No river on earth plays a more important cultural, economic or social role in the lives of more people than the Ganges River in India. The spiritual heart of the Hindu religion, the banks of the Ganges are strewn with India’s fascinating cities, culturally-important pilgrimage sites, charming villages, mountains and magical forests. Infused with influences of past rulers and European settlers during the British rule of India, a river cruise on the Ganges will introduce you to one of the most important and glorious rivers in the world.
From high in the mighty Himalayas, India’s Ganges River (known as Mother Ganga to Indians) flows 1,500 miles south and east, connecting to the Hooghly River (Bhāgirathi-Hooghly) through Kolkata, India transporting you through areas in East India western visitors have rarely seen. The waterway eventually empties into the Bay of Bengal. The hot summer weather in India and varying water levels on the Ganges limit the river cruising season to only a few months each year.
During our river boat cruise on the Bengal Ganga, traveling upstream from Kolkata (Calcutta) to Simraia, and onward to Varanasi, India, we will experience a vibrant tapestry of varied religious beliefs, historical sagas, diverse flora and fauna, the fascinating cultural traditions of India, brilliant architecture, and incredible landscapes. We will visit metal craftsmen at work in the village Matiari, and ancient centers of learning at Bateshwarsthan. We are treated to a tapestry of Muslim and colonial architecture, Hindu culture, Buddhist temples, the daily rituals of Indian village life, and unspoiled countryside all along our river cruise route. We sail through Nalanda, a sanctuary for the Gangetic river dolphin, and marvel at the “Bodhi Tree,” where Guatama first attained enlightenment to become Buddha.
In the fall of 2009, Bengal Ganga embarked on her maiden voyage along this historic waterway, the GangesRiver. Imported from Myanmar (Burma), she was the first passenger vessel in over 100 years to cruise between Kolkata, India (known as Calcutta when the British maintained their capital here for over 200 years) and Varanasi, known as Benares in ancient times, and considered the most holy city in India.
For experienced river cruise travelers, or any woman looking for an exotic but comfortable travel tour in India, cruising the Ganges provides a rare opportunity. With a crew to passenger ratio of one to two, and with only 28 cabins, there is no better way to travel deep inside India than taking a small ship river cruise on the Ganges on the Bengal Ganga. Aboard our river boat home, in the style of the original luxury steamships, we cruise through a thought-provoking visual kaleidoscope of India. Join AdventureWomen on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure travel vacation in India that opens up an entire civilization’s beliefs, lifestyles, and culture as the Mother Ganga guides us to look within and beyond ourselves.
- Cruise the Ganges River aboard the Bengal Ganga, built in the style of the historic Clyde steamers and the first river boat to ply the Ganges-Hooghly Waterway between Kolkata and Varanasi, India in over 100 years.
- Explore Mother Teresa's Kolkata (Calcutta), the capital of India for 200 years during the British Raj.
- Experience Varanasi (ancient Benares), India's holiest city, and an important religious center for Hindus, Buddhists, and Jains, where Hindus aspire to cleanse themselves in the holy waters of the Ganges at bathing ghats.
- Visit Bodh Gaya, the most important Buddhist pilgrimage site in the world, where in 500 B.C. Prince Gautama Siddhartha achieved Enlightenment to become Buddha.
- Relax and enjoy village life in India, the rural scenery, Indian wildlife preserves, and enjoy a river boat cruise through a part of India rarely seen by Western visitors.
- Enjoy the hospitality of one of the world’s friendliest peoples in the country considered to be the oldest living culture in the world.
What You'll See and Do!Archaeology, Architecture, Cultural Exploration, Cultural Performances, Natural History, Photography, River Cruising, Sight Seeing, Walking, Wildlife Viewing.
What You'll See and Do
- Cultural Exploration
- Cultural Performances
- Natural History
- River Cruising
- Wildlife Viewing
If you're curious about this trip, we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.