There are few places in the world that evoke such profound impact on its visitors as the Taj Mahal in Agra. Once the capital of the great Mughal Empire, Agra in itself is well worth a visit for its repository of some of the Mughals most famous monuments. Both the Taj Mahal and the Agra Fort have been declared UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1983. And there are few places in the world that compare with the Pink City of Jaipur, where you stay on this magical journey into India's wonders.
04MIDHKT-A Taj Mahal & Jaipur - A Magical Journey to India
Offered on Voyage 4506
Departure: Phuket, March 9, 2015
Duration: 4.5 Days/ 4 Nights
Re-join ship: Colombo, March 13, 2015
Reserve by: December 6, 2014
This Mid-Voyage Land Adventure requires advance booking through Silversea Reservations by December 6, 2014. Requests received after this date may be accommodated on a space-available basis and the programme price is subject to change. Payment in full is due within 120 days prior to sailing. This programme is non-refundable if cancelled within 90 days of sailing. Space on this land programme is limited; however, a minimum number of participants are required for its operation.
Guests must be in possession of an Indian and Sri Lankan visa obtained prior to joining the cruise. Visa details must be communicated to Silversea no later than 60 days prior to the operation of this Mid-Voyage Land Adventure.
A visit to India's treasured World Heritage Sites evokes images of royalty and legendary tales of love and valour. There are few places in the world that compare with the mesmerising Taj Mahal and the awe-inspiring Agra Fort. Jaipur is known as the 'Pink City' for its pink sandstone buildings. These outstanding attractions are amongst India's 'jewels in the crown', drawing thousands of visitors each year from all over the globe. From the magnificent and timeless beauty of the Taj Mahal to the imposing Agra Fort and the shimmering buildings of the 'Pink City', guests are able to enjoy a treasure trove of unforgettable sights that will enthral even the most jaded traveller.
DAY ONE - Monday, March 9, 2015 - Phuket/Bangkok/Delhi
Enjoy lunch on the ship or ashore before meeting in the afternoon for the transfer to Phuket airport for a scheduled flight to Bangkok, approximately 1.5 hours in length. Connect further to your 4.5 hours flight to Delhi. Dinner is served in-flight. Upon arrival in Delhi, you are met and taken to The Oberoi for check-in. The Oberoi New Delhi represents contemporary Indian style in the bustling heart of New Delhi, with a mix of traditional luxury and modern amenities. As you will arrive after midnight, retire upon arrival so you are ready for the trip to Agra in the morning.
Overnight accommodation at The Oberoi - New Delhi.
DAY TWO - Tuesday, March 10, 2015 - Delhi/Agra
After breakfast and check-out, depart the hotel and commence the journey to Agra, a drive of approximately 3.5 hours with a rest stop en route. As the coach passes through farmlands, your guide will fill you in on the region and its people.
Welcome to Agra! As the capital of the Mughal dynasties in the 16th and 17th centuries, Agra also was the repository of many of the Mughals most famous monuments. The city has long astonished visitors with sites that date back to the Mughal Empire.
Proceed directly to Agra Fort, the town's second important attraction after the Taj Mahal. The massive fort contains within its 1.5 mile-long (2.5 km-long), red sandstone walls the imperial city of the Mughal rulers. It comprises fairy-tale palaces, audience halls and two beautiful mosques. Founded in the 16th century, the vast complex experienced many additions by subsequent rulers. Here Shah Jehan was held captive by his son and spent his days gazing out from his room toward the Taj Mahal across the river.
Leave Agra Fort and transfer to The Oberoi Amarvilas for lunch and check-in. The luxury hotel is a mere 650 yards (600 metres) from the Taj Mahal, thus offering you a first glimpse of the stunningly beautiful mausoleum. After lunch, time is yours to enjoy the beautiful surroundings of your hotel.
Late in the afternoon, proceed for a sunset visit to the Taj Mahal - Shah Jehan's enduring monument to love. The unique beauty of this magnificent mausoleum in pure white marble provides a breath-taking image as soon as you emerge from the arched entry gateway. Emperor Shah Jehan, fifth of the great Mughal emperors was devoted to his wife Mumtaz Mahal, meaning literally jewel of the palace. She died at the age of 39 giving birth to their fourteenth child. The shah envisioned a memorial that would surpass anything the world had ever seen. Thousands of labourers and skilled craftsmen from Persia, Turkey, France and Italy were commissioned to construct this incredible masterpiece. The rays of the setting sun make the monument a wonder to behold. You can enter part of the mausoleum and stroll around the extensive grounds.
Return to the hotel, where dinner is served.
Overnight accommodation at The Oberoi Amarvilas - Agra.
DAY THREE - Wednesday March 11, 2015 - Agra/Jaipur
For another look at the Taj Mahal during sunrise, leave the hotel before breakfast. Then, return to the hotel and enjoy the morning's meal, followed by check out. Commence the approximately four-hour drive to Jaipur, with a comfort stop en route.
Arriving at the Rambagh Palace Hotel, you are invited to lunch and check-in. From the home of the queen's favourite handmaiden, to royal guesthouse and hunting lodge, and later as the residence of the Maharaja, Rambagh Palace, the 'Jewel of Jaipur' has stepped gracefully through many royal transitions. Its elegant rooms, marbled corridors and majestic gardens echo with history, and every corner has a story to tell. The sprawling hotel was built in Indo-Saracenic style and served as a royal residence for many years before being converted into one of the country's premier hotels.
Welcome to Jaipur, the Pink City that glows with a singular beauty derived from the shimmering pink sandstone used everywhere in its construction. The effect of this glorious extravagance, most especially at sunset, has enchanted visitors for centuries. This afternoon a tour of the city awaits you. Nestled in the Aravali Hills, the city was built in 1727 to the highest standards of city planning. Its founder was Jai Singh II, an extraordinary man who was not only a Prince, but also a military champion of his people and a dedicated astronomer who built advanced observatories in Jaipur, Delhi and elsewhere in India.
Your first stop is the mesmerising City Palace. In an unending series of delights, from its grand aged entrance to the play of ornamental fountains, the City Palace is a dazzling showplace of Hindu and Mughal architecture. Amongst the pleasures of the Palace is a museum with ample evidence of opulence. Visit the neighbouring Jantar Mantar, the Observatory. Built from 1728 to 1734 by Maharaja Jai Singh, Jantar Mantar was constructed on a grand scale and was way beyond its time.
Return to your hotel where dinner is served before you retire for the evening.
Overnight accommodation at Rambagh Palace Hotel - Jaipur.
DAY FOUR - Thursday, March 12, 2015 - Jaipur/Delhi/Colombo
After breakfast, check-out and proceed to the airport. Check-in for the one-hour, scheduled flight to Delhi, anticipated to depart at approximately 12 noon. On arrival in Delhi, lunch will be served at a local hotel before you return to the airport for your approximately 3.5-hour flight to Colombo. Dinner is served in-flight.
Welcome to Colombo! Being the capital and a major port of Sri Lanka, it's a fascinating city that links the past with the present. Its tangible history is a unique mix of relics of Portuguese, Dutch and English settlement, blended with Indian influences. Upon arrival, you are met and taken to Taj Samudra Hotel for check-in. Spread across 11 acres (4.5 hectare) of beautifully landscaped gardens, the hotel boasts a peerless view of the Indian Ocean and the Galle Face Green, a hallmark of Colombo.
DAY FIVE - Friday, March 13, 2015 - Colombo
After breakfast, embark on a tour of the city's highlights. Drive past the commercial district of the city, and through the Pettah bazaar area. The views are more peaceful as you drive past Vihara Mahadevi Park, now renamed after a Sinhalese queen. It was called Victoria Park when it was created by the British as a botanical garden for tropical species. Across the street is the imposing neo-classical Town Hall.
Delve deeper into this culture at the elegant, white, colonnaded National Museum. View the fascinating and sometimes scary mask collection, which has its share of demons, including Prince Maha Kola, wearing a diadem of interwoven snakes. Another gallery contains a display of outstanding Hindu and Buddhist bronzes. One group of statuettes is connected with the cult of Shiva, and includes a fine sculpture of Shiva as "lord of the dance." Some of the images are mobile - not intended to be worshipped in the most sacred places, but destined for ritual processions around the temple or through the streets of the town. The museum also houses a collection of the regalia of the King of Kandy.
You'll enjoy your
Re-join the ship in time for lunch.
Please note: This Mid-Voyage Land Adventure requires an extensive amount of walking with many steps to climb at the Taj Mahal and Agra Fort. It is not suitable for guests with limited mobility or those who utilise a wheelchair. This programme involves fairly long drives. The driving distance between Delhi and Agra is now 3-3.5 hours. The drive to Jaipur is approximately 4 hours in duration. All vehicles utilised are the best available; they will not be of western standards. Pack lightly; luggage weight restriction is limited to 33 lb. (15 kg). Include lightweight clothing and comfortable walking shoes. Remember to bring sunscreen, a hat and your camera. Shoe covers are provided for the platform and part interior visit of Taj Mahal mausoleum. The tour itinerary and order of sites are subject to change without prior notice and airline alterations to the flight schedules may affect the tour content. Space is limited, but a minimum of participants is required to operate this excursion. Guests must be in possession of an Indian and Sri Lankan visa obtained prior to joining the cruise. Visa details must be communicated to Silversea no later than 60 days prior to the operation of this Mid-Voyage Land Adventure. Full World Cruise guests participating on this programme will join the other guests in the morning to catch the Train to Pinnawela.
· One-night stay at The Oberoi New Delhi (or similar) - Delhi
· One-night stay at The Oberoi Amarvilas (or similar) - Agra
· One-night stay at Rambagh Palace (or similar) - Jaipur
· One-night stay at Taj Samudra (or similar) - Colombo
· Scheduled flights, Economy-Class: Phuket/Bangkok/Delhi, Jaipur/Delhi and Delhi/Colombo (Business Class may be requested at a supplemental charge per flight and at this time is only offered on the flights Bangkok/Delhi and Delhi/Colombo - subject to availability. Business class flights between Jaipur and Delhi are based on equipment utilised. All business class flights are quoted separately per flight.
· Four breakfasts, three lunches and two dinners (lunch and dinner include choice of two beverages, local beer, house wine, soft drinks), in addition to two in-flight dinners served with soft drinks.
· Roundtrip transfer by battery operated vehicles to and from the Taj Mahal entrance gate
· Shoe covers at the Taj Mahal to enter mausoleum
· Still and video camera fees
· Bottled water on coach
· All sightseeing and transfers as per itinerary
Indian and Sri Lankan visas, any meals and drinks not specified above, charges incurred by the airlines for excess or overweight luggage, gratuities to drivers and tour guides, laundry, telephone calls, cancellation insurance, and other personal items.
All Land Adventures require a minimum number of participants in order to operate as described. If this minimum number is not met, Silversea reserves the right to offer the programme at a different rate based on private arrangements, or to cancel the specific departure. Silversea's published cruise cancellation policy will remain in effect. All Land Adventure fares are subject to change and are not guaranteed until payment is received in full by Silversea. Onboard Spending Credit may not be applied to the purchase of this programme. All Land Adventures are non-transferable and non-refundable for any reason, within 90 days of sailing and are recommended to guests 18 years of age and older. This description is a general overview of this programme. Our local operator reserves the right to substitute other sites if local situations, including holidays and weather, require. The programme described in this brochure is provided by independent contractors. Silversea acts solely as ticketing agent. Silversea shall have no obligation or liability of any kind to guests for the business practices, acts or omissions in connection with or arising out of arrangements with independent contractors, including but not limited to airline carriers, ground-tour operators, and hotels since they are neither agents for nor employees of Silversea Cruises. Silversea's liability does not extend beyond the vessel.