Captivating India
Captivating India
Captivating India
Captivating India
Captivating India
Captivating India
Captivating India
Captivating India
Captivating India
Captivating India
Captivating India
Captivating India

Captivating India

From: 
Regular price
$9,950.00
Sale price
$9,950.00

Special: Early Bird Bonus
Book & deposit $750 per person, by 12 February 2024
to secure your place in a very special event and attend
“The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” show in Christchurch
at the James Hay Theatre in May 2024. (Date to be confirmed)
 
Refer a friend
and receive an additional $USD 100 treatment credit
at the Abad Whispering Palms Hotel and Spa
Women's Only Hosted Tour of India - GUARANTEED DEPARTURE
21 Days ex Christchurch
Departs: Friday 04 October 2024

Join experienced tour host Colleen Doyle on this wonderful Women Only, hosted tour through India. Capture many memorable and exciting moments, including the royal cities of Delhi, Jaipur, and Agra where you’ll discover opulent Maharajah’s palaces, the glories of the Raj, the wondrous Taj Mahal, and many other amazing sites before venturing into Southern India to experience the best of this region. Accompanied by Colleen, you will embark on a rich journey of discovery including textiles, fashion, Women’s initiatives, the art of the Saree, and a local cooking lesson. Immerse yourself in the vibrant culture with activities such as watching a Bollywood movie, visiting a tea plantation, discovering local artwork, plus much more, all under the charming company of our professional Northen and Southern Indian female guides. Be ready to be spoilt on your last night in Delhi staying at the luxurious Imperial Hotel and dining at the renowned 1911 Restaurant. This is your invitation to join Colleen on this unique journey of discovery through captivating India.


The tour is coordinated by New Zealand based, experienced tour company and destination specialist, Innovative Travel.

Highlights:

  • Experience the bustling atmosphere of Old Delhi’s narrow streets
  • Rickshaw adventure through the vibrant streets of Chandani Chowk in Old Delhi
  • Henna painting and rickshaw ride in Jaipur
  • Experience the awe-inspiring beauty of the Taj Mahal as the sun sets
  • Take a thrilling jeep ride to the ramparts of Amber Fort in Jaipur
  • Watch a Bollywood movie at Raj Mandir Cinema, India’s most iconic film venue
  • Discover the enchanting "Blue City" of Jodhpur on a guided walking tour
  • Visit special initiatives supporting local women
  • Experience a private boat ride across scenic Lake Pichola
  • Savour a traditional Indian lunch at the renowned Best Exotic Marigold hotel location
  • Attend a Kathakali Dance Show in Cochin and Kalaripayattu Martial Arts Show in Munnnar
  • Relax at Abad Whispering Palms Resort, Kumarakom on the banks of pristine Vembanad Lake. Relax and unwind with a one-hour Ayurveda massage at the Revival Ayurvedic Spa

Day 1-Friday 4th October: Christchurch - Singapore - Delhi

Meet your tour host, Colleen Doyle at Christchurch Airport for check-in. Depart on Singapore Airlines, via Singapore to Delhi.

Day 2-Saturday 5th October: Delhi (BD)

Namaste! Welcome to India. On arrival at Delhi Airport this morning, you will be warmly welcomed by a local representative and assisted to your waiting private transfer to take you to your hotel for check in.

Accommodation in Delhi has been reserved at Suryaa New Friends Colony Hotel with a guaranteed early check-in. Facilities include two restaurants, swimming pool, spa, and wellness centre. Time to freshen up before exploring Old Delhi this morning with your local female guide. This afternoon is free to relax. This evening a welcome dinner is included at your hotel.

Day 3-Sunday 6th October: Delhi (BD)

Continue your exploration of Old Delhi this morning on a walking tour and by rickshaw. Included on Saturday and Sunday are the iconic locations of Red Fort, and Chandani Chowk, Asia’s biggest Spice market to discover more of local cuisine, and the impressive diversity of Delhi city with a kaleidoscope of old mansions (Havelis), bazaars, colourful shops, temples, and mosques. Dinner at a local restaurant this evening.

Day 4-Monday 7th October: Delhi - Agra (BD)

Morning transfer to the railway station to board the Gatimaan Express to Agra. On arrival in Agra explore this amazing city with strong roots in the Mughal period. The Mughals were great rulers and inspirational builders, preserving their best architectural wonders including the masterpiece of the Taj Mahal. Built by Emperor Shah Jehan as a tribute to his favourite wife Mumtaz Mahal, this great monument was completed in 1653 and took almost 22 years and 20,000 workers to build. A unique blend of Persian, Islamic and Indian styles define the entire complex, recognized by UNESCO as “the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world's heritage”. Continue to the elegrant Agra Fort and view the delicate artistry of the Itmad-ud-Daula Tomb. Overnight at the heritage Grand Imperial Hotel. Dinner this evening is at a speciality local restaurant.

Day 5-Tuesday 8th October: Agra - Jaipur (BD)

Following breakfast, embark on a journey to Jaipur visiting Akbar’s deserted capital Fatehpur Sikri and Abhaneri step well en-route.

Fatehpur Sikri, was the former capital of the great Mughal ruler - Emperor Akbar whose architectural genius can also be viewed in the forts, palaces and aesthetically laid out gardens - each one a silent witness to a grand style of a golden era. Continue to Abhaneri, a village featuring an amazing step well and an ancient Temple, reflecting the 10th century architectural and sculptural style. Arrive in the pink city of Jaipur, painted red (a lucky colour in Hindu culture) to welcome England’s Prince Alfred in 1853. Founded in 1727, it was the creation of Jai Singh II, the Maharaja of the Kuchwaha Rajputs. Your accommodation has been reserved for 3 nights at the 19th Century Palace, Shahpura House in a suite room.   Conclude the day with dinner at the hotel.

Day 6-Wednesday 9th October: Jaipur (BD)

Embark on a visit to the Amber Fort, a classic romantic Rajasthani Palace (travel by jeep up to the rampart). Time to wander through this enchanting palace and gardens. Attached to the fort is the Artchill Galleries founded in 1994, it has become one of the largest modern art gallery in India and focuses on contemporary art from the Rajasthan region.

This afternoon explore this medieval walled city in an “Eco-pink rickshaw”, a unique local initiative, by a not-for-profit organisation, to provide employment for local women from low-income households. Then discover the art of ancient henna painting, practised for over 5,000 years. Afternoon Tea is included at the Taj Rambagh Palace (subject to local authorities). This evening attend a special dinner, including a local vibrant dancing display.  

Day 7-Thursday 10th October: Jaipur (BD)

Begin your day by delving into the history of Jaipur’s textile industry, a legacy championed by the royals in the early 18th Century. Explore the birthplace of Bandhej fabric, and celebrated for its intricate block printing, rich handicrafts, and renowned cotton stores.  
In the afternoon experience Indian movie drama and attend a famous Bollywood movie at Rajmandir Cinema. Later visit a Royal family private home and discover the timeless elegance of the traditional Indian saree through a fascinating lesson. Conclude your day with an enriching Indian cooking class, followed by dinner sampling age-old recipes.

Day 8-Friday 11th October: Jaipur - Bijainagar (BD)

This morning depart Jaipur. Enroute visit Puskar, including the opportunity to stroll near the holy lake and visit temples. Continue to Bijainagar for an overnight at the Bijay Niwas Palace. Some time to relax upon arrival before dinner at the hotel.

Day 9-Saturday 12th October: Bijainagar - Jodhpur (BD)

This morning a leisurely departure to the “Blue city” of Jodhpur, where you are reserved for two nights at the colonial style Ranbanka Palace. Facilities include a pool, spa, and wellness centre. Check into your hotel with time to relax before dinner this evening.

Day 10-Sunday 13th October: Jodhpur (BD)

Begin your day by immersing yourself in the charm of this beautiful city, inspired by the oldest district buildings in blue. Venture to the massive Mehrangarh Fort, where you can relish the amazing view of the Blue city. A visit is also made to nearby Jaswant Thada.
In the afternoon visit a handicraft centre, a special initiative supporting local women. Proceed to the vibrant evening Sardar Market, immersing yourself in its vibrant atmosphere before savouring dinner in a local restaurant.

Day 11-Monday 14th October: Jodhpur - Udaipur (BD)

Embark on a journey to Udaipur this morning, stopping enroute to visit the Ranakpur Jain Temple. Revered as one of the five holiest sites in India, the temple boasts over 1,400 intricately carved marble pillars. Following this awe-inspiring visit, check in at the Sajjangarh Resort and Spa hotel, your haven for the next three nights. As the evening unfolds, relish spectacular views from the hotel's rooftop bar, whilst sampling a local speciality or refreshing mocktail, before dinner is served.

Day 12-Tuesday 15th October: Udaipur (BD)

Embark on a journey this morning to explore Udaipur from the vantage point of an exclusive private boat on Lake Pichola, a location Rudyard Kipling mentioned in his “Letters of Marque” in 1899. In the afternoon delve into the rich cultural tapestry of Udaipur with visits to the City Palace, Shahelion-ki-bari and Jagdish Temple, followed by an exploration of a lively local evening Market. This evening dinner at a local restaurant in Udaipur overlooking the beautiful Lake Pichola.  

Day 13-Wednesday 16th October: Udaipur (BL)

Today discover the intriguing behind-the-scenes stories of the famous book and movie, “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel”, starring esteemed actors such as Dame Julie Dench, Bill Nighy, Maggie Smith, and more. Relive some famous moments from the movie, where seven British retirees, convinced by the hotels imaginative marketing, relocate to India and encounter a surprise! As part of today's exploration, indulge in lunch at the location of the Best Exotic hotel. Later return to Udaipur, with the afternoon to relax at leisure.   Dinner own arrangements this evening.

Day 14-Thursday 17th October: Udaipur - Cochin (BD)

This morning transfer to Udaipur Airport and fly to Cochin Airport. On arrival transfer to your hotel in the charming seaside town of Kochi, known for its Dutch, Portuguese, and British colonial architecture. Dinner is included this evening.

Day 15-Friday 18th October: Cochin (B)

This morning visit Fort Kochi, featuring the earliest European architecture in India. Discover Matancherry (Dutch) Palace displaying murals and portraits of the Rajas of Kochi, Chinese Fishing Nets and St Francis Church, the original burial site of explorer Vasco de Gama. This evening, experience Indian heritage via music, story telling, arts and vibrant dancing, at a Kathakali Show.  

Day 16-Saturday 19th October: Kochi - Munnar (BD)

This morning a leisurely departure to Munnar. This afternoon attend an exciting Kalaripayattu Show, displaying traditional martial arts. This evening dinner is at your hotel.

Day 17-Sunday 20th October: Munnar - Kumarakom (BD)

Tea has been an integral part in the history of Munnar. This morning visit the Tata Tea Museum which chronicles the history of tea in the area and located in a working tea plantation. Later visit the demonstration room to sample exotic tea varieties. In the afternoon drive to Kumarakom and check-in for two nights at the Abad Whispering Palms, in lake view cottages.

Day 18-Monday 21st October: Kumarakom (B)

After breakfast take the opportunity to relax and experience various Ayurveda spa treatments available at the resort. A one-hour Ayurveda massage is included. Further treatments are available upon request. Dinner at your own pace this evening.  

Day 19-Tuesday 22nd October: Kumarakom - Delhi (BD)

Transfer to Cochin Airport for your flight to Delhi. On arrival transfer to the luxury Imperial New Delhi Hotel, reminiscent of a 19th Century Indian Palace, for your final night in style. White marble colonnades, verdant gardens, polished teak, and Persian hand knotted carpets, all display its rich heritage. The hotel is located near an outlet mall where there will be time for shopping this afternoon in your own time or relax in your surroundings.   English afternoon tea is served in the atrium.   This evening, dine in style for your farewell dinner, in the 1911 restaurant.

Day 20-Wednesday 23rd October: Delhi - Singapore 

Transfer to the Airport.   Depart Delhi early this morning. Arrive Singapore, in transit.  (Optional extension)

Day 21-Thursday 24th October: Singapore - Christchurch 

Arrive Christchurch today.

TOUR INCLUSIONS:

  • Tour Host Colleen Doyle, ex Christchurch
  • Economy class Singapore Airlines flights: Christchurch/Singapore/Delhi/Singapore/Christchurch
  • Accommodation in special category hotels as specified
  • Daily buffet breakfasts
  • 15 dinners - including Cooking Class
  • Rooftop cocktail or mocktail in Udaipur
  • Lunch at the Exotic Marigold Hotel location
  • Rickshaw ride in Delhi
  • AC Executive class seat from New Delhi to Agra
  • Jeep ride up the rampart of the Amber Fort
  • Visit to the Artchill Art Gallery for emerging artists
  • Henna painting, walking tours & High Tea at Taj Rambagh in Jaipur
  • Eco rickshaw ride with women driver in Jaipur
  • Morning textile and fashion tour in Jaipur
  • Afternoon Bollywood Movie
  • Walking tour of the blue city including visit to local initiatives supporting women
  • Audio guide of Ranakpur Temple
  • Private boat ride across scenic Lake Pichola
  • Kathakali Dance Show
  • Kalaripayattu - Martial Arts Show in Munnar
  • One hour Ayurveda massage at Kumarakom Hotel and Spa
  • High Tea at the Atrium in the Hotel Imperial, Delhi
  • Farewell dinner in the 1911 Restaurant
  • Daily mineral water on the coach
  • All transfers, excursions, and sightseeing tours, by Air-conditioned coach
  • Entrances fees to all the monuments visited in the itinerary
  • English speaking female guides for Northern & Southern India throughout the programme
  • Assistance at the airport on arrival and departure and during check in/out at the hotels
  • Domestic air flights within India
  • Local taxes at 5%, but may be subject to change at any time
  • Tipping to drivers/escort/all activities/meals in the program
  • Porterage at the hotels
  • 24/7 local back in India
  • India Travel Notes - issued by Innovative Travel

TOUR EXCLUSIONS:

  • Any meals/drinks other than specified
  • Personal expenses
  • Departure taxes
  • Visa
  • Travel insurance (compulsory) Please include a copy of your insurance at the time of full tour payment
  • Early check-in/checkout, except where specified on Day 2
  • Any other item not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Local taxes/subject to change without notice at any time
Accommodation based on the following or similar.
The hotel selection may change – please use this as a guideline only.

New Delhi

The Suryaa New Delhi

Agra

The Grand Imperial Hotel (Heritage Hotel)

Jaipur

Shahpura House (19th Century Palace)

Bijainagar

Bijay Niwas Palace (Heritage Palace)

Jodhpur

Ranbanka Palace (Classified Heritage Hotel)

Udaipur

Sajjangarh Resort and Spa

Cochin

Bloom Boutique | Waterfront Fort Kochi (Museum Hotel)

Munnar

Devonshire Greens

Kumarakom

Abad Whispering Palms

Delhi

The Imperial New Delhi

Tour Cost: Ex Christchurch: Per person
Share twin: $9,950.00
Single:         $12,890.00
Tour price based on a minimum of 10 participants and is subject to increase, if less than 10.

If you wish to share a twin, with another traveller please indicate at the time of registration.(Subject to availability).

Special: Early bird bonus
Book & deposit $750 per person, by 30 January 2024 and secure your place in a very special event and attend “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” show in Christchurch, at the James Hay Theatre in May 2024. (Date to be confirmed).

Bookings may be made via any TAANZ Travel agent/broker or contact Innovative Travel for more information.


Secure your place now and return the completed registration form deposit for $750 within 7 days of confirmation, along with a copy of your passport.
Interim payment: $3,000 01 May 2024; Full payment: 01 August 2024

Note: This tour is comprehensive and includes walking over uneven ancient surfaces from time to time. All participants should be able to walk a minimum of 1 kilometre unaided.

Hotels as specified or similar will be featured in the programme. Due to fuel surcharges, currency fluctuations or state/local taxes amendments or any other local conditions, prices may change at any time without notice until final payment is received, which is beyond the control of Innovative Travel.

To cancel the tour, should be made in writing or by email to Innovative Travel and receipt acknowledged by the company. The following charges will apply for services cancelled prior to commencement date:
Cancellation fees: After deposit – 30 April $500; 01 May – 31 July $2,500.  
01 August – departure 100%
View full tour conditions, cancellation, and amendment fees as per www.innovativetravel.co.nz

Note: A deposit is deemed acceptance of Innovative Travel’s terms and conditions.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION - GENERAL

Itineraries are prepared as a guideline only. Some variations may apply due to prevailing local conditions in a country including local security or festival organiser’s requirements.

Driving distances and time mentioned will depend upon the traffic and road conditions.

Hotel check-in/out times are normally IN: 2pm/OUT: 12noon the only way to guarantee an early check-in or late check-out is to pre-book the night before (early check-in) or night after (late check-out). Otherwise, early check-in and late check-out are subject to availability when you are there.

Bedding configuration: Please note we car equested your preferred bedding configuration.

Itinerary descriptions and photographs: All photos and hotel descriptions are general impressions of the property booked. These do not necessarily represent the room or view you will receive.  

Non-Smoking Rooms: As a policy Innovative Travel request non-smoking rooms for all guests. These rooms are requested and are subject to availability.

Dress Codes
Modest dress is required for entrance to holy sites. For women – skirt or long pants and shoulders covered.   Women should also bring a long scarf wrap, which may be required for some holy sites.

Passports should be valid for at least 6 months after your return date.

Holiday preparation
Before your holiday, please make sure that you check and comply with specific local requirements such as visas, vaccinations, travel insurance etc. As they vary from one country to the other and change frequently.

Tipping
Tipping is included for all the activities included on tour. It is not included for any optional activities.  

On a lighter note:
Please remember that religious beliefs, traditional customs, and daily manners may differ from country to country, these may seem quite strange at first. These idiosyncrasies are part of what makes travelling a special experience. Please be patient if you think things are happening at a different pace than you are used to and respect the differences in culture.

Travel Advisory Information can change at any time, and we suggest clients refer to The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Travel Trade Advisory website at www.safetravel.govt.nz prior to departure for the latest up to date information and general advice regarding the countries you are visiting.

Trip prices and dates are correct at the time of the website going live, however all offers are subject to reconfirmation at the time of booking. All featured tour itineraries and offers may be subject to change due to seasonal variations without notice, or due to local conditions or other conditions. Please confirm all details at time of booking. Travel insurance is mandatory for all Innovative Travel bookings. All passports must be valid for 6 months prior to your return to your home country. Visas are the responsibility of the traveller. For full terms and conditions, please refer to our Booking Conditions page.