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The Mighty Brahmaputra River & Kerala Backwaters 1


Contents 4. Brahmaputra (Upstream River Cruise) 6. Brahmaputra (Downstream River Cruise) 8. India Map 10. Kolkata 12. The Golden Triangle 14. Bhutan 16. Sikkim 18. In the Footsteps of the British Raj 20. Birdwatching 22. M.V. Mahabaahu (Ship Details) 24. South India 26. Karanatka Extension 28. Eco Houseboats 30. Terms & Conditions

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India. . . A breathtaking, magical and spiritual subcontinent where

of Kerala aboard a 9 cabin eco-friendly houseboat, M.V.

you’ll discover a world of colour and ancient culture. Far

Vaikundam. For a more personal experience, why not try

Horizon Tours offers an authentic adventure upon India’s

our 2 cabin houseboat, Sauver Nigam.

Brahmaputra River aboard the prestigious river cruise

Visit the famous temples of South India with their

vessel M.V. Mahabaahu.

elaborate carvings and architectural styles. Glide through

Far Horizon Tours, established in 1992 by two passionate

the backwaters of Kerala – God’s own country – to

tourism industry professionals offers sailings along the

experience the living cultures of Kerala at close quarters.

Brahmaputra, one of the greatest rivers of Asia, aboard the

The incredible festivals of the south, with gold caparisoned

prestigious river cruise vessel M.V Mahabaahu.

elephants and beautifully decorated chariots moving

The Brahmaputra river in Assam spans from 3 to 40

in procession through the temple towns, complete the

kilometres across (2-25 miles), flowing under the shadows

cultural experience.

of the eastern Himalayas with mountains reaching a height

These cruises are accompanied by land tours that not

of over 7,400 metres (24,278 feet). The area along the

only allow you to discover the major sights of India - such

river is a true natural history paradise.

as the Golden Triangle comprising, Delhi, Agra and Jaipur

With national parks, temples, monasteries, tea plantations,

- but also offers the chance to unlock the secrets of the

migratory birds, freshwater dolphins and weavers tribal

mysterious Buddhist Kingdom of Bhutan.

villages, you’ll be mesmerised by a culture rich in its

Fred.\ River Cruises understands that every customer is

diversity.

different. Our team of specialists are on-hand to help tailor-

Far Horizon Tours also takes you on a journey through

make your special trip to your requirements.

the heart of the Dravidian South, through the backwaters

Call today and start planning your next adventure!

What’s Included... • Pre-cruise accommodation on a bed & breakfast basis • Life-enriching tours and excursions, all entrance fees as per itinerary • Buffet breakfast and lunch, a La Carte dinner during the cruise • Complimentary tea, coffee and bottled water during the cruise • Luxurious air-conditioned accommodation on board • English speaking local guides • Services of English speaking naturalist / Destination Manager during sightseeing at all the places as per the itinerary during the cruise • All arrival and departure transfers by air-conditioned vehicles except in Kaziranga and Majuli Island Key (B - Breakfast | L - Lunch | D - Dinner)

For reservations call 0800 021 3189 or see your ABTA travel agent

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Brahmaputra Upstream River Cruise

A warm welcome awaits you aboard the M.V. Mahabaahu for your 7-night stay. Here, you will sail along the mighty Brahmaputra River to discover a natural history paradise boasting 850 different species of birds, freshwater dolphins and four national parks. Visit elaborately carved stone temples, local villages, tea estates while witnessing India's wildlife in its natural habitat. Guwahati / Kamakhya Temple / M.V. Mahabaahu /

surrounded by their silk and cotton weaves, helping their community

Peacock Island / Sail | You will be met and driven to the

thrive. Spend the evening on an isolated island* for drinks and

Kamakhya Temple - devoted to Kama Khya, the goddess of desire.

dinner. Overnight on board MV Mahabaahu. (B, L, D)

After the temple visit, you’ll arrive at Pandu Port where you will be

Dhansiri Boat Safari | Enjoy breakfast and a talk on ‘The

welcomed aboard the M.V. Mahabaahu. As you set sail for the first time, gather on deck to scan the river for a fleeting sight of Gangetic dolphins. Later, visit Peacock Island (flight time permitting), the smallest river island in the midst of the Brahmaputra, famous for its highly endangered Golden Langurs. Return for a talk on ’Kamakhya and the Occult Assam‘. An evening in the Soma Lounge is followed by the ‘Kamrup Swaagat Bhoj’ welcome dinner. Overnight on board MV Mahabaahu. (Packed L, D) A Village Visit / Full Day Sail | The ship lifts anchor early today and you can enjoy yoga on the deck before breakfast. Afterwards, there’s a talk on ‘Assam, its location, international context and how it is gaining recognition’. Visit a village that is occupied predominantly by a Bangla-speaking Muslim community who are involved in extensive farming. Returning to the ship for lunch, sail towards Orang Point. Enjoy a talk on ‘The Brahmaputra River and tribal life’’ over a cup of tea and some snacks. Anchor at a deserted island for the evening and enjoy a bonfire and barbecue*. Overnight on board MV Mahabaahu. (B, L, D) Silghat / Visit Tea Estate and Jute Mill | Yoga and breakfast are followed by a talk on ‘Wildlife in Kaziranga and India’. Enjoy scenic sailing and a relaxed lunch, until you reach Silghat. After a talk on 'Tea, Jute and Silk in Assam', take a short drive to Kaliabore Tea Estate where you will visit the tea factory to understand the process of producing Assam Tea. Visit a nearby Jute Mill to see how the Jute material is turned into eco-friendly gunny bags. Return to the ship and enjoy a cultural evening and an early dinner before retiring for the night. Overnight on board MV Mahabaahu. (B, L, D)

Brahmaputra River and the life that lives alongside’. Experience a boat safari on the eastern range of Kaziranga National Park. The shores are high but you might get to see an array of wildlife. Return to the ship for lunch. In the afternoon there is a cooking demonstration by the chef and a chance to sample the snacks, as well as a talk on Majuli Island before spending the evening on a deserted island with a bonfire*. Overnight on board MV Mahabaahu. (B, L, D) Mishing Village / Majuli Island | You can enjoy yoga before breakfast as the ship sails towards the Mishing Village where locals live along the river banks in houses with raised platforms. The Mishing women are expert weavers, here you will have the opportunity to indulge in dhoti tying and purchase locally made gifts should you wish. In the afternoon, enjoy a talk on ‘Sibsagar, the seat of the Ahom civilisation'. In the evening, prepare for a traditional Assamese evening. Overnight on board MV Mahabaahu. (B, L, D) Majuli Visit / Neamati Ghat / Sibsagar | After breakfast, enjoy a talk on ‘Majuli the seat of Neo-Vaishnav Culture’. Take the excursion boats to the mainland and drive to a scenic corner of a Satra (Monestry) for an interesting cultural performance by Satriya singers and dancers. Onto Kamlabari Satra to witness the Vaishnavite priests dancing to the rhythm of cymbals, drums and chanting in the temple premise. Lunch is back on board as the ship sails towards Neamati Ghat. Drive through the countryside to reach Sibsagar, the ancient capital of the Thai-speaking Ahoms. Explore the Shiva Dol, believed to be the tallest Shiva temple in India; the Talatal or Kareng Ghar; the Palace of the Ahom Kings and the Rang

Kaziranga National Park / Weavers Village at Bishwanath

Ghar. Return to the ship by sunset for the farewell dinner. Overnight

Ghat | An early start as you take some snacks and drive towards

on board MV Mahabaahu. (B, L, D)

the Kaziranga National Park. The park is not only home to the

Neamati Ghat / Home Hosted Lunch / Jorhat / Departure

fantastic greater one-horned rhino but as many as 180 more mammals including wild elephants, tiger, deer, buffalo and a rich variety of birds. Watch nature wake up with the sun rising. After breakfast in the resort of Kaziranga, drive on to Bagori, the Western Range of the park and continue your explorations by jeep. Return to the ship for lunch and a relaxed afternoon. After a break and a

Begin the day with yoga or a walk along the swamps to catch a sight of the abundance of wildlife. After breakfast, as you drive to Jorhat airport stopping at a family run tea estate on route for an early traditional Assamese lunch. Arrive at the airport for your onward flights. (B packed L)

chance to catch up on any lost sleep, embark the excursion boats to reach the shores of Bishwanath Ghat. We visit the weaver women

*Determined by weather conditions (bonfires dependent on suitability of sandbank)

For reservations call 0800 021 3189 or see your ABTA travel agent

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Brahmaputra Downstream River Cruise

Our downstream river cruise has a slightly different flavour than our upstream counterpart but loses none of the adventure as you sail along the mighty Brahmaputra River. From your ship, the M.V. Mahabaahu, you'll glide effortlessly along while being able to see the snow-covered Himalayan mountains and the greatest natural habitats and varieties of wildlife outside of Africa, as well as local villages, tea estates and temples. Jorhat / Neamati Ghat / MV Mahabaahu | Arrive at Jorhat

in Assam’. Spend the evening on a deserted island with a bonfire*.

airport and transfer to be welcomed aboard the M.V Mahabaahu.

(B, L, D) Overnight on board MV Mahabaahu

As the sun sets in the western horizon, scan the river for a fleeting

Weavers Village at Bishwanath Ghat / Silghat / Visit Tea

sight of Gangetic dolphins and across the sky for flocks of headed geese, egrets and cormorants returning to the deserted islands. Enjoy a talk on ‘Sibsagar, the seat of the Ahom civilisation' and a short talk on ‘Tea in Assam’ over high tea. An evening in the Soma Lounge is followed by the ‘Kamrup Swaagat Bhoj’ welcome dinner. (Packed L, D) Overnight on board MV Mahabaahu

Estate and Jute Mill | Begin with yoga or a walk on the deserted island before breakfast on board, where you can listen to a talk on ‘Kaziranga and the wild life in India’. Take the excursion boats to Bishwanath Ghat, walking through the village where weaver women, surrounded by their silk and cotton weaves, help their community thrive. A relaxed lunch and continue sailing to Silghat where a short

Sibsagar / Home Hosted Lunch | After an early breakfast,

drive will take you to Kaliabore Tea Estate, where you will visit the

start the day excursion to Sibsagar, the ancient capital of the Thai-

tea factory to understand the process of producing Assam Tea.

speaking Ahoms. Explore the Shiva Dol, believed to be the tallest

Visit a nearby Jute Mill to see how the Jute material is turned into

Shiva temple in India; the Talatal or Kareng Ghar; the Palace of the

eco-friendly gunny bags. Return to the ship at sunset for a cultural

Ahom Kings and the Rang Ghar, where buffalo fights and important

evening followed by an early dinner. (B, L, D) Overnight on board MV

Royal meetings used to take place. Drive to a tea estate and enjoy a

Mahabaahu

traditional Assamese lunch with a family who have been involved in

Kaziranga National Park | An early start as you take some

the tea-making industry for around a century. Return to the ship for

snacks and drive towards the Kaziranga National Park. The park is

sunset and enjoy a relaxed dinner on board. (B, L, D) Overnight on

not only home to the fantastic greater one-horned rhino but as many

board MV Mahabaahu

as 180 more mammals including wild elephants, tiger, deer, buffalo

Majuli Island / Mishing Village | You can enjoy yoga or a

and a rich variety of birds. Watch the nature wake up with the sun

walk along the swamps before breakfast as the ship sails towards

rising. After breakfast in a resort of Kaziranga, drive on to Bagori,

Majuli. Enjoy a talk on ‘Majuli the seat of Neo-Vaishnav Culture’.

the Western Range of the park, continue your explorations by jeep.

Take the excursion boats to the mainland and drive to a scenic

Later, return to the ship for lunch and a relaxed afternoon followed

corner of a Satra (Monestry) for an interesting cultural performance

by a traditional Assamese dinner. (B ,L ,D) Overnight on board MV

by Satriya singers and dancers. Onto Kamlabari Satra to witness

Mahabaahu

the Vaishnavite priests dancing to the rhythm of cymbals, drums

A Village Visit / Full Day Sail / Peacock Island | The

and chanting in the temple premise. After lunch on board you'll

ship lifts anchor early today and you can enjoy yoga on the deck

sail towards the closest Mishing Village. The Mishings live along

before breakfast. Afterwards, there’s a talk on 'Kamakhya and

the river banks in houses with raised platforms known as ‘Chang

the Occult and Peacock Island'. Visit a village that is occupied

Ghars’. The Mishing women are expert weavers, here you will have

predominantly by a Bangla-speaking Muslim community who are

the opportunity to indulge in dhoti tying. The ship heads towards

involved in extensive farming. Returning to the ship for lunch, sail

Dhansiri Mukh and we enjoy a talk on ‘Assam, its geographical

towards Peacock Island, the smallest river island in the midst of the

location and importance’. The evening is spent on a deserted island*

Brahmaputra, famous for its highly endangered Golden Langurs.

and dinner on board. (B, L, D) Overnight on board MV Mahabaahu

Return to the ship for the farewell dinner. (B ,L ,D) Overnight on

Dhansiri Boat Safari | Start the day with yoga or a walk on a

board MV Mahabaahu

deserted island if you wish. The ship sails towards the Eastern range

Guwahati / Kamakhya Temple / Departure | Enjoy a relaxed

of Kaziranga. After breakfast, enjoy a talk on ‘The Brahmaputra

breakfast on board before disembarking. Visit Kamakhya Temple -

River and the life that exists alongside’ before the boat safari. The

devoted to the Eternal Feminine, Kama Khya, the goddess of desire

shores are high but you might get to see an array of wildlife*.

en-route to the airport for your onward flights. (B, packed L)

After lunch, there is a cooking demonstration by the chef and a chance to sample the snacks, as well as a talk on ‘Tea, Silk and Jute 6

*Determined by weather conditions (bonfires dependent on suitability of sandbank)

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For reservations call 0800 021 3189 or see your ABTA travel agent

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Assam

Dehli

Sikkim Paro

Agra Jaipur

India

Punakha Thimphu

m

sa

As

Kolkata

Mumbai

Mysore Nagarhole

ala

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Ker

Cochin

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Kerala


Far Horizon's unique and fresh approach to travelling the Indian subcontinent is unsurpassed. Why simply view the famous monuments of this great land when you can experience the living cultures and natural history of India up close and personal. For reservations call 0800 021 3189 or see your ABTA travel agent

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India’s intellectual and cultural capital, Kolkata is the city of feasts and festivals, with arguably the best Bengali cuisine in the region. A blend of colonial-era architecture, juxtaposed with urban slums and modern suburbs afford visitors a glimpse into past and future of this country’s ‘second city’.

Kolkata with Brahmaputra river cruise | 10 days

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Day 1: Arrive Kolkata | You will be met

DOWNSTREAM: After breakfast, check

at the airport and escorted to your hotel.

out of hotel and transfer to airport to

Overnight at hotel.

fly to Jorhat, transfer to embark MV

Day 2: Kolkata | Begin your tour visiting

Mahabaahu. (B)

the Victoria Memorial. This white marble

Turn to pages 4 -7 for your cruise itinerary...

monument is one of the fascinating landmarks in Kolkata. Highlights included are the Queen’s dresses, the famous Rosewood piano, the Whispering Gallery

FEATURED EXCURSION

The Malik Ghat Flower Market

in the dome and numerous artillery weapons used in the Battle of Plassey. You’ll then explore St. Paul’s Cathedral, standing at 201 feet high and noted for its Gothic architecture. After a devastating earthquake in 1934, the tower was redesigned in the image of Canterbury Cathedral. Finish your tour with a visit to ‘Nirmal Hriday’ - a hospice for the sick,

Weekly departures Sept to May

destitute and the dying established by St. Mother Teresa - and Shishu Bhawan, a Children’s Home located nearby. Overnight at hotel. (B) Day 3: Kolkata / M.V. Mahabaahu UPSTREAM: After breakfast, check out of hotel and transfer to airport to fly to

Let your senses be wonderfully overwhelmed with the sights and smells of The Malik Ghat Flower Market in Kolkata. It's best to go early in the morning as the market-stalls are set-up in all their splendour selling an abundance of colour that's a real treat for your eyes. A culturally enriching experience, it is a thriving throng of 2000 vendors selling all types of flowers with an energy that is intoxicating.

Guwahati to embark MV Mahabaahu. (B)

For reservations call 0800 021 3189 or see your ABTA travel agent

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Weekly departures Sept to May

The

Golden Triangle with Brahmaputra river cruise | 14 days Explore the Golden Triangle’s rich and cultured history with a tour of its most iconic landmarks, including the Taj Mahal and Amber Fort, followed by a cruise along the fabled Brahmaputra river. This unique combination makes for a truly enchanting journey like no other.

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Day 1: Arrive Delhi | You will be met at the airport and escorted to your hotel. Overnight at hotel. Day 2: City Tour | Begin with a city tour of Old Delhi, which was known as Shahjahanabad when the city was built in 1648. Visit the Raj Ghat, a memorial dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi. On your way to the Jama Masjid, drive past the Red Fort - the main residence of the emperors of the Mughal dynasty until 1856. Visit the Jama Masjid, one of the largest mosques in India built between 1644 and 1656 by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. A tour by rickshaw ride through the markets of Chandni Chowk is followed by a drive past the historical India Gate, the President’s estate and the Parliament House. In the afternoon, visit the capital’s most striking monument, the towering 73 metre high Qutab Minar, built in 1193. Overnight at hotel. (B) Day 3: Delhi / Agra | After breakfast, drive to Agra. En-route, visit Sikandra, the town named after Sikandra Lodhi, the Sultan of Delhi between 1489 and 1517. There you will visit the tomb of the Mughal emperor, Akbar. Upon arrival in Agra, check-in to your hotel. Visit the Taj Mahal at sunset – the greatest monument of love and one of the wonders of the modern world. Completed in 1652 by skilled craftsmen from Persia, Turkey, France and Italy, up to 20,000 labourers worked

to your hotel and the rest of the day is at

the Hawa Mahal. This five-story building

your leisure. Overnight at hotel (B, L)

has 953 windows so that the ladies of the

Day 5: Jaipur | TTake a full day

Royal family could see the processions

sightseeing tour of Jaipur including a visit

and events in the city without being visible

to the Amber Fort. En-route, there will be

to the people. A visit to the City Palace in

a photo stop at the Palace of the Winds,

the afternoon which occupies the centre and houses the Royal residence; Jantar

FEATURED EXCURSION

Mantar, a monument built by King Jai

Jama Masjid

Singh II and local markets. Overnight at hotel (B)

for 17 years to build this shrine. It was

Day 6: Jaipur / Fly to Guwahati

commissioned by Emperor Shah Jahan

After breakfast, board your flight to

as a mausoleum for his beloved queen

Guwahati. You will be met at the airport

Mumtaz Mahal. Overnight at hotel. (B)

where you will transfer to your hotel.

Day 4: Agra / Jaipur via Bharatpur

The rest of the day is at your leisure.

Check-out of hotel after an early breakfast

Overnight at hotel (B)

and start the journey to Jaipur, stopping at Bharatpur en-route for a visit and lunch in a local restaurant. Bharatpur is a famous sanctuary that hosts over 230 species of birds, especially during the winter season. During the hibernal season it is a popular place for ornithologists and in 1971 was declared as a protected sanctuary and World Heritage Site. Arrive in the ‘Pink City’ of India, Jaipur. Check-in

The Jama Masjid was built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan and was constructed by more than 5000 workers. Originally called Masjid-i-Jahan-Numa, meaning 'mosque commanding view of the world'. About 25,000 people can pray in the courtyard at a time and is sometimes regarded as India's largest mosque. Shah Jahan also built the Taj Mahal, at Agra and the Red Fort in New Delhi.

Day 7: Guwahati / M.V. Mahabaahu UPSTREAM: After breakfast, check out of hotel and transfer to embark MV Mahabaahu. (B) DOWNSTREAM: After breakfast, check out of hotel and transfer to airport to fly to Jorhat, transfer to embark MV Mahabaahu. (B) Turn to pages 4 -7 for your cruise itinerary...

For reservations call 0800 021 3189 or see your ABTA travel agent

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Bhutan with Brahmaputra river cruise | 15 days Unlock the secrets of the mysterious and magical Bhutan – one of the last Shangri-las of the world. Known as the ‘Land of the Thunder Dragon’ this Himalayan Holyland mixes Buddhist traditions with new-found modernity like nowhere else on earth.

Weekly departures Sept to May

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Day 1: Arrive Kolkata | You will be met at the airport and escorted to your hotel. Overnight at the hotel. Day 2: Kolkata / Paro by flight & Paro / Thimphu | The flight over the Himalayas reveals breathtaking views of the world’s highest peaks, taking you right into the Dragon kingdom’s cloud-scraping airstrip in the lush green Paro valley, (Alt. 7000 ft). Upon arrival in Paro, meet your Bhutanese tour director and then drive to Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan. In the afternoon, visit Tashichhodzong, the beautiful medieval fortress/monastery which houses most of the government offices and the King’s Throne Room. It is also the summer residence of Je Khenpo, the Chief Abbot. Overnight at the hotel (B & D) Day 3: Thimphu | After breakfast, join a sightseeing tour of Thimphu, visiting the National Library which has a vast collection of ancient Buddhist literature.

collection of art. Take a walk down the trail

the back of a tigress and meditated at this

Drive to the Painting School, famous for

to visit Rinpung Dzong which has a long

monastery, hence it is called the 'Tiger's

traditional ‘Thangka’ paintings. Visit the

and fascinating history. Overnight at the

Nest'. Non-Buddhists are not allowed

nearby Traditional Medicine Institute where

hotel (B, L, D)

inside the monastery. Therefore, view the

centuries-old healing methods are still practiced. Learn about the Bhutanese cultures and traditions at the Heritage Museum. Visit the Memorial Chorten, the stupa built in memory of Bhutan's Third King. Overnight at the hotel (B, L, D)

Day 6: Paro | After an early breakfast, depart for a 5-hour trek/hike round-trip excursion to the Taktsang Monastery, the most famous of Bhutanese monasteries. It is said that Guru Rinpoche arrived here on

monastery from a viewpoint nearby. This afternoon, drive north of Paro valley to the ruins of the Drukgyel Dzong, which the Bhutanese repelled several invasions by Tibetan armies in the 1600s. Upon your return, visit a nearby traditional Bhutanese

Day 4: Thimphu / Punakha | After

FEATURED EXCURSION

Farm House and the Kichu Lhakhang, one

breakfast, drive to Punakha with a stop

Tiger's Nest

of the oldest and most sacred shrines of the

en-route at the Dochula Pass. Arrive in

Kingdom. Overnight at the hotel (B, L, D)

Punakha and check into your hotel. In

Day 7: Paro / Fly to Guwahati | After

the afternoon, visit the Punakha Dzong,

breakfast, drive to Paro airport to board

a 17th-century fortress which played a

your flight to Guwahati. You will be met at

crucial role in the building up of modern

the airport where you will transfer to your

Bhutan. Afterwards visit the Khamsum

hotel. The rest of the day is at your leisure.

Yulley Namgyel Chorten, the newly built stupa. Overnight at the hotel (B, L, D) Day 5: Punakha / Paro | After breakfast, begin your journey back to Paro via Simtokha Dzong, the oldest fortress of the Kingdom and houses the school for religious studies. Arrive in Paro and check into your hotel. After lunch, visit the Ta Dzong, the National Museum of the Kingdom which houses a fascinating

Taktsang Palphug Monastery (Tiger's Nest) is a prominent Himalayan Buddhist sacred site with the temple complex being located in the cliffside of the upper Paro valley in Bhutan. According to the legend, the famous Guru Rinpoche flew to this location from Kurtoe Singye Dzong on the back of a tigress and henceforth this spot was named Tiger’s Nest, later becoming the Taktsang Palphug Monastery in the 8th century.

Overnight at hotel (B) Day 8: Guwahati / M.V. Mahabaahu UPSTREAM After breakfast, check out of hotel and transfer to embark MV Mahabaahu (B) DOWNSTREAM After breakfast, check out of hotel and transfer to airport to fly to Jorhat, transfer to embark MV Mahabaahu (B) Turn to pages 4 -7 for your cruise itinerary...

For reservations call 0800 021 3189 or see your ABTA travel agent

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Showcasing India’s most picturesque side, Sikkim is hailed as one of the world’s last utopias. Beginning in the magnificent Himalayas, the towns of Darjeeling and Gangtok offer fabulous views, beautiful monasteries, visits to picture-perfect tea estates and interactions with the warm local people to enable you to experience the living cultures of India.

Sikkim with Brahmaputra river cruise | 15 days

Weekly departures Sept to May

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Day 1: Arrive Kolkata | You will be met at the airport and escorted to your hotel. Overnight at hotel. Day 2: Kolkata | Begin your tour visiting the Victoria Memorial. This white marble monument is one of the fascinating landmarks in Kolkata. Highlights included are the Queen’s dresses, the famous Rosewood piano, the Whispering Gallery in the dome and numerous artillery weapons used in the Battle of Plassey. You’ll then explore St. Paul’s Cathedral, standing at 201 feet high and noted for its Gothic architecture. After a devastating earthquake in 1934, the tower was redesigned in the image of Canterbury Cathedral. Finish your tour with a visit to ‘Nirmal Hriday’ - a hospice for the sick, destitute and the dying established by St. Mother Teresa - and Shishu Bhawan, a Children’s Home located nearby. Overnight at hotel. (B) Day 3: Fly Kolkata / Bagdogra & drive to Gangtok | You will be driven to the airport for your flight to Bagdogra. Upon arrival, you will then be transferred to your hotel. Overnight at hotel (B & D) Day 4: Gangtok | Today, you will visit the famous monastery of Rumtek. It was built in the mid-1700s and is currently the largest monastery in Sikkim. You will also pay a visit to the Do Drul Chorten Stupa, constructed by Trulshik Rinpoche, head of the Nyingma order of Tibetan Buddhism in 1945. Established in 1958, The Namgyal

and Darjeeling tea is still exported

the miniature train to Ghoom Monastery,

worldwide. Overnight at hotel (B & D)

which was built in 1850. It is also

Day 6: Darjeeling | Get up at sunrise

known for its 15-feet high statue of the

to enjoy the magnificent views over

Maitreya Buddha. Visit the Himalayan

Kanchenjunga and the eastern Himalayan

Mountaineering Institute, established

mountains from Tiger Hill, one of the

on 4th November 1954 to encourage

highest peaks in the area. Enjoy a ride on

mountaineering as an organised sport in India, and the adjacent Himalayan

FEATURED EXCURSION

Darjeeling

airport for your flight to Guwahati. Arrive

holds the largest collection of Tibetan

and check-in at your hotel. The day is at

works in the world. End your day at the

your leisure to discover the city - visiting

Enchey Monastery, with stunning views of

temples, exploring wildlife centres and

Gangtok city. Overnight at hotel (B, D)

a leisurely breakfast, check-out from the hotel and drive to Darjeeling. From an array of tea plantations and with a magnificent backdrop of the Himalayas, Darjeeling grew in prominence during the mid 19th century when, because of its climate, the British established a hill station there. Later, it was discovered that the area was particularly well suited for tea plantations

Day 7: Darjeeling / Bagdogra & fly to Guwahati | Drive to Bagdogra

Institute of Tibetology Museum currently

Day 5: Gangtok / Darjeeling | After

Zoological Park. Overnight at hotel (B & D)

museums. Overnight at hotel. (B) Its tea is considered one of the best in the world, yet Darjeeling is renowned for so much more than its famous tipple. A beautiful city in its own right, Darjeeling treats its guests to stunning mountain vistas, enchanting lakes and valleys. From here you will visit the Ghoom Monastery and Himalayan Mountaineering Institute & Zoological Park.

Day 8: Guwahati / M.V. Mahabaahu UPSTREAM After breakfast, check out of hotel and transfer to embark MV Mahabaahu. (B) DOWNSTREAM After breakfast, check out of hotel and transfer to airport to fly to Jorhat, transfer to embark MV Mahabaahu. (B) Turn to pages 4 -7 for your cruise itinerary...

For reservations call 0800 021 3189 or see your ABTA travel agent

17


In the Footsteps of the

British Raj with Brahmaputra river cruise | 19 days

Take an immersive new trip down memory lane for travellers wishing to follow in the footsteps of the British Raj in India. The nostalgic land and river tour marks 70 years of India’s Independence and features trips to key colonial landmarks in Delhi, Shimla, Lucknow and Kolkata, as well as a 7-night sailing along the mighty Brahmaputra river.

Weekly departures Sept to May

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Day 1: Arrive Delhi | You will be met at the airport and escorted to your hotel. Late afternoon, visit to the National museum. (Closed on Monday) Overnight at hotel (D) Day 2: Delhi | After breakfast, meet with your guide for a walk in the old city, where you will discover the life and times of the British living in the city before the revolt broke out. Visit Nicholson Cemetery, Kashmir Gate, St James Church, old campuses of Hindu College and St Stephens College, Dara Shukoh’s library and the Telegraph Memorial and remains of the British Magazine. Late afternoon, discover the Red Fort and a rickshaw ride through the busy street of Chandani Chowk. Overnight at hotel (B) Day 3: Delhi / Chandigarh / Shimla After breakfast, check-out and transfer to

visit the British Market which has been

Residency and Museum constructed in

Delhi airport for a flight to Chandigarh. You

renovated to its former glory. Immerse

1800, where it became the location of a

will be met and escorted for your drive to

yourself in the rich history in a ‘Victorian

bloody siege at the hands of an Indian

Shimla where you will stay at the Oberoi

Walk’ and continue to Council House,

rebellion. In the afternoon, visit the British

Cecil, where Rudyard Kipling and his family

which perfectly characterises Colonial

boy's school, La Martinière College. Take

stayed on the estate in 1885. Overnight at

architecture. The influence of the 18th

a closer look at the Railway Station that

hotel (B)

and 19th-century Muslim rulers, the

began life as an orchard. This evening,

nawabs, lingers in the cuisine of Lucknow

enjoy a talk by an expert on the ‘History of

with cream, raisins, saffron, almonds and

Lucknow’. Overnight at hotel (B)

cashews, all common ingredients. Enjoy a

Day 9: Lucknow / Kolkata | After a

special Awadhi cuisine for dinner. Overnight

leisurely morning, fly to Kolkata, the former

Day 4: Shimla | Enjoy breakfast before you begin with a visit to Christ Church, the second oldest church in northern India. It remains one of the enduring legacies of the British Raj. Enjoy an interesting talk by Raja

at hotel (B, D)

Bhasin (subject to availability), on the British

Day 8: Lucknow | Following breakfast,

footsteps in Shimla. A visit to the famous

visit Asafi Masjid, Bada Imambara and

Gaiety Theatre for a cup of tea. Overnight

Chota Imambara. Take a visit to the British

at hotel (B) Day 5: Shimla | Spend a day at leisure

FEATURED EXCURSION

Shimla

capital of India under the regime of the British Raj, now regarded as the country’s intellectual and cultural capital. The rest of the day is at your leisure to get acquainted with the ‘City of Joy’. Overnight at hotel (B) Day 10: Kolkata | After breakfast, join a walk through the ‘European’ areas of what

exploring the city at your own pace.

was once the Capital of the British Empire

Overnight at hotel (B)

in India and what the British proudly referred

Day 6: Shimla | Board the Himalayan

to as the ‘White Town’. Visit Victoria

Queen after breakfast, affectionately known

Memorial built in 1906 and inaugurated in 1921 in memory of Queen Victoria. Stop

as the ‘Shimla Toy Train’. Built by the British

at Flurys for a classic high tea, founded in

in 1903 to provide easy access to their

1926. Overnight at hotel (B)

summer capital Shimla, the train allows for fascinating sightseeing opportunities. Change platforms on arrival at Kalka Station in the afternoon, to board the Shatabdi Express to Delhi. Check-in at hotel in the evening. Overnight at hotel (B, packed L & D) Day 7: Delhi / Lucknow | An early start to fly to Lucknow, which fell under the control of the British Raj in 1857. Transfer from airport to hotel. In the afternoon,

All aboard the train! Experience the Kalka-Shimla Railway and journey through the dramatic hills and surrounding villages as this narrowgauge locomotive slowly winds its way through this mountainous region. Making your way through 93 tunnels and passing over a mind-boggling 800 bridges, this will be a journey you’ll never forget.

Day 11: Kolkata / Fly Guwahati or Jorhat / M.V. Mahabaahu UPSTREAM After breakfast, check out of hotel and transfer to airport to fly to Guwahati to embark MV Mahabaahu. (B) DOWNSTREAM After breakfast, check out of hotel and transfer to airport to fly to Jorhat, transfer to embark MV Mahabaahu (B) Turn to pages 4 -7 for your cruise itinerary...

For reservations call 0800 021 3189 or see your ABTA travel agent

19


Bird Watching

with Brahmaputra river cruise | 19 days India is a birdwatching paradise and is home to more than 1250 species of birds. So whether you’re a veteran ornithologist or a budding beginner, this will be a holiday to remember.

Weekly departures Sept to May

20

www.fredrivercruises.co.uk/far-horizons


Day 1: Arrive Delhi | You will be met at the airport and escorted to your hotel. Overnight at hotel. Day 2: Delhi / Chambal | After breakfast, we will drive to the National Chambal Wildlife Sanctuary for your 2-night stay at Chambal Safari Lodge. There are more than 250 resident and migratory bird species and is a prime location for all wildlife enthusiasts. In the evening, enjoy a talk about the area and its wildlife. Overnight at Safari Lodge (B,D) Day 3: Chambal | Set off on an early morning river safari. The calm waters of Chambal River are best explored by boat and are designed to provide spectacular sightings of mugger crocodiles and turtles basking in the sun, the many migratory and resident birds and occasional glimpses of Gangetic river dolphins breaking the surface. Return to the lodge for breakfast, time to relax with a spot of lunch and set out again for an evening river safari. Overnight at Safari Lodge (B, L, D). Day 4: Chambal / Agra / Bharatpur

Day 8: Kanha National Park

Day 9: Kanha National Park |

After breakfast, drive to Bharatpur,

Explore Kanha National Park with morning

Continue exploring the area which is home

stopping at Agra for lunch in a local

and afternoon game drives. The tiger

to over 1,000 species of flowering plants

restaurant. Visit the magnificent Taj Mahal*

reserve is spread over 1,949 sq km

and 300 species of bird with morning and

which was completed in 1652 by 20,000

making it one of the best habitats for tigers

afternoon game drives. Few commonly

labourers and took 17 years to build.

in India. The bamboo forests provided

seen beautiful birds are Scarlet Minivet,

Check-in to hotel, rest of the day is at your

inspiration to Rudyard Kipling novel ‘The

Black Hooded Oriole, Indian Roller and

leisure. Overnight at hotel (B, L, D)

Jungle Book’. Overnight at hotel (B, L, D)

Malabar Pied Hornbill. In the evening there is a talk on the varied birdlife in the

Day 5: Bharatpur | Visit Keoladeo National Park early this morning by

FEATURED EXCURSION

rickshaw ride. With over 230 species of

Keoladeo National Park

bird to discover, it is an ornithologist’s

National Park. Overnight at hotel (B, L, D) Day 10: Kanha / Raipur / Kolkata | After breakfast, check-out from the hotel

dream. You can explore the park by

with a packed lunch and drive to Raipur

bicycle or even walk through the nature

to board the flight to Kolkata. Arrive in

trails. After lunch, you will visit the sanctuary again by rickshaw. Overnight at

Kolkata and check-in at the hotel. Rest of

hotel (B, L, D)

day is at your leisure. Overnight at hotel (B, L)

Day 6: Bharatpur / Delhi | After breakfast, check-out from the hotel and drive to Delhi. Upon arrival, check-in to the hotel and the rest of the day is at your leisure. Overnight at hotel (B) Day 7: Delhi / Jabalpur / Kanha Following breakfast, drive to the airport for your fight to Jabalpur. Upon arrival drive to Kanha and check-in to hotel. Overnight at hotel (B, D) *Taj Mahal remains closed every Friday

At the Keoladeo National Park, you can view the spotted deer, sloth bears, langur (monkeys) and the unusual guar. You can take jeep safaris in the morning as well as after lunch. Best time to visit would be in the spring-summer months as the animals come outside the jungles to drink water. Tiger sightings are common around the months of March-May along with multiple species of migratory birds flying in from around the Asia Pacific region.

Day 11: Kolkata / Fly Guwahati or Jorhat / M.V. Mahabaahu UPSTREAM: After breakfast, check out of hotel and transfer to airport to fly to Guwahati to embark MV Mahabaahu. (B) DOWNSTREAM: After breakfast, check out of hotel and transfer to airport to fly to Jorhat, transfer to embark MV Mahabaahu. (B) Turn to pages 4 -7 for your cruise itinerary...

For reservations call 0800 021 3189 or see your ABTA travel agent

21


Mahabaahu M.V.

22

A journey aboard the remarkable M.V. Mahabaahu is a journey

tourism. A true natural history paradise, you will find over 850

of great discovery, friendly smiles, and unrivalled sunsets.

species of birds, freshwater dolphins and national parks teeming

Your cruise has been professionally designed to enable you to

with elephants, one-horned rhinos and buffalo. Kaziranga National

experience all of the riches that the Brahmaputra river has to offer.

Park is a true highlight of a visit here – home to the largest

With incredible wildlife gracing its riverbanks, traditional weaver’s

population of rhino in the world. You may also be lucky enough

villages and tea plantations dotted along the shores, and an

to come across the beautiful Bengal tiger. Other attractions are

assortment of educational experiences from local experts, you

Buddhist monasteries and Hindu Gurukuls, spanning over 5,000

are sure to create treasured memories to last a lifetime. From its

years. With its green lands of rolling hills, plains and dense forests,

source in southwest Tibet, the mighty Brahmaputra runs 1,800

Assam itself is the gateway to the northeastern part of India. Its

miles through the Himalayas, across the Assam basin and down

temples are built in traditional Indian and Thai style, showcasing

towards Bangladesh, eventually meeting with India’s holiest river,

the artistic talents of the local people. Lush tea plantations

the Ganges. Assam has earned the accolade ‘Serengeti of India’

dot the landscape as Assam is one of the world’s leading tea

thanks to its abundance of wildlife, yet this rich, fertile land of

manufacturers in the world. Immerse yourself in a magical journey

rolling hills, plains and forests remain refreshingly untouched by

you’ll never forget.

www.fredrivercruises.co.uk/far-horizons


Built in Kolkata in 2011, the ship is 55m long and 10m wide. It has a total of five decks including one inside the hull and the open sundeck at the top. It is powered by three marine engines and four generators. Berths: 46 pax | Crew: 35 ACCOMMODATION

coffee in the main indoor dining restaurant on board the ship.

• 2 suites with balcony – 283.2 sq. ft (includes the cabin,

Given advance notice, most dietary requirements can be catered

bathroom and the balcony)

for.

• NEW for October 2019 2 luxury cabins with balcony. Cabins

SHORE VISITS

109 & 110: 230 sq. ft (includes the cabin, bathroom and the

Two excursion tenders ferry guests safely to and from the vessel

balcony

under the supervision of a senior officer. All excursions are escorted.

• 9 superior cabins with balcony – 206 sq. ft (includes the cabin,

CURRENCY Indian Rupees and credit cards - American Express, Visa and

bathroom and the balcony)

Master Card only.

• 12 superior cabins without balcony – 150 sq. ft (includes the

PASSENGER LIFT

cabin & bathroom)

One passenger lift is between lower and second deck.

CABIN FEATURES

The sundeck is served by an external staircase.

• All cabins incorporate satellite TV, personal safe, mini-bar,

SMOKING

in-house telephone and en-suite bathrooms.

Permitted in open areas only.

AIR CONDITIONING

CHILDREN

• All cabins, restaurant/lounge are centrally air-conditioned.

Children above the age of six can be booked as passengers, but

ENTERTAINMENT

must be the sole responsibility of parents/guardians and must

• Well-stocked library

never be left unattended.

• Board games

CRUISING

• Swimming pool on first deck

Cruising takes place between 06:00 and 17:00

• Spa and salon on lower deck

KEEPING IN TOUCH

DINING

Mobile phone usage is limited due to the remoteness some of

Chefs prepare local/Indian food and continental cuisine using

the places visited. On board internet and phone facilities will be

locally sourced ingredients. All meals are inclusive of tea and

available in the lobby area wherever the connectivity is avaiable.

DECK PLANS

Sun Deck

Cabins 2 Suites with private balcony 2 Luxury with private balcony 7 Superior with private balcony 12 Superior

without balcony

Deck II Store Store

210 208 206 204 202 Lift

Wheel House

209 207 205 203 201

114 112

110

Pool

108

106

104

102

107

105

103

101

Lift

205

Gadadhar Singha

Deck I

109

111

Shower Cubical Wash room

Main Deck Rudra Singha

Crew Dining

Crew Cabin

Pantry Pantry

Entrance

Reception

Soma Lounge

Boat Station

Buffet

Restaurant Muster Station

Lift

Exit

Fo’c’sle

Mungri Mungram

Bakery

Buffet

Wash room

Galley

Wash room

Boat Station

Entrance

Lower Deck

Engine Room

Auxiliary Machine Room

Shower + Changing Cubical + Washroom

Jacuzzi

Crew Cabin

Crew Cabin

Crew Cabin

Crew Cabin

Massage Room

Crew Cabin

Crew Cabin

Crew Cabin

Crew Cabin

Lift Sauna Store Steam

Spa Ojas

Crew Cabin

Store

For reservations call 0800 021 3189 or see your ABTA travel agent

23


South India with Kerala Backwaters river cruise | 14 days

We take you on a journey through the heart of the Dravidian South. Visit the famous temples of South India with their elaborate carvings and architectural styles. Glide through the backwaters of Kerela – God’s own country. The backwaters give you an opportunity to experience the living cultures of Kerala at close quarters.

Weekly departures Sept to May

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www.fredrivercruises.co.uk/far-horizons


Day 1: Arrive Chennai | You will be met

The Meenakshi Temple is arguably the

Day 10: Backwaters (Houseboat)

at the airport and escorted to your hotel.

preeminent example of South Indian temple

Today, visit Indian life up close as you slowly

Overnight at hotel

architecture, and is also one of India’s

cruise along the palm-fringed backwater

most important places of pilgrimage, and is

canals, a distinctive region whose beauty

estimated to receive 10,000 pilgrims every

and tranquillity have earned it the sobriquet

day. Explore the Kambatti Mundapum

“God’s own country.” Along the way go

containing pillars sculptured with various

ashore to visit some of the local villages and

manifestations of Lord Shiva. Later visit the

farms, observing traditional livelihoods. See

colourful markets of Madurai. Overnight at

churches in a land synonymous with the

hotel (B)

very beginnings of Christianity. Overnight on

Day 2: Chennai / Mahabalipuram Check-out of the hotel after breakfast and join your guide for a tour around Fort St. George which was built by the British East India Company and houses a small quaint museum. Later drive to Mahabalipuram and check-in to the hotel. Overnight at

Day 8: Madurai / Thekkady | Check-out

hotel (B) Day 3: Kanchipuram / Mahabalipuram Following breakfast, embark on a half-day excursion to Kanchipuram, also known as the ‘City of a thousand temples’. Return to Mahabalipuram for the afternoon and discover why the area is commonly known as the “City of the Seven Pagodas,” even

after breakfast and drive to Thekkady. Upon

Day 11: Backwaters (Houseboat)

arrival, check-in to the hotel. A pleasant

A vast network of lagoons, lakes, and

boat ride is a perfect way of observing the

canals formed by the confluence of Kerala’s

wildlife in their natural habitat (subject to

numerous rivers and the Arabian Sea, the

water level) or guided nature walk that takes

Kerala backwaters run alongside the coast

you through dense forests and swampy

for more than 550 miles. These labyrinthine

grasslands. Overnight at hotel (B)

waterways have served as a thoroughfare

though five of the seven pagodas are

Day 9: Thekkady / Thottappally

actually rathas (stone chariots). Overnight

(Backwaters) | After breakfast, check-

at hotel (B)

out of hotel and visit a Spice Plantation

Day 4: Mahabalipuram / Pondicherry After breakfast, check-out and drive to Pondicherry. The French relinquished control of their former colony just 50 years ago and "Pondy" (as it's locally known) still bears its European heritage. Local cuisine has distinctive French influence as does the architecture. On arrival, check-in to the hotel. Overnight at hotel (B) Day 5: Pondicherry / Thanjavur |

houseboat (B, L, D)

before heading to the backwaters. In

for boats like ours from ancient times, and the daily existence in the communities here has changed little over the centuries. Overnight on houseboat (B, L, D)

the afternoon board your houseboat, an

Day 12: Backwaters (Houseboat)

environmentally-friendly vessel unique

/ Kochi | After breakfast, cruise to

to Kerala’s placid waterways. On this

Thottappalli and disembark. Drive to Kochi

comfortable floating home, spend your day

and check-into the hotel - the afternoon

relaxing and unwinding as you slowly cruise

is at your leisure. In the evening, attend

along the backwater canals of the Arabian

a performance of Kathakali dance, where

Sea. You may choose to stop and explore

facial expressions and hand gestures

some of the many small villages, farmlands,

combine with movement to create this

old temples and churches that you come

highly expressive traditional Kerala art form

across. Overnight on houseboat (B, L, D)

which depicts great Indian epics. Overnight

Check-out after breakfast and drive to

at hotel (B)

Thanjavur. En-route visit the temples at

FEATURED EXCURSION

Chidambaram & Darasuram. On arrival in

The Meenakshi Temple

Thanjavur check into the hotel. The rest

Day 13: Kochi | Following breakfast, enjoy a tour of Kochi. Fort Kochi, your first stop is where the Portuguese flag was

of the day is at your leisure. Overnight at

first hoisted and is also believed to be

hotel (B)

the oldest settlement in India. Thereafter,

Day 6: Thanjavur / Madurai | After

visit the St Francis Church, built in 1510.

breakfast, check-out of hotel and visit one

The gorgeous view of the ocean from the

of the largest South Indian temples, the

beach enhanced by the Chinese fishing

magnificent Brihadishwara Temple. Later

nets, first erected between 1350 and 1450

we visit Thanjavur’s second great historical

AD makes extremely picturesque sight.

site, the Royal Palace with its impressive observation tower. In the afternoon, leave for Madurai. Late evening you can visit the night ceremony at the Meenakshi Temple where Lord Shiva reunited with his wife for the night. Overnight at hotel (B) Day 7: Madurai | Post breakfast, depart for a sightseeing tour of the Meenakshi Temple and Tirumalai Nayak Palace.

The magnificent Meenakshi Temple is a historic Hindu temple located on the southern bank of the Vaigai River in the temple city of Madura. Marvel at the ornate, colourful carvings of gods, goddesses and animals that adorn the outer structure. Around 15,000 devotees congregate daily in the vast halls and small shrines making this a memorable place to visit.

You will also visit the Jewish Synagogue and Dutch Palace. End the day with a traditional cooking demonstration and dinner with a local family. Overnight at hotel (B, D) Day 14: Kochi Departure | Spend the morning having breakfast and relaxing in the hotel until your transfer to the airport for your onward flights. (B)

For reservations call 0800 021 3189 or see your ABTA travel agent

25


Karanatka Alternative Pre-Tour

Extension

Extend your stay at the beginning of your South India trip with a cultural and natural history heritage through Karnataka where you visit cosmopolitan Bangalore, followed by historical Mysore and to the famous South India National Park of Nagarhole, ending in Calicut

Weekly departures Sept to May

26

www.fredrivercruises.co.uk/far-horizons


Day 1: Arrive Bangalore | You will be

among India’s most popular attractions.

through Nagarhole in search of wildlife.

met at the airport and escorted to your

Later in the day, you visit a local workshop

After our excursion, we return to the lodge

hotel. Overnight at hotel

to learn how the local sandalwood incense

for breakfast. You will have free time to

Day 2: Bangalore / Mysore | After a

is made by hand. The afternoon is free for

relax before lunch together at the lodge.

relaxed breakfast, check-out and drive to

your exploration. Overnight at hotel (B)

Later, enjoy the coracle ride followed by a

Mysore. Along the way, we visit the river

Day 4: Mysore / Kabini | After

village walk. Overnight at lodge (B, L, D)

island town of Srirangapatna, with its

breakfast, leave for Nagarhole National

Day 6: Kabini / Calicut | After

celebrated 9th-century Hindu Ranganatha

Park, established in 1955, whose

breakfast, we make the journey to Calicut

Temple. Later, arrive in Mysore and check-

abundant wildlife, including leopard,

- dubbed the “City of Spices” in antiquity

in to the hotel. Overnight at hotel (B)

Indian bison, wild dog, deer, antelope,

for its role in the thriving eastern spice

Day 3: Mysore | This morning, visit the

hyena, and more make it one of India’s

trade. Stop at the plantation for lunch,

Chamundi Hills, site of the 12th-century

finest preserves. In the summer months,

followed by a walk with the plantation

Chamundeshwari Temple with its 1,008

this park also hosts the world’s greatest

owner to learn about the spice crops

ancient steps leading to the summit. The

concentration of Asian elephants,

grown in this area. Continue to drive to

highlight of this lofty temple is the statue of

estimated at 8,000–14,000, who migrate

Calicut and check-into the hotel on arrival.

Nandi, the enormous bull used as a mount

here to feast on riverbed pastures. On

Rest of the day is at leisure. Overnight at

by Hindu god Shiva, which sits on the

arrival, check-in to the lodge and have

hotel (B, L)

800th step of the temple. The next stop

lunch together. Set out on a boat safari

Day 7: Calicut / Kochi Train

brings more magnificent architecture, as

that takes in some of Nagarhole’s 247

(Backwaters) | Early this morning we

you visit the Palace of Mysore, the Indo-

square miles. Dine at the lodge for the

transfer to the railway station, where

Saracenic blend of Hindu, Muslim, Rajput,

evening. Overnight at lodge (B, L, D)

we board a train and head south along

and Gothic styles that remains the home

Day 5: Kabini | This morning we take a

the coast to Kochi, the first of Europe’s

of the Maharajahs of Mysore and counts

safari in an open-air 4-wheel-drive vehicle

colonies in India.

Post-Tour Marari Beach Extension Spend an extra few days at the end of your Kerala Backwaters tour at the lovely golden sands of Marari beaches to unwind and enjoy the tranquil shores of the Arabian Sea. Day 1: Mararikullam | After breakfast, disembark from the Backwaters cruise and drive to Marari. On arrival, check-in to the hotel and you will have the rest of the day to enjoy the natural setting of the hotel, set in a lush garden fringed with towering coconut palms. Marari is the one place where you can unwind completely. Overnight at hotel (B) Day 2: Mararikullam | You have two full days of rest and relaxation at Marari to walk the pristine beaches of the Arabian Sea or take in an Ayurvedic spa treatment (payment for treatments made locally). You can also explore the Marari area using mountain bikes (provided by the hotel), or by walking; visiting small villages of farming and fishing communities and, of course, relaxing on the beach (No local transport/guide services). Overnight at hotel (B) Day 3: Mararikulam / Kochi & Departure | After breakfast, transfer to Kochi airport to connect with flight to onward destination. (Room reserved till 12 noon only)

For reservations call 0800 021 3189 or see your ABTA travel agent

27


Eco Houseboats

Vaikundam and Sauver Nigam The backwaters of Kerala gives you an opportunity to enrich yourself with the lives of those who inhabit this immensely beautiful south Indian state. Visit them at close quarters on a moving houseboat of which there are two to choose from - the cosy two-cabin Sauver Nigam and the nine-cabin Vaikundam. The latter is the largest houseboat on the backwaters. The former Prime Minister of India, Shri Atal Behari Vajpayee, summed up his experience on board as “A day to be remembered�. He wrote this in the guest book of the Vaikundam houseboat during a short sojourn on the backwaters. So, if

However, if you are considering a more exclusive experience with your family, then Sauver Nigam would be more suitable with its mix of traditional and modern design. Palm fringed narrow canals winding through the vast expanse of paddy fields and the neat, tiny hamlets lined up along either side of the canals are panoramic, unforgettable experiences Be prepared to be wowed by the exquisite cuisine lovingly prepared the chef. The food features traditional Kerala flavours and includes local specialities. We invite you to explore the fascinating beauty of the Kerala backwaters.

you are looking for a unique Kerala Backwater cruise, then the Vaikundam is a perfect choice. With it being a single hull and long boat instead of a catamaran, it still manages to go into the narrow canals to experience the life of the people of the backwaters.

28

www.fredrivercruises.co.uk/far-horizons


ACCOMMODATION: Aesthetically designed accommodation cabins to meet all comforts and offer: • Vaikundam - 9 twin cabins • Sauver Nigam - 2 twin cabins CABIN FEATURES • En-suite bathrooms with running hot and cold showers through solar panels. AIR CONDITIONING • All cabins are air-conditioned with individually controlled units, operating 24/7 which is not a normal procedure on other boats sailing the backwaters. Vaikundam has nine air- conditioned cabins on main deck level. Sauver Nigam has two air-conditioned cabins on main deck level. DINING Vaikundam has an air-conditioned dining area on the upper deck. Sauver Nigam's dining is on its covered, open front of the main deck with a great front view of your surroundings. Chefs serve you local Indian cuisine with the addition of a Continental Menu. Your stay with us is full-board, all meals are included on the sailing, along with tea and coffee service at your choice of time. Given advance notice, most dietary concerns are taken care of. SUN DECK Vaikundam - sun deck is the open front of the first deck. Sauver Nigam - the sun deck is on the open first deck. ENTERTAINMENT • Well-stocked library • Board games • Sun deck • Air conditioned lounge and dining CURRENCY Indian Rupees only SMOKING Permitted in open areas only. Down Buffet

Open Sun Open Sun Lounge Lounge

Covered Covered Open Open Lounge Lounge

Buffet Buffet

Toilet

Cockpit

2

3

Cockpit

Toilet

1

Toilet

4

2

Toilet

Toilet

6

Toilet

4

Toilet

Toilet

6

1

Toilet

5

3

Toilet

7

Toilet

5

Toilet

7

Toilet

Toilet

8

Restaurant

Down

Toilet

8

Restaurant

Down

Store

9

Buffet

Store Store

9

Toilet

Toilet

Crew Kitchen Kitchen

Toilet

Toilet

Store

Toilet

VAIKUNDAM DECK PLAN Down

Crew

Toilet

Store

Generators

Store

Toilet

Electric Power Electric Power Board Board

Solar Water Solar Water Heater Panels Heater Panels Generators

Crew

Crew

* Please note 7-night Kerala sailings take place on board on Vaikundam. Shorter sailings on board Sauver Nigam

For reservations call 0800 021 3189 or see your ABTA travel agent

29


TERMS & CONDITIONS These Terms and Conditions should be read carefully and apply when we are the organiser of your

behalf and for the benefit of the Trustees of the Air Travel Trust at all times. This is subject to the

package including travel by air and a cruise. Your contract is with Fred.\ River Cruises a trading

agent’s obligation to pay it to us for so long as we do not fail. If we fail, any money held at that time

name of Fred. Olsen Travel Ltd (“FOT”), a company registered in England and Wales (Company

by the agent, or subsequently accepted from you by him, is and continues to be held on behalf of

Registration No. 2287241) whose offices are at Olympus House, 2 Olympus Close, Ipswich, Suffolk

and for the benefit of the Trustees of the Air Travel Trust without any obligation to pay that money to

IP1 5LN. A contract will exist when we have accepted a deposit and issued our confirmation

us. When you buy a holiday not including a flight, all monies you pay to the travel agent are held by

invoice. These Booking Conditions, together with any other information brought to your attention

him on our behalf at all times.

before you booked your package, form the basis of your contract and set out our respective rights

Travel Insurance

and obligations, and all bookings are accepted by us subject to these Booking Conditions. In these Booking Conditions, references to “we” and “us” mean FOT, and “you” and “your” include the lead-named person on the confirmation invoice (who must be at least 18 years old at the time of booking) and all persons on whose behalf a booking is made.

We will treat any cancellation for this reason as a cancellation by you and the cancellation charges will be payable as set out below. Please read your policy details carefully and take them with you on holiday. It is your responsibility to ensure that the insurance you purchase is adequate and

Booking and Paying For Your Arrangements

appropriate for your particular needs, and covers all travel, cancellation, medical, and repatriation

A booking is made with Fred.\ River Cruises when a) you tell us that you would like to accept our

liabilities for the holiday. We reserve the right to request full details of your insurance policy,

written or verbal quotation and b) you pay us a deposit of 25% of the total holiday cost unless

however please note that we do not check insurance policies for suitability. You are responsible for

advised differently at the time of booking. When we issue you with a Confirmation Invoice, a binding

indemnifying us in full in the event that we incur any losses or expenses arising out of your failure to

contract will come into existence. Upon receipt, if you believe that any details on the Confirmation or

take out adequate insurance cover.

any other documents are wrong you must advise us immediately, as changes may not be possible

Cancellation by You

later. The balance of the cost of your arrangements (including any applicable surcharge) is due 104 days prior to scheduled departure and 134 days for the Christmas and New Year Cruise. If we do not receive this balance in full and on time, we reserve the right to treat your booking as cancelled and retain your deposit.

If you or any other member of your party decides to cancel your confirmed booking you must notify us in writing. Your notice of cancellation will only take effect when we receive it in writing at our offices at Fred.\ River Cruises. Please note proof of postage (whether Royal Mail or e-mail) is not proof of receipt. You will be responsible for applicable cancellation charges up to the maximum

Your Financial Protection

shown below, unless otherwise advised. The cancellation charge detailed is calculated as all non-

We provide full financial protection for our package holidays. If you buy a single travel service then

refundable items plus a percentage of the remaining total cost payable by the person(s) cancelling:

this might not apply. For flight-based holidays this is through our Air Travel Organiser’s Licence

104 days or more loss of deposit and non-refundable items

number (0944), issued by the Civil Aviation Authority, Gatwick Airport South, West Sussex, RH6

103 - 76 days

50%

75 - 46 days

75%

financially protected, where you can get information on what this means for you and who to contact

45 - 0 days

100%

if things go wrong. We will provide you with the services listed on the ATOL Certificate (or a suitable

For Christmas and New Year cruises:

alternative). In some cases, where we aren’t able to do so for the unlikely reasons of insolvency, an

91 days or more loss of deposit and non-refundable items

0YR, UK, telephone 0333 103 6350, email claims@caa.co.uk. When you buy an ATOL protected flight or flight inclusive holiday from us you will receive an ATOL Certificate. This lists what is

alternative ATOL holder may provide you with the services you have bought or a suitable alternative (at no extra cost to you). You agree to accept that in those circumstances, the alternative ATOL holder will perform those obligations and you agree to pay any money outstanding to be paid by you under your contract to that alternative ATOL holder. However, you also agree that in some cases it will not be possible to appoint an alternative ATOL holder, in which case you will be entitled

90 - 0 days

100%

We strongly recommend you take out suitable insurance to cover you for possible eventualities that would require you to cancel your holiday. Holiday insurance premiums not paid to us are not refundable in the event of cancellation.

to make a claim under the ATOL scheme (or your credit card issuer where applicable). If we are

You can cancel your booking without paying cancellation charges if the performance of your

unable to provide the services listed (or a suitable alternative, through an alternative ATOL holder

package, or the carriage of passengers to your destination, is significantly affected by unavoidable

or otherwise) for the unlikely reasons of insolvency, the Trustees of the Air Travel Trust may make a

and extraordinary circumstances. In such circumstances, we will arrange for your booking to be

payment to (or confer a benefit on) you under the ATOL scheme. You agree that in return for such a

terminated and for you to receive a full refund. We will observe advice provided by the UK Foreign &

payment or benefit you assign absolutely to those Trustees any claims which you have or may have

Commonwealth Office.

arising out of or relating to the non-provision of the services, including any claim against us, the

Changes by You

travel agent (or your credit card issuer where applicable). You also agree that any such claims may

If, after our confirmation invoice has been issued, you wish to change any part of your booking you

be re-assigned to another body, if that other body has paid sums you have claimed under the ATOL

must inform us in writing. Whilst we will do our utmost to assist, we cannot guarantee that we will

scheme. When you buy a package holiday that does not include a flight, protection is provided by

be able to meet your requested change. All changes will be subject to an administration charge of

way of a bond held by ABTA - The Travel Association 30 Park Street London SE1 9EQ www.abta.

£50, and any further cost we incur in making this alteration. You should be aware that these costs

co.uk

could increase the closer to the departure date that changes are made and you should contact us

Pricing

as soon as possible. Please note that certain travel arrangements may not be changeable after a

Unless stated otherwise, all brochure prices are per person based on double occupancy of a cabin,

reservation has been made and any alteration request could incur a cancellation charge of up to

or standard hotel room. Pricing is accurate at time of printing. The prices quoted do not include

100% of that part of the arrangements. Where we are unable to assist you and you do not wish to

gratuities, flights, passports/visas, excess baggage fees, or vaccinations. We reserve the right

proceed with the original booking we will treat this as a cancellation by you and a cancellation fee

to amend the price of unsold holidays at any time and correct errors in the prices of confirmed

may be payable. Please note also that it is important at the time of booking to advise the names of

holidays within 7 days of the booking.

travellers that match the name given on their passport. Failure to do so will usually result in a name

The price of your holiday is subject to change after you have booked only in certain circumstances.

30

We reserve the right to refuse or cancel a booking if you do not have personal travel insurance.

change charge by the airline.

These include changes in the price of the carriage of passengers resulting from changes to the cost

You can transfer your booking to another person, who satisfies all the conditions that apply to this

of fuel or other power sources, the level of taxes or fees imposed by third parties including tourist

booking, by giving us notice in writing at least 7 days before departure. Both you and the new

taxes, landing taxes or embarkation or disembarkation fees at ports and airports, or exchange

traveller are responsible for paying all costs we incur in making the transfer.

rates, any or all of which may mean a variation in the price of your holiday after you have booked.

Changes or cancellation by us

However, there will be no change within 20 days of your departure.

As we plan your holiday arrangements many months in advance we may occasionally have to

We will absorb, and you will not be charged for, any increase equivalent to 2% of the price of

make changes to or cancel your booking and we reserve the right to do so at any time. If we make

your travel arrangements, which excludes insurance premiums and any amendment charges

a significant change to your holiday, we will inform you or your travel agent as soon as reasonably

and/or additional services or travel arrangements. You will be charged for the amount over and

possible if there is time before your departure. You will have the choice of either accepting the

above that. If this means that you have to pay an increase of more than 8% of the price of your

change of arrangements, accepting an offer of alternative travel arrangements of comparable

travel arrangements (excluding any amendment charges and/or additional services or travel

standard from us if available (we will refund any price difference if the alternative is of a lower

arrangements), you will have the option of accepting a change to another holiday if we are able to

value), or cancelling your holiday and receiving a full refund of all monies paid. Except where the

offer one (we will refund any price difference if the alternative is of a lower value), or cancelling and

significant change is due to unavoidable and extraordinary circumstances (where unavoidable and

receiving a full refund of all monies paid to us, except for any amendment charges. Should you

extraordinary circumstances means a situation beyond our control, the consequences of which

decide to cancel for this reason, you must exercise your right to do so within 14 days from the issue

could not have been avoided even if all reasonable measures had been taken), if you choose to

date printed on your final invoice, and we will provide a refund of any insurance premiums paid to

cancel we will also pay compensation. These options do not apply for insignificant changes.

us if you can show that you are unable to transfer or reuse your policy. Should the price of your

Examples of insignificant changes include alteration of your outward/return travel by less than

holiday go down due to the cost changes mentioned above, then any refund due will be paid to

12 hours, changes to aircraft type, change of accommodation to another of the same or higher

you. We will deduct from this refund our administrative expenses incurred. Please note that travel

standard, and changes of carriers. Please note that carriers such as airlines used in the brochure

arrangements are not always purchased in local currency and some apparent changes have no

may be subject to change. Alteration of the holiday may be made of necessity or because it

impact on the price of your travel due to contractual and other protection in place.

appears to us or any other party acting as operator responsible for the holiday or part of the

When you buy a flight-based holiday, all monies you pay to the travel agent are held by him on

holiday desirable for the safety, comfort or enjoyment of passengers or the operational efficiency

www.fredrivercruises.co.uk/far-horizons


of the holiday. Where possible and appropriate, we will make reasonable efforts to ensure that

need of specific medical assistance, provided that you notified us of these needs at least 48 hours

any changes are as limited as practical. Such alteration will not amount to significant alteration of

before the start of your holiday.

the holiday contract. We will not cancel your travel arrangements less than 90 days before your

Complaints

departure date (120 days for the Christmas and New Year cruise holiday), except for reasons of unavoidable and extraordinary circumstances or failure by you to pay the final balance. We may cancel your holiday before this date if, for example, the minimum number of clients required for a particular travel arrangement is not reached. If your holiday is cancelled, you can either have a refund of all monies paid or accept an offer of alternative travel arrangements of comparable standard from us if available (we will refund any price difference if the alternative is of a lower value). In some cases, except where the cancellation is due to unavoidable and extraordinary circumstances, we will pay compensation. We reserve the right in our absolute discretion to terminate without notice the holiday arrangements of any customer whose behaviour is such that it is in our opinion likely to cause distress, damage, danger, or annoyance to our customers, our/supplier employees, or to any third party, or to property. If you are prevented from travelling

If a problem occurs whilst you are on holiday, you must inform the relevant supplier immediately so that the matter can be put right. If the supplier cannot resolve the problem to your satisfaction at the time, you must also contact us immediately by telephoning our offices on 00 44 800 021 3189 so that we are given the opportunity to help. In the event that a complaint cannot be resolved at the time, you must write to us within 28 days of return to the UK quoting the original booking reference and giving all relevant information. PLEASE NOTE: Failure to take these steps will hinder our ability to resolve the problem and/or investigate it fully and in consequence, your rights under the contract may be affected. We regret we cannot accept liability for any claims that are not notified to ourselves and/or our suppliers strictly in accordance with this clause. Special Requests

because, in our or our suppliers’ opinion, you appear to be unfit to travel or likely to cause

Any special requests must be advised to us at the time of booking. You should then confirm your

discomfort or disturbance to others, our responsibility for your holiday ceases and we shall be

requests in writing. Whilst every effort will be made by us to try to arrange your reasonable special

under no obligation to pay any refund, compensation or costs to you. Please note that we have no

requests, we cannot guarantee that they will be fulfilled. Failure to meet any special request will not

control over the behaviour of other persons staying at or visiting your holiday accommodation and

be a breach of contract on our part unless the request has been specifically confirmed.

we are not responsible for any withdrawal or impairment of facilities or other loss or damage caused

Disabilities and Medical Problems

by them. Under no circumstances are you entitled to share or sub-let your accommodation with

We are not a specialist disabled holiday company, but we will do our utmost to cater for any special

anyone other than those individuals shown on your booking.

requirements you may have. If you or any member of your party has any medical problem or

Our Responsibilities

disability that may affect your stay, please provide us with full details by writing or emailing us, before

We are a Member of ABTA, membership number Y0128. We are obliged to maintain a high

we confirm your booking so that we can advise as to the suitability of your chosen arrangements

standard of service to you by ABTA’s Code of Conduct. We can also offer you ABTA’s scheme for

if possible. A qualified and physically able travel companion must accompany travellers who need

the resolution of disputes arising out of this contract, which is approved by the Chartered Trading

assistance.

Standards Institute. If we cannot resolve your complaint, go to www.abta.com to use ABTA’s simple

Excursions

procedure. Further information on the Code and ABTA’s assistance in resolving disputes can be

Excursions or other tours that you may choose to book or pay for whilst you are on holiday are not

found on www.abta.com. You can also access the European Commission Online Dispute (ODR)

part of your package holiday provided by us. For any excursion or other tour that you book, your

Resolution platform at http://ec.europa.eu/consumers/odr/. This ODR platform is a means of

contract will be with the operator of the excursion or tour and not with us. We are not responsible

notifying us of your complaint; it will not determine how your complaint should be resolved.

for the provision of the excursion or tour or for anything that happens during the course of its

Subject to these booking conditions, your holiday arrangements will be made or performed using

provision by the operator.

reasonable skill and care. We will be responsible if our employees, servants or agents fail to make

Passport, Visa and Immigration Requirements and Health Formalities

or perform your holiday arrangements using reasonable skill and care as long as they were acting within the course of their employment or carrying out work, which we had asked them to do. We will not be responsible or pay compensation for any injury, illness, death, loss, damage, expense, cost or other claim of any description, which results from:

It is your responsibility to check and fulfil the passport, visa, health and immigration requirements applicable to your itinerary. You must check requirements for your own specific circumstances with the relevant Embassies and/or Consulates and your own doctor as applicable. Most countries now require passports to be valid for at least 6 months after your return date. If your passport is in its

(a) the act(s) and/or omission(s) of the person(s) affected;

final year, you should check with the Embassy of the country you are visiting. For further information

(b) the act(s) and/or omission(s) of a third party not connected with the provision of the services

please contact the Passport Office on 0870 5210410 or visit www. passport.gov.uk. Up to date

contracted for and which were unforeseeable or unavoidable;

travel advice can be obtained from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, visit www.fco.gov.uk.

(c) unusual or unforeseeable circumstances beyond our control, the consequences of which could

We do not accept any responsibility if you cannot travel because you have not complied with any

not have been avoided even if all due care had been exercised; or

passport, visa or immigration requirements.

(d) an event which either ourselves, our employees, agents or suppliers and subcontractors could

Delays and other Travel Information

not, even with all due care, have foreseen or forestalled. The services and facilities included in your

We regret we are unable to offer you any assistance should a delay disrupt your itinerary. Any airline

holiday will be deemed to be provided with reasonable skill and care if they comply with any local

or other transport provider concerned may however provide refreshments and/or appropriate

regulations that apply, or, if there are no applicable local regulations, if they are reasonable when

accommodation. We cannot accept liability for any delay that is due to re-scheduling times by

compared to the local standards in practice. We limit the amount of compensation we may have to

the airline or airline authorities, or for unavoidable and extraordinary circumstances. The latest

pay you if we are found liable under this clause:

flight timings will be shown on your tickets, which will be dispatched to you approximately two

(a) Loss of and/or damage to any luggage or personal possessions and money, the maximum

weeks before departure. You should check your tickets very carefully immediately on receipt to

amount we will have to pay you is £25 per person in total because you are assumed to have

ensure you have the correct flight times. If flight times change after tickets have been dispatched

adequate insurance in place to cover any losses of this kind.

we will contact you as soon as we can to let you know. Under EU Law, you have rights in some

(b) Our liability, except in cases involving death, injury or illness, shall be limited to a maximum of three times the cost of your travel arrangements. This maximum amount will only be payable where everything has gone wrong and you or your party has not received any benefit at all from your booking. (c) Claims in respect of international travel by air, sea and rail, or any stay in a hotel: i. The extent of our liability will in all cases be limited as if we were carriers under the appropriate Conventions, which include The Warsaw/Montreal Convention (international travel by air); The Athens Convention (with respect to sea travel); The Berne/Cotif Convention (with respect to rail travel); The Paris Convention (with respect to hotel arrangements); and The Strasbourg Convention (CNLI) (with respect to travel on inland waterways). You can ask for copies of these Conventions

circumstances to refunds and/or compensation from the airline in cases of denied boarding, cancellation or delay to flights. Full details of these rights will be publicised at EU airports and will also be available from airlines. Reimbursement in such cases is the responsibility of the airline and will not automatically entitle you to a refund of your holiday price from us. Guest Behaviour We reserve the right to terminate your booking arrangements with us immediately, should you or your party fail to conduct yourselves in an orderly manner. In the event of such termination, our liability to you and/or your party will cease and you and/or your party will be required to leave your accommodation or other service immediately. We will have no further obligations to you and/or your party.

from our offices. In addition, you agree that the operating carrier or transport company’s own

Jurisdiction

‘Conditions of Carriage’ will apply to you on that journey. When arranging transportation for you,

When you make a booking you guarantee that you have the authority to accept and do accept on

we rely on the terms and conditions contained within these international conventions and those

behalf of your party the terms of these booking conditions. A contract will exist as soon as we issue

‘Conditions of Carriage’. You acknowledge that all of the terms and conditions contained in those

our Confirmation Invoice. This contract is made on the terms of these booking conditions, which

‘Conditions of Carriage’ form part of your contract with us, as well as with the transport company

are governed by English Law, and the jurisdiction of the English Courts. You may however, choose

and that those ‘Conditions of Carriage’ shall be deemed to be included by reference into this

the law and jurisdiction of Scotland or Northern Ireland if you wish to do so.

contract.

Data Protection

ii. When making any payment, we are entitled to deduct any money that you have received or are

Personal details will be held and processed by us to enable fulfilment of the holiday contract. You

entitled to receive from the transport provider or hotelier for the complaint or claim in question.

hereby agree to this information being passed to any third parties in order for the supply of the

If it is impossible to ensure your return as scheduled due to unavoidable and extraordinary

holiday. Personal details supplied to us may also be used for marketing purposes but only with

circumstances, we will bear the cost of necessary accommodation, if possible of equivalent

your clear, active consent. We will not disclose personal details to third parties for marketing

category, for a maximum of three nights. The limit does not apply to persons with reduced mobility

purposes without express permission. Our Privacy Notice can be viewed at www.fredrivercruises.

and any person accompanying them, pregnant women and unaccompanied minors, or persons in

co.uk/far-horizons.

For reservations call 0800 021 3189 or see your ABTA travel agent

31


FOR RESERVATIONS CALL 0800 021 3189 sales@fredrivercruises.co.uk www.fredrivercruises.co.uk/far-horizons OR SEE YOUR ABTA TRAVEL AGENT

for your peace of mind 09 44

Fred.\ River Cruises is a trading name of Fred. Olsen Travel Limited, Olympus House, 2 Olympus Close, Ipswich, IP1 5LN

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