11 days from £7035pp plus international flights.
Spend a week travelling across Rajasthan in style aboard the Maharajas' Express with time in Delhi beforehand and Mumbai afterwarsd. Along the way, stopping off to visit palaces and forts, enjoy sand dune sundowner drinks and banquets in specially selected locations. The gentle pace and high levels of comfort on board make the journey as much of a highlight as sights. If you're keen to learn about Indian history and culture but don't wish to sacrifice creature comforts this could be just the holiday for you.
Your first sight of the distinctive red carriages of the Maharajas' Express is at Delhi where you are treated to a red carpet welcome before you board the train. If you don't feel like royalty by now you never will! This entire trip is one of indulgence as the crew spoil you with fine cuisine, cocktails and discreet butler service from dawn to dusk. Enjoy the experience and relax as you become accustomed to living the life of a maharaja or maharani.
Along the route through Rajasthan you are provided with a wide choice of excursions to add variety to your holiday. You might opt for a tour of a local village or a visit to a grand palace, a trip to a museum in a heritage hotel or a spa treatment at a specially selected venue, to name a few. Must-sees include the ever beautiful Taj Mahal, seeking tigers in Ranthanbore National Park, a lake cruise in Udaipur and dinner at Rambagh Palace in Jaipur.
Each time you return to the Maharajas' Express you feel a tingle of excitement as you return 'home', knowing the warm welcome and luxury that await. By the end of the week you'll have built up a wealth of memories to cherish for many years to come.
Please note the itinerary is subject to change.
You've arrived in Delhi. Once you've cleared customs and immigration, make your way to the Arrivals Hall where our friendly representative will be waiting to meet you and welcome you to India. Once your luggage is loaded into the waiting vehicle you'll be whisked away to your hotel where you can spend the afternoon at leisure, recover from your long flight and look forward to the trip that lies ahead.
Enjoy breakfast at your hotel, then you'll be taken of a full day sightseeing trip taking in some of Old and New Delhi's iconic sights. The Red Fort is one of Delhi's most distinctive sights and was the home of the Mughal emperors. Nearby, the Jama Masjid is India's largest mosque. You can climb one of the minarets for a panoramic view of Delhi. You'll visit the crowded streets of Chandni Chauk, the bustling main market of Old Delhi. From here you might take in the sights of New Delhi, India Gate and a drive along the Rajpath, lined with Lutyen's masterful colonial architecture, is a must. You'll see the beautiful Mughal architecture of Humuyun's Tomb and Qutub Minar in the southern suburbs of Delhi, an ancient Islamic monument that combines Islamic and Hindu traditions.
You'll be taken to Delhi Safdurjung Railway Station early this morning, where you are greeted and welcomed on board the waiting Maharajas' Express. Unpack your bags and settle in to your cabin. Later make your way to one of the dining cars to sit down to brunch as the train departs the capital bound for Agra. Following the meal you have an introductory briefing from the tour manager, and in the early afternoon you arrive in Agra. What better way to begin your journey than with a tour of the iconic Taj Mahal. Seeing this monument in the real is every bit as impressive as you could imagine, and your guide is able to recount the moving story behind its construction to give you an added insight. There's a choice of further optional activities today including a spa treatment at a local hotel. Afterwards you return to the train with time to freshen up before dinner. Brunch, dinner
Rising early you can visit either Agra Fort or the Baby Taj and then return for breakfast on board. By mid morning the train sets out for Ranthambore, arriving just after 3pm. You disembark and set off in a jeep for a game drive in the national park, known for its tigers but also home to sloth bears, spotted deer, Indian gazelle and blue bull. You'll certainly want your camera at the ready. Back on board there's plenty of time to shower and change, enjoy a preprandial drink and dinner while the train begins the short journey to Jaipur, arriving just before midnight. Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Breakfast is served early allowing you to set off in good time for your choice of activity. You can visit Amber Fort, an impressive historical complex a little way outside the city, tour the city palace and observatory or opt to begin your day with a relaxing spa treatment at a nearby hotel. Lunch is served back on board and you have a relaxing afternoon, chatting to fellow passengers. At around 5pm you are collected for dinner at Rambagh Palace. Built in 1835 this is one of Jaipur's landmark buildings and dining here is sure to be a memorable occasion. You are transferred back to the train later where you can have a nightcap in the safari bar before heading to your cabin. Breakfast, lunch, dinner
It's a more leisurely start this morning, with breakfast on board as you travel to Bikaner in the Thar Desert. On arrival you can choose to take a guided tour of the city or visit Lalgarh Palace and Museum. Alternatively you are welcome to remain on board the Maharajas' Express and enjoy some relaxation while the staff look after you. After lunch you are taken to Junagarh Fort which dates back to the late 16th century, and thence to the sand dunes for scenic sundowners followed by an al fresco barbecue and a display of folk dancing. After this wonderful evening in the desert you return to the Maharajas' Express which then departs on the overnight trip to Jodhpur. Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Enjoy breakfast as the train approaches Jodhpur and you ponder the choice of morning activities. You can take a drive out to Umaid Bhawan Palace, a grand building constructed between 1929 and 1943 part of which is now a museum, take a tour of a nearby Bishnoi village for an insight into local life or relax with a pampering spa treatment at a hotel. Following lunch there's a guided city tour taking in Mehrangarh Fort from which you get excellent views over the 'blue city', a walking tour of the old clocktower market and a ride in a motor rickshaw, a typical mode of transport in Indian cities. Cocktails and dinner are served at a local restaurant and then you are taken back to the train as it gets underway again. Breakfast, lunch, dinner
After a good night's sleep you sit down to breakfast and by mid morning the train pulls in to your next destination, Udaipur, known for its picture-postcard lakes and palaces. Swap the train for a boat as you enjoy a cruise on Lake Pichola with plenty of photo opportunities. You also visit the City Palace complex and the Crystal Gallery which houses the largest private collection of crystal in the world, including fountains, furniture and a crystal encrusted carpet. You are treated to lunch in the Satkar Banquet Hall at Fakeh Prakash Palace before returning to the Maharajas' Express. An Indian evening is planned to mark your final night on board. Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Breakfast is served from 7am this morning as the train heads towards Mumbai. You have time to sit and watch the scenery, have conversations with other passengers and enjoy some downtime in the safari bar, as well as to pack your belongings. Savour a tasty lunch and just before 4pm the Maharajas' Express makes its stately approach into Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaja Terminus, where you say your goodbyes to the crew and fellow travellers. You will be met on the platform and then transferred to your hotel where you can settle in. The rest of the afternoon and evening has been kept free. Breakfast, lunch
Enjoy breakfast after a good night's sleep in preparation for the day's sightseeing that lies ahead. This morning you'll enjoy a city tour of Mumbai taking in the highlights. Mumbai is a mixing pot of cultures, and people and religions from all over India can be found in the city. As well as countless Hindu temples and shrines, you can also find Jain temples, Christian churches, Muslim mosques, Jewish synagouges and even a Zorastorian tower of silence. This afternoon board a boat for the 11km ride to Elephanta Island. This UNESCO World Heritage Site, consists of one group of five Hindu caves and a smaller group of Buddhist caves, both carved out of solid basalt rock.
Enjoy a final delicious breakfast at your hotel and then it's time to pack your bags and say your goodbyes. You'll be collected from the hotel and driven to the airport to catch your flight home. Check-in and then reflect on your time on the Maharaja's Express as you wait for your flight to depart. Breakfast.
Guide price from (pp sharing): £7035 (ex. international flights)
Price notes: Prices valid until April 2021 based on 2 people sharing: £7035
2 nights in Delhi prior to train departure and 2 nights post train journey in Mumbai on bed and breakfast basis, 6 nights twin-share accommodation in a deluxe cabin, meals specified as included, soft drinks including tea, coffee and mineral water on board, house wines, spirits and beers on board, 24 hour valet service, excursions as per the itinerary, entrance fees and camera fees for excursions, English speaking guides, services of a tour director, on-board paramedic, CCT cameras, smoke alarms and 24 hour security, all transfers, sightseeing and excursions as per the itinerary in exclusive chauffeur driven vehicles as specified in the itinerary.
International flights, visas, travel insurance, drinks on board other than house wines, spirits and beers, optional excursions, laundry service, personal expenditure, tips
This holiday begins in Delhi and ends in Mumbai. Return flights from the UK cost from around £500 per person depending on season and availability. We usually book these for you.
Departure dates: This train journey operates on specific dates, always departing Delhi on a Sunday with usually one departure each month from October to April each year.
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Find the best time to visit India
Time: GMT +5 hours
Flight time: Flight time from London to Delhi is 8 hours 30 minutes and to Mumbai is about 8 hours.
Language: The official language is Hindi, which about 30% of the population speaks. English is very widely spoken and is used for official and commercial purposes.
Visas: Required for British travellers. Other nationalities should obtain advice from their embassy.
Health: There are no compulsory vaccinations.