India & Arabia Adventure
India & Arabia Adventure – an itinerary with a difference! Take a fascinating journey exploring the “Golden Triangle” of India combined with a 7 night Arabian Sea Cruise from Dubai. Fly from the UK to Delhi and enjoy “small group” escorted tour of the famous Golden Triangle. Marvel at the many sights including the Taj Mahal, Agra Fort and Fatehpur Sikri and get a closer look at village life with a stay in rural Dhula. We also visit the Palace of the Winds and the organised streets of the “Pink City”.
India & Arabia Adventure – Departs UK 28 November 2019
Alternative dates available – Fly from various UK aiports
India & Arabia Adventure – The Golden Triangle Tour:
This compact Indian journey will introduce you to three very different northern cities and the colourful rural life of Rajasthan. From the hectic pace of Delhi with its bustling markets, magnificent monuments, and colonial past, travel by private transport to Agra and the mesmerizing beauty of the Taj Mahal — truly one of the wonders of the world. Discover why Jaipur is called the Pink City and get a taste of village life at Dhula village. Photographers and culture lovers won’t be disappointed on this classic adventure.
India & Arabia Adventure – MSC Bellissima Arabian Sea Cruise
At the end of our India tour, we fly to Dubai where we join the MSC Bellissima for a 7 night cruise, featuring ports of call such as Abu Dhabi, Sir Bai Yas Island, Bahrain & Doha before returning to Dubai for an overnight stay, prior to fly back to the UK.
- Return flights throughout
- Small Group Escorted tour of the Golden Triangle
- 7 night MSC Cruise
Price based on 28 November 2019 departure. Flights from Glasgow, Edinburgh, Manchester & London
Your G for Good Moment: Women on Wheels Transfer :Transfer by a G Adventures-supported project, Women on Wheels. This program provides safe and reliable transport for travellers, while providing a dignified livelihood for a local woman from a resource poor community.
Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting
The adventure begins tonight. Feel free to explore before your welcome meeting, but make sure you’re back in time to meet the group. After introductions, your CEO will review the details of your tour. Please note that normal check-in times apply at our start hotels, but you can usually store your luggage for the day if you arrive early.
Optional Activities - Day 1
Kitchen with a Cause
Hungry? Visit Delhi’s Kitchen with a Cause before or after your tour for a delicious meal that gives something back to the local community. It is more than a bustling restaurant – it’s a product of the G Values Fund* filled with mouth-watering action. Dishes are prepared by talented chefs who celebrate the deep, traditional flavours prevalent in Indian cuisine. The restaurant provides further career and training opportunities to young adults who are graduates from the G Adventures-supported City Walk project, an organization that aids local disadvantaged youth. Here, the cost of your meal gets you so much more than just a full stomach.
Visit the Kitchen with a Cause at 15A/64, WEA, Kroi Bagh, Delhi, India.
*The G Values Fund is a microloan program instituted by G Adventures that helps former Chief
Your G for Good Moment: City Walk
Explore the streets of Delhi with a youth-led tour guide from the G Adventures-supported City Walk project. As a former at-risk youth, your local guide will have a unique perspective on the city and can provide more information on the life of a child in India. The guided tour helps support the guide's college or university tuition.
Please note that City Walk is closed on Sundays and holidays and this activity will not run on those days.
Old Delhi Guided Walk
Visit historic Old Delhi. Explore Jama Masjid, the "Great Mosque," and enjoy its massive courtyard, which can hold up to 25,000 worshippers. Also, visit the ancient Sikh temple of Gurdwara SisGanj, which was established in 1783.
Private Vehicle - Delhi – Āgra3h-4h/200km
Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.
Set eyes on the sparkling Taj Mahal at sunrise before exploring more of this famous landmark. In the afternoon, visit the I'timad-ud-Daulah (Baby Taj) and the Agra Fort, a walled city taken over by the Mughals.
Taj Mahal Visit
Tāj Mahal – Āgra
Cross one off your bucket list as you visit one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Explore the gorgeous white marble mausoleum, built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan as a testament of his love for his favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal.
Baby Taj Visit
Visit this mausoleum that looks like a jewel box, built before the Taj Mahal by Queen Nur Jahan for her father. Enjoy the intricate details of the structure; it was the first Mughal building faced with white marble and where "pietra dura" (precious stones inlaid into marble) was first used.
Agra Fort Visit
Enjoy your visit to this impressive Mughal fort made of red sandstone and white marble.
Fatehpur Sikri a stunningly preserved UNESCO site. At Dhula Village you will have the opportunity to learn about local life, opt to play a fun game of cricket, relax in the peaceful atmosphere, or take a cycle to explore the surroundings.
Tonight's accommodation is in spacious and comfortable tents outfitted with beds, lamps, and simple en suite bathrooms.
Āgra – Dhula Village4h
Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.
Fatehpur Sikri Visit
Fatehpur Sīkri - Explore the magnificent red sandstone fort city that was once the capital of India's Mughal Empire and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Keep an eye out for elements of different religions, as King Akbar built three palaces for each of his favorite wives—a Hindu, a Muslim, and a Christian—in the city.
Dhula Village Experience
Dhula Village - Get a closer look at village life with a stay in rural Dhula. Enjoy opportunities to interact and explore that may include meeting shepherds and their flocks, cycling through hamlets, tea with villagers at the local temple, trekking in the hillocks.
After marvelling at the beautiful Abhaneri stepwells and learning more about the historical importance of this typical Indian creation, continue to the pink city of Jaipur. Built according to Hindu architectural principles, the city enjoys a unique organization unlike anywhere else in India.
Private Vehicle - Dhula Village – Jaipur2h50km
Travel to Jaipur, stopping at the Abhaneri stepwells en route.
Abhaneri Stepwell Visit
Walk around the amazing Chand Baori, a tenth century water tank that's an impressive 6.1m (20 ft) deep. Learn about ancient Indian environmentalism—a "baori" is a unique Indian invention for harvesting rainwater.
Jaipur Cycle-Rickshaw Tour
Enjoy an orientation of the Pink City by cycle-rickshaw. Enjoy the ride!
Amber Fort Visit
Enjoy the Hindu and Muslim architecture of the beautiful Amber Fort.
City Palace Visit
Explore the courtyards, gardens, and buildings that make up the City Palace. Located in the heart of the Old City, it is a striking blend of Mughal and Rajasthani architecture. Visit the palace's museum to look at ancient carriages and the former maharaja's gold-embroidered wedding outfit.
Private Vehicle - Jaipur – Delhi 6h/260km
Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.
Enjoy free time to see more of Delhi.
The United Arab Emirates’ capital, Abu Dhabi, where your MSC cruise ship awaits your return, offers an intriguing contrast to its freewheeling neighbour Dubai, a little over an hour’s drive down the coast.
Leading attractions on your Dubai, Abu Dhabi & India cruises to Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates include the extravagant Emirates Palace hotel and the even more spectacular Sheikh Zayed Mosque, while the various attractions of Yas Island, home to the vast Ferrari World theme park, lie just down the road.
The blockbuster attraction at Abu Dhabi’s Yas Island is a dream excursion for any F1 fans. The “world’s biggest indoor theme park”, it offers a wide range of Ferrari-themed rides and displays which will appeal both to kids and grown-ups, including the chance to drive an F1 simulator or to ride the Formula Rossa roller coaster (the world’s fastest) or to experience race-day acceleration in the G Force “tower of speed” – as well as numerous gentler family-oriented rides.
Dedicated motorsports enthusiasts will also enjoy the big display of classic and contemporary Ferraris, and the virtual tour of the firm’s famous Maranello factory. Some 15km from central Abu Dhabi, the mighty Sheikh Zayed Mosque dominates all landward approaches to the city, its snowy-white mass of domes and minarets visible for miles around and providing a spectacular symbol of Islamic pride at the entrance to the capital of the United Arab Emirates.
Completed in 2007, the mosque was commissioned by and named after Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al Nahyan, who lies buried in a modest white marble mausoleum close to the entrance. The mosque is one of the world’s biggest and certainly the most expensive, having taken twelve years to build at a cost of around US$500 million. It’s also unusual in being one of only two mosques in the UAE open to non-Muslims.
An enchanting stop on this MSC Cruise to Dubai, Abu Dhabi & Sir Bani Yas is Sir Bani Yas island. It has nothing to do with the hyper-technological progress which you will admire on your trip to the capital, Abu Dhabi. The MSC Beach Experience on Sir Bani Yas means relax. It includes a delicious barbecue lunch of succulent burgers and other grilled delights, fresh salads and vegetables, pastries and fruit. And you can enjoy cocktails, ice-cold beers and soft drinks from the island’s six bars.
Entertainment options range from beach tennis and volleyball to paddle boarding and snorkelling, not forgetting gym and dance activities and fun beach parties. Meanwhile, the inflatable water park and kids’ play area will keep children happy all day.
Without leaving the beach, you can pamper yourself with a revitalising massage or beauty treatment provided by our expert MSC Aurea Spa personnel. And if you’ve booked an island tour–or decide to join one at the last minute–you’ll find our Excursion Office right there on the beach too.
On Sir Bani Yas, just like on the islands of Dalma and the six nearby Discovery Islands, an enormous nature reserve has been designated to species in danger of extinction, be they from the Arabic peninsula or from Africa.
You can explore a one-of-a-kind island destination. Go horse riding or jeep riding; take your time at wildlife watching hides, then settle down on a traditional dhow for a mini cruise.
On Sir Bani Yas, everyone can enjoy the beach experience of their dreams or experience a safari like no other between the mangroves, the desert and the protected bay areas.
This country with a thousand-year-old culture, is also called “the kingdom of the two seas”, because its waters border with those of Qatar to the south and with those of Saudi Arabia to the west. In the course of your stop in Bahrain, an excursion will take you on a discovery of its charming capital, Manama. The city, where modern skyscrapers stand side-by-side with old buildings, has strong ties to nomadic traditions: its inhabitants often head out to the desert and stay in large white tents to participate in the ancient tradition of falcon hunting. The National Museum is an excellent starting point for a visit to the capital: an opportunity to learn about the history and customs of this territory.
The Al Fateh Mosque, on the other hand, is a mystical experience. It is an immense holy building with two imposing minarets, which can host up to 7,000 faithful, built from materials brought from all over the world. For example, the thousand Indian lamps of inlaid wood, the gigantic Austrian chandelier of Swarovski crystal, and the Italian Carrara marble. A short distance from the capital, there is Qal’at al Bahrain (Bahrain Fort). Of great quality, in part due to recent reconstruction efforts, the fort in its current form is evidence of 16th century “raiding” by Portuguese sailors.
However, the hill on which it is set has been the site of several human settlements over the centuries. Finally, you cannot leave Bahrain without having bought, or at least admired, the marvelous and extremely prized pearls gathered in its sea.
A cruise to Dubai, Abu Dhabi & Sir Bani Yas will introduce you to Doha, the country's futuristic capital on The Gulf. The city is preparing to host the 2022 World Cup, enhancing its already awesome skyline with new super modern skyscrapers.
The Aspire Tower in Doha (300 meters) dominates the skylines. It is the highest building of the country, whose shape is akin to a torch. This building is located near the city of sport, which has already hosted events such as the XII Pan Arab games and which will have a central role during the World Cup. Much of Doha, including places of worship such as the new mosque in the Qatar Faculty of Islamic studies, seems to be already in the future. Don't miss a visit to the Pearl, a futuristic artificial circular port which is being developed to the north of the city centre, and yet, as you will notice on your MSC excursion, the ancient heart of the city still beats strong.
In the historical centre of Doha you will find a Suq where everything – from camels to gold – can be exchanged, and the Al Khoot fortress, dating back to the end of the nineteenth century and now converted into a museum. During your cruise to Doha with MSC Cruises, some excursions will lead you on the discovery of the north of the country and the history of this fascinating Emirate. In Ash Shamal the Al-Zubara fortress rises up from the middle of the desert and dates back to the thirties. The building, which at first sight seems an enormous sand castle, has been completely restored and transformed into a museum. Near the fortress you can also visit the archaeological remains of another, even older, defensive structure, Qal’ at Murair. Also you will find Zubara, a village of traders and pearl divers, a settlement which dates back to the nineteenth century, and later abandoned.
A shore excursion on your MSC Emirates cruise can be the opportunity to discover Bur Dubai, at the heart of the metropolis of Dubai, on the south side of the breezy Creek. It’s the oldest part of Dubai and it offers a fascinating insight into the city’s traditional roots.
This is where you’ll find many of the place’s most interesting Arabian heritage houses, clustered in the beautiful old Iranian quarter of Bastakiya and the waterfront Shindagha district, as well as the excellent Dubai Museum and the atmospheric Textile Souk.
MSC Dubai also offer excursions to the bustling district of Deira: the centre of Dubai’s traditional commercial activity, much of it still conducted in the area’s vibrant array of old-fashioned souks, including the famous gold and spice markets. A few kilometres south of the old city centre, modern Dubai begins in spectacular style with Sheikh Zayed Road, home to a neck-cricking array of skyscrapers including the glittering Emirates Towers.
Even these, however, are outshone by the massive Downtown Dubai development at the southern end of the strip, centred on the stupendous new Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, flanked by further record-breaking attractions including the gargantuan Dubai Mall and spectacular Dubai Fountain.
West of the Sheikh Zayed Road, the sprawling beachside suburb of Jumeirah is the traditional address-of-choice for Dubai’s European expats, its endless swathes of walled villas dotted with half a dozen shopping malls and a smattering of low-key sights. At the southern end of Jumeirah, there are more iconic sights in the sleepy suburb of Umm Suqeim, including the wave-shaped Jumeirah Beach Hotel, the extraordinary mock-Arabian Madinat Jumeirah complex and the unforgettable Burj al Arab hotel.