Discover the delights of Kathmandu and explore some of Nepal’s most revered sites on this incredible cultural experience.
DAY 1 - ABU DHABI TO NEPAL
Enjoy a brief sightseeing tour en route to the airport for the afternoon flight from Abu Dhabi to Kathmandu. A light snack luncheon will served during the flight. The country of Nepal is probably best known as home to Mount Everest, situated between India and Tibet. The rich cultural and artistic heritage of Nepal is showcased in its bustling capital, Kathmandu. Located within a circular valley surrounded by a crown of forest covered hills, south of the Great Himalayas, Kathmandu sits at an altitude of 1,500 metres. Successive dynasties have left their mark in the form of palaces and temples, sculptures and carvings found throughout the valley. On arrival in Kathmandu you will be transferred to the Hyatt Regency Hotel where you will be spending three nights. A late dinner will be served at the hotel.
DAY 2 – KATHMANDU
After breakfast, begin your exploration of this Shangri-La of the East. Your tour takes you through Kathmandu's narrow streets, ancient wooden palaces and crowded bazaars, always packed with goods of every description and bustling with locals and tourists alike. Visit the Durbar Square, this meeting place is very much the centre of old Kathmandu featuring many fascinating temples and shrines. Continue to Swayambhunath, the 2000 year old Buddhist Stupa. Its lofty white dome and glittering golden spire are visible for many miles from all sides of the valley. The approach to the Stupa is lined with elevated prayer wheels, which can be rotated in passing while making a wish. Painted on the four-sided base of the spire are the all-seeing eyes of Lord Buddha. Luncheon will be served at a local restaurant. Visit Patan, one of the oldest Buddhist cities in the world. You will also see Patan Durbar, which houses a bronze collection and other 16th century temples. In the evening, dinner will be served at the Hotel.
DAY 3 – TEMPLES & VIEWS
Enjoy breakfast, before you set off to explore further afield. Visit Bodhnath, one of the largest stupa’s of its kind in the world. It stands with four pairs of eyes in the four cardinal directions, keeping watch for righteous behavior and human prosperity. Your next stop will be Pashupatinath Temple, a World Heritage Site and one of the most sacred Hindu shrines in the world. Pashupatinath, situated amidst lush greenery on the banks of the sacred Bagmati River, stands as a symbol of unity bringing the different sects of Hinduism under a single fold. Continue to Nagarkot, which is one of the most scenic places in Bhaktapur, renowned for its spectacular views. Situated at a height of 2,195 metres, Nagarkot offers wonderful panoramic views of the valley and is one of the best places to view Mount Everest and the other snow-capped peaks of the Himalayas. Luncheon will be served at this scenic location. Visit Bhadgaon, also known as Bhaktapur, which means the "city of devotees". After returning to the Hotel in Kathmandu to freshen up, you will enjoy a traditional Nepalese meal at a restaurant, along with a local dance performance.
DAY 4 – TRAVEL TO INDIA
You’ll have the morning at leisure to enjoy breakfast, explore more of Kathmandu on your own or simply relax at the Hotel. An early luncheon will be served before you check out and head to the airport for the late afternoon flight to Delhi. You’ll then take a short connecting flight onto Cochin. On arrival, you’ll transfer to the Vivanta Taj Malabar Hotel where a late dinner will be served.
DAY 5 – COCHIN
Breakfast will be served at the Hotel before you embark upon a tour of Cochin’s highlights. A trading port since Roman times, Cochin is on the main route between Europe and China. Visit the city's godowns (warehouses), filled with the scent of exotic spices and the shouts of vendors pushing heavy carts. At Fort Cochin you’ll see the large fishing nets that line the shore forming a familiar image of Kerala. Take a walk along leafy streets to a typical English village green. Here you will find the Church of St Francis and the flamboyantly decorated 20th century Santa Cruz Cathedral. Visit the “Dutch Palace”, and see its wooden interior, which is decorated with a remarkable series of murals. Within the Jew Town, you’ll find a mix of antique shops, warehouses, and spice auction rooms. Your tour will end at the pier where you will re-join Queen Mary 2 in time for luncheon on board.
Note: Bookings for this tour will close on 14th December 2012. There is a strict minimum and maximum participation. Please ensure you book the correct tour code for the accommodation you require (Double = AEA802A, Single = AEA803A). Prices shown on your record of shore excursions are per person, not per room. Once your booking is confirmed, any cancellation made after bookings close will incur a 100% cancellation fee. This tour will depart Abu Dhabi on 29th January and return in Cochin 2nd February. Please check your embarkation/disembarkation dates carefully before booking this overland. Flight times and further details will be advised on board and the hotels listed are subject to change. Be prepared for very early morning starts, lengthy days, climatic changes and delays at airports. This is an inclusive excursion programme. No refunds will be given for any unused portion.
The fare includes: transport by coach, economy class air tickets, sightseeing and entrances as described, meals as stated and hotel accommodation. Two glasses of house wine or a bottle of local beer, soft drinks, tea and coffee are included with meals.
The fare does not include: items of a personal nature, other than stated above, such as refreshments, telephone calls, laundry, gratuities, room service, medical fees and travel insurance. Those wishing to order alternative beverages to those listed above will be charged separately. Visas are not included.
Visas: All guests must purchase an Indian visa prior to embarking Queen Mary 2. Nepalese visas can be purchased in advance in your home country or on arrival at Kathmandu Airport. Those wishing to obtain a visa on arrival must bring a photocopy of their passport, complete an application form, supply two passport photographs and pay a fee of $25 per person. Please check visa requirements for United Arab Emirates in advance of your voyage.
What to pack: please remember your passport and any medication you require. Luggage limit is one case per person with a maximum weight of 20kg. You are advised to wear modest attire during your time in India.
Shopping: opportunities for shopping will be included depending on schedule timings. Any shopping stops offered will be optional.