What to Expect
Each Vantage Adventure is designed to help you fully experience local culture and to get out and explore while keeping active. We find these are the two most fulfilling and rewarding ways to transform any trip into an adventure, and into the experience of a lifetime. To that end, we've rated each trip to indicate the level of cultural immersion and physical activity, with "1" being the lowest and "3" being the highest.
CULTURAL IMMERSION: India requires a heavy foreign culture adjustment for some. Travelers at times will encounter dust, pollution, heat, large crowds in cities, visible poverty, and beggars — all of which are part of the environment and culture of India. The different customs, foods, culture, and history are for many the most rewarding part of the experience. For those up for it, these challenges – as well as the beauty, spirituality, and diversity – make India a uniquely rewarding destination. Cultural Discoveries provide opportunities to meet the local people.
PHYSICAL ACTIVITY: Sightseeing is on air-conditioned coaches with guides, and there are many walking tours through historic city centers. Steps are to be expected, as well as occasional steep and/or uneven terrain. As there is no elevator on board ship, this tour is not suitable for passengers with walking difficulties. The ship and tours are not suitable for wheelchairs or other mobility aids.
Please refer to Vantage's wheelchair- and handicapped-traveler policy. Let our Reservations Specialist know when booking if you require the use of an elevator so they can help you select an alternate tour.
PACING: We spend 15 nights at a moderate pace, with 3 nights in Delhi, 3 nights in Jaipur, 2 nights in Agra, and 7 nights on board the RV Ganges Voyager river boat. Some transfers are long, but include sightseeing and rest stops. The Ganges river cruise includes 8 ports of call in addition to the points of embarkation and disembarkation. Ports of call are for full-day and evening, with no tendering so that you can walk from the ship ramp directly onto shore.
WHAT TO WEAR: Comfortable shoes are recommended. High heels are to be avoided. Bring jackets for January, February, November and December departures.
SPECIAL FACTORS: Temperatures in India are at their highest during April, May, June and September. All hotels are modern, air-conditioned, and meet the best international standards. The elephant ride in Jaipur can be uncomfortable, especially for those with back pain, so alternate transport is provided. A hat or cap, sunscreen, flashlight, bug spray and walking stick will be very helpful. Tap water is not potable. Curry is very common, so be careful of having spicy food if you have a sensitive stomach. As a precaution and in case you get sick, bring medicines for stomach sickness and vomiting.
Adapters and converters of 240 volts are fine to take if you wish to use. Headset devices for guided tours will be provided, but you may use your own earplugs.
Air Travel within India: Domestic flights only allow 1 piece of checked luggage – 33 lbs each – plus one carry-on bag per passenger. Passengers are advised to lock checked luggage on internal flights.
Train Travel within India: The train ride on the base program will be part of your India travel experience. Trains are the most common form of travel in India, which has the world's largest rail network. However, train stations are very basic, often with no seating area or facilities. Vendors and beggars will often pass among the waiting passengers. Aboard the train, Vantage has reserved a seat for you in an air-conditioned car, where you will travel with local people and other international travelers. Snacks and water are included with the train fare; please note that the food on the train is very spicy. There is no bar or restaurant car. The train will have a lavatory, although cleanliness may be below the standards you're used to and you will need to supply your own toilet paper. Windows are often obscured by sun and dust screens, so the passing scenery may not be readily visible.