Tauck Takes on India

Agency launches 18-day India tour

By: Judi Erickson

Tauck World Discovery is launching an 18-day “A Portrait of India” grand tour next year, offering upscale, escorted travel to Rajasthan and the Golden Triangle in the north and tropical Kerala in the south.

Tauck has spent more than two years developing its new journey, and company president Robin Tauck spent a month in India helping to put the finishing touches on the itinerary. Each departure will be accompanied by a Tauck director to handle all day-to-day travel needs, and local experts have been enlisted to provide guests with insider access.

“India is a highly desired, complex destination. The country covers over one million square miles, it’s home to more than a billion people speaking more than 20 languages and 844 dialects, and its culture dates back to 2800 BC,” said company President Robin Tauck. “We’re proud to have a unique, grand experience filled with special cultural experiences. Every detail is included.”

The tour begins with a three-night stay in Delhi, and continues to the spiritual center of Hindi India Varanasi, where guests will experience the sacred Ganges River during an early-morning boat ride. From Varanasi, guests proceed to Agra for a two-night stay overlooking the Taj Mahal, and then proceed to Jaipur for a three-night stay with a visit to the Keoladeo Ghana National Park. Following Jaipur, the tour heads to ancient Udaipur.

Insider experiences include a dinner near the Raja Ghat along the Ganges River in Varanasi, a houseboat cruise through the palm-fringed canals of Kerala, and a special performance of a 400-year-old classical dance-drama by the world-renowned Kathakali Dancers. Travelers will also visit palaces, museums, temples, tombs, private homes, as well as six UNESCO World Heritage Sites. A sunrise river cruise on the Ganges, a rickshaw ride through the streets of Old Delhi and an elephant ride en route to the Amber Fort in Jaipur also are included.

Accommodations include the Oberai Amarvilas in Agra, where rooms overlook the Taj Mahal; the Oberai Udaivilas, set on 30 lakefront acres in Udaipur; and the Rambagh Palace, a former residence of the Maharajah of Jaipur.

Tauck is offering seven departures in early 2006 (Jan. 9 and 30, Feb. 6, 20 and 27, and March 13 and 20), and six in the fall of 2006 (Oct. 2 and 23, Nov. 13 and 20, and Dec. 4 and 11). Prices begin at $7,690 per person (double) and do not include roundtrip airfare to India or six intra-tour flights (from $990 per person).