Our People
  • Amy Waters snow biking Our Team

    Steppes Travel is made by the people who work here. Incredible holidays are made possible because of their vast travel experience and the great enthusiasm they bring to their work.

  • William Dalrymple Our Tour Experts

    We carefully select our experts based on their knowledge, companionship and influence, ensuring that you can travel with the most knowledgeable leaders in the field.

  • Liz Bonnin Heroes and Heroines

    The people who lead the way when it comes to those things which matter to us: exploration, the environment, women’s empowerment and education.

Sadhu Praying at the Ghats, Varanasi, India

An All Ganges River Cruise



15 Days

Prices Start from

£5,200 (ex. flights)

Integral to shaping India’s history and revered by millions, the sacred Ganges River is the most profound. Ply these holy waters on board a comfortable cruise boat and explore this mighty river in style.

Key Highlights of this Itinerary

Puja Flowers, Ganges River, Rishikesh, India 1

Navigate the Ganges

Discover the villages, towns and temples in a little-known part of India avoiding congested roads.

Morning on the Ghats, Varanasi, India 2

Explore Varanasi

Spend time in the holy city of Varanasi to experience the most profound ceremonies seen in India.

Pandaw Cruises, India 3

Cruise in Comfort

The Pandaw and Assam Bengal Navigation ships offers large cabins and spacious saloons.

Brahmaputra River, Assam, India 4

Book an Expedition

Join a cruise with small groups of like-minded travellers. Share experiences and company.

Why we like it

Return to India on an extensive river cruise itinerary which incorporates some of the most revered and remarkable sites from Kolkata all the way to Varanasi. Step onboard and off the beaten track. Cross from the Lower Ganges or Hooghly River to the Ganges itself through the Farraka canal and lock. Visit a variety of Hindu and Buddhist sites with particular focus on the UNESCO world heritage site of Bodhgaya, the birthplace of Buddha.


Explore our suggested itinerary

  • Day 1


  • Day 2


  • Day 3


  • Day 4


  • Day 5


  • Day 6


  • Day 7


  • Day 8

    Munger and Mokama

  • Day 9

    Nalanda and Bodhgaya

  • Day 10


  • Day 11


  • Day 12


  • Day 13-15


Day 1


Rajmahal under the bridge, Calcutta, India

Visit the thriving city of Kolkata and learn about its colonial past

Day 2


Take cycle rickshaws to see a group of some of Bengal’s most attractive terracotta temples.

Day 3


Day 4


Day 5


ABN Sukapha, Farakka, River Cruises, India

Cross from the Lower Ganges or Hoogly River to the Ganges itself through the Farraka canal and lock, that was constructed 1963-75.

Day 6


Day 7


Day 8

Munger and Mokama

Day 9

Nalanda and Bodhgaya

This is a global centre of pilgrimage for Buddhists of all denominations and it is fascinating to tour the many monasteries around all built-in various national styles.

Day 10


Day 11


Day 12


Stop at Ghjazipur, home to the world’s largest opium factory, and visit the imposing tomb of Lord Cornwallis (who lost Yorktown) and latterly governor of India, where he was to pass away in 1805.

Day 13-15


Sadhu,Varanasi, India

Varanasi is one of India’s holiest cities and religious rituals are performed on a daily basis on the edge of the River Ganges.

Our travel experts can tailor this itinerary to suit you.

Morning on the Ghats, Varanasi, India
Varanasi, India
Morning Ritual on the Ganges River, Varanasi, India
Varanasi, India

Cruising on the Ganges

It is now possible to cruise between Kolkata and Varanasi covers 1000 miles of the River Ganges.

Varanasi is surely the goal of any ‘passage to India’ and at the other end of the holy river stands Kolkata, in all its Raj-like magnificence.

Between lies, several of the most important Buddhist sites including Sarnath, Nalanda and Bodh Gaya and cities great and small and between urban centres and great pilgrim sites are expanses of empty river teeming with birdlife, not to mention the Gangetic dolphin.

Ganges cruises can be taken separately or together to offer a choice of durations from three to 15 nights (by combining two itineraries).

Sadhu,Varanasi, India
Ganges River, Varanasi, India
Varanasi, India

The Holy Grail of the Ganges

Varanasi said to be the oldest inhabited city on the planet is the most sacred city of Hinduism and a place of overwhelming beauty at the same time poignantly moving with its cremation ghats. Visit Sarnath and the Deer Park where the Lord Buddha gave his first sermon with its archaeological museum. Take rowing boats for sunrise over the bathing ghats and after breakfast explore the old city by cycle rickshaw. Take evening walks along the ghats and witness the ‘Aarti’ rituals.

Taj Nadesar Palace, Varanasi, India
Nadesar Palace, Varanasi, India
Bengal Tiger, India
Bandhavgarh National Park, India
Temple, Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh, India
Khajuraho, India

Pre/Post Cruise Suggestions

Spend a few days acclimatising to India in Delhi, exploring the changing architecture of the ruling dynasties over the years. At the end of the cruise, disembark the ship in Varanasi and check into the luxurious Taj Nadesar Palace. This is a glorious boutique heritage hideaway, offering an opulent and serene retreat a short distance from the old city. From Varanasi, it is also easy to access other parts of India such as the erotic temples at Khajuraho or the tiger reserves at Panna or Bandhavgarh.

The Rajmahal, Assam Bengal Navigation, India
ABN Rajmahal, Farakka, India
Pandaw Cruises, India
Pandaw River Cruises, Guwahati, India
On Assam Bengal Navigation Boat, River Ganges, India
Patna, India
Rajmahal under the bridge, Calcutta, India
ABN Rajmahal, Kolkata, India

Who Operates Ganges River Cruises?

Steppes work with river cruise operators who reflect our outlook and ethos. Both the Assam Bengal Navigation Company (ABN) and Pandaw offer the highest of operating standards, superb service and exceptional non-invasive expeditions. Both run a series of fixed date departures throughout the year offering a different focus. We can talk you through the cruises and help you choose the right one for you.

Let’s chat

Send us an enquiry

Complete our enquiry form and start your next journey.


All guides, drivers and vehicles were superb and it was such a great way to see everything and know everything. The service was excellent.


A great itinerary for an introduction to India. It has given us lots of ideas and enthusiasm for a return trip.


Charlotte knows India extremely well. Very happy to answer even the most trivial of questions. Nothing is too much trouble.


A note on price

Prices will vary depending on the time of year you are travelling. Prices do not include international flights. Please ask one of our Travel Experts for an accurate quote. Flights purchased through Steppes Travel departing from the UK are ATOL protected.

Why Choose Steppes?

Our knowledge and expertise set us apart. So too our curiosity. It is this that drives us to create a journey that is really bespoke to you, all the while ensuring we travel and operate sustainably.

Are you ready to discover extraordinary once again?

More about Steppes

Get in touch

  • By sending your enquiry you are stating that you agree to our T&C

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.