A Portrait of India

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  • Overview
  • Itinerary
  • What's Included
  • Reviews
  • Dates
  • Tauck

Live like a maharajah at some of the world's top-rated hotels – including a two-night stay at the award-winning The Oberoi Amarvilas, Agra, featuring views of the Taj Mahal, and three nights in Udaipur at The Oberoi Udaivilas... You'll be amazed by all that's included on A Portrait of India... Our popular India tours give you a complete look at this complex country from north to south. Cruise by houseboat in southern India through Kerala’s beautiful canals. A boat ride witnesses spiritual ceremonies along the River Ganges in Varanasi, and a cooking demonstration features a taste of hospitality on an exclusive insider visit to a chef's private home in Kerala. Enjoy a special Maharajah evening with dinner and entertainment... a traditional dance performance... with special insights from Tauck's local experts and much more...

Highlights
  •   Two nights in Jaipur, highlighted by a visit to the Amber Fort and a Maharajah evening featuring dinner and entertainment
  • Kathakali dance performance in tropical southern India
  • Exclusive insider visit to a chef’s private home in Kerala and a cooking demonstration for an authentic taste of daily life
  • Houseboat and river cruises, and a martial arts demo
  • On-Tour Air included (5 flights)
  • A boat ride on the River Ganges, providing an opportunity to experience revered cultural traditions centuries old in Varanasi
  • Multiple-night stays at three hotels ranked among the 15 “World’s Best” hotels by the readers of Travel + Leisure – The Oberoi Udaivilas, The Oberoi Rajvilas and The Oberoi Amarvilas (where you’ll have Taj Mahal views from your room)
Destinations
  • New Delhi
  • India
  • Indian Subcontinent
Tour Types
  • Luxury
  • Cultural

Location: New Delhi, India

<strong>Tour begins: 2:00 PM, The Leela Palace New Delhi. </strong>A transfer is included from Indira Gandhi International Airport to your luxury hotel, The Leela Palace New Delhi, renowned for gracious service in the heart of the city. Because most flights arrive late at night or very early in the morning, you may want to travel a day early to ease the effects of jet lag and relax a bit before Tauck&rsquo;s India tour begins &ndash; just mention this at the time of booking; Tauck can arrange an extra night at The Leela Palace New Delhi. Your trip begins this afternoon with a welcome briefing by your Tauck Director, followed by a guided orientation tour of New Delhi including a drive through of Vijay Chowk, with views of the Secretariat buildings, Parliament House, the Presidential Palace and the India Gate, commemorating Indian and British soldiers. Next, stop at the Gandhi Smriti Museum, paying tribute to the inspiring leader, Mahatma Gandhi, who forced change through non-violent protest, leading to an independent India in the late 1940s. You'll have much to discuss this evening at the welcome cocktail reception and dinner.

Accommodation Name: The Leela Palace New Delhi

Meals: Dinner

Location: New Delhi, India

You'll tour two UNESCO World Heritage Sites today as you explore the centuries-old history and culture of Old Delhi and environs. The first, which you'll visit this morning, is Humayun&rsquo;s Tomb, constructed for the Mughal Emperor Humayan and other members of his family in the 1570s, and set within beautiful gardens. The first garden-tomb on the Indian subcontinent and the first large structure of its kind built of red sandstone, this Mughal creation popularized Persian-influenced architecture in India, and was an inspiration for the Taj Mahal in Agra. After an orientation tour of Old Delhi followed by lunch, visit the five-story sandstone Qutb Minar Victory Tower, an imposing minaret built over eight centuries ago, part of one of the earliest surviving mosque complexes in India. Return to your hotel in New Delhi and spend the rest of the afternoon and evening as you please.

Accommodation Name: The Leela Palace New Delhi

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Location: Varanasi, India

Fly to the ancient city of Varanasi, built on the banks of the sacred River Ganges. Since the 6th century BC, this city has been a key destination for pilgrims who seek blessing and purification in the river&rsquo;s holy waters. A sightseeing tour visits Sarnath, where Buddha gave his first sermon. Tonight, take a journey by boat along the River Ganges to witness ceremonies "putting the river to sleep." Amidst hundreds of lighted candles and flower offerings, tonight will be a special highlight of Tauck's India tour.

Accommodation Name: Taj Ganges, Varanasi

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Location: Agra, India

Awaken early for a cruise on the River Ganges to view the Varanasi sunrise ceremonies, then fly Delhi before transferring to Agra for a two-night stay and tomorrow's visit to one of the world's most famous and recognizable buildings, the Taj Mahal. An incredible domed mausoleum complex of white marble, built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan to memorialize and house the tomb of his beloved third wife and completed in 1653, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is considered to be the greatest architectural achievement in the whole range of Indo-Islamic architecture &ndash; and yes, you'll have a view of it from your room in your award-winning luxury hotel, The Oberoi Amarvilas, Agra.

Accommodation Name: The Oberoi Amarvilas, Agra

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Location: Agra, India

Guests who wish may visit the Taj Mahal in time for sunrise &ndash; the gates open at sunrise. Those not going quite so early will join your Tauck Director a little later than sunrise (but still early morning) for a guided visit to the spectacular Taj Mahal, which reveals the love story behind the white marble wonder and UNESCO World Heritage Site, with its unique design and relief work in marble and inlay with precious and semi precious stones; your visit also includes time to explore on your own and take photographs. A guided tour of the massive red sandstone Agra Fort, yet another UNESCO World Heritage Site, follows. Inside, you'll get a very good look at medieval lifestyles of 16th- and 17th-century Mughal emperors. Following an afternoon spent at leisure, dine as you please this evening from among a selection of your hotel's fine restaurants.

Accommodation Name: The Oberoi Amarvilas, Agra

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Location: Jaipur, India

Travel to Jaipur for a two-night stay at The Oberoi Rajvilas, reflecting the gracious lifestyles of India's legendary Rajput princes. A sightseeing tour of Jaipur includes the City Palace Museum and the Jantar Mantar Observatory &ndash; a collection of architectural astronomical instruments for measuring time, predicting eclipses, tracking stars in their orbits, figuring out the declinations of planets and determining the celestial altitudes &ndash; all built by Maharajah Jai Singh II in the 18th century. Attend a special evening fit for Maharajah royalty tonight, celebrating India's cultural traditions, music, dance and cuisine.

Accommodation Name: The Oberoi Rajvilas, Jaipur

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Location: Jaipur, India

Today's sightseeing includes the many gems of Jaipur, from the massive gateways and pillared pavilions inside Amber Fort to a tour of Amber Palace, with its magnificent domes, massive ramparts and glittering hall of mirrors. After a thali style lunch preceded by a puppet show, enjoy an afternoon at leisure in Jaipur, pursuing what interests you most.

Accommodation Name: The Oberoi Rajvilas, Jaipur

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Location: Udaipur, India

This morning, fly from Jaipur to Udaipur for a three-night stay at your luxury Oberoi hotel in Udaipur &ndash; nestled along the banks of Lake Pichola and spread over fifty acres, which includes a twenty-acre wildlife sanctuary with deer and wild boar. Consistently voted among the top luxury hotels in the world, The Oberoi Udaivilas, Udaipur is a destination experience unrivaled anywhere &ndash; while Udaipur itself is a Rajasthan city of palaces and lakes, often called the "Venice of the East" and the &ldquo;Most Romantic City in India.&rdquo; This afternoon brings you for a visit to the Nagda Temples, a pair of 10th-century Hindu Temples dedicated to one of the principal deities of Hinduism, Vishnu. This evening, join us for a sunset boat cruise on Lake Pichola. Dinner is at your leisure in your hotel, named India&rsquo;s best hotel by Cond&eacute; Nast Traveler and 4th in the world&rsquo;s top 100 hotels.

Accommodation Name: The Oberoi Udaivilas, Udaipur

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Location: Udaipur, India

An Udaipur sightseeing tour with your local guide includes a stop at the City Palace complex &ndash; a labyrinth of richly decorated courtyards, frescoed galleries, and marble temples overlooking a lake that was once the elegant home of the Maharajah of Udaipur &ndash; and, a short walk away, the Jagdish Mandir Temple, where music or chanting is heard throughout the day and a visit the 18th-century fountain gardens of Saheliyon Ki Bari. This evening, enjoy a&nbsp;a sari and turban demonstration followed by a memorable Tauck Exclusive private dinner at Royal Repast, a restaurant owned by descendants of the Bedla clan who have played a significant role in the affairs of the Udaipur State &ndash; serving as Prime Ministers, valued advisors, commanders in chief of the armed forces and hosting all the dignitaries visiting Udaipur as state guests.

Accommodation Name: The Oberoi Udaivilas, Udaipur

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Location: Udaipur, India

Today's sightseeing begins in Udaipur with an auto-rickshaw ride around the city's bustling spice and vegetable markets, for an insightful glimpse into everyday life in Udaipur. In the vegetable markets, women in brightly colored saris sit amongst the stalls, surrounded by baskets brimming with their fresh and equally colorful produce, while burlap bags or metal pans entice with a kaleidoscopic array of curries and spices. The rest of the day is free to explore more of this "City of Lakes" as you wish. Due to its many picturesque locations, Udaipur has supplied scenic backdrops to many a film or television show over the years; portions of movies including <em>Darjeeling Limited</em>, <em>Opening Night</em>, <em>Heat and Dust</em>, <em>Octopussy</em> and <em>Gandhi</em>, plus the TV miniseries <em>The Jewel in the Crown</em>, were filmed here.

Accommodation Name: The Oberoi Udaivilas, Udaipur

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Location: Kochi, India

Fly via Bangalore to Kochi (known as Cochin during colonial times) in the state of Kerala, on the southern tip of India, home to coconut groves, paddy fields and wide beaches. Dinner tonight is at your hotel.

Accommodation Name: Grand Hyatt Kochi Bolgatty

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Location: Kochi, India

Your day today starts off with a morning lecture on Cochin and Kerala followed by a cooking demonstration and lunch at a chef's private home. This afternoon, you'll have a chance to visit the many historical sites of Kochi including;&nbsp;Fort Kochi, the Mattancherry district, a guided exploration of the Dutch Palace&nbsp;and the 16th-century Paradesi Synagogue. This evening, enjoy a performance of the renowned Kathakali Dancers prior to dinner at the hotel.

Accommodation Name: Grand Hyatt Kochi Bolgatty

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Travel through the small villages of coastal Kerala as you make your way to the picturesque island of Kumarakom in Lake Vembanad to continue your Tauck India tour with a two-night lakeside stay at Kumarakom Lake Resort. En route, board a thatched-roof rice boat that's been converted into a luxury houseboat for a cruise through Kerala's palm-fringed canals; this region is often referred to as another "Venice of the East." Tonight at your resort, you'll be treated to a program featuring dancers performing the classical Indian dance form known as Mohiniattam, dating to the 16th century.

Accommodation Name: Kumarakom Lake Resort

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

After an exclusive morning walk for Tauck guests only in one of Kerala's villages, spend the entire afternoon enjoying the many activities and amenities offered by your beautiful lakefront resort. An unforgettable martial arts demonstration this evening is both educational and entertaining; there is no other ancient martial practice in the world that can compete with its training system and application techniques. Have dinner at your leisure at the resort.

Accommodation Name: Kumarakom Lake Resort

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Location: Mumbai, India

Fly to the "City of Gold," Mumbai (known in earlier times as Bombay), surrounded on three sides by the Arabian Sea. Upon arrival, an introductory sightseeing tour maps out the city and its landmark sites for you. Your accommodations for the next three nights are at The Oberoi, Mumbai; dine tonight at your choice of selected restaurants.

Accommodation Name: The Oberoi, Mumbai

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Location: Mumbai, India

This morning, a walking tour of landmarks includes the Gateway of India, a massive triumphal arch 87 feet high, built to welcome King George V and Queen Mary, who visited in 1911; actually, they were welcomed with a cardboard facsimile because the arch wasn't finished until 1924, but since then the Gateway has been an iconic symbol of the city, and its plaza an important site for public gatherings and ceremonies. You'll also visit the city's grand railroad terminal, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (formerly called Victoria Terminus), a jaw-dropping fusion of Indian and High Victorian Gothic architecture, elaborately decorated with arches, domes, turrets, statuary, and bas-reliefs, built in 1887. Amid the colorful bustle of the city, you're bound to see hordes of dabbawalas (men in white uniforms on bicycles delivering hot mid-day meals in "tiffin" cans), a traditional sight here since the 19th century. Enjoy your lunch at Souk, a restaurant at the elegant Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, then return to your hotel for an afternoon at leisure.

Accommodation Name: The Oberoi, Mumbai

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Location: Mumbai, India

From the Gateway of India in Mumbai, take a boat cruise this morning to Elephanta Island (or Gharapuri, the "city of caves") with a local guide to explore the Elephanta Caves, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This series of rock-cut cave temples, most of which are dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva, was hewn from solid basalt sometime between the fifth and seventh centuries AD. Return to your Oberoi hotel and spend the rest of the afternoon as you please in Mumbai. Join us this evening for a farewell cocktail reception and dinner at the hotel, as your incredible journey to India draws to a close.

Accommodation Name: The Oberoi, Mumbai

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Location: Mumbai, India

<strong>Tour ends: Mumbai.</strong> Fly home anytime. A transfer is included from your hotel in Bombay to Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport. Most international flights depart between 2:00 AM and 3:00 AM.

Meals: Breakfast

  • Multiple-night stays at three hotels ranked among the 15 “World’s Best” hotels by the readers of Travel + Leisure – The Oberoi Udaivilas, The Oberoi Rajvilas and The Oberoi Amarvilas (where you’ll have Taj Mahal views from your room)
  • On-Tour Air included (5 flights)
  •   Two nights in Jaipur, highlighted by a visit to the Amber Fort and a Maharajah evening featuring dinner and entertainment
  • A boat ride on the River Ganges, providing an opportunity to experience revered cultural traditions centuries old in Varanasi
  • Exclusive insider visit to a chef’s private home in Kerala and a cooking demonstration for an authentic taste of daily life
  • Houseboat and river cruises, and a martial arts demo
  • Kathakali dance performance in tropical southern India
4* India spotlight ...January 30, 2018 ...spectacular
Great in every way. Never had to worry about anything ...Tauck did all the work. Just great. Cremation ceremonies on the Ganges. Taj Mahal, Jaipur,
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Date: 16-Feb-2018

5* The only Way to see India
This was my dream trip, seeing India, taking my wife to the Taj Mahal, and doing it all in comfort and luxury. Every sight we saw was one of India's significant treasures with no wasted time in touristy sidelight junk shops. Our meals away from our luxury hotels were meaningful highlights, hotel meals were gourmet quality. Internal travel excellent Watching the night ceremonies on the Ganges in Varanasi then returning for the ceremony waking the river at sunrise was my highlight. The parade to dinner at the Rambagh Palace was the highlight for my wife. I think nearly everyone on our trip had a different most memorable moment.
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Date: 25-Mar-2017

5* Spotlight on India
This trip offered a fabulous learning experience. This is a complex country with a complex culture emanating from a complex and diverse history - from the Mughals to the English to their ultimate independence. If you are a tourist, their focus is to to make you feel like you are the most important person anywhere. They did that. India is a must see Varanasi ceremonies.
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Date: 26-Dec-2016

5* Spotlight on India
This was our 2nd Tauck trip. Fascinating,incredible India experience. On tour flights were well organized, hotels more superb as we proceeded to the next location. Tour director, all guides,drivers did a great job. Icing on the cake was on the last day early morning hot air balloon ride over Udaipur. When you go with Tauck it's travel refined. Evening and again morning experience of Varanasi was fascinating.
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Date: 28-Mar-2017

1* Grand Canadian Pockies
Well organized, wonderful director, beautiful scenery,exceptional hotels. What more could we ask for. It was one of our best Tauck tours. Walking on the iceberg. The sea plane to Vancover. The raftering on the river in Banff. Just to name a few!
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Date: 03-Aug-2015

4* Spotlight on India
Expertly run trip with excellent guides especially the tour director. Unique experience combining the extremes of India including a level of poverty with some of the most luxurious hotels in the world. The trip was well organized,efficiently run with great care for the tour guests from arrival to departure. The beauty of the Taj Mahal and the singular experience of cremations in Varanasi
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Date: 21-Feb-2017

5* Wonderful Trip
The trip covered all of the must sees in northern India. As usual with Tauck, everything was handled which made the trip truly enjoyable. The religious ceremonies on the Ganges were extremely moving and seeing the Taj Mahal was once in a lifetime.
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Date: 01-May-2017

5* Amazing trip- Eye opening experience
Tauck did it again! Excellent tour, great hotels , well planned schedule, amazing culture and locals very friendly and helpful. We felt save at all times and Yes! there is cows @ the rural towns and yes! traffic is crazy.. but exiting! makes you feel alive. A most do. The Leela Palace hotel is like Heaven! we were treated like Royals. The entire trip. I had the chance to appreciate this great culture and their friendly people.
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Date: 09-Dec-2016

5* My Trip to India
I did not want to go to India but it was my husband's dream. I went under duress and was surprised to find that I loved it. From the very beginning our guide had everything under control. (In spite of her 18 overgrown kids!) Her knowledge of the country was outstanding. Everything flowed perfectly. I highly recommend it! Dancing with the people and seeing the cremations on the Ganges River.
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Date: 02-Mar-2018

5* We would do it all over again!
The most amazing trip. We couldn’t even choose what we liked best because we loved it all. The hotels were incredible. Tour guide could not have been more knowledgeable and friendly. We never felt unsafe. We were so well taken care of every minute. The itinerary was so well thought out. It was an adventure of a lifetime. On the Ganges watching the funeral pyres. And the Kumarakom Lake Resort, it did seem like paradise. And the wonderful new friends we made.
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Date: 09-May-2018

5* Awesome
A beautiful, educational trip. Very well organized, wonderful hotels. Our tour director was exceptional and took good care of us. This is a very intensive tour, early mornings, busy and tiring. Well worth it though. Fabulous food but it pays to be sensible about making good choices and pacing yourself. The balloon ride, the Taj Mahal at dawn, the markets of Udaipur. The people, the hotels, the food. The Ganges.
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Date: 26-Jan-2018

5* An Amazing Experience
Many gratifying 'up close and personal' experiences - Witnessing the ceremonies along the Ganges River, walking along the ghats in Varanasi, gliding above villages on a hot air balloon and strolling through colorful markets. Excellent varied itinerary. Amazing accommodations and meals. Go! People. Seeing the vibrant and beautiful colors worn by the warm and friendly people of India.
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Date: 30-Mar-2018

4* Portrait of India
This tour of India was extremely well planned and well executed. Tauck takes care of all the details so we could focus on seeing and learning about India. Our tour co-ordinator was very well organized and provided us with a lot of information that she personally researched and added to our understanding of India. By coincidence we visited the Taj Mahal on my birthday. This made seeing this exquisite monument even more memorable than it would be anyway. The Oberoi hotel also contributed significantly to this memory. While not as happy an event, the other visit that was highly memorable for me was the evening Ganges tour, especially the crematorium ghat.
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Date: 11-Apr-2018

4* Indelible India
India will remain with us in our consciousness and spirit. The people, the chaos of the streets, the colors and flavors of India and the countries many manifestations are all now part of us. Our tour director, Peter, was superb. The hotels, the food, the service of all kinds all made the trip highly enjoyable. We would definitely consider a return. The experience of Varanasi was so different from anything we have experienced that it clearly was our most memorable day not just moment. The Taj is impressive but its just an exquisite building. The whole Varanasi experience left an unforgettable impression.
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Date: 24-Feb-2015

5* Awesome vacation!
Our journey to India was extraordinary, overwhelming, and informative. Highly recommended. A journey of a lifetime. Top hotels. The best part of the trip was our guide, who is the best we’ve had on any of our trips. He was extremely knowledgeable about his country’s history, idiosyncrasies, and character and ensured we had an outstanding time. I’ll mention three: the visit to Varanasi, the visit to a family home in the state of Kerala in southern India, the visit to the Taj Mahal at sunrise when it was quiet and almost empty. And did I mention the Oberoi hotels and the Leela Palace hotel?
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Date: 22-Mar-2018

5* A Wild Ride
A Portrait of India is the adventure of a lifetime, transporting you to colorful, noisy, dirty, ancient, modern, Hindu, Sikh, Jain, Muslim, Christian, and Jewish spiritual worlds. Cultures, colors, lifestyles, spicy foods, polluted and crowded big cities where you risk your life to cross the street meet backwater resorts surrounded by villages. Can't pick one: Taj Mahal- iconic; meeting one of the last five Jews of Kochin- thrilling; first balloon ride- fun; gorgeous hotel properties- luxurious; Indian people - modest, ingratiating, interesting, fun loving; architecture- Mughal Empire meets British colonial meets Hindu excess; a dinner parade of camels, elephants and dancers. It's a wow!
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Date: 29-Jan-2017

5* portrait of india
Overall it exceeded our expectation.each day brought amazing new experiences and sites of wonder. Our travel companions were all seasoned travelers,friendly and on time. Our tour director was extremely organized and kept things running smoothly. Our accommodations were "over the top". The food top notch and the travel vehicles comfortable. The cremations at the Ganges, the Amber Palace, the Taj Mahal, the hotel in Udapoir and the bike driven ride to a palace where we were greeted by musicians, elephants and a fabulous dinner outdoors.each day brought new and exciting experiences. The visit to Elephant Island in Mumbai, coping with the roads and driving, the laundry,shopping
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Date: 23-Nov-2015

4* India - An incredible country!
This was perhaps one of the more physically demanding of all the Tauck trips we have taken. The itinerary was filled with so many interesting things to see and do and we did not want to miss any of it. The geography we covered gave us an opportunity to experience a variety of cultures, foods, languages, ethnic groups, beliefs and lifestyles. There were so many memorable moments that it is hard to pick just one, however, seeing the grandeur of The Taj Mahal at sunrise and walking around The Lotus Pool and the tomb chamber, was a breathtaking experience.
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Date: 16-Mar-2015

3* It's Not For Everyone
It was a very demanding tour, not for the faint of heart. We sometimes were awakened before dawn, and we often spent all day on motorcoachs or hanging around airports. As usual with Tauck, the hotels and food were supurb. Pictures of the Taj Mahal do not do it justice. It is more spectacular than I ever imagined.
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Date: 09-Mar-2015

4* Portrait of India 19 Jan 2016 thru 5 Feb 2016
India was exciting, challenging, and regardless of preconceived ideas , the trip was amazing. The Tauck Tour Director and Guides simply took care of our needs , explained the history, the points of interest in a seemless manner. The trip is one of a lifetime of places to visit, we are thankful we spent the time. The Oberoi hotels are amazing. The Kamardum Lake Resort is one of the most memorable, we enjoyed the opportunity to stay there. Of course, the ancient history that I learned was volumes.
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Date: 12-Feb-2016

5* Magical!!!!
This tour is like a fairy tale... The country is amazing, the people are super friendly & helpful,the monuments & history are fascinating. The way the tour is put together makes it very pleasant & easy to do. The hotels are amazing you feel like a Royal. The Leela Palace is amazing!love the hotel and the Oberoi are incredible as well. Unforgettable Varanasi!it was amazing.. Love the Sadhus, the crazy cows..the spirituality of the place everything.Overall the entire trip is memorable,this is a fascinating country that everyone most visit. The morning at the Taj was magical, it was clear and the sunrise gave it a romantic look. The visit to the Ghandi museum was thought provoking ,The forts.
Added By:
Date: 05-Apr-2018

5* spotlight on India trip
Quite comprehensive, covering a lot of ground. The experiences were varied and I got an idea of the culture of India first hand. Local guides and Tauck director were excellent, well informed and fun, but some more work could be done to keep group together at all times, since a few people somehow got disconnected and had to manage themselves. Stay in Varanasi and viewing the museum in Sarnath
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Date: 13-Apr-2015

4* Some suggestions for improvement
Wonderful-good itinerary,tour director,local guides Suggestion.Day #1 really starts at nite;exacerbated if arriving a day early. A "things to do list" is only provided at check-in;this should be sent out in advance.Tauck can/should arrange "packages" with concierge (itineraries, prices.)This would apply to all Tauck trips Varanasi-a unique experience--but-- Walk back from Ganges to tour bus was very unpleasant--buses were too far away(other tours were much closer),guides did nothing to control the situation of professional hawkers (these were not the usual street people!)
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Date: 07-Mar-2016

5* We're in India!
It seemed to take forever to finally travel to India, after several tries that didn't eventuate. We were delighted from the first to the last and soaked up the colourful, confronting, contradictory experiences which unfolded over our journey. Tauck's exemplary organisation meant we could immerse ourselves in every amazing day, relax and enjoy. Too many memorable moments to mention. The friendliness and warmth of the Indian people are something we'll never forget. The Taj, Varanasi, balloon flight, elephant encounter, the colour, the food, the group...I could go on and on.
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Date: 20-Nov-2017

5* Fascinating India
This was our first land trip with Tauck. We have taken 3 previous river cruises with the company and this, like the other trips exceeded our expectations. Our Tour Director Jennifer was invaluable. Her knowledge of the country was astounding for a non-native. All of the cities and hotels on the trip were amazing. Tauck made India easy. The morning sunrise cruise on the Ganges in Varanasi was very special.
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Date: 30-Mar-2015

5* Perfection
Everything from reservations and being greeted at the airport through the last minute of being escorted to the airport was sheer perfection. I was a bit nervous about going to India as a solo female, but I felt completely safe the entire time. The tour was laid out so there was luxury intermingled with seeing the real India. All of it was great; however, seeing Varanasi at night and then in the early morning was by far the memory I will carry with me forever.
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Date: 24-Feb-2015

5* PAINTED PORTRATI
THE TOUR AND TOUR GUIDE WERE OUTSTANDING. LEARNED A GREAT DEAL ABOUT INDIA'S HISTORY AS IT RELATES TO GEOGRAPHY; CULTURE; AND RELIGIONS. THE TRIP WAS WELL STRUCTURED AND WAS FLAWLESS IN EXECUTION. AS AN ASIDE, WE PROBABLY COULD HAVE SKIPPED THE FOUR DAYS IN KARALA, AS THE SIGHTS THERE WERE MINIMALLY INTERESTING. NIGHT TIME CREMATIONS ON THE GANGES.
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Date: 24-Feb-2015

5* Spotlight on India
It was a great trip. India is a wonderful country to visit, a different culture indeed. Although it is vastly overpopulated and there were crowds everywhere, we never had any fear being among the Indian people. Our tour director was great, he made a difficult trip (physically) very easy. We did not have to worry about a detail. Highly recommend. The people peaceful and nonviolent.
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Date: 21-Nov-2016

5* A Trip Like No Other!
Fabulous! The trip moves quickly and we saw many interesting sites. The frequent early mornings became difficult but some were elective. For example, dawn at the Taj Mahal and the hot air balloon ride were worth the early start times. So glad we went to the south of India, which is unique and different. Most hotels were great, as was the food. The remarkable cultural experience in Varanasi: the Ganges boat ride was unbelievable. Watching the religious bathe and pray and watching the cremations from the river boats are an unforgettable experience. Also, loved the Kumarakom Lake Resort, Kerala. Our Tauck guide knew an incredible amount about India, and we learned a lot!
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Date: 13-Feb-2017

4* A Portrait of India
Thanks, TAUCK, for 17 magical days of history, culture and adventure. For spectacular hotels and beautiful palaces. For enriching and moving experiences and incredible activities. For the best tour guide, all the way, Abhi [Employee Name], and for helping us appreciate the charm, kindness and spirituality of the beautiful people of India. The cremation and the bathing rituals in the Ganges River, our visit to the Taj Majal, and to the Mahatma Gandhi house and museum in Dehli and the place of his martyrdom.
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Date: 08-Jan-2015

4* More than we expected
Spotlight to India was our first Tauck trip and it definitely lived up to all our expectations. Our guide gave us tremendous insight into the culture and the fascination that India offers. We thought celebrating our 50th wedding anniv. at the Taj would be the highlight, but it was just one of many, many amazing experiences. Thanks, Tauck! We arrived to cake and flowers and rose petals in our bath. The staff at all the hotels could not have been better. But the surprise highlight was sunrise on the Ganges, an experience we treasure.
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Date: 31-Oct-2016

5* Wonderful trip through a fascinating country
This superb itinerary allowed us to experience the incredible diversity of India. The hotels were mostly excellent. The food was uniformly great. The experiences we had will stay with us forever. And we had an extraordinarily knowledgable tour director who poured himself into making this trip work for everyone. A true Tauck experience. This is a very hard question, as there were so many. But I would pick the boat ride on the Ganges witnessing the cremation ceremonies and watching the morning bathing rituals. It's unique to India. But landing a balloon in the middle of a village that comes out to greet you was also wonderful. And the Taj at dawn is incomparable!
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Date: 27-Nov-2017

4* Portrait of India
Great tour director, nice friendly group and absolutely fascinating country. Tie between the Taj Mahal and the visit to Varanasi and all that entailed!
Added By:
Date: 05-Feb-2018

5* A Portrait of India January 28 2016
We as well as many people who have travelled with Tauck are seasoned travelers. This tour to India with Tauck was the best trip we have ever taken. We saw and experienced so much that it was hard to process it all until we returned home and began to go through our photographs. Prepare to be amazed and dazzled. How can one compare the Taj Mahal at sunrise, Life along the Ganges at sunset, glorious Rajasthan and teeming Bombay?...impossible. The journey was made up of glorious moments. We would almost be ready to take the same journey again to confirm what we saw and more importantly what we felt.
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Date: 23-Feb-2016

5* Amazing India
My husband and I recently returned from the Tauck Portrait of India tour.For anyone considering travel to this vivid and remarkable country,I would definitely recommend going with Tauck.Our Tour Director was wonderful and set the tone for the entire trip.He helped turn a group of 18 strangers into friends on a wonderful adventure. So many things come to mind,the Taj Mahal,the pink city of Jaipur,the spirituality of Varanasi but it is the welcoming friendliness of the Indian people who remain most memorable to me.
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Date: 07-Mar-2016

5* Spotlight on India
Absolutely LOVED this trip!! Tauck really outdid themselves on the hotels!! The most amazing accommodations possible. The tour guide did an wonderful job and took great care of all of us. India is like nowhere else and the Taj Mahal was INCREDIBLE!! Even with all the poverty, everyone was very friendly and wanted pictures taken with us! The palatial hotel accommodations and of course seeing the BEAUTIFUL Taj Mahal was worth the trip!
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Date: 06-Nov-2017

5* Spotlight on India
This was an excellent tour which my wife and I truly enjoyed. This is a great country to visit on a Tauck tour because we were able to see so much but on a comfortable, safe journey due to the excellent organization, experienced and knowledgable guides and director, and choice of the best hotels. Good balance of tour and free time. Varanasi with the evening boat ride and the early morning walk through the streets for another viewing of the River Ganges by boat. The Amber fort and the Taj Mahal were spectacular to see along with everything else on the tour. The Tuck tuck rides and walks through the streets and food markets were excellent as well.
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Date: 24-Feb-2017

5* Truck trip to India
The most glorious, colorful, exciting trip ever...hotels incredible, food wonderful, guides care and kindness, warmth and charm beyond compare...best too, included the wonderful people we traveled with....they were all so warm and bright....I learned so much from people with us which helped to make it that much more wonderful.... Varanasi experience was life changing
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Date: 03-Feb-2015

5* Wonderful trip
Always on my bucket list,it surpassed my expectations. Wonderful hotels, every day made more memories to be treasured. Looked after from being met at Delhi to being delivered back there for coming home. The tour manager excellent, took good care of us us and had immense knowledge of the areas visited but also very approachable. The Taj Mahal at sunrise, the hotels, Varanasi so different but so special. The tuk-tuk rides walking through the markets, the Indian people and all the little extras that Tauck include making every day special.
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Date: 31-Jan-2018

4* A Portrait of India
Great trip as long as you can handle the rigorous pace. This is not a trip for someone who wants to be pampered and with only a few leisurely activities. Almost every day is full of activities from morning through evening, so if you're up to it, you'll see more and experience more and be fully satisfied when the trip is over. Without a doubt, it was in Varanasi and the almost mystical sight of cremations occurring along the Ganges River at night.
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Date: 26-Feb-2018

5* Much more than I expected
India was challenging and unbelievably rewarding. The tour really let us get a great overview of India, from fabulous palaces to great poverty. We also saw ordinary people going about their lives with no other tourists around. Our tour director had great knowledge of history and customs and was able to make it all understandable. Varanasi and floating on the Ganges River.
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Date: 03-Feb-2017

5* The best possible way to experience India
This was our first group tour ever and it was amazing. The guide was the best we've ever had, the logistics were flawless and the itinerary, special events and exposure to India was beyond our expectations. Can't wait to plan another Tauck Tour! We arrived in Agra and checked into a magnificent hotel. But when we entered our room and saw the Taj Mahal before us from our window it took our breath away. Varanasi, visiting the marketplace and a Hindu temple in Udaipur, enjoying a meal on the backwaters of Kerala were just a few more memorable times.
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Date: 06-Feb-2017

4* A tough, but memorable trip
A Portrait of India is a long, unforgettable, grueling trip to an exotic, interesting country with one leg in four thousand years ago and a toe in the modern digital age. There is little downtime to enjoy the lavish resorts. We had the best guide and a wonderful group of kind, prompt, friendly, considerate people. You need to be fit to keep up. Varanasi was unusual but chilling. Udaipur was the most beautiful and enjoyable. The cruise on the lake and the walk in the spice market were wonderful. We did the balloon ride in Jaipur and it was excellent. My photos are spectacular. Everywhere we went, young people wanted to include us in photos. They were lively and fun.
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Date: 26-Feb-2018

5* Major Highlights: A Portrait of India
Major Highlights: Taj Mahal; Veranasi, tuk-tuks, flights, boats, elephant and camel welcome, outstanding food, accommodations, cultural experiences, surprise events & entertainment, excellent Tour Director & guides, photo ops especially while walking in villages & market areas. Excellent travel experience. Sunrise at Taj Mahal; Boat to view cremations in Varanasi
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Date: 05-Mar-2018

5* Extraordinary
TAUCK is the only way to travel, they do not miss a beat!!!! "Super Tour Director" and all the miracles that he makes happen can not be beat..India was extraordinary and beyond..Yes, it is a poor country but the people are beautiful inside and out. All our memorable moments were truly memorable..We rate our trip a 10 plus. from Delhi to Mumbai and everything in between.. Tauck you are the BEST and always provide us with the best!! Thank you so very much
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Date: 12-Nov-2015

5* If I could turn back time...
Incredible India for sure! Although this is a longer trip than the Spotlight tour, it's worth the time. It's been a month since I got back, but the memories are still fresh on my mind. If you have a chance to do this tour... DO IT!! Big thanks to our Tauck Director and our local guides as well as the bus driver & bus attendant! Unforgettable! There's too many to count, from the Taj Mahal to the hot air balloon ride. However, the moment that moved me the most was the ceremonies on the Ganges River in Varanasi. Seeing the cremation ceremonies on the ghats and the ritual to put the Ganges to sleep were the highlights for sure. It was also great to spend the holidays in India!
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Date: 01-Feb-2018

5* Surpassed all expectations......
Spotlight On India truly exceeded all expectations. The scope and pace of the itinerary provided as comprehensive an experience as one could hope for. Stunning accommodations. The exceptional ongoing narrative by the tour director and his colleagues provided a unique perspective within which to frame the complexities of this extraordinary culture Difficult to choose...This itinerary is one of the few that includes Varanasi, frequently described as the spiritual center of India on the Ganges. Viewing the funeral pyres on the ghats at sunset and returning pre-dawn to witness the sunrise salutations was a profoundly impactful experience. No words or photos could do it justice. Pure magic.
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Date: 02-Mar-2016

5* Magical India - wonderful Portrait of India
We are in Phuket resting and recovering from our mystical and wonderful Portrait of India Tour led by our Tauck Director. An amazing experience of people, colours, smell and diversity. Accommodation as good as it gets. Food and restaurants amazing in every way. Transport using flights and coach very good and guides of highest order. There were many from Taj Mahal to Veranasi and stunning Mumbai. But the night we were greeted by a band with elephants, camels etc and marched into dinner, will remain in my mind forever.
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Date: 14-Mar-2016

5* India - the most exotic place I have ever visited
This trip far exceeded my expectations. I was overwhelmed by the colors, smells, sounds, sights and tastes of India. It was a total assault on my senses. I had not expected the warmth and friendliness of the local people. So many people took photographs with me or put their children in front of me for photos. A vibrant, welcoming, beautiful place The evening outdoor crematory rituals and the overwhelming feeling of the pilgrims’ faith and spirituality in Varanasi as I walked with them to the Ganges River in the dark before dawn where many of them would have a once-in-a-lifetime experience of bathing in Mother Ganges, the holiest of rivers in the Hindu faith. Their fervor was palpable.
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Date: 27-Nov-2016

5* Wonderful Exotic trip
My wife and I took the Spotlight on India trip in November 2015. Like everyone on the group we were a bit nervous about going to India. It turned out to be the best trip that we have ever taken. India is a county of multiple contrasts which assaults all your senses everyday. The trip was very well organized and well run. The hotels were wonderful. Walking around Udaipur in the evening with my wife (without the group) with our guide and getting a feel for the real India outside the bubble of the trip.
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Date: 23-Nov-2015

4* Portrait of India
I was so impressed at how many places we were able to see in 18 days. Of course, it sometimes was difficult getting up early , planning packing, etc but it was all worth it. We saw lots. North to south, and such a variety of places. Our guide who was younger than my daughter was so amazing- organized, knowledgeable, funny. Usually we have had older Taj Mahal, Second would be the night at the Ganges River with the cremations, priests putting the river to sleep,pilgrims., etc
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Date: 27-Nov-2015

5* Breathtaking trip!
I have wanted to travel to India for some time. The people of India, the sights, the colors, all so amazing! The Oberoi hotels are all fabulous. Our Tour Director was incredible. This was my first Tauck experience, and definitely not my last! Interactions with the delightful children of India, the sunset and sunrise ceremonies in Varanasi, the Taj Mahal, Diwali festival in Jaipur, elephant ride at Amber Fort and the monkeys everywhere, impromptu tuk tuk ride in Udaipur, the Red Fort, the Agra Fort, the walk through the temples and market in Orchha, camaraderie with fellow guests.
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Date: 04-Jan-2016

4* Journey through India
It was an excellent trip with great hotels and good selection of sights. Wish we had seen more of Delhi and rarely got out of the bus there. The Tour Guide was excellent and did a great job of herding the "cats". There were two groups within the tour who were friends and stuck to themselves to the point of rudeness. The Taj Mahah, Varanasi, Judapur
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Date: 24-Feb-2015

5* Spotlight on India
Organised and delivered with the usual Tauck efficiency and attention to detail, this trip met all my expectations and more. India is an extraordinary country; a challenging but deeply rewarding destination. Travelling with my 4 sisters, we had our once in a lifetime experience together, and Tauck ensured it was the best time for us all. Go there! There were many; observing the evening cremation ceremonies on the banks of the Ganges was probably the most significant. But the Taj Mahal, the red fort and the amber palace are truly great buildings with a rich history. And,on a lighter note,'Bus shopping' is a unique retail experience. The hotels are superb.
Added By:
Date: 03-Mar-2017

4* A Protrait of India
Great trip. The people are warm and friendly and the sights we have seen must be experienced to fully understand the country and people. Taj Mahal at sunrise and the Ganges River.
Added By:
Date: 04-Mar-2017

5* Portrait of India
Truly the trip of a Lifetime. This journey more than exceeded my expectations. The Indian people are fantastically beautiful in so many ways and the itinerary on this trip allowed us to see so many parts of the country. Everyday was an adventure... and, everyday was better than the one before. I would highly recommend this trip!! There are so many! Meeting locals during a stroll through a fishing village, tasting fresh food made with Indian spices during a cooking demonstration, trying on a sari, witnessing spiritual ceremonies in Hindu temples, negotiating purchases with every vendor in India :) And being treated like royalty by the Oberois. LIFE-CHANGING TRIP!!
Added By:
Date: 08-Jan-2015

4* Outstanding
Our trip to India was wonderful. The people and places were unbelievable. Sights and sounds I cannot put into words. My suggestion to Tauck is not to plan to be in India around their anniversary day celebration. Practice and parade took place over three days w/many disruptions & traffic at a stand still. Planning needs more thought at this time. The trip was marvelous. Most exciting. What it made it more wonderful was the tour director and the daily guides. The staff at each hotel went out their way to be helpful and friendly. The bus drivers and support staff were wonderful as well.
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Date: 24-Feb-2015

5* Great Trip
This is a great, mind expanding trip. Hotels are lavish, but the opportunities to see and learn about all aspects of India are ample. Logistics were very well managed. The iconic sights like the Taj met our high expectations, but the best memories came from wandering the streets and markets.
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Date: 25-Apr-2017

4* The Very Good and The Not Quite as Good
India was an eye and mind opener. It was beyond our expectations. The people, places,food,colors and experiences all helped make this a trip to be remembered and savored for years to come.I would highly recommend this trip for those who are adventurous and physically fit. The most memorable from a positive side, were the ceremonies on the Ganges.They were magical. The most memorable from a negative side was the lack of control of the vendors by our local guides at the Ganges.Vendors were over whelming and wouldn't leave us alone. This was the only negative in a spectacular 17 days.
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Date: 07-Mar-2016

5* India land of contrasts
The portrait of india was just that. This trip is was a comprehensive look at the people and culture of this diverse sub continent. Yes it is a dirty in the sense that there is garbage strewn in the streets of the smaller cities and road side areas, but it is vibrant and alive. India is more then the Taj, it is forts, palaces, foods and people. The elephant ride up to the Amjur Fort. Entering through the main gate to the magnificent fort and palace.
Added By:
Date: 24-Feb-2015

5* Portrait of India
On this trip the contrast between the northern desert cities and the lush tropical settings of the south is amazing. Ending in Mumbai is great because it is much more accessible to Westerners than Delhi. Tauck's end to end service and the five star hotels were superb, as was our Tour Director. There were so many memorable moments. Surreal scenes on the nighttime boat ride on the Ganges at Varanasi, especially the cremations. The Taj Mahal at sunrise. Floating over Jaipur in a hot air balloon as the sun came up. The tuk tuk ride through the streets of Udaipur followed by a walking tour of the market.
Added By:
Date: 22-Jan-2018

5* Portrait of India - best trip ever!
This was the most amazing trip to a unique part of the world. It was an assault on all senses: the vibrant colors, the fragrant smells, the smiles of the children, the frenetic traffic and noisy horns,their sacred rites, the beautiful of the temples and palaces, the magnificent hotels and the pride of the people. India is a must-see country. Everyday! But especially the sacred rites on the Ganges, the Taj Mahal with its elegance and feminine beauty, the vibrant street scenes & the warmth of the people. So many wonderful memories...another great Tauck adventure with the most wonderful tour leader. He was beyond fabulous; he shared his love of India & his knowledge was boundless.
Added By:
Date: 13-Mar-2017

5* Portrait of India
This trip was an Adventure and cultural experience we will never forget. We had an outstanding Tour Director who is a native college educated dynamic, well spoken and sympathetic person who made this tour so interesting and enjoyable. The itinerary of the tour was well balanced with guided visits of cities, cultural sites and villages. Seeing the people in their daily life and circumstances shown to us by local guides. Staying in luxury hotels with the choice of excellent Western Cuisine. Kalaripattu martial arts performance
Added By:
Date: 20-Mar-2018

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Touring with Tauck

Tauck has been a family run business since its first tour through New England in 1925. Spanning three generations and currently run by six family members, their 90 years of experience is clearly seen in more than 140 unique travel experiences.

Tauck makes dreams come true with inspiring journeys of discovery all over the planet. Wherever you travel with Tauck, their aim is to help you explore the world’s treasures, discover people and cultures you may not have known existed and experience extraordinary, life-changing moments. From North America’s magnificent West to the land of the Incas in South America’s Andes; from Alaska’s glaciers to New Zealand’s fjords; from Europe’s cultural capitals to the wildlife-rich plains of Africa; from Melbourne to Moscow and Bangkok to Bucharest. Choose from land journeys, river cruises, family adventures, small group tours or small ship cruises for your hassle-free adventure with Tauck.

Tauck have built their company on the personal referrals and recommendations of their guests as they can think of no higher testament to their trips and commitment to customer satisfaction. Guests speak of how powerful travel can be and how much they enjoy exploring the world with Tauck, explaining that their special access lets them become part of the culture they are discovering. They appreciate that the trips are seamless and inclusive, with all the details taken care of, so they can relax and enjoy. Travelling well includes getting the best value for your money and Tauck guests feel that it’s not about spending as little as you can, but about what you get for what you spend. A Tauck trip is worth every penny; they say the exclusive experiences provided, the great hotels they stay in, and the exemplary service they receive often far exceeds their expectations.

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tour details

This tour is operated by Tauck

17 nights from pp exc.flights; per Night
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Start: New Delhi, India
Finish: Mumbai, India
Suitable for: 0-99
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