Ganges River Cruise Experience

India · about Escorted or Guided Tour

Few travellers ever imagine getting to experience India from the waters of the famous Ganges River. Board our classic riverboat in Farakka and spend eight days sailing to picturesque local villages to explore stunning temples, historical battlegrounds, tranquil gardens, and the Katgola Palace. This scenic cruise will have you wanting to return to the glory of India sooner rather than later.

What's Included

Arrival transfer. Full day excursion to Malda. Baranagar village and temple visits. Hazarduari Palace visit. Katra Mosque visit. Nashipara and Katgola palaces visit. Cycle rickshaw excursion to the Khushbagh. Battlefield of Plassey visit. Brassworking village of Matiari visit. Hare Krishna temple visit. Cycle rickshaw excursion to terracotta temples (Kalna). Shiva temple visit. Imambara visit. Chandannagar visit. Barrackpore visit. All meals on board Varuna. All transport to/from included activities and between destinations.


Visit beautiful temples and local villages, witness traditional brass-working, wander through buzzing bazaars, enjoy the pace of life on the river

Dossier Disclaimer

Itinerary Disclaimer

Important Notes

1. While it is our intention to follow the itinerary as advertised, some modifications to the itinerary are occasionally needed if water levels become very low. If changes need to be made, they may involve docking the boat just before a scheduled port and using overland transportation to reach the destination.

Please note that between Farakka and Kolkata we sail along a distributary arm of the Ganges locally known as the Hoghly River. This narrower arm, once a key transportation channel in Bengal, offers the opportunity to cruise close to riverbanks dotted with historic temples and colonial settlements while still travelling the sacred waters of the Ganges.

Group Size Notes

Max 24


Riverboat Varuna, private vehicles, train, rickshaws, walking.

Solo Travellers


Aboard the Varuna riverboat (7 nts), comfort hotels (1 nt).

My Own Room

About Accommodation

Cabins on board the riverboat all have exterior view windows and private bathrooms.

Built: 2006
Capacity: 24 passengers
Cabins: 12 Cabins
Boat Layout: Spacious saloon with French windows opening onto a front balcony deck, dinning room with glass doors down each side.
Large sun deck with cane rattan chairs and sun loungers. Single seating for buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner. Combination of Indian and Western cuisines.

Arrival Complications

What to Take

Most airlines allow up to two checked bags and one carry-on per person. To avoid any problems upon check-in and with possible excess baggage charges, please consult the airline for specific restrictions.

Dress on board the boat is informal. Plan to bring comfortable, casual clothing for all activities. When packing, we suggest that you do not weigh yourself down with too many clothes or too much gear. Select informal, practical attire that can be worn in layers.


Passport (with photocopies)
• Travel insurance (with photocopies)
• Airline tickets (with photocopies)
• Cash in USD
• Credit and debit cards
• Any G Adventures vouchers, pre-departure information or trip details
• Any entry visas or vaccination certificates required
• Camera, memory cards, batteries and chargers
• Reading/writing material
• Flashlight or headlamp
• Binoculars
• Rain poncho
• Windproof jacket
• Walking boots/sturdy shoes
• Sunblock
• Toiletries (biodegradable)
• Watch/alarm clock
• First-aid kit (should contain lip salve, Aspirin, Band Aids, anti-histamine, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, rehydration powder, extra prescription drugs you may be taking.)
• Antibacterial wipes/gel
• Ear plugs

Spending Money

Emergency Fund


Please note inoculations may be required for the country visited. It is your responsibility to consult with your travel doctor for up to date medical travel information well before departure.

You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information well before departure. We recommend that you carry a First Aid kit and hand sanitizers / antibacterial wipes as well as any personal medication required. Please be aware that quite often we are in remote areas and away from medical facilities, and for legal reasons our leaders are prohibited from administering any type of drug including headache tablets, antibiotics, etc. When selecting your trip please carefully read the brochure and itinerary and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. G Adventures reserves the right to exclude any traveller from all or part of a trip without refund if in the reasonable opinion of our CEO they are unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group.

For your own safety, we strongly recommend that you advise us of any medical condition that may affect you while traveling.

If you are carrying any prescribed medication, or if you have any particular health needs, please bring with you a signed and dated letter from your physician stating any such health problems and dosage requirements for any medication to be provided to any medical authorities in case of an emergency.

Also, please note that if you are particularly sensitive to heat, this may not be the trip for you.

Safety and Security

Medical Form

A Couple of Rules

Travel Insurance

Planeterra-The G Adventures Foundation

Local Dress

In Asia the dress standard is more conservative than it is back home. When packing try to pick loose, lightweight, long clothing that will keep you cool in the usually hot and humid climate of Asian summers. In predominately Buddhist, Hindu and Muslim countries we ask that you dress respectfully and avoid very short shorts/skirts and singlets/tanktops when visiting temples or mosques or other holy sites.



Travel Forum - The Watering Hole

Group Leader

Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout.

Meal Budget

Allow USD70-95 for meals not included. Drinks and tips on board not included.

Meals Included

7 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 7 dinners



Day 1: Kolkata

There are no activities planned until an evening welcome meeting.

Included Activities:
Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting

Day 2: Kolkata/Farakka (1D)

Depart Kolkata and jump on the train to head to Farakka. During this 6 hour train journey, take the time to watch the scenery, or get to know the group. Upon arrival, embark the riverboat and settle in before dinner on board.

Train (6.00-6.50 hours)

Day 3: Farakka/Jangipur (1B, 1L, 1D)

Enjoy a full day excursion by road to Gaur, near the town of Malda (English Bazaar). Visit a number of sights from the 12th-century Hindus and 14th-century Muslims. Rejoin the ship in the evening near Jangipur.

Included Activities:
Gaur Excursion

Day 4: Jangipur/Murshidābād (1B, 1L, 1D)

Sail down the Hooghly River en route to the small village of Baranagar. Walk through the fields to reach the terracotta temples and get a taste of rural Indian life. Continue to Murshidabad to visit the Nawab’s great Hazarduari Palace. Visit the Katra Mosque before driving to two 18th-century buildings – the Nashipara Palace and the Katgola Palace.

Included Activities:
Baranagar Excursion
Murshidabad Excursion

Varuna Riverboat
Varuna Riverboat

Day 5: Murshidābād/Matiari (1B, 1L, 1D)

This morning, travel by cycle rickshaw to the Khushbagh, a peaceful Moghul-style garden. Continue on the river past Berhampur, to a rural mooring near the battlefield of Plassey and opt to walk to the commemorative obelisk. Cruise on to a mooring near Katwa for the night.

Included Activities:
Khushbagh Excursion
Battlefield of Plassey Visit

Varuna Riverboat
Varuna Riverboat

Day 6: Matiari/Māyāpur (1B, 1L, 1D)

Start the day with a visit to the brassworking village of Matiari to witness their ancient techniques. Later continue to Mayapur with a visit to the Hare Krishna temple. Enjoy a few of the older temples and see a giant banyan tree.

Included Activities:
Matiari Excursion
Mayapur Excursion

Varuna Riverboat

Day 7: Māyāpur/Chunchura (1B, 1L, 1D)

Explore the country town of Kalna. Take cycle rickshaws to see a group of some of Bengal’s most attractive terracotta temples and visit a Shiva temple. Continue to Chinsurah, to visit the historic Dutch cemetery. After, take cyclos to the Imambara before reboarding the vessel.

Included Activities:
Kalna Excursion
Chinsurah Excursion

Varuna Riverboat
Varuna Riverboat

Day 8: Chunchura/Bārākpur (1B, 1L, 1D)

Sail to Chandannagar, a former French possession, to explore. Continue to Barrackpore. Disembark for a walking tour around the main sights.

Included Activities:
Chandannagar Excursion
Barrackpore Excursion

Varuna Riverboat
Varuna Riverboat

Day 9: Bārākpur/Kolkata (1B)

Cruise under the Howrah Bridge to central Kolkata to disembark. Transfer to central Kolkata or the airport. Tour ends on arrival.

Included Activities:
Departure Day (Activities)

Varuna Riverboat

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