Sikkim and Darjeeling Tour and Brahmaputra River Cruise

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Sikkim and Darjeeling Tour and Brahmaputra River Cruise

Brahmaputra River, Assam, India

The Brahmaputra River is the only navigable river in the world (apart from the River Zambezi), from which elephant, jeep and boat safaris are conducted. It is a river that spans 3 kms at it's narrowest and 40 kms at it's widest. In floods, it rises by over 8 meters and spreads another 20 kms.

With national parks, temples, monasteries, tea plantations, migratory birds, fresh water dolphins and weaver's tribal villages, it is still a world of great adventures.

MV Mahabaahu

M.V. Mahabaahu

  • The MV Mahabaahu is 55m long and 10m wide. It has a total of 5 decks including a sun deck, and can accommodate 46 guests in Superior and Suite grades, 10 of which feature a balcony.
  • Public areas include a restaurant, lounge, bar, reception area, spa, sun deck, and swimming pool.
  • Food is served buffet style and is selection of Indian and Europe cuisine.

Available itineraries

Sikkim and Darjeeling Tour with Brahmaputra River Cruise

Tour Summary

Day 1: Friday - Depart UK
Day 2: Saturday - Arrive Kolkata
Day 3: Sunday - Kolkata / Bagdogra / Gangtok
Day 4: Monday - Gangtok
Day 5: Tuesday - Gangtok / Pelling
Day 6: Wednesday - Pelling / Kalimpong
Day 7: Thursday - Kalimpong / Darjeeling
Day 8: Friday - Darjeeling
Day 9: Saturday - Darjeeling / Bagdogra / Guwahati
Day 10: Sunday - Guwahati - M.V. Mahabaahu - Kiriakara
Day 11: Monday - Kiriakara - Silghat
Day 12: Tuesday - Silghat -Kaziranga
Day 13: Wednesday - Kaziranga - Bishwanath Ghat
Day 14: Thursday - Bishwanath Ghat - Towards Majuli
Day 15: Friday - Majuli Island
Day 16: Saturday - Majuli -Nimati -Sibsagar
Day 17: Sunday - Disembarkation - Jorhat - Kolkata - London
Day 18: Monday - Arrive London

Day by day itinerary

DAY 1: Depart UK


DAY 2: Arrive Kolkata
After clearing immigration and customs, you will be met by our representative in the receiving area and escort you to the Oberoi Grand Hotel for check-in. Overnight at the Oberoi Grand Hotel

DAY 3: Kolkata - Bagdogra - Gangtok
After breakfast, you will be transferred to the airport for your short flight to Bagdogra.
Arriving in Bagdogra, you will be driven on a scenic 125 kilometers journey (5 hours) to Gangtok where you will check-in to the hotel. In the evening, explore the charming market of Gangtok.
Overnight at the Nor-Khill Gangtok Hotel (B, D)

DAY 4: Gangtok
This morning after breakfast explore the famous Monastery of Rumtek. This huge monastic complex was the official seat of the Gyalwa Karmapa - the head of the Kagyu order of Tibetan Buddhism. The current Karmapa, the 17th, was born in Tibet, and identified from the description of the 16th Karmapa in 1992. In 2000, he made a dramatic escape to India, and now lives with His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala. The monastery enshrines all that is best in traditional Tibetan monastic architecture. After lunch, visit the Tibetan Institute.
Institute of Tibetology - This organization is dedicated to furthering Tibetan studies, Buddhist philosophy and religion.
The institute attracts scholars from all over the world. It houses a rare collection of 30,000 books, Tantric documents, rare manuscripts written in gold on the bark of a poisonous tree, antique thangkha and 200 icons, all prized objects of art from the Buddhist world. (In case the Institute is closed, we shall visit Tashiview Point and ganesh Tok.
Overnight at the Nor-Khill Gangtok Hotel (B, L, D)

DAY 5: Gangtok - Pelling
Departing Gangtok, we make the 5½ hours road journey to Pelling - a drive of some 127 kilometres - where you will
check-in to the hotel. Pelling offers you spectacular vistas of the Kanchenjunga Range.
Visit Pemayangtse Monastery & Rabdentse Ruins. Believed to have been conceptualized and designed by the pioneer of
Buddhism in Sikkim, Lhatsun Chhembo, Pemayangste became the nuclei of monasteries in Sikkim. To date, it is referred to as the "premier monastery" of the State.
Overnight at the Elgin Mt. Pandim Hotel (B, L, D)

DAY 6: Pelling - Kalimpong
Today after breakfast, we leave Pelling for a four hours' drive (95 kilometres) to Kalimpong and
check-in to the hotel. On the border between West Bengal and Sikkim, Kalimpong is a tranquil hill station at an altitude of 1250m, located on top of a ridge east of the River Tista. It has stunning mountain scenery surrounded
by oak forests and an abundance of orchids, roses and dahlias. Kalimpong was once a stopping point
on the trade route through the 'three closed lands' of Tibet, Bhutan and Nepal. The Buddhist
monasteries in Kalimpong are bright and intriguing, housing a number of Tibetan manuscripts.
We visit the Durpin Dara which is the highest point in Kalimpong accessible by car and from where
you will experience breath-taking views of the plains and the mighty Tista.
Zong Dog Palri Fobrang Monastery is a fairly new monastery also located in Durpin Dara from where you'll have a
panoramic view of the town and its surroundings.
Kalimpong is famous for its Flower Nurseries, which export exotic flowers like amaryllis lilies, roses, gerbera, dahlias, and gladiolas, as well as orchids and cacti. A visit to Kalimpong is not complete until you explore the Kalimpong bazaar. It is a unique experience to see villagers turning up in their local costume at the bazaars on weekly market days to sell their farm products.
Overnight at the Silver Oaks Hotel (B, L, D)

DAY 7: Kalimpong - Darjeeling
We depart the Silver Oaks Hotel after breakfast for our short drive (51 kilometers, approximately 2½ hours) to Darjeeling and our check-in to the Mayfair Darjeeling Hotel. Today, we meet a local family for lunch to experience the traditional Sikkimese way of life before visiting the Tibetan Refugee Centre this evening.
Overnight at the Mayfair Darjeeling Hotel (B, L, D)

DAY 8: Darjeeling
Set against the stunning backdrop of the snow-covered Himalayas, Darjeeling is the most important hill resort in Eastern India. It exudes old world colonial charm, and has a reputation for producing the "champagne of the west," better known as Darjeeling tea. Well before dawn (4:30 am to 7:30 am is the best time), we will approach Tiger Hill, at 9678 feet, to view the sunrise over Kanchenjunga and the mighty peaks of the Eastern Himalaya.
On the way back to Darjeeling, we visit the Ghoom Monastery. More correctly known as
Yogachoeling Gompa, this is the most famous monastery in Darjeeling. It enshrines an image of the Maitreya Buddha. As Ghoom is frequently swathed in mists, and the monastery is old and dark, it is often affectionately called Gloom monastery! Returning to the hotel for a welcome breakfast, we set off later to visit the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute (HMI) which runs courses to train mountaineers and maintains a couple of interesting museums. The Mountaineering Museum contains a collection of historic mountaineering equipment, specimens of Himalayan flora and fauna and a relief model of the Himalaya.
Overnight at the Mayfair Darjeeling Hotel (B, L, D)

DAY 9: Darjeeling - Bagdogra Airport - Guwahati
After breakfast, you'll check-out of the hotel and we will transfer to Bagdogra Airport - about a 3 hour drive of about 80 kilometres - for your flight to Guwahati where you will be transferred to your hotel for check-in.
Overnight at the Kiran Shree Hotel (B)

DAY 10: Guwahati / M.V Mahabaahu / Kiriakara
Checking-out after breakfast, we drive to embark your river cruise ship for the next 7 nights, M.V. Mahabaahu. En route we visit the Navagraha Temple and Kamakhya Temple. Navagraha Temple, also known as the Abode of Surya or the temple of the nine celestial bodies, is located in the southeastern part of Guwahati in Assam, on a hill by
the name of Chitrachal. As the name indicates, this temple is dedicated to the nine
planets in the solar system, and is a centre of astrological and astronomical research. Enshrined in this temple are nine Shivalingams, representing the nine celestial bodies, each covered with a coloured garment symbolic of each of the celestial bodies. If time permits, we will visit the Temple of Kamakhya on the way to the ship.(CLOSED FROM 1 PM TO 3:30 PM) This Temple is devoted to the eternal feminine, the goddess of desire whose name is Kama Khya, granter of desires.

The Kamakhya Temple in Assam symbolizes the "fusion of faiths and practices" of Aryan and non-Aryan elements in Assam. The different names associated with the goddess are names of local Aryan and non-Aryan goddesses. Animal sacrifices take place here almost every day.
Assam......a rich, green land of rolling plains and dense forests is the gateway to the northeastern part of India. The mightyBrahmaputra River that has its origins in Tibet, charts its majestic course through Assam. This mystic land of eternal blue hills and beautiful rivers is renowned for its tea, rich flora and fauna, the world famous one-horned rhinoceros and other rare species of wildlife on the verge of extinction. Except for Africa, there is perhaps no part of the world where such a variety of wildlife exists.
The one-horned Indian rhinoceros has been successfully saved from near extinction in the Kaziranga National Park. Assam also provides one of the last wild habitats for the Asian elephant. It is increasingly becoming a popular destination for wildlife tourism. Kaziranga National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Situated between 90-96 degrees East Longitude and 24-28 degrees North Latitude, Assam is bordered on the North and East by the Kingdom of Bhutan and Arunachal Pradesh. Along the south, lie Nagaland, Manipur and Mizoram. Meghalaya lies to the Southwest, Bengal and Bangladesh to the West.

The M.V. Mahabaahu sets sail at 16:00 hours on the Brahmaputra River to Kiriakara. Guests will be given a safety briefing followed by a special welcome dinner.
Overnight on board M.V. Mahabaahu (B, L, D)

DAY 11: Kiriakara - Silghat
The upstream cruise offers a perfect vantage point for life on the mighty Brahmaputra River while we spend the day sailing to Silghat. Enjoy a massage in our spa, soak in the Jacuzzi, or swim in the pool. One may prefer to scan the river for a fleeting sight of the Gangetic Dolphin or do some bird watching from the decks. Book lovers are sure to enjoy our well stocked library. We enjoy a presentation on 'Wildlife of Kaziranga' later in the afternoon.
Overnight on board M.V. Mahabaahu (B, L, D)

DAY 12: Silghat -Kaziranga
We start sailing to Silghat enjoying our breakfast as we cruise. Lunch onboard and on arrival at Silghat, we drop anchor. In the afternoon disembark at Silghat and drive to a Tea Estate. The Kaliabor Manor is set in perfect ambiance and encompasses tasteful hospitality in all its hues. Experience a walk through the manicured tea gardens and watch tea pickers at work followed by a talk on the art of making that perfect cup of tea!
Return to the ship for dinner.
Overnight on board M.V. Mahabaahu (B, L, D)

DAY 13: Kaziranga - Bishwanath
Rise before the sun to set off for the Kaziranga National Park and an once-in-a-lifetime elephant-backed safari where we search for the elusive rhinoceros and tiger. After breakfast at a resort in Kaziranga, we return to Kohora Gate to once again explore the wildlife experience in a Jeep Safari and to ensure we have had complete coverage of this
magnificent park. We return to the ship for lunch and continue sailing to Bishwanath. We take the smaller boats to visit this charming village where we can watch the women weaving cotton and silk in almost all the households here.
In the evening, enjoy a traditional dance performance on board followed by a demonstration of the technique of wearing an Assamese sari.
Overnight on board M.V. Mahabaahu (B, L, D)

DAY 14: Bishwanath Ghat - Towards Majuli
While the ship sails to Majuli, we enjoy a DVD on 'Tribes of the North East'.
After lunch, we enjoy a boat safari before returning to M.V. Mahabaahu to continue our journey to Majuli.
Late in the evening, we enjoy a cooking demonstration on board followed by a bonfire at an isolated island. We then return to the vessel for dinner.
NOTE: (If a suitable sandbank cannot be found or we experience inclement weather conditions, dinner may be on board). Overnight on board M.V. Mahabaahu (B, L, D)

DAY 15: Majuli Island
Continue sailing towards Majuli before disembarking for a visit to a Mishing Village where the
community is happy to share their experiences whilst the children look at us with dreamy eyes.
Return to the ship for lunch before sailing again towards Majuli.
This afternoon enjoy a massage in the spa, soak in the jacuzzi or swim laps in the pool. Alternatively,
one may prefer to scan the river for a fleeting sight of the Gangetic Dolphin or bird watch from the
decks. Drop anchor at Majuli and before dinner you will be enlightened by a talk on Vaishnavism in Assam
Overnight on board M.V. Mahabaahu (B, L, D)

DAY 16: Majuli -Nimati -Sibsagar
This morning before breakfast we offer a Yoga session on board and then depart for Majuli Island to visit the Satras
(Monasteries). Majuli is the treasure house of Assamese culture where ancient monasteries are dedicated to preservation of the arts that have existed here since the 15th century.
Here we find records of the visit of Shankardeva, a social reformer, during the 16th century. He promulgated a form of
Hinduism that was also called Vaishnavism. He established monasteries or hermitages that were called Satra and became the hub of culture, art, religion and lifestyle. Even today, the Satra preserve antiques weapons, utensils, jewellery and other articles of cultural importance.
In Majuli, we visit Samagudi Satra and enjoy the masked dance. We also explore the Kamlabadi Satra and experience
young monks perform (Matia Khora).
Return to M.V Mahabaahu for lunch and set sail. Arrive at Nimati and drop anchor.
This evening we enjoy our Farewell Dinner onboard together and share our latest experience of India with each other.
Overnight on board M.V. Mahabaahu (B, L, D)

DAY 17: Disembarkation / Nimati - Jorhat - Kolkata - Flight Stopover
After breakfast, disembark and travel overland to Sibsagar, the ancient city of the Ahom Kings. The town, which literally means 'the ocean of Lord Shiva', is strewn with the tell-tale ruins of a powerful empire, the Ahom.
Sibsagar was the capital of the Thai-speaking Ahoms who came to the area from Yunnan, China, in the 13th century AD. Their unique architectural style is evident in the well-preserved monuments scattered around the town.
The town is built round the Sibsagar Lake (or tank), dug over 200 years ago. On its banks are located some of the famous temples of Sibsagar. The Shiva Temple, constructed in the year 1734 is believed to be the highest Hindu temple in India.
From here we drive to the airport with packed lunch to board our 3 hours flight to Kolkata.
(B, Ship-Packed Lunch)

DAY 18: Arrive UK

Fares include on board

  • Accommodation on twin sharing basis.
  • Accommodation at M.V Mahabaahu will be on full board basis.
  • Domestic Wine/Beer at welcome & farewell dinner only.
  • All Entrance fees at the Monuments and National Parks as per the itinerary.
  • 1 Game drive and one Elephant Safari to the Kaziranga National Park for the period when the Park is open.
  • All excursions/lectures/performances and activities as per the itinerary.
  • Services of English speaking guide during sightseeing at all the places as per the itinerary.
  • Arrival & departure assistance transfers with representative at the airports.
  • Assistance and porterage at the airports.
  • All Arrival & Departure transfers with Representative at the airport and Land transport by air-conditioned transportation.

Fares include - Sikkim & Darjeeling land tour

  • Accommodation for double occupancy as per the above mentioned meal plan in base category of rooms.
  • All Entrance fees at the monuments as per the itinerary
  • Services of accompanying English speaking tour leader staying in a different hotel
  • All arrival & departure transfers with Representative at the airport and land transport by (For Kolkata &
  • Guwahati only):
  • 2 Pax - Air-conditioned Indigo Car.
  • Assistance and porterage at the airports
  • Transport at Sikkim & Darjeeling by AC transportation
  • All currently applicable taxes
  • Domestic air fares

NOT INCLUDED:

  • Expenses of a personal nature such as laundry, telephone/fax calls, internet, imported wines & spirits, camera/video
  • camera fee at monuments/national park, medical expenses, salon/massages, airport departure tax etc.
  • Any insurance
  • Any meals or beverages that are not specified on the above inclusions
  • Any tipping
  • Expenses caused by factors beyond our control like rail and air plane delays, roadblocks, vehicle malfunctions,
  • political disturbances, taxes, lost luggage, etc.
  • Any other services not mentioned in the inclusions
  • Any further tax levied by the government of India
  • International flights

SPECIAL NOTES:-

  • Hotel check-in 1400 hours, check-out time 1200 NOON
  • Prices are subject to change with any increase in the cost
  • Rates include only those items specified in your itinerary
  • A supplement will be charged in case of any currency fluctuations, amendment to local Government taxes, or fuel increase

UK Departure Dates

  • 10 Oct 14
  • 2 Nov 14
  • 16 Nov 14
  • 18 Jan 15
  • 15 Feb 15
  • 8 Mar 15
  • 4 Oct 15
  • 25 Oct 15
  • 15 Nov 15
  • 20 Dec 15
  • 31 Jan 16
  • 28 Feb 16
  • 20 Mar 16

Prices per person from

  • Superior Cabin £3,299
  • Balcony Cabin £3,499

Optional Extras

Contact us to add on

  • International flights

...and other bespoke tailor-made travel arrangements and land-tour extensions.

MV Mahabaahu Video

Terms & Conditions

Prices are per person, cruise-only, based on two sharing and are subject to availabilty and possible change.

Please note, there are no elephant-backed or jeep safaris between May and the first half of October. Boat safaris will be offered instead during these months. During the months that the Kaziranga National Park is closed, we are able to explore the shores of the Park with our expedition boats. We will cruise the Park shoreline and many of the riverine islands that are home to a number of animals and a wide variety of birds.
During the peak winter season of mid-December to mid-February, the itinerary will be adjusted according to daylight hours as the M.V. Mahabaahu does not sail during darkness. In order to provide for full coverage of the Kaziranga National Park during these winter months, we will not visit Bishwanath Ghat.

This itinerary is subject to weather and river conditions. The Captain/Cruise Director reserves the right to adjust the itinerary for passenger safety and comfort.The Brahmaputra River is subject to seasonal fluctuations. Islands and sand bars can appear and disappear between one sailing and the next. Also, being one of the highest precipitation zones in the world, our program is subject to weather and River conditions. Far Horizon Tours reserve the right to convert the direction of the cruise from upstream to downstream or vice versa without any compensation.

Additional services, if any, during the trip must be paid for by the clients. Kindly note that names of hotels mentioned
above only indicate that our rates have been based on usage of these hotels, and it is not to be construed that accommodation is confirmed at these hotels until and unless we convey such confirmation to you. In the event of any of the above-mentioned hotels not becoming available, we shall book alternate accommodation at a similar or next best available hotel and shall pass on the difference of rates (supplement/reduction whatever applicable) to you.