TAJ MAHAL EXPERIENCE
Following a morning arrival into Goa, you will drive into Old Goa to see the Basilica of Bom Jesus, a World Heritage site church revered by Christians as the repository of the relics of St. Francis Xavier. Other important religious edifices nearby include the 16th-century Se Cathedral, the largest church in Asia. It also holds the largest bell in Goa, the famed Golden Bell, which is said to have announced the burning of heretics during the inquisition.
Afterwards, you will drive to neighboring Panjim for a panoramic drive through the city. Highlights include Portuguese-style winding streets, lovely balconied homes with red-tiled roofs, and the church of the Immaculate Conception.
In time, you will drive on to the airport for a flight to Delhi, where you will overnight at the Oberoi Trident Gurgaon Hotel or similar.
After breakfast and check out, you will drive through New Delhi and proceed toward Agra via the new Yamuna Expressway. The farther you drive, the more India's vast countryside reveals its beauty.
In time, you will arrive in Agra. As India's premier city in the 16th and 17th centuries, Agra became a great center for learning, art, commerce and culture. Today, it is more famous as the site of the white marble Taj Mahal, perhaps the world's greatest monument to love, certainly for a mausoleum.
After checking in at your hotel, you will enjoy a buffet lunch and then decide how you wish to spend the next few hours. The options are:
(A) 2:00 - 4:00 p.m. Visit the Agra Fort, a World Heritage Site credited to Emperor Akbar, India's great 16th-century visionary. Founded during his reign, this red sandstone fortress encompasses fairy-tale palaces, great halls and two beautiful mosques. Several of the buildings are made of pure marble adorned with artistic carvings.
(B) 2:00 - 4:00 p.m. Tour the Old City and visit the Tomb of Itmad-Ud- Daulah, the first Mughal structure to extensively use "pietra dura," a hard stone marble inlay found throughout the Taj Mahal. This mausoleum is small and squat when compared to the Taj Majal, but the more human scale has its own attraction, and the skillfully patterned surface of the tomb is exquisite.
(C) 2:00 pm onwards Hourly shopping shuttle to the marble inlay factory and local markets.
(D) 2:00 - 4:00 p.m. Consult with Agra's leading astrologer. Appointments for an analysis of your personal horoscope can be made at the ship's hospitality desk.
4:30 p.m. Visit the Taj Mahal, remaining until sunset, when the monument appears to change colors and glow.
The Taj Mahal, with its lacy white grandeur, is one of the world's most recognized monuments. In memory of his wife, the great Mughal emperor Shah Jehan planned this extravagant and incomparable monument, built for love. Amazingly graceful from any angle, the monument is even more astounding close up, where the fine details can truly be appreciated.
After some leisure time back at the hotel, enjoy a Kathak classical dance performance in the hotel ballroom. This dance arose from the fusion of Hindu and Muslim cultures during the Mughal era, and is characterized by rhythmic footwork, spectacular spins, mime and gestures that dramatically represent themes from Persian poetry and Hindu mythology.
A buffet dinner follows the dance performance, after which you will overnight at the ITC Mughal Hotel or similar.
After an early buffet breakfast at the hotel, check out and drive back to the airport in Delhi. Your flight to Bombay departs around noon.
Upon arrival in Bombay, drive directly to the pier and re-board the ship. (Luggage will be transported separately in a van).
Overland Program Step by Step:
Please note: The order of sites visited may vary to avoid congestion. The flights and timings indicated are only approximate, and are given here for general reference purposes and are subject to change.
DAY 1 – Monday, April 21, 2014
8:00am Arrive alongside in Goa
9:00am Disembark ship, drive through Old Goa and Panjim and proceed to the airport
12:15pm Arrive at the airport
1:30pm Depart Goa on Spice Jet Flight SG 254 to Delhi
(lunch/heavy snacks served on board)
4:00pm Arrive in Delhi and transfer to your hotel
5:15pm Arrive at the hotel and check-in
7:30pm Orientation meeting followed by dinner at the hotel
Overnight at the Oberoi Trident Gurgaon or similar
DAY 2 – Tuesday, April 22, 2014
8:00am Depart for Agra, driving through New Delhi en route
12:00nn Arrive in Agra and check into your hotel
12:30pm Buffet lunch at the hotel
2-4:00pm (a) Tour Agra Fort
2-4:00pm (b) Visit the Tomb of Itmad-Ud-Daulah in the Old City
2-4:00pm (c) Shopping shuttle on the hour to the marble inlay factory and local markets
2-4:00pm (d) Consult with Agra’s leading astrologer
4:30pm Visit the Taj Mahal, remaining for the sunset experience
7:00pm Classical Kathak dance performance at the hotel
7:30pm Dinner at the hotel
Overnight at the ITC Mughal Hotel or similar
DAY 3 – Wednesday, April 23, 2014
7:00am Check out of hotel and drive to Delhi for the flight to Bombay
10:15am Arrive at the airport
11:20am Depart Delhi for Bombay on Spice Jet flight SG 103
(lunch/heavy snacks served on board)
1:15pm Arrive in Bombay and tour transfer to the pier
4:00pm Arrive at the pier and re-board the ship.
5:00pm The ship sails from port
Days are sunny and warm with temperatures between 86-95 degrees F (30 to 35 ºC). The evenings are pleasant with temperatures in the mid-70s F (23 to 25 ºC). Temperatures drop as the night progresses.
What to Bring:
Casual wear for the day. Also, important is sun block, hat, shades and comfortable walking shoes. As the Taj Mahal is also a mausoleum, certain religious customs must be observed. As a token of respect, it is customary to remove your footwear before entering. Ladies should avoid wearing tank tops and short shorts. Knee-length shorts are acceptable for men and women.
Indian Rupee, available in denominations of 5, 10, 50, 100, 500 and 1000.
1 U.S. dollar is approximately INR 50.
220 - 240 volts. Hotel rooms are equipped with converters.
Light luggage is recommended for this 2-night trip. A maximum of one suitcase per person and one carry-on is allowed. The suitcase must not weigh more than 15kg (33 lbs.) due to flight restrictions. If your luggage exceeds this allowance, it will be subject to the fees imposed by the airline.
Airline and type of aircraft:
Spice Jet, Boeing 737-800, all economy class.
Documents and Visa Requirements:
It is essential to have a valid Indian visa and your passport.
The Oberoi Trident Gurgaon
443 Udyog Vihar, Phase V, Gurgaon, New Delhi - 122016, India
Tel : +91 124 245 0505, Fax : +91 124 245 0606
Taj Ganj, Agra, Uttar Pradesh - 282001, India
Tel : +91 562 4021700 Fax : +91 562 2331730
Please note: If similar hotels are required due to unforeseen circumstances, they will be of equal ratings and standards.
1 night at the Trident Gurgaon, Delhi with all meals or similar
1 night at the ITC Mughal Agra with all meals or similar
House wines, beer, mineral water and sodas during lunches and dinners
Deluxe buses in Goa/Bombay, Delhi and Agra - with restrooms inside
Sodas and mineral water onboard the busses at all times
Applicable entrances, camera/video fees at the Taj Mahal and the other monuments
Kathak dance performance in Agra
Fortuneteller for consultation
Economy-class airfare from Goa - Delhi - Bombay
Program Does Not Include:
Items of a personal nature, spa charges, telecommunications, mini-bars and alcohol, gratuities to drivers and guides, any meals not listed above.
Please note: Land programs that encompass multiple days ashore customarily include extensive and prolonged activity, while those of shorter durations typically have more moderate activity levels. However, each program varies and participants should be prepared to negotiate a mixture of surfaces, which may include inclines, cobblestones, sand, and gravel or natural paths. There may also be a need to climb steps or stairs on occasion. Wheelchair guests and those with mobility concerns are advised to check with the cruise line in advance to see if any portion of the tour program may not be considered suitable for their individual situation. Weather-appropriate clothing such as caps, sunglasses, and flat comfortable walking shoes are recommended.
Hotel and Land Program pricing is not combinable with FREE 1-Night Pre-Cruise Luxury Hotel Package. If applicable, please contact Regent Seven Seas Cruises or your travel agent for multi-night pre-cruise hotel pricing information. Land program promotions are subject to terms.