Oct 20 – Nov 4, 2023
A FEAST FOR THE SENSES
Kolkata (old Calcutta) was once the capital of India, and it is currently the capital of the Indian state of West Bengal. It is an incredibly vibrant city on the East Bank of the Hooghly River, considered the birthplace of modern Indian literary and artistic thought. Kolkata has been called the “City of Furious, Creative Energy” as well as the “cultural capital of India”. It is here that we commence a journey of discovery with the colorful Durga Puja celebrations, Kolkata's most important and largest festival. It is an occasion for glamorous celebrations and artistic decorations erected on massive public stages (called pandals). The festival celebrates the victory of good over evil, though it is also in part a harvest festival celebrating the goddess Durga as the motherly power behind all of life and creation. Durga Puja in Kolkata has been inscribed on the Intangible Cultural Heritage list of UNESCO in December of 2021. It will truly be a wonder to behold!
From Kolkata we travel a few miles to the border with Bangladesh where a new horizon opens for us into a rarely-visited country that was at one time called the “Paradise of Nations” by its Mughal Emperors, so vast was its wealth as a trading center of the finest silks and muslins. We enter the UNESCO World Heritage wildlife area known as “The Sundarbans” for three days floating in a true paradise populated with an astonishing variety of flora and fauna, including Bengal tigers! From here we visit another World Heritage Site – the Mosque City of Bagerhat – to see the famous Sixty Dome Mosque. We also experience the backwaters of Banaripara, a network of interconnecting canals comparable to Kerala in South India and the American Bayou.
The capital city of Dhaka, considered one of the most densely populated cities in the world, is alive and bustling at all hours. Some of its most glorious years were during its time as the capital of Bengal during the Mughal reign, and we explore the remnants of that era as well as cultural, religious and architectural monuments of more recent days.
A flight to the southernmost part of Bangladesh takes us to Cox’s Bazar, which boasts the longest natural sea beach in the world running 75 miles! We luxuriate here for two nights enjoying colorful tribal markets, the endless beach, and life on a nearby island.
From the beach we head up into the hill country to experience magnificent vistas over mountains and lakes, and interact with several hill tribes in their villages. After three nights in the cooler mountain air we descend to the port city of Chattogram (formerly Chittagong) where we visit the largest seafood market in Bangladesh, the bustling riverfront, an ethnological museum and other notable landmarks.
Our tour concludes with a flight back to Dhaka for one final night and a farewell dinner celebrating the successful conclusion of our Bengali adventure. Those who have a keen interest in architecture have the option to extend for one night to tour the world-famous National Parliament of Bangladesh by the American architect Louis Kahn. It is one of the largest legislative complexes in the world, covering 200 acres, and is considered one of the 20th century’s most significant buildings. Entry requires a special permit and is subject to approval by the government.
Seize this opportunity to immerse yourself in a culture and country that has not yet been widely discovered by the outside world. You won’t find this experience offered anywhere else, and it is not likely to be repeated anytime soon.
COVID-19 VACCINATION POLICY:
All plans for this tour are made considering the COVID procedures in effect at the time of publication. Entry requirements and vaccination requirements are subject to change at any time without notice. Please be sure you comply with the latest India and Bangladesh entry requirements at the time of departure. For the safety of our groups, we only accept tour participants who are fully vaccinated, and current with their covid vaccines (including any recommended boosters) as of 4 weeks prior to departure. Proof of vaccination will be requested 4 weeks prior to departure.
- Delights of Kolkata, Capital of West Bengal
- Dazzling Durga Puja in Kolkata
- World Heritage Sundarbans cruise
- World Heritage Mosque City of Bagerhat
- Floating markets in Barisal, the “Venice of Bengal”
- Boating the backwaters of Banaripara
- Highlights of Dhaka, Capital of Bangladesh
- World’s longest beach at Cox’s Bazar
- Explore Moheshkhali Island
- Villages and culture of the hilltribes peoples
- Natural splendors of the hill country
- Highlights of Chittagong
- Optional tour of the National Parliament Building in Dhaka
Bengal is a historical, geographical, ethnolinguistic and cultural term referring to the eastern part of the Indian subcontinent at the apex of the Bay of Bengal. The region of Bengal proper is divided between modern-day Bangladesh and the Indian state of West Bengal.
Puja is a worship ritual performed to offer devotional homage and prayer to one or more deities, to host and honor a guest, or to spiritually celebrate an event.
Pandal is a temporary structure set up to usually venerate a god and goddess such as Durga.
Arrive in Kolkata, India
Kolkata (also known as Calcutta) is the capital of the Indian state of West Bengal, and is the seventh largest city in India. The Port of Kolkata is India's oldest operating port and its sole major riverine port. Kolkata is regarded as the cultural capital of India. Kolkata is the second largest Bengali-speaking city after Dhaka. It has produced the highest number of Nobel laureates among all cities in India. Its historical importance and the marvelous Durga Puja make it the perfect place to commence our discovery of Bengal.
Please time your arrival into Kolkata at the Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport (CCU) for early morning today. Most flights arrive in the dead of the night (late on the 19th), and this is ok because we have booked all our hotel rooms to allow immediate occupancy no matter what time you arrive, even on the night of Thursday, October 19. When booking flights you will arrive in Kolkata (CCU) and depart from Dhaka (DAC). Major international airlines serving both cities include: Air India, Emirates, Etihad, Kuwait, Qatar, and Turkish. Let us know if you would like us to book an additional night for you at our Kolkata Hotel (October 18), allowing a full day of rest on October 19.
We offer a half-day sightseeing tour of Kolkata this afternoon to allow a relaxed start and some time to rest this morning after the long journey. Get a taste of the British influence in India visiting the splendid Victoria Memorial built by Lord Curzon in the early 20th century in memory of Queen Victoria. The Kumartuli District (the potter’s quarter) will be abuzz with last-minute preparations for Durga Puja, with master sculptors working around the clock to create clay idols of the Hindu pantheon of deities. Time permitting we will also stroll around the New Market area. This evening we enjoy welcome drinks and a special Bengali menu at our luxury hotel. (Breakfast / Welcome Dinner Included)
Kolkata and the Durga Puja
This morning visit the most remarkable of the Durga Puja pandals that have been erected throughout Kolkata, witnessing rituals and interacting with organizers to understand the social significance of this festival. Much like the krewes in New Orleans’ Mardi Gras celebrations, there is a healthy competition among the Puja committees in Kolkata vying to surprise and attract more visitors by creating totally unexpected tableau.
After a break for lunch we carry on with visiting the main tourist sites in Kolkata including St. Paul’s Cathedral, the Kalighat Kali Temple on the banks of the River Hooghly, College Street and the government buildings around Dalhousie Square, considered one of the best remnants and concentrated zones of British colonial architecture in the world. The square is also characterized by other historical landmarks including St. John's Church, which was one of the first buildings in Kolkata and is modeled on St. Martin-in-the-Fields in London's Trafalgar Square. The church is home to beautiful stained glass windows and paintings as well as the mausoleum of Job Charnock, the man who founded modern Kolkata.
Following a full and exciting day of touring, we return to the hotel for a free evening. Those with energy will want to venture out to experience some of the night-time revelry associated with the Durga Puja. (Breakfast)
Entering Bangladesh / Jessore
After breakfast we bid farewell to Kolkata and begin our drive to the land border post called Petrapole on the Indian side, and Benapole in Bangladesh. We bid a fond farewell to our India guide and driver at the border. We clear out of India at Petrapole and then walk across the border to be cleared into Bangladesh at Benapole. We estimate that border formalities will take about 1 to 1.5 hours’ time.
Emerging from the entry gates in Bangladesh we are greeted by Arifur, our wonderful Bangladeshi guide who will be with us for the remainder of the journey. We continue for the short drive to Jessore, where we will be spending the night. The remainder of the day is free to enjoy the amenities of the hotel and explore its surroundings. Dinner will be served at the hotel this evening. (Breakfast / Dinner)
Board Sea Pearl / Commence Sundarbans Cruise
After breakfast we check out and drive to the Mongla boat jetty where we board our cruise ship, the Sea Pearl, and settle into our cabins. Today our cruise takes us south to the Harbaria Forest Station in the Mangrove Sundarbans Forest UNESCO World Heritage Site. After visiting the station we continue cruising another six hours to the Kochikhali Forest Station, where we dock for the night. There will be abundant opportunities for wildlife sightings along the way. Dinner and overnight on board our cruise ship. (All Meals)
Exploring the Sundarbans
Our program today is devoted to wildlife sightings, and will include jungle trekking and also a country boat trip through the narrow creeks our cruiser is too large to navigate. Our first canal cruise by small boat and short jungle walk take place at 6:30am, before breakfast, while the wildlife is most active. We return to the vessel for breakfast and then take a hike on the beach at the waterfront. We cruise to Katka during lunch. Upon arrival at Katka we take another jungle walk. Returning to the vessel we cruise another 4 hours to the Tambulbunia Forest Office where we spend our final night aboard. Enjoy a special barbecue dinner this evening. (All Meals)
Disembarkation / Bagerhat / Barisal
We rise early this morning for a sunrise canal cruise by small boat before breakfast. Returning to the vessel we enjoy breakfast during our cruise to the Mongla Port. Upon arrival we eat an early lunch onboard and disembark around noon, starting our drive to Bagerhat to explore the UNESCO World Heritage Mosque City. Situated in the suburbs of Bagerhat, at the meeting-point of the Ganges and Brahmaputra rivers, this ancient city, formerly known as Khalifatabad, was founded by the Turkish general Ulugh Khan Jahan in the 15th century. The city’s infrastructure reveals considerable technical skill and an exceptional number of mosques and early Islamic monuments.
It contains 360 mosques, public buildings, mausoleums, bridges, roads, water tanks and other public buildings constructed from baked brick. The mosques were built during the Bengal Sultanate in the 15th century, of which the Sixty Dome Mosque is the largest. Other mosques include the Singair Mosque, the Nine Dome Mosque, the Tomb of Khan Jahan, the Bibi Begni Mosque and the Ronvijoypur Mosque. The site’s unique architectural style, known as Khan-e-Jahan, is the only known such example in the history of architecture.
After spending time clambering through these unique architectural masterpieces we continue our journey through a rural area where people live on river and paddy lands. We overnight at Barisal, a city known as the "Venice of Bengal” with its hundred-year-old traditional floating market. Upon arrival at Barisal we check into our hotel for dinner and overnight. (All Meals)
Backwaters of Banaripara / Transfer to Dhaka
We rise very early this morning and depart the hotel at 6am with a box breakfast. We head into the countryside to experience life in the rural backwaters around Banaripara. We take a local motorboat to explore the network of interconnected canals and rivers that form a labyrinthine system sometimes compared to the those in Kerala (south India) and the American Bayou. We encounter a beautiful landscape with a number of villages bustling with quaint activities. We’ll traverse the most beautiful and accessible part of the Backwaters, along the Sandha river to Swarupkathi and to the Inderhat floating market.
We return to Barisal for lunch and then commence driving to Dhaka via the newly built longest bridge in the country – the “Padma Bridge” over the mighty river Padma (a tributary of the Ganges). The bridge is considered to be the most challenging construction project in the history of Bangladesh. The steel trusses carry a four-lane highway on the upper level and a single-track railway on the lower level. At nearly 4 miles, it is the longest bridge in Bangladesh, the longest bridge over the river Ganges by both span and total length, and features the highest pile depth of any bridge in the world at 390 ft. It is also the deepest bridge in the world, with piles driven as deep as 416 feet. The construction of the bridge was considered to be especially challenging as the Padma River is among the most ferocious rivers in the world.
After the longest travel day thus far on the tour we reach the Capital City and discover at once that Dhaka is not a quiet, retiring place. The city, bursting with nearly 17 million people (most of whom often seem to be stuck in the same traffic jam as you), is a gloriously noisy and chaotic place, bubbling with energy. It is a city that can sometimes threaten to overwhelm the casual visitor, but once you climb into the back of one of its myriad colorful cycle-rickshaws, Dhaka’s charm starts to slowly reveal itself. Life flows from the boats on the Buriganga River to its unexpectedly green parks and university campuses. Mughal and British monuments speak of its history, its mosques and Hindu temples of its spiritual side, and the thriving arts and restaurant scenes give a glimpse of the direction of Dhaka’s future. Dhaka isn’t without challenges, but sooner or later you’ll start to move to its rhythm and truly embrace this furiously beating heart of Bengali culture. Dinner and overnight at our beautiful hotel in Dhaka. (All Meals)
After breakfast we commence a full day of sightseeing in Dhaka, beginning with the old Mughal City. This ancient city resonates with the lifestyles of its dwellers from another time and place. Take a local rowboat along the Sadarghat (waterfront). The beautiful Star Mosque (19th century), the Armenian Church (17th century), the Dhakeshwari Temple (12th century), the Pink Palace (Ahasan Manzil) – all will relate the stories from their heyday.
Dhaka, the chaotic crowded capital of Bangladesh, makes you dizzy. By bicycle rickshaw we venture into the busy traffic, there are people everywhere and everyone fights for a place. At the Shakari bazaar you can buy special souvenirs, such as the Shaka, a bracelet made of merekarp, a shell that according to Hindus stands for happiness and purity. Married women wear the Shaka on both wrists and break them when their husbands die. The Dhakeswari temple built in the 11th century is the oldest Hindu temple of Dhaka and possibly the name giver of the capital.
After a full and enriching day revealing the wonders of Dhaka, including a special tasting lunch and dinner at local restaurants, we return to our oasis of peace and tranquility for a second night.(All Meals)
Fly to Cox’s Bazar / Beach Day
After breakfast we transfer to the domestic airport to catch our flight to Cox’s Bazar, a city that derives its name from Captain Hiram Cox, an officer of the British East India Company. To commemorate his role in refugee rehabilitation work, a market was established and named after him. It is one of Bangladesh’s main tourist spots, perhaps owing to the fact that it is the site of the longest uninterrupted natural beach in the world. We’ll be joining the more than one million tourists who flock to this beautiful paradise every year from around the world.
Upon arrival at Cox’s Bazar we check in at our lovely beach resort which will be our home for the next two nights. The remainder of the day is free to enjoy the unending sea beach and local marketplace. Dinner and overnight at our resort. (All Meals)
Cox’s Bazar Beach & Islands
We rise early this morning to enjoy the sunrise from the sea-beach and the fish harbor, returning to our resort for breakfast afterwards.
After breakfast we board a local speedboat for a 20-minute cruise out to Moheshkhali Island. This lovely place is the only hilly island in Bangladesh. A golden pagoda tops many of the hills, and there are Buddhist and Hindu temples worth a visit. After taking some time to explore the natural beauty of this island we return to the mainland in the afternoon where we visit some tribal markets before returning to the resort for our final night at the beach. (All Meals)
North to Bandarban and the Chittagong Hill Tracts
After breakfast we check out and begin our drive north to the beautiful hill district called Bandarban. Bandarban is one of the three hill districts of Bangladesh and a part of the Chittagong Hill Tracts, the others being Rangamati District and Khagrachhari District. The hill tracts are restricted areas and special permission is needed to enter. After crossing the border we continue to our beautiful hilltop resort for check-in and lunch.
Our first adventure is by open-air truck to enjoy the incredible vistas on all sides as we travel to the Nilgiri and Chimbuk Hill Stations. Both have viewing platforms affording views even as far as neighboring Myanmar! We also visit our first Tribal Village and learn first-hand about their way of life. In the evening we return to our resort for dinner and overnight.(All Meals)
Exploring the Bandarban Hill District
After breakfast we devote the day to exploring the Bandarban Hill District. The tribal villages here are composed of distinct tribes, each with unique style of dress and cultural mores. We will experience the village of Laima Para and Faruk Para (Boom Tribe), and Ramary Para (Murong Tribe) as well as other villages as time allows.
After lunch in Bandarban town, we visit the tribal market. Later we see the Golden Temple. The Chittagong Hill Tracts along with Ladakh, Sikkim, Tawang, Darjeeling, Bhutan and Sri Lanka, constitute some of the remaining abodes of Buddhism in South Asia. This Theravada Buddhist temple is made completely in the style of South-East Asia and houses the second largest statue of the Buddha in Bangladesh.
A planned adventure on the Sangu River is dependent on all the conditions falling into place -- namely that there is enough water in the river and we are granted permission. If all systems are "go" we board a rustic local boat for a one-hour river cruise. In the evening we return to our resort for one more overnight in Bandarban District. (All Meals)
Exploring Rangamati Hill District
After breakfast we check out and enjoy a scenic four-hour drive to the neighboring Rangamati Hill District. We check in at our modest motel (best in the area) for a one-night stay. This level of “roughing it” will pay off as we enjoy a beautiful afternoon cruise on Kaptai Lake on our private boat, also visiting Chakma villages, temples and tribal markets. We return to our motel for dinner and overnight. (Breakfast / Lunch)
Rangamati to Chittagong
After breakfast we enjoy a few more adventures in the Rangamati Hill Tract District before returning to lower elevations. We’ll see the Rajban Bihara Buddhist Temple and have more opportunities to interact with locals. After lunch we commence the drive to Chittagong.
Chittagong is the second-largest city in Bangladesh after Dhaka. It hosts the busiest seaport on the Bay of Bengal. The city is located on the banks of the Karnaphuli River between the Chittagong Hill Tracts and the Bay of Bengal. Upon arrival we’ll visit the river front and the Second World War Cemetery. We check in at our hotel for an overnight stay. (All Meals)
Chittagong / Fly to Dhaka / Farewell Dinner
Arise early to experience the largest sea-fish market in Bangladesh as the fishermen bring in their overnight catch. We return to our hotel for breakfast before checking out. After check-out we visit the ethnological museum and the Shrine of Bayzid Bostami, a famous Persian Sufi. This afternoon we transfer to the Chittagong domestic airport to catch our evening flight to Dhaka. Once there we make our way to our hotel for our Farewell Dinner and a final overnight stay. (All Meals)
Departure – or – Extend for National Parliament Tour
Book your departing flight for any convenient time today. Hotel check-out is before noon. Transportation to the international airport will be arranged through the hotel. (Breakfast)
OPTIONAL EXTENSION - November 4-5, 2023
Those who are architectural buffs will definitely want to extend for one day to tour the National Parliament Building, an incredible structure created by renowned American architect Louis Kahn. This one-day extension includes transportation, guide, admission and permission application fees, plus overnight accommodation and breakfast on November 5. If extending, book your departing flight for November 5. (Breakfast November 5)
Price: $280 per person in double / $440 for private room
EASY TO MODERATE WALKING
This Toto Tours Cultural and Scenic Expedition is accessible and suitable to all those with good health and who are able to walk 2-3 hours without much carrying. This tour is based on moderate city or rural walking for several hours daily. Walks in the hill tracts will be more active with some gain and decrease in elevation and possible uneven surfaces. We recommend you commence a daily walking and stair-climbing regimen well in advance of this tour to boost your endurance and enhance your ability to enjoy this adventure to the fullest extent.
Entry Requirements / India - For U.S. citizens, a valid passport and a visa for travel to India are required. Your passport needs to have six more months of validity from the date of entry. You must enter with either a paper visa, or an e-tourist visa. The e-tourist visa is easy to obtain at this website: https://india.visaonlinegov.org/apply-visa
Entry Requirements / Bangladesh - We strongly recommend obtaining a visa before traveling. Although U.S. citizens are eligible to apply for a tourist visa on arrival, there is no guarantee you will receive one. U.S. citizens born outside the United States may be subject to increased scrutiny or further requirements at the port of entry. Recently, some U.S. citizens have been denied entry into Bangladesh despite believing they had fulfilled the requirements for a visa on arrival. Visit the Embassy of Bangladesh website for visa information. This is one of those instances where it is worth the extra money to work with a visa expediting service located in Washington DC who will deal with the Embassy on your behalf.
Immunizations & Health / India - There are no Covid-related entry requirements for US Citizens traveling to India. This can change at any moment, however, so it is wise to check this website for the latest advisories for international travelers to India.
Two percent of passengers on each incoming flight are randomly selected for testing upon arrival. A positive result will result in mandatory quarantine. No other immunizations are required, but the U.S. Centers for Disease Control strongly recommends several inoculations. Please consult with your physician concerning the vaccine recommendations at this website: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/india
Immunizations & Health / Bangladesh - Travelers who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, regardless of port of entry, can enter Bangladesh with official proof of vaccination. No PCR or any other negative COVID-19 test is required. Please consult with your physician regarding the vaccine recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control found at this website: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/bangladeshExit Requirements - Your airport departure tax will be included in the cost of your international airline ticket. Please check the requirements for entry to your final destination to verify if a negative Covid test is necessary before flying.
Making Travel Arrangements to India and Bangladesh
International airfare is not included in your tour price. You will need to purchase your international air Kolkata, India, and returning from Dhaka, Bangladesh. We encourage you to work with Steven Goldberg at Frosch Travel in Chicago, who can help you choose the best flights to meet the following requirements.
Please time your arrival into Kolkata at the Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport (CCU) for early morning on October 20. Many flights arrive in the middle of the night (early morning hours), and this is ok because we have booked all our hotel rooms to allow immediate occupancy no matter what time you arrive, even if you arrive the night of Thursday, October 19. Book your departure flight from Dhaka’s Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport (DAC) for any convenient time on November 4. Book it for November 5 if you are participating in the optional tour extension.
Steven Goldberg / Frosch Travel
Toll-Free in USA: 1-800-323-1276
International guests, please call +1-312-371-9686
When calling, please identify yourself as a Toto Tours participant. If you leave a message on Steven’s voice mail, he will return your call promptly. He will be happy to discuss your travel plans and help you decide when to purchase your ticket for the best rate.
NOTE: The recent trend in travel is for travelers to finalize their plans much closer to departure time than was customary in the past. While we try to be as flexible as possible, we often must turn away last-minute registrants because we relinquish hotel space and any internal air reservations 8 – 12 weeks prior to departure! Please keep this in mind when making your travel plans.
WHAT TO BRING
The months of October and November are some of the best months to visit the wider Bengal region. You can expect temperatures in the 90’s for the highs and in the 70’s at night for the most part. It will be cooler in the hill tracts. Please pack light and limit yourself to no more than one suitcase and a carry-on bag. Pack medications in your carry-on just in case your suitcase doesn’t arrive when you do. We suggest leaving expensive jewelry at home!
Suggested Packing List:
- Proof of citizenship. Passport required. Visas required for both countries.
- Proof of full Covid-19 vaccination.
- Lightweight slacks for city sightseeing and evening meals
- Shorts for hiking or excursions on warm days
- Socks and underwear for several days (laundry service readily available at all hotels)
- Sweater and/or windbreaker
- Rain jacket / umbrella
- Comfortable walking shoes
- T-shirts / polo shirts / short-sleeved shirts (4 - 5)
- Casual long-sleeved shirts (3 or 4)
- Sunscreen / lip balm / sunglasses / sun hat
- Personal toiletries
- Electrical Adapters. The electricity supply in India is 230 Volts/50 Hertz. Click here to see examples of the outlets you will encounter in India, and the adapter types you will need. The electricity in Bangladesh is 220 Volts/50 Hertz. Click here to see examples of the outlets you will encounter in Bangladesh, and the adapter types you will need.
- A good book for the long flights and beach time
MONEY MATTERSThe currency unit in India is the Rupee (INR). As of April 16, 2023, the interbank exchange rate was approximately 81 INR to the U.S. $1.00. ATMs are readily available in the major cities, and offer the best exchange rate for obtaining local currency. Credit cards are also widely accepted in establishments catering to tourists. Click here to see the most up-to-date exchange rate.
The currency unit in Bangladesh is the Taka (BDT). As of April 16, 2023, the interbank exchange rate was approximately105 BDT to the U.S. $1.00. ATMs are readily available in the major cities, and offer the best exchange rate for obtaining local currency. Credit cards are also widely accepted in establishments catering to tourists. Click here to see the most up-to-date exchange rate. Tipping Guidelines: Tipping is customary and expected of foreign tourists by service providers in India and Bangladesh. Here is an excellent guide for how much to tip in various situations in India. We will give group tips at appropriate times throughout the tour, and guidelines concerning this will be sent to you prior to departure.
The Toto SpiritToto Tours provides Adventure Travel Experiences as differentiated from tours in the traditional sense. Adventure Travel allows (even encourages) you to be an active participant. Adventurers can be identified by certain traits. They are:
- fun-loving optimists who have a sense of humor and accentuate the positive;
- good natured realists who are willing to accept situations as they exist;
- undaunted by the unexpected, like occasional delays or bad weather;
- willing to forego some of the amenities we normally take for granted;
- eager to try new things & test limits;
- not whiners!
Travel InsuranceWe recommend you purchase travel insurance with Travel Guard to cover for unforeseen events prior to and during your trip. Please click on the image or link below or call us for more information.
A NOTE ABOUT THE PRICE OF THIS TOUR
Your safety and comfort are our highest priority in creating this unique adventure. We have selected the best available accommodations everywhere, and this is reflected in the tour price. Our hotels feature total luxury in Kolkata and Dhaka, and very high-end properties in all other locales except for one night in the hilltribe region. You are going to be surprised and thrilled by how pampered we will be throughout the journey. The quality of the boats available for overnight cruises in The Sundarbans was of concern because most of them are rustic and do not have private bathrooms. Our best solution was to charter the largest and most modern vessel available, even though it was very expensive and we are not likely to fill it. Twelve of its cabins have private bathrooms. These will be filled first, and those who end up sharing bathrooms for our two nights aboard will receive a $100 discount on their tour cost. Book early to guarantee you have private facilities aboard the beautiful “Sea Pearl.” The tour price also includes two domestic flights within Bangladesh. The tour is expensive, but you will be glad we chose the best accommodations for you everywhere.
(tour prices per person)Price: $7,200 in double occupancy hotel accommodations
Single Supplement: $1,600 additional, for a total tour price of $8,800
(Due at time of registration for the tour. May be paid with a credit card.)
Remaining Balance : $6,200 double / $7,800 single
Remaining Balance Due: August 1, 2023 (80 days prior to departure)
(Full payment required with reservation form if enrolling after this date.)
Included: Private greeting and transfer to hotel upon arrival; full time tour leader; full time English-speaking guide; private vehicle and driver; airfare from Dhaka to Cox’s Bazar, and from Chittagong to Dhaka; 16 nights hotel accommodations; hotel breakfasts daily plus Welcome & Farewell Dinners and other meals as specified in the itinerary; bottled mineral water during sightseeing excursions and long drives; sightseeing activities and entrances as listed in the itinerary; fully guided and escorted tour.
Not Included: International airfare to Kolkata, India (CCU) and returning from Dhaka, Bangladesh (DAC); ground transportation for sightseeing on your own (taxis, local guides, etc.); meals and optional activities not specifically listed in the itinerary; camera fees; alcoholic beverages; insurance; laundry, telephone calls, faxes, or any other expenses of a personal nature. Tips to drivers and guides and other conveyance attendants are not included; tipping guidelines for our group tips will be provided prior to departure.
Click hotel name to read description
- Kolkata (3 nights counting the 19th) - The Oberoi Grand Hotel
- Jessore (1 night) – Zabeer Hotel International
- Sundarbans (2 nights) – Sea Pearl Cruise Ship
- Barisal (1 night) – Grand Park Barisal
- Dhaka (2 nights) – Le Meridien Hotel Dhaka
- Cox’s Bazar (2 nights) – Sea Pearl Beach Resort & Spa
- Bandarban (2 nights) – Sairu Hill Resort
- Rangamati (1 night) – Parjatan Holiday Complex
- Chittagong (1 night) – Radisson Blu Chittagong
- Dhaka (1 night – or 2 nights if booking extension) – Le Meridien Hotel Dhaka