Ramblers Cruise & Walk Holidays Information Sheet

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Ramblers Cruise & Walk Holidays Information Sheet Tour Code: Nights Authentic India Departure Date: Grade: 3 rd October /SS/P Moderate Terrain, Sightseeing and Pioneer on Boudicca plus 1
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Ramblers Cruise & Walk Holidays Information Sheet Tour Code: Nights Authentic India Departure Date: Grade: 3 rd October /SS/P Moderate Terrain, Sightseeing and Pioneer on Boudicca plus 1 night in Abu Dhabi & 2 nights in flight The Gateway to India, as seen from Mumbai Harbour ( Fred Olsen ) Welcome on board! Before fully immersing ourselves in the unique Indian experience we fly from the UK direct to Abu Dhabi, capital of the Emirates. Our first night is spent in an hotel and the following day, before boarding Fred. Olsen ship Boudicca, we enjoy a full day tour of the city. The following day we arrive in Dubai. This relatively new tourist destination has gained popularity as a major shopping and holiday destination in recent years and is often a favourite with the rich and famous. Dubai is a world of sharp contrasts, everything from the more modern shopping malls, theme parks and hotels to the more traditional way of life still played out in the souks and the creek of Dubai old town. Two days at sea follows before Boudicca arrives at Porbandar, birthplace of Gandhi the Father of India this coastal city is the perfect place to begin our epic Indian exploration. Our next port of call is the vibrant city of Mumbai, where we make an overnight stop, giving us the opportunity to fully explore this unique & chaotic city home to skyscrapers, bustling bazaars, religious sites & the vibrant film industry known as Bollywood. A plethora of diverse experiences and sights await us. From Mumbai it s on to Goa, where we again have an overnight stop. The Portuguese colonial architecture of Old Goa and the UNESCO-listed Latin Quarter highlight India s European heritage. Our time in India will then come to an end in the state of Kerala on the Malabar coast of Southern India. We visit two of the state s most enticing ports. Intoxicating Kochi has attracted explorers, traders and travellers for centuries; and during yet another overnight stay you ll have chance to see the famous Chinese cantilever fishing nets, the British Commonwealth s oldest synagogue and much more. Moving on to Vizhanjim (Thiruvananthapuram) we can marvel at an impressive array of mosques, temples and churches; and enjoy the impressive views on offer from the Kovalam Lighthouse. Finally our unforgettable adventure concludes in Colombo, a spectacular Sri Lankan city packed with beautiful Buddhist and Hindu temples, mosques, museums and busy bazaars. We ll sample diverse culture and natural beauty, experience the country s spiritual beginnings, fascinating history, engrossing cultures and marvels of modern-day life in this unique sub continent. And at the end of each day return to Boudicca for an excellent dinner and the chance to talk over the adventures of the day. Your Cruise Day by Day We hope to carry out the following itinerary as described. Should the weather or circumstances dictate however, we will endeavour to carry out a programme as close as possible to the original itinerary Day 1 Wednesday 3 rd October Fly to Abu Dhabi We depart from London Heathrow or Manchester in the morning and take a direct flight to Abu Dhabi with Etihad. On arrival early evening we transfer by luxury coach to either the Crowne Plaza or Marriott Courtyard hotel for one night. Dinner will be taken this evening in the hotel The grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi ( Fred. Olsen ) ) Day 3 Friday 5 th October Exploring Dubai Today we arrive in the most well known of the Emirates cities, Dubai, where we spend the morning with a local guide passing the Burj Khalifa Tower, Burj Al Arab ( the worlds first 7 * hotel ) and the man made Palm Islands. During the afternoon we pay a visit to the old city and Dubai creek, a world away from the beaches and high rise structures of the modern Dubai. Day 2 Thursday 4 th October Exploring Abu Dhabi After checking out of our hotel we have a full day to explore this fascinating city, the capital of the United Arab Emirates. With a local guide we take in the well preserved 200 years old Al Maqtaa Fort, an important reminder of the city s past. It was built, in pale sandstone with ornate wooden carvings, to protect against invaders. The Grand Mosque is a fabulous structure, the third-largest in the world, with over a thousand columns and 80 marble domes, while the oldest building in the city, the Qasr Al Hosn Palace, is magnificently decorated with traditional tiles. We embark Boudicca late afternoon for our first night on board our luxury floating hotel for the next 14 nights Days 4 & 5 The Burj Al Arab hotel, Dubai ( Tourist Board ) Saturday 6 th and Sunday 7 th October At Sea We have 2 days at sea to relax and look back over our experiences in The United Arab Emirates and to look forward to what lies ahead for us over the next 14 days. We have time to enjoy the ship s facilities where there is usually a range of activities available on board you may choose to join a fitness class or visit the onboard gym, attend one of the on board lectures, treat yourself to a treatment in the spa or just simply relax in one of the lounges with a coffee or a book from the library or to reflect on our journey so far Day 6 Monday 8 th October Exploring Porbandar On arrival early morning in Porbandar, on the North West of India we meet our local guide and take the short journey to the temple of Kirti Mandir. Built in honour of Mahatma Gandhi and his wife Kasturba Gandhi to mark his release some 74 years ago tour visiting the Gateway of India, Victoria Terminus Station, the Prince of Wales museum, Ghandi Bhavan, the Hanging Gardens, Dhobvi Ghat and, if time, to Colaba Causeway for shopping Days 9 & 10 Thursday 11 th & Friday 12 th October Exploring Goa Sailing overnight further south along the west coast of India we arrive into Goa late morning and after lunch visit the blissful palm-fringed sandy beaches of Utorda and either explore the area on foot or simply relax and swim in the azure blue waters of the Arabian sea. The Krishna Sudama Temple, Nr Porbandar ( B Bedi ) The following day we use a local guide and take in all the major sights of Goa, including the old town, the Arch of Viceroys, Church of St Cajetan and the Basilica of Bom amongst others. Later we continue to Panaji City and explore Fotainas & its Latin Quarters. Lunch is taken at a local restaurant and we then take time out in the local markets in Panaji before returning to our ship after a busy stay in the smallest state of India We continue on foot through the old city to the Krishna Sudama Mandir temple dedicated to the friendship between Lord Krishna and Sudama. Following lunch we spend some free time in the city before continuing back to the ship Days 7 & 8 Tuesday 9 th & Wednesday 10 th October Exploring Mumbai Our next port of call is Mumbai where we have 1½ days to explore this chaotic city, home to skyscrapers, bustling bazaars, religious sites and the vibrant film industry known as Bollywood Arriving early afternoon we take an exploratory wander into the city before returning to Boudicca. Later in the evening we take transport back into Mumbai to view a Bollywood movie. Whilst the movie is in Hindi without English subtitles it is a wonderful experience with the opportunity to see Mumbai at night. Typical scene along the rivers of Goa ( Tourist Board ) Day 11 Saturday 13 th October At Sea We have a further day at sea to relax and enjoy the facilities of Boudicca as she sails south east towards the southern tip of the Indian sub continent Days 12 & 13 Sunday 14 th & Monday 15 th October Exploring Kochi Another overnight stop in Kochi, capital of the state of Kerala, affords us plenty of time to explore this often visited part of south east India. En route to the World Heritage site of Elephanta ( Tourist Board ) The following day we travel by boat to visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Elephanta, a collection of caves predominantly dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva. Returning to the city we have a busy afternoon, our local guide taking us on a Mumbai city We take transport initially to Kumbalangi Island where we include a ride on a Tuk Tuk and a walking tour of the island with a local guide. After lunch we visit Old Kochi and take in the Mattanchery area, the Dutch Palace, Synagogue and the Jewish part of the town. Chinese Fishing Nets nr Kumbalangi island ( Wikipedia ) Day 2 & we return to the old part of the town and visit Fort Kochi where we enjoy a leisurely walk along the heritage trail and visit the area of the famous Chinese fishing nets. We continue to Alleppey and cruise through Kochi s backwaters where lunch, tea and snacks are served before transferring back to the ship Day 14 Tuesday 16 th October Thiruvananthapuram Our final port of call on the Indian mainland is to Thiruvananthapuram ( Vizhanjim ) where we take some free time and enjoy a walk on the beach at Kovalam, followed by lunch at a local restaurant. After lunch we enjoy a guided city tour of Thiruvananthapuram, ending at Padmanabha Temple before proceeding back to the ship. The classical Buddhist Temple nr Beira Lake in Colombo ( Shutterstock ) Day 16 Thursday 18 th October Colombo & Return Flight Sadly we must say goodbye to Boudicca and our Indian journey but before we do we still have a short time left to further explore Colombo. We drive to Negombo for a sightseeing tour of this traditional fishing town, the majority of whose population are Roman Catholic. Many highly ornate Catholic churches are found and every street which have led to Negombo being referred to as Little Rome. We enjoy a farewell 3 course seafood lunch at a beachside restaurant and have some free time to relax at one of the islands best beaches before transferring to the airport for our return flight back to the UK ( private changing facilities have been booked for us to freshen up at the beach prior to departure to the airport ) Day 17 Friday 19 th October Arrive UK We are scheduled to arrive back at London Heathrow at 7.30am, having travelled overnight via Abu Dhabi on Etihad airlines Padmanabha Temple Nr Thiruvananthapuram ( Tourist Board ) Day 15 Wednesday 17 th October Colombo, Sri Lanka Our final port of call, Colombo, nestles on the south west corner of Sri Lanka. We take a short coach transfer to visit a classical Buddhist Temple by Beira Lake & then continue into the residential area for a comfortable 3 hour walk through parks and tree shaded streets, past the colonial Town Hall and the beautifully restored Arcade Building. We make a refreshment stop at the famous Gymkhana Club and proceed to the iconic Independence Square. We continue through the Fort, Colombo s commercial area to the Pettah, which is the noisy, busy bazaar & a short walk passing the colourful Red Mosque. We return to the port and our final night on board Boudicca. Additional Information Walks, Excursions & Weather Each evening the leader will discuss and arrange the programme for the following day. Should you not wish to join the party, please let the leader know. The described programme assumes that the weather will be good and that the ship will keep to the planned schedule. We may have to change the programme if the ship s schedule changes or there is poor weather. Sightseeing plays a significant part in our itinerary, whether it is of cultural or natural interest Entrances to any museums or sites unless specifically mentioned in the itinerary Any local excursions not included in the Ramblers Cruise & Walk Holidays programme, or merely mentioned as possibilities in this Holiday Information Sheet. Occasionally a local guide or your Ramblers Cruise & Walk leader might suggest entering a site or monument in a city for which there is an entrance fee to pay. Please allow approximately 30 for this UAE, Indian & Sri Lanka Visas We have graded the walking element of this holiday Grade 3. The terrain can at times be rough underfoot, and the expected hot weather can make the walks more challenging than they would be in more temperate areas. In October we can expect the weather to be hot everywhere we go. Average daytime temperatures throughout should be in the early to mid 20 C and night time temperatures in the mid to high teens. However, expect rain showers at any time What s Included Return Economy class flights from London Heathrow or Manchester with Etihad Accommodation on board Half Board accommodation in Abu Dhabi on 3 rd October Breakfast and dinner throughout your cruise Lunches on-board on sea days Restaurant lunches on some days whilst on excursions / tours. On other days a picnic is taken from the ship Complimentary tea and coffee during the day and early evening at selected locations on the ship All entertainment on board Sports & leisure facilities on board A programme of walks & excursions from our ports of call including any necessary local transportation costs Transport to and from the ship by the ship s shuttle bus service, if necessary, at all the places we visit. Tips to the ship s restaurant staff. What s Not Included Any drinks on board Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines shore excursions Hairdressing, health, beauty treatments and selected fitness classes Personal laundry and dry cleaning Holiday Insurance Discretionary gratuities to the crew (apart from restaurant staff), drivers, guides etc both on board and ashore Boudicca Boudicca, an elegant ship with a light and airy design, was refitted in Her scale creates a sense of personal welcome. With ten decks and a total of 462 cabins carrying 880 passengers (standard occupancy), the ship has a friendly and attentive crew of 329. Boudicca has a spacious layout and stylish interiors and on board facilities include two swimming pools, a fitness centre, a sauna and stream room, a beauty salon, a sun deck, Jacuzzis, several lounges and bars, a card room, library, internet room and restaurants. The ship has a medical centre, a shop where you can buy essentials such as sun cream or toiletries, and there is also a launderette and ironing room on board. After dinner there are always shows, reviews and evenings of cabaret for your entertainment. Choose from the Neptune Lounge for an evening show or perhaps head to the Observatory Lounge or the Lido Bar for an after dinner drink and to enjoy the resident band. Our accommodation is in twin and single cabins with shower and wc. All cabins are equipped with individually controlled air-conditioning, television, hairdryers, tea and coffee making facilities and a safety deposit box. Boudicca has a nonsmoking policy on board and smoking is not permitted in any cabin. Allocated cabins will be an inside cabin (normally on the Marina Deck) unless you have paid a supplement to upgrade. Those booking single cabins may not necessarily be allocated a twin cabin for sole use. Your cabin steward will keep your cabin in immaculate condition throughout your stay, replacing any linen or towels as or when required. Separate towels are provided for poolside use. Boudicca operates a satellite telephone system, with telephones in each cabin, and personal mobile phones enabled for international roaming should work on board. The voltage on board Boudicca is supplied at 110 volts 60 cycle (a U.S. style 2 pin plug is required) and 220 volt 60 cycle (requiring a continental style 2-pin plug). If you are in any doubt as to the appropriate voltage to use your electrical appliances on board, please check with the ship s Reception Desk. Adapters are usually available for hire on board, or may be bought at the ship s shop. Payment on board is in Sterling, and a credit account system is operated on board allowing purchases to be charged to your account which must be settled at the end of your cruise see the Currency section for more details. Deck plans for the Boudicca can be viewed at the following address: Complimentary tea and coffee can be found aboard ship throughout the day, usually in the informal café. Other drinks must be purchased but prices are very reasonable. No alcoholic drinks purchased ashore may be taken aboard the ship for consumption during the cruise. If you have any special dietary requirements such as diabetic, gluten/wheat free, dairy free/soya, vegetarian, vegan, or low fat please advise us at the time of booking or no later than 14 weeks prior to departure. Boudicca ( Fred. Olsen ). The magnificent architecture of Victoria Terminus station in Mumbai ( Tourist Board ) Meals So what s on the menu? One certainty is that no one aboard ship will ever go hungry. All meals are included and you start the day with breakfast, a buffet arrangement where you can choose from fresh fruits, cereals, yoghurts, a full English breakfast, cheeses, cold cuts, breads, pastries, fresh juices and unlimited tea or coffee. We ll take our lunches onboard on cruising days and the choice is yours: sample the ample buffet in the restaurant, see what s on offer in the informal café or choose an alfresco poolside affair. When we re out for the day lunch will be included, usually a picnic or local speciality Dinner is a sumptuous five course feast. The choices are many, and the food is excellent. The menus are varied and mouth-watering, freshly cooked by award-winning chefs. Special diets such as fat-free, vegetarian and gluten-free meals can be catered for. Dinner is taken in a stylish restaurant with smiling courteous waiting staff creating a wonderful atmosphere for your evening meal. We are booked for dinner at 6.15pm to allow you plenty of time to also enjoy the evening entertainment if you wish. Wine can be pre-ordered from the Maître d or over the interactive intranet in your cabin. A later buffet dinner may be taken on certain days in the Secret Garden Café where the food is virtually the same as that served in the main restaurant. And if this is not enough, there is also morning coffee, afternoon tea and extensive late night suppers to indulge in! We ll also have an exclusive drinks party for our group one evening in addition to the Captain s welcome and farewell parties and a traditional afternoon tea with waiter service on one of our sea days. Flights & Embarkation Flights are with Etihad from either London Heathrow or Manchester to Abu Dhabi and return from Colombo The transfer from the airport to the hotel is by road and takes approximately 45 minutes. It is a similar journey time from the ship to the airport on our final day in Colombo. If you are joining in Abu Dhabi it is assumed, unless you advise us otherwise, you will meet the group in Abu Dhabi and leave the group in Colombo. If this is not your intention, please let us know in writing at least 5 weeks before departure. Similarly, if leaving the group in Mauritius and not flying home with us we assume you will make your own transfer arrangements on day th November When you booked your holiday, you were asked to supply us with some personal details, such as passport details, and date of birth. With your confirmation details sent by Ramblers Cruise & Walk Holidays, you have been asked to check the Personal Details Check Form, complete any missing information, and send back to us. Can you please ensure that you do this as early as possible, as we are required to send the details to the airline. On arrival at the port in Abu Dhabi you will need to produce both your ticket and a valid passport, so please ensure you have both readily to hand. When checking in you will be issued with your ship s pass and boarding card. Your ship s pass acts as your security pass and on board account card for the full duration of the cruise. Each time you embark or disembark the ship your card will be swiped to record whether you are on board or ashore. In addition your hand luggage may be subject to either x-ray scanning or a manual search each time you re-join the ship. Disembarkation At least 24 hours before the end of your cruise the full disembarkation instructions will be placed inside your cabin. Please ensure you have settled all on board accounts before leaving the ship. Heal
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