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24 Day Spirit of India & Sri Lanka

APT Tour & River Cruise starting in Negombo and finishing in Varanasi

Book online and enjoy exclusive savings on APT's 24 Day Spirit of India & Sri Lanka. Discover the hidden wonders of Sri Lanka and India as part of a small group. Explore architectural ruins, tour Old Delhi by rickshaw, delight in the majesty of the Taj Mahal, and enjoy 7 nights cruising the Lower Ganges.


Operator: APT
Type: Tour & River Cruise (Premium)
Duration: 24 Days
From: Negombo to Varanasi
Tour Code: INSV24
Reviews: Not Yet Reviewed
Visits: India, Sri Lanka
Our Price From:
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Per Person ($AU)

Day By Day



On arrival at Colombo airport, you'll be met and transferred to your hotel in Negombo. A true Sri Lankan desire, The Heritance is located adjacent to the island's beautiful west coast beach. Stay Two Nights: Negombo, The Heritance


After breakfast, commence a city tour of the historic town of Negombo. A photographer's paradise and nirvana for beach lovers, today walk along the fort wall to the iconic Dutch Fort, known as the Old Gate, before exploring the beautiful Oruva outrigger canoes scattered around the Main Fish Market and canals. Enjoy a delicious dinner after an afternoon at leisure. (B/L/D)

Negombo, Kandalama

Today you'll travel to Kandalama, home to an ancient rock fortress and ruins of the once temporary capital built by King Kassapa I. Take a glimpse into Sri Lanka's majestic past with a tour of the World Heritage-listed Sigiriya Rock Fortress, an iconic rocky outcrop formed from magma of an extinct volcano. Later this evening, savour a special dinner in the historic, enormous Caves of Heritance Kandalama. By the light of flaming torches and candle lanterns, delight in a fine selection of gourmet dishes, made fresh with local ingredients. Stay Two Nights: Kandalama, The Heritance (B/L/D)


After breakfast, learn the culinary flavours of the country and enjoy traditional cooking in a laid back environment and intimate organic garden. Following the demonstration, and the chance to taste your dishes, perhaps take a cultural city tour of Polonnaruwa, or embark on an authentic village trek. Tonight, dine at Royal Banquet for an exquisite seven-course meal composed of the finest ingredients. (B/L/D)

Kandalama, Dambulla, Kandy

This morning, tour the vast isolated rock mass of the Dambulla Rock Cave Temple, where King Valagambahu once took refuge. This afternoon, continue to Kandy. Set on a plateau surrounded by mountains, infused with lush tea plantations, join a city tour and visit to The Temple of The Buddha's Tooth - a temple which houses the relic of the sacred tooth of Buddha. This evening, choose from a range of dining options before retreating to your hotel. Stay Two Nights: Kandy, Earl's Regency (B/L/D)

Kandy, Nuwara Eliya, Kandy

Wake early this morning to travel to Nuwara Eliya, via a guided tour of a local Tea Factory. Enjoy lunch at the beautiful Ramboda Falls before commencing a sightseeing city tour of Nuwara Eliya. Awash with British nostalgia, marvel at the tea plantations and green forestry that lushly blankets the steepy hills. Following high tea in the afternoon, return to Kandy. (B/L/D)

Kandy, Colombo

Today you'll travel to Sri Lanka's capital, Colombo. Situated in the heart of the city, along the seafront and facing the famous Galle Face Green, unwind and experience the epitome of comfort this afternoon at your hotel. Stay Two Nights: Colombo, Galle Face Hotel (B/L/D)


A city with an intriguing mix of history, colonial buildings, ruins, modern developments and vibrant nature, Colombo is Sri Lanka's multifaceted commercial capital. Today, explore the Fort area of the city on a guided city walk. The walk places focus on photography, architecture and history as you loop through the entire Fort area, stopping at museums, buildings and landmarks. Afterwards, stroll through the bustling Pettah Markets to taste local street snacks and sample the popular cold beverage dessert 'Faluda'. Tonight, enjoy a special Farewell Dinner at the prestigious Ministry of Crabs. Created as a celebration of Sri Lanka's seafood, indulge in classic dishes, as well as a host of other non-seafood and vegetarian options. (B/L/D)

Colombo, Delhi

After breakfast, you'll transfer to the airport for your flight to Delhi, India's bustling capital. Full of magic and mystery, Delhi is a city that bridges two different worlds. Old Delhi, the once capital of Islamic India, is a labyrinth of narrow lanes lined with crumbling havelis and formidable mosques. In contrast, New Delhi is composed of spacious avenues and imposing government fortifications. After free time to explore, choose from a range of dining options tonight. Stay Two Nights: Delhi, Imperial Hotel (B/D)


A tour of Old Delhi begins at Jama Masjid, India's largest mosque. Later, explore the labyrinth of tiny lanes of Shahjahanabad in a cycle-rickshaw. Later drive past Rashtrapati Bhawan, the official residence of the President of India, and visit India Gate - a 42 metre-high archway in the centre of Delhi. Visit a local family to enjoy a cooking demonstration followed by lunch. Afterwards, drive to Humayun's Tomb, thought to be the predecessor for the Taj Mahal. Tonight, head to Bukhara Restaurant for dinner. (B/L/D)

Delhi, Agra, Taj Mahal

Today you'll travel to Agra, home of the Taj Mahal. On arrival, enjoy a tour of Agra's Red Fort, a powerful fortress of red sandstone that overlooks the gardens of the Taj Mahal. Afterwards, retire to your five-star hotel and unwind in the afternoon. Later, set off to experience the stunning Taj Mahal bathed in the golden glow of sunset. This evening, choose from a range of dining options. Stay: Agra, The Oberoi Amarvilas (B/L/D)

Agra, Jaipur

Wake early this morning and enjoy a sunrise visit to the Taj Mahal. Admire the stunning colours of the domes as the sun rises then, after breakfast, travel to the newly created city and municipal corporation of Bharatpur. Enjoy lunch at Laxmi Vilas Palace then continue on to Jaipur, known as the Pink City due to its terracotta-coloured walls, buildings and temples. Stay Three Nights: Jaipur, The Oberoi Rajvilas (B/L/D)


Today head to Amber Fort, a towering fortress overlooking the Jaipur city. Built from pale yellow and pink sandstone, as well as white marble, this magnificent fort is more like a palace and is divided into four main sections, each with their own courtyard. After time at leisure, head to the 18th-century built Sankotra Haveli for lunch before free time this afternoon. This evening, indulge in a grand gala dinner at Dera Amer. Located behind the hills of Amber Fort, be greeted with traditional folk dance and music as meals are served. (B/L/D)


Today, you may choose to take an invigorating walk up to Jaigarh Fort for spectacular views over Jaipur. Alternatively, visit the City Palace, a vast palace complex, as well as Jantar Mantar, which is home to a collection of architectural astronomical instruments. After your chosen activity, enjoy time at leisure this afternoon. Later this evening, choose from two dining options. (B/L/D)

Jaipur, Kolkata, Embark Lower Ganges River Cruise

This morning, fly to Kolkata. On arrival, transfer to the RV Ganges Voyager for your seven-night journey along the Lower Ganges River. Following lunch on board, visit Mother Teresa's house, then pay homage at her tomb. Later, enjoy a Welcome Reception and cultural performance. Stay Seven Nights: RV Ganges Voyager (B/L/D)

Kolkata, Bandel

This morning, experience the rich culture and lingering colonial influence on a ride aboard a private tramcar. Visit Howrah Bridge, before exploring the nearby Mullik Ghat Flower Market. After lunch on board, your ship will begin its journey upstream along the Lower Ganges. Later today, visit the 19th-century Hooghly Imambara. (B/L/D)


After breakfast, disembark in Kalna, known as the City of Temples. On a guided cycle-rickshaw tour, you'll visit some of Bengal's most distinct terracotta temples, including the Rajbari royal palace complex. You'll also see the eye-catching Shiva temples. Later this afternoon, you'll return to your ship and enjoy a delicious dinner on board. (B/L/D)


This morning, enjoy an excursion to Matiari. Here, you'll learn how the villagers' unique methods have been handed down for generations. You'll also enjoy the opportunity to peruse beautiful cooking instruments crafted from recycled copper and brass. Afterwards, continue cruising upstream passing the site of The Battle of Plassey. Learn how the British East India Company recorded a decisive victory here in 1757, helping establish the company rule in Bengal and in turn, throughout much of India. (B/L/D)

Khushbagh, Murshidabad, Baranagar

Disembark in Khushbagh, and pass through local farmers' fields to the tomb of the last Nawab of Bengal. Back on board, enjoy the afternoon at leisure. As you approach Murshidabad, you'll notice the Hazarduari Palace, which dominates the waterfront. After a tour, you'll visit the 18th-century Katra Mosque, and learn about the Mohammedan rulers. Later, cruise to the sleepy village of Baranagar. This evening, enjoy dinner on board. (B/L/D)


Enjoy a restful morning before a visit to the village of Mayapur, on the banks of the Ganges river. Here you'll learn about the Hari Krishna community and culture, and view the construction of the Temple of the Vedic Planetarium, a unique project to make the vast culture and philosophy of the timeless Vedic tradition accessible to everyone. (B/L/D)


This morning, cruise to Chandannagar. Stroll along the Chandannagar Strand, visit its 200 year-old church, and, at the house of former French Governor Joseph François Dupleix, discover an impressive collection of French antiques. This afternoon, continue cruising downstream to Kolkata. Tonight, enjoy a Farewell Dinner. (B/L/D)

Disembark Cruise, Kolkata, Varanasi

After breakfast, disembark in Kolkata. Guests will spend the afternoon at Kolkata's Oberoi Grand Hotel, then after lunch transfer to the airport for their flight to Delhi to connect with your onward flight. Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel in the heart of the city. Later today, take a guided tour of Bharat Mata temples before dinning at your hotel this evening. Stay Two Nights: Varanasi, Taj Gateway Hotel (B/L/D)


Awake in the capital of India this morning, and head out on a cruise along the Ganges. Be captivated as you float past the burning ghats (steps) where ceremonial cremations are carried out in the ancient, traditional way. Then, on a guided sightseeing tour, you'll explore the Old City of Varanasi. You'll also visit a number of temples, including the Durga Mandir and Bharat Mata temples, as well as the Banaras Hindu University. Later today, enjoy an evening prayer cruise along the Ganges, and see a spectacular fire-lit Aarti ceremony. (B/L/D)

Depart Varanasi

After a morning at leisure, transfer to the airport for your flight to Delhi to connect with your onward flight. (B/L)

Trip Inclusions

Trip Highlights

  • Experience the real India in absolute comfort and style aboard the RV Ganges Voyager
  • Take a tour of the World Heritage-listed Sigiriya Rock Fortress in Kandalama
  • Enjoy a unique cooking demonstration in the home of a local Delhi family
  • Board a cycle-rickshaw and explore a labyrinth of tiny lanes in Old Delhi
  • Experience the beauty of the iconic Taj Mahal at both sunrise and sunset
  • Learn about Kolkata's heritage during a ride aboard a private tramcar
  • Explore the Mullik Ghat Flower Market
  • See a fire-lit Aarti ceremony during an evening prayer cruise in Varanasi

Included Experiences

  • An authentic experience of India and Sri Lanka - both rural and urban
  • The services of an APT Tour Director during your Small Group Land Journey
  • The services of an APT Cruise Director throughout your boutique river cruise
  • All tipping, airport transfers, sightseeing and porterage
  • All internal flights

Fine Dining

  • Includes 67 meals - Enjoy 23 breakfasts, 22 lunches and 22 dinners

Outstanding Accommodation

  • Embrace the rich history of Colombo's iconic Galle Face Hotel for two nights
  • Enjoy three memorable nights at Delhi's elegant Imperial Hotel
  • Stay at The Oberoi Amarvilas in Agra, with stunning views of the Taj Mahal
  • Be treated like royalty during three nights at The Oberoi Rajvilas in Jaipur

Trip Notes

  • Itinerary and inclusions are subject to change
  • Prices include all flights and airport taxes within India (taxes are subject to change)
  • Prices do not include international flights

Operator Details

APT Reviews: (223)
Cruises on Sale: 346
Budget: Luxury & Premium
Airport Transfers: Included
Types: Tours, River Cruises & Small Ship Cruises
Average Age: 45-60+ years
Destinations: Worldwide

Prices & Dates ($AU)

There are currently no tour departures available for this tour - either it's the end of the season, or this tour itinerary has been changed and will no longer continue. Feel free to contact us for information about when next seasons dates will be released or click to view general brochure release dates for all destinations.

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Tour Notes
Trip prices are per person, and reflect applicable discounts. Discounts are subject to availability, exclusive to Global Journeys and may be withdrawn at any time without notice. Trip prices are correct at the time of the products going live, however are subject to confirmation at the time of booking. All trip information is correct at time of trips going live, however are subject to change by APT. Full terms & conditions are available here.
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