India: Tramway in Calcutta
As a prelude to the Darjeeling freight train (7 - 14 February 2020) and Nilgiri cogwheel steam (15 - 20 February 2020) we offer you a visit to the rustic trams of Calcutta with lots og photo opportunities, depot visits, as well as a tourist sightseeing tour of Calcutta.
Enjoy the real feeling of Calcutta with the battered trams fighting their way through the traffic!
|No. of participants||Min. 12, max 24|
|Duration||2 1/2 days|
|Price||from 750 €|
|Open for bookings|
|Book this tour now|
Your tour program:
4 February 2020, Tuesday:
Individual arrival in Calcutta. A personal transfer is available for each arrival at the train station or CCU airport to take you directly to your hotel. We spend the night again in the 4-star hotel Peerless Inn, absolutely centrally located at the tram stop "Esplanade" and only a few steps away from extensive green areas.
In the evening we meet for dinner.
Overnight stay: Peerless Inn.
If you fly directly from Europe to India, you must leave your home airport the day before and arrive in India either in the night of 4 February or in the morning of 4 February. Please read all relevant information in the "Information" section.
5 February 2020, Wednesday - 6 February 2020, Thursday:
We will photograph the trams (old and new) of the "Calcutta Tramways Company (CTC)" on the entire network. Some lines see a few services only, some others have a tram every 2 minutes! The first tram lines in Calcutta were opened in 1902, today Calcutta is the only surviving system in India! Although new vehicles are bought again and again, and special vehicles like the "Dinner-Tram" are very popular, still sections of track are closed down or services are thinned out. So there is no guarantee for their continued existence!
We have booked an excurion with one of the preserved trams, called "Balaka", and will also run along as many lines as possible by car and shall visit at least 3 of the big tram depots, where you can see fairly unique service vehicles at each of those depots!
Overnight stay: Peerless Inn.
7 February 2020, Friday:
We will take a ride on the "Circular Railway" today, taking us from the hustle of the city centre to the green suburbs - and back. On a sightseeing tour by bus we will discover the most important sights of the city, we visit thereby also some of the large stations of the Indian Railways, which are represented here by the "Eastern Railways", one of altogether 18 zonal administrative units of the Indian state railway.
We finish our city tour at Howrah Station on the western side of the Ganges. The station itself is the largest train station complex in India, from there we start our journey with the Kanchanjunga Express to the Himalayas in the early afternoon. Around 22 o'clock we arrive at the station New Jalpaiguri and motor to the hotel directly.
Overnight: Marriot Hotel (4 stars), near Siliguri Junction station.
End of program.
Your travel price:
For the pre-cruise programme for the Calcutta tramway (4 - 7 February 2020):
- 750 Euro in half double room
- 210 Euro single room supplement
We run the program from 12 participants, please book until 15 December 2019!
The tour price includes (depending on the booked program):
- Special tram ride Calcutta;
- Admission to selected tram depots;
- Sightseeing tour Calcutta;
- All transfers according to program;
- Accommodation and meals as advertised;
- Tanago information material;
- Tanago tour guide (German/English speaking), plus local tour guide.
Not included in the tour price are the journey to and from India, flights within India, all expenses of a personal nature (minibar, telephone, cleaning, etc.), visa for India, tips.
This trip is charged to us by our Indian partners in Indian Rupees and in US$. The exchange rates to the Euro are completely out of our control. Since we do not want to burden the travel price with fictitious currency reserves, the published price represents the exchange rates to the Euro as of 1.7.2019. Should the exchange rate drastically deteriorate until the day of departure, we expressly reserve the right to adjust the price.
If you are travelling alone, you can also book a "half" double room, we will do our best to allocate you another "half" double room booker. However, if this is not possible, we will charge you the single supplement.
Please note our extensive insurance options: Tanago cooperates with the HanseMerkur insurance company. You can take out inexpensive protection against illness, loss of valuables, cancellation or interruption of travel simply and quickly online! Find out more on our insurance page.
India polarizes: there is the saying "either you love it, or you hate it". There is a lot of truth in it, on the other hand all participants on previous trips have also said that they would like to come back again. The food also survived without having to give up the specialist programme on a daily basis due to major problems!
Their tour guides have often been to India and know the local customs very well. Calcutta is certainly an endurance test right at the beginning of the trip: Luxury and bitter poverty with living conditions that are completely foreign to us "upwards" and "downwards". In the Himalayas we already live in a completely different world, and at the latest in Darjeeling the known rules have caught up with us again.
You can read all official comments on the homepage of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
We would like to add the following information:
Arrival and departure: for most nationalities a visa is required.
We recommend applying for an electronic visa. This can be done easily and quickly via a homepage of the Indian government. It is also a good exercise in Indian bureaucracy ...
We are happy to arrange suitable flights to India and within the country for you. Write us an email and we will prepare the best options for you. Basically it is the case that you either arrive in India around midnight and depart again, or arrive in the morning and depart in the afternoon.
For all midnight flyers we can offer a complete package (transfer airport hotel airport, overnight stay with breakfast) for all Indian cities. This way you can get to the hotel quickly and easily after your arrival and fly on to Bagdogra or Calcutta the next morning. We are also happy to book train tickets for you if you want to explore India by train!
If you have chosen the day variant for your long-haul flights, you usually do not need a hotel. Please talk to us about your preferred travel options.
In the country: on this trip we have chosen very good hotels of international standards in Calcutta, Siliguri, and Darjeeling. Only in Kurseong it is enough 1 night only to 3 stars.
Past tours have shown that our previous solution of road transport with spacious Sedan cars including local drivers was very successful, so we keep this solution on this trip: maximum 3 people share a car, there is still plenty of space for legs and photo equipment! The cars are at our disposal all day long. Please stay relaxed in Indian traffic. The drivers are all very experienced - and what leads to heart racing is not even enough for the drivers to shrug their mouths.
On the road the law of the strongest applies, even if we as foreigners are shown a little more consideration and understanding. Please be careful and pay attention to your surroundings!
Food & drink: in order to make the best possible use of our time in the country, we start early in the morning and occasionally take our breakfast with us. At noon we usually have a snack on the way (lunch is not included in the tour price), in the evening we will usually eat from the buffet. Of course, there are mainly Indian dishes, but there have also been participants who have eaten only schnitzel with fries during the whole tour. As already mentioned: so far there were no bigger failures on our trips to India because of the food!
Money: in the hotels you can pay also with credit card, in the country and in the small corner shops only with Indian rupees in cash. The costs of the land program represent a kind of "all-inclusive". Your additional costs on this trip are therefore limited to an optional snack for lunch, excessive drink consumption, or potential extra wishes. It should be noted, however, that India is not a cheap travel country, although food and everyday items are cheap at first glance. As we have provided hotels of the upper category for you, it is usual to provide tips (suitcase carriers, porter, waiter, auxiliary staff, toilet staff). You should expect a minimum of 20 rupees per service. In addition there is only one contribution to the tip fund. We will collect 50 € per participant at the beginning of the trip and distribute it to the local guides, drivers, and other servants during the tour who will make our trips a success!
Temperatures & Technology:
In Calcutta they have to live with at least 20° Celsius and high humidity, the further up we get, the cooler it gets. The nights in Darjeeling can also get really cold. During the day we expect temperatures in the mountains of around 15°C. The sun usually shines intensely, bring in any case a headgear against wind and sun! Use also stable shoes (we will be the whole day in the area on the way) and you also get dressed for "outside". Please leave jackets or trousers in bright colours in your wardrobe at home.
In India you will need a "colonial plug", because many Indian sockets only work with the bulky, 3-pole English plugs. The mobile radio network is very well developed, in our hotels a free WLAN is available in principle, however transmission rates and signal strengths are occasionally expandable!
Welcome to the Himalayas!