasi, no liquor will be served on board.
  • In Varanasi, due to the location on the holy river, non-vegetarian food is not served onboard. 
  • Satellite phones & drone cameras are not allowed in Varanasi, please ensure the same, while traveling to Varanasi.