unnamedThe world’s most luxurious river cruise operator, Uniworld, surprised the travel industry with the announcement that its newest and most exotic cruise and journey will be their first “India’s Golden Triangle & the Sacred Ganges” itinerary from New Delhi to Kolkata. It will debut in January 2016 on a brand new, all-suite, 56-passenger ship — the Ganges Voyager II — the most luxurious river cruiser to ever sail the Ganges River.

Uniworld’s 12-night program highlights wondrous sights along the country’s most venerated river, the Ganges, as well as must-see destinations in Delhi, Agra, and Jaipur — the “Golden Triangle” — one of the most culturally-rich areas of the subcontinent.

The journey will include unforgettable visits to: the Rajbari Temples complex including 108 intricately carved structures devoted to the Hindu god Shiva; the regal and romantic Pink City and City Palace, the residence of Jaipur’s former royal family; the soon-to-be-completed Temple of the Vedic Planetarium in the village of Mayapur, birthplace of the founder of the Hare Krishna movement; Kolkata, home of some of India’s finest examples of British colonial-era architecture, such as the stark white edifice of Victoria Memorial Hall and the massive red brick Writers’ Building; sunset and sunrise views of Taj Mahal, the world’s most sublime monument to love; and Delhi’s most-visited attraction, the 16th century UNESCO World Heritage Site Humayun’s Tomb, India’s first garden-tomb and the inspiration for the Taj Mahal with its perfect symmetry, peaceful atmosphere, and fountains and pools.

This itinerary includes seven nights onboard the new Ganges Voyager II, and five nights at opulent five-star Oberoi Hotels & Resorts properties, namely The Oberoi, New Delhi; The Oberoi Amarvilas, Agra; and The Oberoi Rajvilas, Jaipur. Onboard the Ganges Voyager II, guests will find French balcony suites with cozy sitting areas, flat-screen televisions, spacious bathrooms, rain showers, robes and slippers, and top quality bath amenities. Elegant public areas include the Governor’s Lounge with onboard entertainment and cultural events, an observation deck with 360-degree views, a spa and fitness center, and the East India Restaurant, which offers both Indian-inspired cuisine and Western favorites.

The all-inclusive passage includes 11 days of escorted tours, and all meals – both onboard and onshore – with complimentary spirits, wine, beer and sodas. Uniworld’s generous hospitality also includes transfers, tips, and all transportation throughout the trip, including one intra-India flight.

I can personally attest to the superior quality of Uniworld’s accommodations and service, after having the pleasure of sailing the “Venice & The Gems of Northern Italy” cruise on the River Countess. From the spacious suite with floor-to-ceiling windows, to the “however you like it” can-do attitude of the friendly staff (numbering at least 3 to every passenger) and experienced guides, to the finest dining experiences I’ve ever had onboard a ship, it was a magical experience from the very first moment to the last. It was my first sailing with Uniworld, but because it spoils passengers for any other – lesser – river cruise line – it certainly won’t be my last.