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Voyages to Antiquity: Singapore, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and India

Program Number: 20574RJ
Start and End Dates:
3/10/2015 - 4/3/2015; 2/19/2016 - 3/14/2016;
Duration: 24 nights
Location: Singapore/Malaysia/India/Sri Lanka
Price starting at: $6,895.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Adventure Afloat Study Cruise; Ocean Cruises Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 65; 22 Breakfasts, 21 Lunches, 22 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian; Low Fat; Gluten Free; Low Salt    

Beginning in the bustling city-state of Singapore and ending in the energetic metropolis of Delhi, sail to some of Southeast Asia and India’s most fascinating ports aboard the Aegean Odyssey. Experience bustling bazaars, exotic temples and magnificent fortresses and learn the stories they hold.

Activity Particulars

Walking over uneven terrain; standing for up to 90 minutes at a time; stairs without railings; hot and humid conditions.

Itinerary At-a-Glance

Singapore, 2 nights; aboard Aegean Odyssey, 13 nights; Jaipur (India), 2 nights; Agra, 2 nights; Delhi, 3 nights.

Days 1-2: Overnight flight from the U.S.A.

Days 3-5: Arrival Singapore / embark Aegean Odyssey:

Explore the three main ethnic regions of Singapore and visit their gardens, temples and marketplaces. Lodging: Centrally located hotel.

Days 6-10: Malacca (Malaysia) / Penang / At Sea:

Walk through the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Malacca and visit the historic British settlements in Georgetown.

Days 11-12: Colombo (Sri Lanka) / Kandy:

Stroll along the colorful Pettah Bazaar in Colombo before making your way to the Temple of the Tooth in Kandy.

Days 13-15: At Sea / Cochin (India) / Mangalore:

Enjoy a demonstration of traditional Kerala cooking techniques in Cochin and discover the tile-roofs, cashew gardens, Hindu shrines and Catholic churches of Mangalore.

Days 16-17: Goa / Mumbai:

Join an expert for an exploration of the villas and beaches of Goa. In Mumbai, enjoy a field trip to the Gateway of India.

Days 18-19: Disembark / flight to Jaipur:

Walk through the colorful bazaars of Jaipur and thrill in a jeep ride to the Amber Fort. Lodging: Four-star hotel.

Days 20-21: Coach to Agra:

Visit Itmad-ud-Daulah, known locally as 'Baby Taj', before watching the sun set and rise over the extraordinary Taj Mahal. Visit Agra Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Lodging: Four-star hotel.

Days 22-25: Coach to Delhi / departure:

Spend a day in New Delhi and see its grandest sites, from the Great Mosque to the president’s house. Lodging: Five-star luxury hotel.

Aegean Odyssey

The Aegean Odyssey is a premium-class ship especially rebuilt for sailing along shallow coastlines, among remote islands and into small, uncrowded harbors that larger ocean liners can’t reach. Public areas include several gourmet restaurants, library, Internet center, sweeping sun decks, outdoor pool, gym and spa.

Meals and Lodgings
   Carlton City Hotel
  Singapore, Singapore 3 nights
   Aegean Odyssey
  Aegean Odyssey - At Sea, At Sea 13 nights
   Trident Jaipur
  Jaipur, India 2 nights
   Trident Agra
  Agra, India 2 nights
   The Suryaa New Delhi
  Delhi, India 2 nights
 Carlton City Hotel
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: Carlton City Hotel Singapore is strategically located nearby China town and the central business district. The hotel can be easily accessed from the airport (20 km distance) and is a brief walk away from Tanjong Pagar MRT station. The hotel is also near key attractions such as the Singapore Flyer, Marina Bay, and Vivocity Shopping Mall. Carlton City Hotel Singapore has 386 inspiring guest rooms.
  Contact info: 1 Gopeng Street
Singapore,  078862 Singapore
phone: +65 66328817
  Room amenities: Each room has a hair dryer, iron, ironing board, mini bar, bathrobe, bedroom slippers, toiletries, safe box, telephone, TV, Internet access in room.
  Facility amenities: The hotel offers a restaurant, sky bar, outdoor swimming pool, fitness room, lounge, air conditioning, laundry facilities, fax machine, sauna, shop, Internet access (computers in lobby, wireless in room or public areas), and a safe box.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: TBD Please contact Road Scholar Travel Services if you would like assistance making hotel reservations for additional non-program nights. (800) 241-1404
  Check in time: 2:00 PM

 Aegean Odyssey
Type: Cruise Ship
  Description: The Aegean Odyssey offers boutique-style cruising at its best. In contrast to the massive vessels cruising to and from major ports, it is a midsized ship adapted for island and coastal cruising. The Aegean Odyssey can visit smaller, less crowded harbors and sail closer to the coast enabling you to really appreciate the magical views.
  Ship Information: Ship’s Tonnage: 11,563 Length: 461 feet Beam: 67 feet Draft: 20.5 feet Cruising Speed: 18 knots Passenger Decks: 7 Stabilizers: 2 Passenger Staterooms/Cabins: 198 Passengers – lower beds: 378 Classification: Lloyd’s Register Society London Ship’s Registration: Malta
  Contact info: Voyages to Antiquity
1800 SE 10th Avenue, Suite 230
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33316 USA
phone: 877-398-1460
  Room amenities: All cabins are equipped with a flat screen TV, air-conditioning, and personal safe. Particular importance is placed on the standard of bedding in cabins. Luxury bedding, including fine duvets, covers and sheets, ample soft pillows and quality towels can be expected. Also, shampoo, bath and shower gel, soap, and shower cap are provided. Your cabin steward is always available. Cabins and suites feature outlets with 220 voltage, using the “European” two round pin plug. Hair dryers are provided in your cabin and electric rollers, curling irons, electric shavers and other small appliances can be used in your cabin. For safety reasons, travel irons are not allowed.
  Facility amenities: Dining: Aegean Odyssey offers many dining facilities: The Marco Polo Restaurant is the ship's more formal restaurant, providing casual country-club elegance for lunch or dinner; The Terrace Cafe offers a combination of indoor and outdoor seating where you can indulge in breakfast, lunch and dinner from the grill or the sumptuous daily buffet. In the evenings, enjoy breathtaking views over dinner at Tapas on the Terrace. *There is a complimentary choice of wine, beer, or soft drinks with your evening meal. There will be a string trio, pianist and casual dancing before and after dinner. You may also wish to partake in afternoon tea, served in the Observation Lounge or enjoy an evening snack and cocktail, available in the Lido and Rendezvous bars. A limited room service menu is available. Special Diets: Please advise us at the time of booking of any special dietary requirements. The ship can usually meet most general requests such as those made with an air carrier; however, this cannot always be guaranteed. Services: Library; outdoor pool; spa; health center, saunas, massage and beauty treatment rooms and early morning yoga on the Lido Deck; elevators; beauty salon; medical center; laundry and pressing services (order form and laundry bag is provided in cabin); lecture theater and cinema and on board shop. Internet: The ship has an Internet center (open 24 hours) and WiFi is available in the reception area. Fees begin at 10mb for $20. As a rough guide you could send around 200 standard emails with no attachments for $20. However, if you start adding medium size web standard photographs (not hi res), each one would be about 1.5mb. There are no refunds for unused capacity. PLEASE NOTE: Due to the nature of satellite connectivity on board a ship, the internet connection is slow, erratic and may be unavailable at times.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes

 Trident Jaipur
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: The Trident Jaipur is located just opposite the historic Jal Mahal and Mansagar Lake. The hotel itself is gracefully furnished and equipped with modern facilities, and its breathtaking views of the lake and striking Aravalli range welcome guests from all corners of the world.
  Contact info: Amber Fort Road
Jaipur,  302 002 India
phone: +91 141 267 0101
  Room amenities: Each room has a television, telephone, air conditioning, mini bar, safe, coffee and tea making facilities, wireless Internet access and a hair dryer.
  Facility amenities: The hotel offers restaurants, a bar, swimming pool, fitness room, air conditioning, business center, currency exchange, safety-box, laundry services, and wireless Internet access.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes

 Trident Agra
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: The Trident Agra is built of red stone reminiscent of the Mughal era, set amidst beautiful gardens, fountains and courtyards, and is literally a stone's throw away from one of the new 7 Wonders of the World, the Taj Mahal.
  Contact info: Fathehabad Road
Agra,  282001 India
phone: +91 0562-2235000
  Room amenities: Each room has a television, telephone, mini bar, iron and ironing board, personal safe, air conditioning, tea and coffee making facilities, wireless Internet access, and a hair dryer.
  Facility amenities: The hotel offers a restaurant, bar, air conditioning, fitness center, swimming pool, business center, currency exchange, laundry services, beauty salon, and both wired and wireless Internet access.
  Smoking allowed: Yes

 The Suryaa New Delhi
Type: Five-Star Hotel
  Description: The Suryaa New Delhi is a luxurious five-star hotel that is located in the heart of New Delhi. Fully equipped with modern conference facilities and situated amidst historical monuments and shopping sites, this hotel is the ideal choice for business and leisure travelers alike.
  Contact info: New Friends Colony
New Delhi,  110 065 India
phone: +91 2683 5070
  Room amenities: Each room has tea and coffee making facilities, personal safe, iron and ironing board, television, telephone, mini bar, free morning paper delivered, individually controlled air conditioning, wireless Internet, and a hair dryer.
  Facility amenities: The hotel offers three restaurants, a bar, pastry shop, night club, 24-hour room service, laundry services, air conditioning, gym, swimming pool, business center facilities, shopping arcade, and wireless Internet throughout the hotel.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights after: N/A Please contact Road Scholar Travel Services if you would like assistance making hotel reservations for additional non-program nights. 1-800-241-1404.
  Check out time: 12:00 PM

Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Singapore, Singapore. Program starts at 12:00 PM with lunch in the hotel dining room. You will be staying at Carlton City Hotel that night.
  End of Program:
Delhi, India. Program ends after the farewell dinner on April 2nd due to very early morning departing flights on April 3rd. You will be staying at The Suryaa New Delhi the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information Form is required. The Voyages to Antiquity Guest Registration Form is required.
  Parking availability:
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
To Start of Program
  Location:  Singapore
  Transportation to site: For participants NOT on the group transfer, a taxi from the Singapore airport to the hotel cost approx. SGD 25-30 and takes approx. 30 minutes.
  From End of Program
  Location:  Delhi
  Transportation from site: For participants NOT on the group transfer, we recommend that you book a transfer from the hotel to the airport (approx. INR 2450). Call Road Scholar at 413-253-9736 to book a transfer.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Daily Schedule

Day 1: In transit
(Tuesday, March 10)
 In Transit: Depart on international flight.

Day 2: In transit
(Wednesday, March 11)
 Afternoon: Continue international flight.
 Evening: Very late evening arrival into Singapore. Transfer to hotel.
Accommodations: Carlton City Hotel

Day 3: Arrival / Singapore, Singapore
(Thursday, March 12)
 Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: Free morning to rest and recuperate from flight.
 Lunch: Welcome lunch and program orientation at the hotel.
 Afternoon: The focus of today's excursion will be the way of life in this third most densely populated country in the world. First, visit the Singapore City Gallery which features a finely detailed architectural model of the city. Coach to Toa Payoh, a 'New Town' built in the 1960s to address an acute housing shortage. Here view a characteristic layout of the various towns, as well as the apartments, in which typical Singaporeans live. Next, you will take a subway to a nearby housing complex built in the 1990s to accommodate a wealthier segment of Singapore's population. Here you will have the opportunity to visit with locals in their home.
 Dinner: Dinner in the hotel dining room.
Accommodations: Carlton City Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Singapore, Singapore
(Friday, March 13)
 Breakfast: Breakfast in hotel dining room.
 Morning: Explore historic and modern Singapore during this full-day cultural excursion. First visit Merlion Park -- its iconic sculpture, a popular landmark. Next explore Arab Street, home to Singapore's Muslim community with shops selling colorful textiles and other artifacts from throughout the Islamic world. Also visit the Malay Heritage Centre which showcases the culture and history of this sect of Singapore's population.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: After lunch, explore Chinatown -- an area of rich significant and cultural significance. From here, visit Little India where age-old trades still flourish in its alleys. On to the National Orchid Garden where you will view the world's largest display of orchids. Before returning to the hotel, enjoy a photostop at the legendary Raffles Hotel.
 Dinner: Dinner in hotel dining room.
Accommodations: Carlton City Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Singapore, Singapore / Embark
(Saturday, March 14)
 Breakfast: Breakfast in hotel dining room.
 Morning: Free time to relax or explore Singapore on your own.
 Lunch: Explore local fare on your own.
 Afternoon: Transfer to Aegean Odyssey for embarkation. Late afternoon Road Scholar orientation to the ship in the "Observation Lounge."
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 6: Malacca, Malaysia
(Sunday, March 15)

Note: There are approx. 120 shallow steps to reach the ruins of St Paul’s Church.

 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Discover the history of Malacca, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2008, as you visit a ruined Portuguese fort, picturesque Dutch Square and St. Paul's Hill with its sweeping view of the straits that gave this city its name. Malay history is said to have begun with the founding of Malacca in 1403. This once-sleepy fishing village became a stopover for traders from Asia and then Europe. Centuries of colonization influenced the architecture and cultures.

Drive to Dutch Square and a visit to either the 17th-century Stadthuys, once the former governor's residence that is now a History Museum, or the Istana Melaka Museum. Ascend the 120 steps up St. Paul's Hill for spectacular views over the waters once plied by schooners laden with silks and spices.

Visit St. Paul's Church, built to honour St. Francis Xavier, who brought Christianity to Malacca. At Porto de Santiago, view the remains of a Portuguese fortress whose 9-foot-thick walls once encircled the entire hill. Continue to the oldest part of Malacca to visit the Nanking-style Cheng Hoong Teng Temple, one of the oldest Chinese temples in Southeast Asia. Afterwards, there'll be time to wander towards Jonker Street, an intriguing area dotted with antique shops, craft stores and colorful restaurants.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: At sea. Attend a shipboard guest lecture.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Penang, Malaysia
(Monday, March 16)
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: At sea. Stretch your body and mind during early morning yoga before attending a stimulating lecture.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: The excursion begins with a drive through the streets of the city and along the ‘road of harmony’ bustling with activity. Lining along this road are various places of worship – an Anglican St. George’s Church, the Chinese Kuan Yin Temple and the Kapitan Keling Mosque. Arrive at the Penang Museum which displays a fine collection of old photographs, maps, charts and other historical artifacts.

You will next visit the brightly painted Thai temple of Wat Chayamangkalaram, which houses the 108-foot long figure of the Reclining Buddha and the Burmese Temple across the road. Continue driving along Gurney Drive, otherwise known as Persiaran Gurney. It is perhaps one of the most well-known places in Penang. Often referred to as ‘The New Esplanade’ (to differentiate it from the original Esplanade in Georgetown), Gurney Drive is a deluge of hawker delights and exciting restaurants that come alive at nighttime, giving the unique experience of dining by the sea.

Next at the Craft Batik Workshop, the intricate and timeless art of printing cloth with wax and dyes is demonstrated and items are available for purchase. Escape from the hustle and bustle of city life to the tranquil and green surroundings of the Botanic Garden which is 72 hectares and more than a century old. Lying in a deep valley at the feet of jungle clad hills, the gardens are bound by tropical forest and cascading streams. You may see the wild monkeys roam freely in their natural habitat. Drive past the Old World setting of the Eastern & Oriental Hotel before returning to the pier.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: At sea
(Tuesday, March 17)
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: At sea. Attend a talk by your Road Scholar Group Leader.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: At sea. Attend a shipboard guest lecture.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: At sea
(Wednesday, March 18)
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: At sea. Take advantage of the ship's well stocked library that has a wide selection of volumes covering classical history, literature, art, architecture, and philosophy. The frequently updated collection also includes an extensive reference section as well as modern and classic novels.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: At sea. Attend a shipboard guest lecture. Cool off by taking a dip in the outdoor swimming pool and take in the refreshing ocean air.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: At sea
(Thursday, March 19)
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: At sea. Find your way to one of the ship's lounges and enjoy a conversation with fellow travelers.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: At sea. A relaxing day to enjoy the sunshine and the shipboard guest lectures as the ship makes its way to Colombo, Sri Lanka.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Colombo, Sri Lanka
(Friday, March 20)

Note: Shoes must be removed at the temple, and modest dress required. Camera fees apply at the museum.

 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: At sea. Join friends on deck to trade travel stories, reflect on all you have experienced on this adventure, and make plans for your next destination. Attend a shipboard guest lecture.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: Experience the astonishing blend of modern and exotic in Sri Lanka’s commercial capital, a city quite unlike any other. On this field trip you will drive past Dutch and British colonial-era architecture, including the Wolvendhal Church and the old Town Hall, interspersed with Hindu temples, the neoclassical National Museum and the Pettah Bazaar.

Make a visit to Independence Square where this former British colony of Ceylon was given self rule in 1948. Wind past the cricket stadium through such neighborhoods as affluent Horton Place and Kotte, the legislative capital. Admire the colorful murals and statues of the Lord Buddha at the Asokaramaya Temple, built over a century ago.

A refreshment break will be made as will a visit to the Janakala Kendraya handicrafts village to see local artisans at work.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: Kandy, Sri Lanka
(Saturday, March 21)

Note: The drive to Kandy is three hours long. Shoes must be removed at the temple, and modest dress required. Camera fees apply for the temple.

 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Journey to the sacred city of Kandy, a UNESCO World Heritage Site of unusual beauty and the location of the temple containing a tooth of Buddha.

The scenic three-hour drive takes us out of Colombo, through small towns growing all kinds of exotic fruit, past pineapple plantations and paddy fields and up into Sri Lanka’s stunning hill country. One of the day’s highlights is a stop at Peradeniya to walk through the Royal Botanic Gardens. A visit to the Orchid House should not be missed!

Continue on to Kandy, founded in the 14th century and the last capital of Sri Lanka’s kings. Lunch will be served in a colonial hotel overlooking the Kandy Lake. On the opposite side of the picturesque valley, take a guided tour of the monumental Temple of the Tooth where the sacred relic is enshrined.

During the return drive from this ancient kingdom, make a stop at a Spice Garden and learn about Sri Lanka’s ayurvedic tradition. Please note that this excursion is very long with an approximate 3-3.5 hour drive each way.

An alternate excursion to an elephant orphanage is also offered by the ship if preferred.
 Lunch: Lunch at a restaurant.
 Afternoon: Continue your full day excursion.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13: At sea
(Sunday, March 22)
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: At sea. Enjoy the Observation Deck if the weather is nice, or dive into a good book from the ship's library. Attend a shipboard guest lecture.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: At sea. Attend a Road Scholar Cocktail Party.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 14: Cochin, India
(Monday, March 23)

Note: Men and women need to cover shoulders and knees. Shoes must be removed to enter Synagogue and no bags, cameras or goods of any kind can be taken inside, but can be left on the motorcoach. Comfortable shoes, socks and a hat are recommended. There is no wheelchair access in the Dutch Palace. Order of sights visited may vary.

 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Situated in the State of Kerala, Cochin has a remarkable history as a centuries-old center of trade. Drive to Fort Cochin, located in the historic center, established by the Portuguese in 1500. Visit the oldest church in India, St. Francis Church – it is here in 1524 that the Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama died and his body was entombed in the chapel of Santo Antonio until it was removed to Portugal in 1538. Next visit the Mattancherry area where the old merchant houses were once home to a flourishing Jewish community. Visit the charming Dutch Palace, built by the Portuguese in 1555, and the Synagogue, built in 1568.
 Lunch: Enjoy a Road Scholar exclusive event featuring a home hosted lunch and a cooking demonstration on traditional Kerala cooking techniques.
 Afternoon: Free time for independent exploration.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 15: Mangalore, India
(Tuesday, March 24)

Note: Socks are recommended, as footwear must be removed at the temple. Please dress respectfully for religious sites by covering shoulders and knees.

 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: At sea. A chance to relax on deck and enjoy the shipboard guest lectures.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: Discover the tile-roofs, cashew gardens, Hindu shrines and Catholic churches of Mangalore where Indian and Portuguese heritages intertwine. Fronted by the Arabian Sea and backed by the Western Ghat mountains, the city takes its name from the goddess Mangaladevi. For centuries this major seaport on the Malabar Coast was fought over by Nayaka princes, Mysore sultans and European powers.

Today, the area's mellow charm belies that turbulent past, but the port continues to thrive, exporting 75% of India's coffee and the bulk of its cashews. Visit a local processing plant and learn about this popular nut, brought here in the 16th century by the Portuguese. Continue to the beautiful Hindu temple dedicated to Gokarnath, another name for Shiva. The founder, Narayana Guru, is considered a saint for his work on behalf of India's most downtrodden, and the temple is a site of daily pilgrimage.

Finally visit St. Aloysius' Chapel. Remarkable biblical frescoes and oil paintings cover virtually every square inch of the interior ceiling and walls. Created over a period of two years by the Italian artist, Brother Antonio Moscheni, this church is one of India's hidden gems.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 16: Marmagoa, India
(Wednesday, March 25)

Note: Please dress respectfully for religious sites by covering shoulders and knees.

 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Marvel at two magnificent churches of Old Goa, both UNESCO World Heritage Sites, then take a walking tour of the capital's atmospheric Latin Quarter. Some of India's most architecturally beautiful places can be found in Old Goa, your first sightseeing destination. This walled historic precinct contains an archaeological reserve of churches that were influential in spreading Manueline, Mannerist and Baroque art to Asia in the 16th to 18th centuries.

Designed to awe the locals into conversion, these magnificent churches testify to the wealth of Goa when it was the capital of the Eastern Portuguese Empire. Visit St. Cajetan Church, modeled on St. Peter's in Rome, with its hidden crypt where in 1992 the bodies of former Portuguese governors were found in lead coffins waiting to be sent back to Lisbon. Next, visit the 16th-century Basilica of Bom Jesus, where St Francis Xavier, Goa's patron saint, is entombed in a marble mausoleum.

Continue your sightseeing with a short orientation drive through Panjim, the relaxed state capital. Enjoy a walking excursion through one of the city's most charming neighborhoods, the Fontainhas Latin Quarter built by the Portuguese. Stroll along the narrow streets past wonderful old villas and savor the tranquil essence of Goa.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: Set sail for Mumbai. Attend a lecture by a guest speaker.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 17: Mumbai, India
(Thursday, March 26)

Note: Please wear a hat, comfortable shoes and socks, as it is required to remove shoes at the temple.

 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Immerse yourself in the swirling contrasts of India's economic powerhouse, home to nearly 20 million people, global corporations and the Bollywood film industry. View the colonial heritage as you drive from the pier past such Victorian Gothic Revival landmarks as Rajabhai Clock Tower, Mumbai University, High Court, Crawford Market and the marvelous Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus. Stop at Dhobi Ghat to watch men flogging clothes in the stone tubs of an immense open-air manual laundry.

Glimpse political India when you visit the charming residence of Mahatma Gandhi, Mani Bhawan, a museum to the leader's life and work. The father of the nation lived here from 1917 to 1934, when the city was still called Bombay. Capture the flavour of spiritual India at the ISKON Krishna Temple. Then ascend Malabar Hill to the Hanging Gardens for panoramas of the entire city. Continue past the Parsi Tower of Silence to explore India's ancient heritage at the Prince of Wales Museum with its lovely gardens, grand loggias and fine collections of sculptures, miniatures and Eastern art. On the return, enjoy a photo stop before the 262-foot-high Gateway of India, overlooking the Arabian Sea, built to mark the 1911 visit of King George V.
 Lunch: Lunch on board or explore local fare on your own.
 Afternoon: Free time to relax on board or for independent exploration in Mumbai.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 18: Disembark / Jaipur, India
(Friday, March 27)
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Disembark and transfer to the airport for an 11:05 AM departing flight to Jaipur. You will be met by your local guide in India, Ashok Jain, upon arrival in Jaipur. Transfer to hotel for check-in.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Explore the colorful and diverse bazaars of Jaipur where vendors stalls brim with their merchandise, ranging from silver and semi-precious stones to textiles and kites.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.
Accommodations: Trident Jaipur
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 19: Jaipur, India
(Saturday, March 28)
 Breakfast: Breakfast in hotel dining room.
 Morning: Begin your full day excursion of Jaipur, the pink city, with visit to the Amber Fort, established as the original capital of Rajasthan, six centuries before the construction of Jaipur. Approach the Fort by jeep and view its lavish interiors and panoramic views of Jaipur. Enjoy a photo stop at Hawa Mahal, the Palace of the Winds, a five-story 'screen' constructed of red and pink sandstone which allowed for the women of the royal household to view life outside the palace.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Continue to explore Jaipur. View the City Palace, still the Maharaja's residence but largely given over to a museum containing rare manuscripts, fine Rajput and Mughal paintings, as well as royal apparel and armory. Visit Jantar Mantar, an 18th century observatory and national monument.
 Dinner: Enjoy dinner at the home of a noble family.
Accommodations: Trident Jaipur
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 20: Agra, India
(Sunday, March 29)
 Breakfast: Breakfast in hotel dining room.
 Morning: Check-out from hotel. Coach transfer to Agra and enjoy a lecture about the history of India. It takes approximately 6 - 7 hours to cover the 137 miles.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant en route to Agra.
 Afternoon: After checking in to the hotel, visit Itmad-ud-Daulah, popularly known as the 'Baby Taj'. This monument is the first of its kind in India made entirely of marble rather than sandstone and served to inspire the design of the Taj Mahal. Join a local expert to learn about the Mughal history as you cross the Yamuna River to watch the sun set over the Taj Mahal from Mehtab Bagh.
 Dinner: Dinner in hotel dining room.
Accommodations: Trident Agra
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 21: Agra, India
(Monday, March 30)

Note: The early morning visit to the Taj Mahal is subject to weather conditions.

 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel dining room.
 Morning: Enjoy the breathtaking views of the Taj Mahal at sunrise. This immense, breathtaking mausoleum takes on rose and golden hues at sunrise and sunset. Return to the hotel for breakfast. Later, explore Agra Fort, intended as an impregnable military structure but with the elegance, lavishness and majesty of an imperial palace. Founded in 1565, it was the imperial city of Mughal rulers.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Free time for independent exploration and an afternoon to relax and enjoy the hotel's amenities.
 Dinner: Dinner in hotel dining room.
Accommodations: Trident Agra
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 22: Delhi, India
(Tuesday, March 31)
 Breakfast: Breakfast in hotel dining room.
 Morning: Coach transfer to Delhi (126 miles, approx. 4 to 5 hours).
 Lunch: Lunch at the hotel upon arrival.
 Afternoon: Visit Lotus Temple, The Baha'i House of Worship built in 1986 and a prominent attraction in Delhi. Inspired by the lotus flower, this stunning architectural wonder is constructed of 27 free-standing marble clad "petals" arranged in clusters of three to form nine sides. Next, explore the Qutb Minar; dating from the 12th century -- is the tallest minaret in India and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The complex is home to stunning buildings that tell the story of Islamic rule in India through the carvings of their walls.
 Dinner: Dinner in hotel dining room.
Accommodations: The Suryaa New Delhi
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 23: Delhi, India
(Wednesday, April 1)

Note: Please wear long pants or a long dress. No shoes are permitted inside the mosque. The mosque will provide gowns for women.

 Breakfast: Breakfast in hotel dining room.
 Morning: Enjoy a lecture on the religions of India before venturing on a full day field trip that encompasses Old and New Delhi. Drive past the Red Fort, named after the extensive use of red sandstone in its construction. Visit Jama Masjid Mosque -- India's largest mosque -- able to hold over 25,000 people. Both of these buildings were commissioned by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan to be built in the 17th century at the height of the Mughal dynasty's power and they represent the finest of Mughal architecture. Enjoy a rickshaw ride at Chandni Chowk, a wide avenue that is the backbone of Old Delhi. Pay homage to Gandhi at his memorial, the Raj Ghat, a black marble platform that marks the site of his cremation.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Continuation of full day excursion which will include a drive past India Gate, the President's House and the Parliament Building.
 Dinner: Farewell dinner at the hotel.
Accommodations: The Suryaa New Delhi
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 24: Delhi, India / Departures
(Thursday, April 2)
 Breakfast: Breakfast in hotel dining room.
 Morning: Learn about Ghandi's legacy throughout the world during this morning's lecture. Depart by coach to Gandhi Smriti -- the building where he was assassinated in 1948 -- and now a memorial dedicated to this prominent and beloved figure in India's history. Lovely Lodi garden is a popular place for a morning/evening stroll or jog, and it is especially pretty at dusk. The gardens encompass the crumbling tombs of the Sayyid and Lodi rulers, including the impressive 15th century Bara Gumbad. Enjoy a guided excursion of these lovely, peaceful gardens.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Enjoy free time this afternoon to relax, explore independently or prepare for your departure.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.
 Evening: Evening transfer to the airport for a departure early morning on April 3rd.
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 25: In transit
(Friday, April 3)
 Depart From: Very early morning departure from Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport.
 Arrive To: North America.

Free Time Opportunities
  Cochin Santa Cruz Basilica
Originally built in 1502, the Santa Cruz Basilica is one of the oldest churches in India. Marvel at the bold pastel interior and beautiful collection of Cochin artifacts revealing local history.
  Singapore Singapore Flyer
Enjoy a beautiful walk along the Marina promenade before getting into the gigantic ferris wheel known as the Singapore Flyer. Delight in the astounding views of the Singapore skyline during the 30 minute ride. Reaching 541 feet, this ferris wheel is the tallest in the world.
  Sultan's Mosque
The Sultan's Mosque is often considered one of the most important mosques in Singapore. Built by the Sultan Hussain Shah of Johore with a grant from Sir Stamford Raffles, this mosque was built in 1825 and can accommodate 5,000 worshippers.
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List

Arrow of the Blue-Skinned God

Author: Jonah Blank

Description: Blank's entertaining portrait of contemporary India and Sri Lanka mixes reporting, anecdote and myth as he travels, sometimes in the footsteps of India's great hero Rama.

Behind the Beautiful Forevers

Author: Katherine Boo

Description: A Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist and writer at The New Yorker, Boo turns her four years among the people of a Mumbai Slum into an absorbing tale of the clash of India, new and old, prosperous and disenfranchised.

Birds of India

Author: Richard Grimmett, Carol Inskipp, Tim Inskipp

Description: Thoroughly revised, with 73 new plates and many others updated or repainted, the second edition of the masterful Birds of India now features all maps and text opposite the plates for quicker and easier reference.

City of Djinns: A Year in Delhi

Author: William Dalrymple

Description: Dalrymple infectiously interweaves his own experiences over a year in Delhi with its art, architecture, history and literature.

Culture Smart! India

Author: Becky Stephen

Description: A concise, well-illustrated guide to both social and business customs in India.

Culture Smart! Singapore

Author: Angela Milligan

Description: A concise, no-nonsense guide to local customs, etiquette and culture with a short overview of the land and people.

Eyewitness Guide Delhi, Agra and Jaipur

Author: Anuradha Chaturvedi (Editor)

Description: With chapters on Taj Mahal, Amber Fort Palace, Keoladeo Ghana National Park, Red Fort and dozens of other highlights for the traveler, this compact, gorgeously illustrated guide to Delhi and its environs features 900 color photographs, maps and site plans.


Author: Stanley Wolpert

Description: Wolpert's reflections on India -- its religion and philosophy, its art, culture and politics -- make for a wonderfully literate, succinct primer.

India, A Sacred Geography

Author: Diana L. Eck

Description: Professor of comparative religion and Indian studies at Harvard, Diana Eck turns her interest in temples and places of pilgrimage into a celebration of the diversity of popular religious traditions in India in this richly rewarding travelogue.

Malgudi Days

Author: R. K. Narayan

Description: Wonderful tales from one of India's foremost writers about a fictional South Indian town, populated by quirky characters whose unique approaches to tradition and modernity are the stuff of great short stories.

Not Quite Paradise, An American Sojourn in Sri Lanka

Author: Adele Barker

Description: A deft, nuanced account of an American's year-and-a-half teaching stint. Baker weaves information about the history, traditions and daily life of Sri Lanka with reports on the 30-year war between the government and the Tamils, as well as the devastating 2004 tsunami.

Taj Mahal

Author: Giles Tillotson, Mary Beard (Editor)

Description: An enlightening pocket guide to the myth, meaning and legends of the celebrated tomb, "the queen of architecture."

The Glass Palace

Author: Amitav Ghosh

Description: In this panoramic novel full of tales and anecdote, Ghosh follows the lives and fortunes of Rajkumar and his family over three eventful generations in Burma, India and Malaysia.

The Moor's Last Sigh

Author: Salman Rushdie

Description: A sweeping family epic that tackles many of the most complex aspects about Indian culture. In his characteristically rich prose, Rushdie tells the history of India, set among the spice traders of Cochin.

The Spice Route, A History

Author: John Keay

Description: John Keay draws on ancient logs, traveler's accounts and maps for this rousing history of trade in cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, pepper, gums, resins and other costly goods from antiquity to the 17th century.

What the Buddha Taught

Author: Walpola Sri Rahula

Description: A classic account of Theravada Buddhism by a respected monk and scholar from Sri Lanka. Provides translations from original texts with explanations for Western readers. A good foundation for any visitor to Southeast Asia.

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