Day 1 : Arrive Varanasi by road, rail or air (transfer from airport or railway station is included in the cruise price). Embark on your cruise ship from 4pm onwards and enjoy dinner on board.
Day 2 : Sail on upstream from Varanasi to Chunar to visit the great Moghul fort and the old British cemetery, then sail downstream again to Ramnagar to visit the Maharaja’s Palace and museum. Then cruising down past the bathing ghats, disembark and join the evening Ganga Arti ceremony.
Day 3 : Take rowing boats at dawn past the bathing ghats and walk in the old town. Later drive to visit the Buddhist site at Sarnath and the Deer Park where the Buddha preached his first sermon. Re-embark mid-afternoon and cruise downstream.
Day 4 : After breakfast, disembark at Zamania and drive to the town of Sasaram to see the astonishing tomb of Sher Shah Suri (1545), standing in the middle of an artificial lake. Return at dusk and reboard.
Day 5 : Drive out of Zamania to visit the nearby mysterious ancient monolithic column topped with lions. Reboard and cruise on to Ghazipur, still a centre for (official) opium production. Visit the imposing tomb of Lord Cornwallis, the general defeated by George Washington in 1781 so arguably responsible for the loss of the American colonies.
Day 6 : Sail down to the country town of Buxar, famous for the battle fought here in 1764, which, together with Plassey, laid the foundations of the British raj. Drive out to the battlefield then take cycle rickshaws to visit the old East India Company cemetery and the museum.
Day 7 : Cruise past the busy river port of Doriganj and the confluence with the Sone river to a ghat from which we visit the spectacular small Moghul tomb at Maner and walk in the village.
Day 8 : During breakfast cruise down to Patna, where we disembark and visit the extraordinary 18th century Gola Ghar granary before being transferred to airport or railway station.
Itinerary subject to river conditions.