India - the land of diversity, is a true feast for the eyes and all the senses with its historical monuments, beautiful temples, vibrant cities, bustling markets and relaxing backwaters. With so much on offer, it is impossible not to be enthralled by this ancient land and this fascinating tour combines the wonders of the Golden Triangle with a relaxing voyage from Cochin to Chennai by way of Sri Lanka visiting a number of ports which are off the usual cruise route.

After exploring each day on our guided excursions you will return to the cool, peace and calm of our carefully selected hotels or the all-suite MS Island Sky. Recharge the batteries with good food, caring service and a restful night’s sleep to be ready to witness another day in this great land of ancient faiths, customs and traditions which will be brought to life by our knowledgeable local guides.

Our escorted exploration of Delhi, Jaipur and Agra is followed by an eight night voyage aboard the MS Island Sky. The first day of our cruise will be a relaxing one as we meander through the extraordinary network of canals and lagoons observing the waterside life of the small communities and the colourful birdlife of the Keralan backwaters. Hugging the Kerala coast, we move on to Trivandrum, then across to Sri Lanka where we explore the interior and the old capital of Kandy, before cruising around the southern coast of the island to take in the Dutch colonial town of Galle and Bundala National Park.

Please note there are some long drives (3-5 hours) between cities on days 4, 5 and 7. Internal flights have yet to be scheduled and the final itinerary listed may be subject to change. Days 8 to 17 of this tour are part of our Passage to India cruise aboard the MS Island Sky.
Fly by scheduled indirect flight.
Arrive in Delhi and transfer to the ITC Sheraton hotel or similar. Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure before we meet this evening for dinner at the hotel.
Enjoy a morning sightseeing tour to discover Old Delhi, the former Mughal capital, and New Delhi, the colonial city designed in the 1920s by Lutyens. See the magnificent Red Fort and visit Raj Ghat, the memorial to Mahatma Gandhi as well as the Qutub Minar, a majestic sandstone tower built in 1172. After lunch at a local restaurant, the remainder of the day will be at leisure with dinner at the hotel this evening.
This morning we will drive to Agra and in the afternoon see the legendary beauty of the white marble domes of the elegant Taj Mahal. Built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan as an exquisite mausoleum for his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal, Rudyard Kipling described the building as “the embodiment of all things pure”. A visit will also be made to the great Mughal Agra Fort. We will stay overnight at the ITC Mughal or similar and enjoy dinner at the hotel this evening.
We will spend the day travelling to Samode, in Rajasthan province, visiting Fatehpur Sikra en-route. Built by Emperor Akbar in the 16th century, this former palace city on top of a ridge was only destined to be the capital of the Mughal Empire for ten years before the water supply dried up. Admire the architectural splendour of the Royal Hall, Mosque and palace buildings. Lunch will be taken en-route before continuing our journey and arriving in the early evening. Check into the splendid Samode Palace for a two night stay with dinner at the hotel this evening.
Today we explore the sights of Jaipur and visit the imposing Amber Fort blending Hindu and Rajput influences. After lunch, our guided sightseeing tour of Jaipur reveals the Palace of the Winds with its delicate honeycomb screens from behind which the ladies once viewed the world outside. Enjoy dinner at the hotel this evening.
After breakfast, we will visit a local village before driving to Delhi in the afternoon. Dinner and overnight at the ITC Sheraton Hotel or similar.
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel before we transfer to the airport for our scheduled flight to Cochin where we will embark the MS Island Sky.
Enjoy a day in this intriguing Malabar port and travel inland for a cruise along the Keralan backwaters at Alleppey sailing past colonial warehouses, small farmers plots and coconut thatched houses on top of traditional rice barges.
Be on deck as we sail into the Kerala port of Trivandrum, a magical sight. Built over seven hills, the ‘city of the sacred serpents’ retains some of old Kerala’s ambience, with its pagoda shaped buildings, red-tiled roofs and narrow winding lanes. There is much to see here and on our morning excursion we will include the old fort area around the 260 year old Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple. Return to the MS Island Sky for lunch and a relaxing afternoon cruising.
Over breakfast we arrive in Sri Lanka’s capital city where there will be a choice of activities today. On our full day tour to Kandy we will drive through Sri Lanka’s hill country to arrive at the picturesque, naturally fortified hill town of Kandy (please note the journey time is 3-4 hours each way). Here, we visit the Temple of the Tooth, which holds the Sacred Tooth Relic of Lord Buddha and is surrounded by the Bogambara Lake, as well as the lush Botanic Gardens and the National Museum. We enjoy lunch in a local restaurant before returning to the ship this evening. Alternatively remain in Colombo and enjoy a morning tour including the Gangarama Buddhist Temple, Colombo National and Dutch period museums and the Pettah area where the local market is a great place to find a bargain. Return to the MS Island Sky for lunch and enjoy a free afternoon to explore independently.
Awake this morning in Galle where, on a morning tour we visit the Old Dutch Fort, the museum housed in an Old Dutch house depicting life in the Dutch colony, the lighthouse, mosque and church. This afternoon there will be some free time to wander the narrow streets of traditional houses and shop for lace and local handicrafts. Return to the ship for lunch and enjoy a free afternoon. Shuttle buses will take you back to Galle where you may visit the Maritime Museum or browse for lace and handicrafts.
From our berth in Hambantota we drive inland to Kataragama, one of the three most important religious sites in Sri Lanka and a popular place of pilgrimage for Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim and the indigenous Vedda communities of Sri Lanka and South India. According to the Buddhists this was one of the 16 places visited by Buddha during his visits to Sri Lanka. We will explore the religious complex built across the Menik Ganga which contains buildings from all three religions including the mosque, temple, the small archaeological museum and the principal shrine of the god Kataragama. Return to the MS Island Sky for lunch and in the late afternoon we will drive the short distance to Bundala National Park designated as a biosphere reserve by UNESCO in 2005. Bundala National Park is an internationally important wintering ground in Sri Lanka for migratory water birds, the highlight being the Greater Flamingo, which migrate in large flocks. Other water birds which are present in large numbers include the Little Cormorant, Indian Cormorant, Grey Heron and Black-headed Ibis. Elephants, deer, wild boar and crocodiles also are present in the park. Alternatively you can choose a full day option and visit Udawalawe National Park, home to around 400 elephants as well as water buffalo, sambar deer and the occasional leopard.
Today, after a morning cruising we are on the north east coast of Sri Lanka in one of the finest deep water harbours of the world. This afternoon you can choose to join a tour of Trincomalee where we visit Fort Frederick, built in 1676 by the Dutch, walk to Swami Rock and see the Koneswarum Kovil, one of the five most holy Shaivate temples in the country. Alternatively join our shuttle service to one of the local beaches renowned as some of the best in Sri Lanka.
After a day at sea we return to India arriving at the city of Chennai late this evening when we will clear immigration formalities.
Disembark this morning and drive to Mahabalipuram, a remarkable temple complex on the shores of the Coromandel Coast. After a local lunch we will transfer to the Taj Coromandel Hotel or similar for an overnight stay. The rest of the afternoon will be at leisure before dinner at the hotel this evening.
After breakfast in the hotel we will transfer to the airport for our scheduled indirect flight to London. Arrive this evening.

Magellan Deck (Forward)

£ 6295 GBP pp
Magellan Deck (Forward)
Suites measure approximately 21m2. Beds can be configured as twin or double and there is a divider between the seating and bed area. Suites feature a walk-in wardrobe, sofa, coffee table, arm-chair, vanity table with large mirror and stool, bedside lamps, full length dressing mirror, hairdryer, television, electronic safe, air-conditioning and refrigerator.

Magellan Suite

£ 6545 GBP pp
Magellan Suite
Suites measure approximately 21.35m2. The beds can be configured as twin or double and there is a divider between the seating and bed area. Suites feature a walk-in wardrobe, sofa, coffee table, arm-chair, vanity table with large mirror and stool, bedside lamps, full length dressing mirror, hairdryer, television, electronic safe, air-conditioning and refrigerator.

Columbus Deck Superior

£ 6745 GBP pp
Columbus Deck Superior
Suites measure approximately 22 m2. Beds can be configured as twin or double and there is a divider between the seating and bed area. Suites feature a walk-in wardrobe, sofa, coffee table, arm-chair, vanity table with large mirror and stool, bedside lamps, full length dressing mirror, hairdryer, television, electronic safe, air-conditioning and refrigerator.

Marco Polo Deck Premium

£ 6995 GBP pp
Marco Polo Deck Premium
Suites measure approximately 20.9m2. The beds can be configured as twin or double and there is a divider between the seating and bed area. Suites feature a large wardrobe, sofa, coffee table, arm-chair, vanity table with large mirror and stool, bedside lamps, full length dressing mirror, hairdryer, television, electronic safe, air-conditioning and refrigerator.

Marco Polo Deck Corner Suite

£ 7145 GBP pp
Marco Polo Deck Corner Suite
Suites measure approximately 22m2. Beds can be configured as twin or double and there is a divider between the seating and bed area. These suites have two windows, one at the front and one at the side. Suites feature a large wardrobe, sofa, coffee table, arm-chair, vanity table with large mirror and stool, bedside lamps, full length dressing mirror, hairdryer, television, electronic safe, air-conditioning and refrigerator.

Magellan Suite Sole

£ 8295 GBP pp
Magellan Suite Sole
Suites measure approximately 21.35m2. The beds can be configured as twin or double and there is a divider between the seating and bed area. Suites feature a walk-in wardrobe, sofa, coffee table, arm-chair, vanity table with large mirror and stool, bedside lamps, full length dressing mirror, hairdryer, television, electronic safe, air-conditioning and refrigerator.

Columbus Deck Superior Sole

£ 8745 GBP pp
Columbus Deck Superior Sole
Suites measure approximately 22 m2. Beds can be configured as twin or double and there is a divider between the seating and bed area. Suites feature a walk-in wardrobe, sofa, coffee table, arm-chair, vanity table with large mirror and stool, bedside lamps, full length dressing mirror, hairdryer, television, electronic safe, air-conditioning and refrigerator.

Island Sky

Vessel Type:  Luxury Small Ship

Length:  90 metres

Passenger Capacity:  116 

Built:  1992 / refurbished 2010

With a maximum passenger capacity of only 116, a vessel of her size is capable of carrying many more but instead the MS Island Sky has the benefit of unusually large suites, luxuriously appointed public areas and spacious outside decks.

On board there is a high ratio of crew to passengers. Our friendly crew of 75 are mainly Filipino and Eastern European and our Scandinavian captains are experienced mariners, having been in service aboard large 2000 plus passenger vessels and who now prefer a less frantic life aboard a small ship.   If, like them and us, you prefer a more peaceful life at sea, you will find the MS Island Sky the perfect ship. When choosing the vessel for your next voyage of discovery, you can select a ship with endless entertainment and impersonal service or come with us where peace, high quality service and attention to detail are the order of the day. We promise there will be no organised entertainment, fancy dress, deck games or any of the usual big ship experiences. The atmosphere on board is more akin to a private yacht or country hotel. A little music in the lounge or bar after dinner, guest speakers, informative port briefings from our cruise director and of course good food which may be enjoyed leisurely in the attractive dining room. After a day ashore you will return to the comfort and peace of a well run and exceedingly comfortable ship.

Your Suite
Onboard there are 57 exceptionally spacious and well designed suites. All feature a sitting room area and some have private balconies. The feeling of luxury is enhanced by the wood panelling and brass, which predominates throughout the vessel conveying the atmosphere of a private yacht. The passenger accommodation is arranged over five decks and all suites have outside views. Each affords considerable comfort with en-suite bathroom featuring marble-topped vanity unit with sink and walk-in shower, large wardrobes, dressing table with large mirror and stool and excellent storage. There is a mini-fridge, flat screen television with inbuilt DVD player which can also play CDs and a telephone in each suite. Bottled water, towelling dressing gowns and slippers are also provided for your comfort. Other facilities include a programmable electronic safe, hairdryer, assorted toiletries and individually controlled air-conditioning and heating. The suites on each deck have their own colour theme. Soft hues and blended tones enhance the traditional maritime style making the passenger accommodation an inviting and relaxing place to be.

Your Space
The spacious and finely decorated public rooms include a large lounge where daily briefings and talks will be provided throughout the voyage and an elegant bar where a pianist plays periodically throughout the day. The bar also features a 24-hour tea and coffee station. The onboard library is the perfect place to relax with a book and is stocked with reference books pertaining to the places the vessel is visiting along with a selection of games and two computers with internet access. Daily newspapers and magazines are also placed in the library depending on local availability. There is also WI-FI access throughout the vessel. Outside there is a rear sun deck where meals are served in warm weather under shade, a bar and comfortable deck furniture for sun bathing or relaxing with a book. On the top deck there is a Jacuzzi and further observation and sun deck. There is also a small hairdressers on board with appointments made on request.

Your Dining
Another benefit of a small ship is the quality of the cuisine. With only one sitting and a maximum of just over 100 passengers, the galley is able to provide delicious meals. Where possible and when it meets his high standards, the chef will obtain local produce in markets or buy the catch of the day from a passing fishing boat. Such purchases enhance the well stocked larders and bring a local touch to the varied menus.

Cabin layout for Island Sky
Island Sky

Island SkyIsland Sky

Luxury Expedition Luxury Expedition

17 Days from
£ 6295 GBP pp

Highlights

• Two night stay at the magnificent Samode Palace Hotel

• Varied itinerary showcasing highlights of India and Sri Lanka

• Visit the Pink City of Jaipur

• See the Taj Mahal

• Cruise the backwaters of Alleppey’s rural landscapes

• Visit Temple of the Tooth – revered Buddhist sanctuary in Kandy up in the central hills of Sri Lanka

• See the elephants at Udawala National Park in Sri Lanka

or call us on

NZ Freephone
0800 945 3327

AUS Freephone
1800 107 715

to help you make your reservation

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