An Indian Odyssey by Private Jet (17 days)


Day 1
15 Sep 2018
Sydney, Australia
Kochi, India
Vivanta by Taj–Malabar Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Once the centre of the Indian spice trade, Kochi was coveted by many . Streams of Arab merchants dropped anchor in their port, seeking trade. As did the Chinese treasure fleet, out of curiosity. Later, in the age of empire building, the Portuguese would absorb the city into its territories, then squabble with both the Dutch and English for control. This colourful past has made for a most beguiling present.

This morning, we depart Australia, via Jakarta, eagerly anticipating the astonishing diversity of India. As the sun dips low in the sky, our private jet lands in Kochi. The city is as much water as it is land, laid across the mouths of seven rivers and their numerous accompanying islands. Immediately, we are whisked to our residence for three nights, the sumptuous Vivanta by Taj–Malabar. As we have already dined aboard our jet, the evening is for relaxing and preparing for tomorrow's adventures.

Day 2
16 Sep 2018
Kochi, India
Vivanta by Taj–Malabar None

This morning, stroll the north shore which is awash with Kochi’s

iconic Chinese fishing nets. Aided by a local fisher man, you can

try your hand at casting one. Another relic of Kochi's past is the

Paradesi Synagogue. Built in 1567, it is the oldest Jewish house

of worship in the Commonwealth, and one of the most beautiful,

incorporating elements from east and west. When we enter the

main prayer hall, make sure to look down. Handpainted blue and

white Chinese tiles, each one unique, form the floor.

A short distance away in Mattancherry, the Dutch Palace

demands our attention. Inside, riotous murals cover the walls,

vividly portraying the Ramayana and Hindu deities. Despite the

name, the palace was built by the Portuguese as a gift,

or perhaps, a bribe, to the King of Kochi, in hopes of establishing

trade relations. Our second stop of the morning is St Francis

Church. Vasco da Gama was initially buried here after dying in

Kochi. We return to our hotel for lunch. Afterwards, choose to

spend your afternoon on these Your World experiences.

- Discover the intricacies of the region's cuisine with a cooking

class, hosted by culinary couple Nimmy and Paul in their

tropical bungalow home.

- Return to Jew Town for a leisurely perusal of its antique and

craft shops.

- Later tonight, we will watch the traditional kathakali dance.

Meet a master beforehand to learn the meanings of mudras,

or hand gestures, that dancers use to narrate the story.

This evening, a celebratory welcome dinner and hypnotic

kathakali performance awaits us at Bolgatty Palace, a charming

Dutch colonial mansion with deep verandas and white walls.

Day 3
17 Sep 2018
Kochi, India
Kerala , India
Vivanta by Taj–Malabar None

We leave the city today for a day-long retreat in the tranquil

backwaters of Kerala, the state to which Kochi belongs.

Kerala is said to translate as 'land of coconuts', and as we ar e

gently carried down its canals and lakes in a private houseboat,

we only need to look towards shore to see why. Our houseboat,

called kettuvallam, is a virtuoso display of craft. Using ancient

techniques, the hull is built without a single nail, while the

distinctive curved lines of the roof are created by handwoven

bamboo and palm.

The morning turns smoothly into lunch - we dine onboard.

In the afternoon, we continue lazily down the waterways,

passing villages, old temples, rural churches and farmland,

stopping when we choose. As the day becomes evening,

we return to Kochi. Tonight, you have a choice of dining in any

of our hotel's restaurants or at Trilogi Restaurant, named for the

three regions of Kerala represented on the menu - Travancore,

Kochi and Malabar. Expect to be delighted by fragrant spices

and the freshest seafood united by creamy coconut milk.

Day 4
18 Sep 2018
Goa , India
Taj Exotica Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

While it is now the smallest state in India, Goa was once a major player in the Portuguese colonial world. It was the capital not just of Portuguese India, but also possessions in Timor, Macau, Japan, Malacca and the Persian Gulf. Travellers called it Golden Goa, and a proverb from the time says 'He who has seen Goa need not see Lisbon'.

Late this morning, we board our private jet, flying north

along the coast towards Goa. A light lunch is served en route.

On arrival, we are driven to Taj Exotica, our resort, set right

on gorgeous Benaulim Beach. We check in to garden villas

generously spaced throughout the grounds. Delight the senses

with cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, chillies, there for the picking

when you visit a spice farm. Or simply absorb these stunning

coastal surrounds at your own pace.

In the evening, we dine at our resort. Choose from its multiple,

excellent restaurants. The beachfront Lobster Shack offers

freshly caught seafood, simply prepared. At Miguel Arcanjo,

bold Mediterranean cuisine is on show. Li Bai presents the spicy

flavours of Sichuan. Eugenia is an all-day diner serving dishes

from around the globe. And for a finely curated experience of

Goan cuisine, Alegria is the perfect venue. Seafood and spicy,

sour flavours are favoured - the use of vinegar is a distinctly

Portuguese influence.

Day 5
19 Sep 2018
Goa , India
Taj Exotica Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

As a premier city in the Portuguese empire, Goa was lavished

with grand cathedrals. This morning we visit two. The Basilica

of Bom Jesus is a Baroque-style building with an ornate façade

and altar, that contains the body of St Francis Xavier, the Jesuit

famed for evangelising as far as Japan. Close by, the sprawling

Sé Catedral was built to commemorate the 1510 Portuguese

victory over Muslim armies. In between churches, we taste

Portuguese 'pao' bread, fresh from the local bakery's oven.

Under half an hour away is Panaji, the state capital of Goa.

Brightly painted villas, cobblestone streets, churches and redtile

roofs sit on terraced hills overlooking the south bank of

the Mandovi River. Unlike other Indian cities, Panaji retains a

laidback manner that encourages leisurely strolls. After lunch,

back at our resort, choose from these Your World experiences

or explore the region at your own pace.

- Discover the ancestral home of a local family who served

as village heads for generations until Goa joined the Indian

Republic in 1961.

- Scour local markets and select antique shops with a personal

shopper for the best of Goan craft and Portuguese-era relics.

- Join a yoga class. There's no better place to do so than

in the land of its birth.

- Meet an Ayurvedic expert for a consultation. Ayurveda is an

ancient, holistic approach to health.

Day 6
20 Sep 2018
Udaipur, India
Taj Lake Palace Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Udaipur is sometimes called the White City, for its profusion

of glittering marble architecture, an embodiment of the former

riches of the state of Rajasthan - named for the many princely

states that once ruled the region. While each kingdom

left monuments and palaces of decadent splendour,

Udaipur's setting on tranquil Lake Pichola makes for

a romantic setting unsurpassed by the others.

Our morning flight sees us heading into the heart of

northern India. After enjoying lunch onboard our private jet,

Udaipur welcomes us early in the afternoon. We are driven to

the shores of Lake Pichola, where a private boat ferries us to

our residence for two nights. Unlike any other hotel you may

have experienced, the Taj Lake Palace rises out of the water

in white-marbled, colonnaded glory. Jag Niwas, as it used

to be called, was built in 1746 by Maharana Jagat Singh II

as a pleasure palace and remarkably, the hotel's Royal Butlers

are descendants of the original palace retainers.

This evening, we toast our journey and drink in the opulent

atmosphere before sitting down to a lavish feast on the

Mewar Terrace, lit by oil lamps.

Day 7
21 Sep 2018
Udaipur, India
Taj Lake Palace Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today, we devote ourselves to the awe-inspiring architecture

of Udaipur's other royal buildings and gardens. Rajasthani and

Mughal architectural styles fuse perfectly to form the balconies,

towers and cupolas of the City Palace - in actuality, a sprawling

complex of multiple palaces. From the upper terraces, we enjoy

sweeping views of the city, Jag Niwas and Jag Mandir, the other

floating palace on Lake Pichola. Stroll past exquisite mirror work,

filigreed marble and handlaid silver. There are more rooms than

we'll ever be able to see, but we cannot miss the Suraj Gokhda,

from which kings would address the public, the Mor Chowk

courtyard for its glass mosaics, and Bhim Vilas for its paintings

of Krishna. The morning continues at Saheliyon-ki-Bari, a formal

garden with lotus ponds, marble pavilions and elephant-shaped

fountains. Its name means 'Courtyard of the Maidens', so named

because it was built for a princess and the 48 attendants who

followed her to Udaipur as part of her dowry.

We return to our hotel for lunch. An hour before sunset,

we may choose to take our private boat across Lake Pichola

to Jag Mandir palace. Bathed in the late evening sun, the cream

surfaces of Jag Mandir glow golden. We also pay visits to Borra

Mahal and Khas Mahal. Optionally, witness the spirited folk

and tribal dances of Rajasthan in beautiful Bagore-ki-Haveli,

built in the 18th century by the prime minister of Mewar .

Back at the Taj Lake Palace, choose from the hotel's three

restaurants for dinner, including Neel Kamal, where traditional

wood fire stoves are used to prepare royal cuisine exactly as

it was served to rulers past.

Day 8
22 Sep 2018
Jaipur, India
Taj Rambagh Palace Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

In 1727, Maharaja Jai Singh II decided he needed a new city . A plain surrounded by the rugged Aravalli Hills was chosen. In four years, rose Jaipur. A regal capital with broad avenues surrounded by a city wall as exquisite as it was functional. Today, it is a heady mix of old and new, where breathtaking palaces form oases among chaotic streams of motorcycles, auto rickshaws and street hawkers calling out their wares.

We depart Udaipur, enjoying a light lunch on our jet before

arriving in Jaipur. As soon as we land, we check in to the Taj

Rambagh Palace, our home for three nights. As with our last

residence, this too has an illustrious past - it was the court of

the last ruling Maharaja of Jaipur. Absorb the plush surroundings

on your afternoon spent at leisure. In the evening, select from

its three restaurants for dinner, including Suvarna Mahal,

which occupies the former palace dining room and showcases

the cuisine of India's northern princely states. Tonight, we retire

early in anticipation of tomorrow's excitement.

Day 9
23 Sep 2018
Jaipur, India
Taj Rambagh Palace Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Greet the day spectacularly with a sunrise hot air balloon flight

over the legendary Amber Fort in Amer, seat of the kingdom

before Jaipur was built. Those who prefer not to wake so early

can join us later for an exploration of the fort from the ground.

We board 4WD vehicles for the drive up the hill. On foot, we enter

the fort, where each successive space is grander than the one

before. After lunch in our hotel, spend your afternoon on one

of these Your World experiences.

- Embrace the enchanting madness of Jaipur's streets.

Take a cycle rickshaw to some of the city's old bazaars.

- Let a personal shopper introduce you to the famed crafts

of the region. Zardozi embroidered textiles, Gota fabrics,

silver ornaments and precious stonework all feature.

- Paint as they did in the royal courts with a lesson at a

Rajput school of art, known for both its detailed miniatures

and impressive wall-sized works.

This evening, a Rajasthani royal banquet awaits us in our

residence. At the Rambagh Palace rose petals cover the ground

and traditional dancers stand ready, wear your finest, for it will

be a true celebration.

Day 10
24 Sep 2018
Jaipur, India
Taj Rambagh Palace Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

We further immerse ourselves in the lives of the maharajas,

with a morning tour that takes in Hawa Mahal, Jantar Mantar

and the City Palace. Hawa Mahal means 'palace of the breeze',

so named for the intricately latticed façade that lets in cooling

breezes, and more famously, allowed women of the palace

to observe the street without being seen. Jantar Mantar was

the king's astronomical observatory, a collection of 20 fixed

instruments constructed according to principles of ancient

Sanskrit texts. Many separate palaces make up the City Palace,

and we explore their fusion of Islamic, Hindu and European

styles. Interestingly, Chandra Mahal, the grandest of the

complex, serves as residence for the current Maharaja of Jaipur.

While his title no longer comes with powers, it still inspires

respect among 'his' people. Jaipur is also famed for its artisans

- we visit a traditional block-printed textile workshop and a

carpet weaving studio. We have lunch in our hotel, after which,

similar Your World experiences from yesterday are on offer.

- Explore a different quarter of the city on a cycle rickshaw ride.

- With your personal shopper, return to the bazaars that

you might have missed yesterday.

- A painter inspired by the classical Rajput school of art

is on hand to give lessons.

- Dinner tonight is at your leisure. Choose from any of the hotel's

atmospheric restaurants. Or dine alfresco on the veranda.

Day 11
25 Sep 2018
Agra, India
Jaipur, India
Oberoi Amarvilas Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

This is our final morning in Jaipur. You may choose to spend

it exploring the streets at your own pace, or, if you're after

a more immersive experience, go on a bicycle and gastronomic

tour of the city. We stop at a few favourite local haunts,

sampling freshly made sweets and savouries. Step into a Hindu

temple, marvelling at the level of ornamentation. You may even

take part in morning prayers with devotees. In between, we visit

several havelis, lesser to the palaces only in size, not grandeur.

Our discovery of Jaipur complete, we depart for the airport

and our next destination, Agra.

We land in Agra just before lunch and travel to the Oberoi

Amarvilas, our home for two nights. While it is extravagantly

modelled on Indian palaces, the main draw is its proximity to

the Taj Mahal. It is just 600 metres away, and every room within

has an unobstructed view of this marble mausoleum.

After lunch and an afternoon spent at leisure, you may choose to

truly soak in your surroundings with these Your World experiences.

- Tonight, it is a full moon in Agra. Travel the short distance

to the Taj Mahal and gaze upon its walls, glowing and set

against the low-hanging moon.

L- et us arrange a private romantic dinner for you and your

partner with flowers and candles, on the balcony of your

room, looking out towards the Taj Mahal.

- Savour cuisine of the Northwest Frontier, now part of Pakistan,

at Peshawri restaurant. The region is where the tandoor

and kebab originated.

For those who select the full moon viewing, or simply rather

explore our hotel's dining spaces, the Oberoi Amarvilas has

two restaurants on offer, of which Esphahan is the real highlight.

Besides showcasing the most unique and rarely seen regional

dishes, dinner is accompanied by live santoor music.

Day 12
26 Sep 2018
Agra, India
Oberoi Amarvilas Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

This morning, the Taj Mahal beckons a thorough exploration.

Built by Emperor Shah Jahan, as a tomb for his favourite wife,

Mumtaz Mahal, it takes Persian principles of architecture to

soaring heights. We travel there in our hotel's golf buggies,

with the option of following a professional photographer who

will advise us on the monument’s best angles. After breakfast,

we continue on to Agra Fort, a walled city that was the royal

residence of the Mughals. We then visit a nearby marble

workshop where artisans practise inlay techniques used since

Mughal days.

Lunch takes place in our hotel, after which, you may choose

from these Your World experiences.

- Marvel at Fatehpur Sikri. Sprawling palaces, a harem and

courtyards were designed in a stunning fusion of Persian,

Hindu and regional styles.

- Allow a personal shopper to introduce you to the city's

best crafts, including exquisite examples of the decorative

marble you saw earlier.

This evening, we indulge in an al-fresco gala. Arrive in time for

sunset drinks, overlooking the Taj Mahal and its kaleidoscope

of colours. If this is not enough of a spectacle, magicians,

wrestlers, tight rope walkers and henna painters will entertain

us before we sit down for a sumptuous dinner.

Day 13
27 Sep 2018
Varanasi , India
Taj Gateway Hotel Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Heaving with Hindu devotees, the air is thick with chanting and incense. Women in saris of every hue, men in white dhotis and ascetics with beards, their foreheads smeared with holy ash and vermilion, gather on the steps of the Ganges. They are here to pray, meditate and bathe in the most sacred of rivers, to wash away their sins, cure their ills or cremate their loved ones. Varanasi overflows with spirituality for more than one religion, as nearby Sarnath draws Buddhist pilgrims from all over the world.

We board our short flight to Varanasi, enjoying a light

lunch onboard. The Taj Gateway Hotel, set in 40 acres of

peaceful gardens, welcomes us for one night. Our first stop

is Sarnath, a half hour drive away. It was here, in the deer

park, that Buddha reportedly delivered his first sermon. At the

Sarnath Archaeological Museum, see priceless sculptures of

bodhisattvas and Hindu deities from the 3rd century BC to the

12th century AD. The highlight is the Lion Capital of Ashoka,

a carving of Asiatic lions on top of a disc featuring chariot wheels,

the very same wheel that today is seen on the Indian flag.

The afternoon continues with an optional visit to the iconic

ghats of Varanasi. Begin with a wander through its winding

alleyways and end at the ghats - riverfront steps leading to the

Ganges. A rooftop has been privately reserved for our party.

From this perfect vantage point, we watch devotees perform

the day's aarti ceremony as our Hindu guide explains the

significance of the river and the ritual. We then board a waiting

boat, where we are rowed to the middle of the river for a front

row view of the spectacle. We dine in our hotel tonight.

Choose from the two restaurants available. As we are in a holy city, you may choose to complete your experience with a sattvic meal at Varuna. A sattvic diet contains ingredients, which, according to Ayurvedic principles, are good for both mind and body.

Day 14
28 Sep 2018
Kolkata (ex Calcutta), India
Varanasi , India
Oberoi Grand Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Breakfast takes place in our hotel, after which, we rejoin our private jet for the flight to Kolkata. Known more famously as Calcutta, it is the second most densely populated city on the planet, and went from being the centre of British India to the incubator of the Indian independence movement. Some dismiss it as a place of squalor, while others consider it the intellectual and cultural capital of India. Both are correct. It is this side-by-side contradiction that makes the city hum with electricity, from the day it was founded until this one.

A light lunch is served inflight and we arrive in Kolkata early in

the afternoon. On arrival, we are driven to the Oberoi Grand,

a five-star luxury hotel housed in a palatial 1880s mansion.

Our home for two nights is known for its colonial-era interiors,

exquisite handmade wood furniture and exceptional dining,

having played host to countless dinner parties since the time

of the British Raj. Choose how to spend your afternoon with

these Your World experiences.

- Launch yourself headfirst into the quintessential Kolkata

frenzy of New Market. Despite the existence of modern

air-conditioned malls, this is where city folk go for serious

shopping. Electronics, clothes, flowers, spices and the

elusive Kalimpong cheese are all available here.

- Take a gastronomic tour of the locals' favourite street

food and sample the famous kati roll.

- See the city with a professional photographer. Bring your

camera and capture the many faces and contradictions

of Kolkata.

- Relax in the Oberoi Grand or treat yourself to the spa's

signature Ayurvedic therapies.

This evening, pick from our residence's two spectacular

restaurants. Since Kolkata was at the crossroads of cultures,

Bengalis have embraced Mughal, British, Chinese and Jewish

influences alongside their traditional cuisine. Taste the best

interpretations of each tonight.

Day 15
29 Sep 2018
Kolkata (ex Calcutta), India
Oberoi Grand Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today promises to be a heady immersion into the city's many

personalities, starting with a privately chartered tram tour.

Our heritage tram picks us up then travels the length of the

city, taking in numerous historical, cultural and religious sites.

Some highlights include B.B.D. Bagh, a square that was once

the East India Company's headquarters, the General Post Office,

Chitpur Road, Nakhoda Mosque, Rabindranath Tagore's house,

the Star Theatre and the Dharmatala neighbourhood.

We now explore Kolkata's magnificent colonial buildings on

foot. Gothic, baroque and classical revival styles with Oriental

and Mughal influences predominate. The British Raj maintained

order through perceived might, not sheer numbers, and so,

architecture played a key role in telegraphing their power.

We drive over the Howrah Bridge which spans the Hooghly River,

connecting Kolkata to its twin city of Howrah, before stopping for

lunch at a local Bengali restaurant. In the afternoon, we visit the

Victoria Memorial, dedicated to the memory of Queen Victoria.

The white marble monument brings to mind the Taj Mahal. It

showcases, within its 25 galleries, numerous portraits and relics

of Victoria's reign. Our last stop for the day is Nirmal Hriday,

a hospice founded by Mother Teresa in 1950. The evening

ends with a sumptuous farewell dinner in the lush, palm-filled

courtyard of our hotel.

Day 16
30 Sep 2018
Kolkata (ex Calcutta), India
Oberoi Grand Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

This is our last morning in India. After breakfast, spend your time

on these Your World experiences, including those from Friday.

- Visit the Indian Museum's splendid collection of mummies,

antiques, armour, ornaments, fossils, skeletons and Mughal

paintings. The museum is one of the oldest in the world,

and the building itself is a grand neoclassical structure set

around a colonnaded courtyard and garden.

- Take to the New Market for a true taste of Kolkata's

charming chaos. People-watch or practise your haggling

for fun, it's up to you.

- Taste the best of Bengali street food on a gastronomic tour.

- Bring your camera with you and walk the streets with

a professional photographer as your guide.

- Make a pilgrimage to Eden Gardens Cricket Stadium,

which hosted the 1987 World Cup final, the first to be

won by Australia.

We return to our hotel and check out before having a relaxing

lunch. It is mid-afternoon when we board our private jet for our

journey home.

Day 17
01 Oct 2018
Sydney, Australia
None Breakfast

As you contemplate your favourite parts of our odyssey, allow our

inflight crew to pamper you for the last time. Flying via Darwin

to Sydney, we land in Australia this morning, where we say our

goodbyes. Here's to your next Captain's Choice journey.

Tour Features


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  • Culture, History & Arts
  • Food & Wine
  • Sightseeing


From the majesty of the Taj Mahal to the hot din of the street,

the meditative waterways of Kerala to the blindingly colourful

ghats of the Ganges, India is a living contradiction. It is a place

both holy and profane, with hundreds of languages and vastly

different regions. Our journey takes us clockwise through the

country and every shade of its personality.


Seldom can we dismiss the demands of schedules. But when

we want to escape those demands, we travel by private jet.

Here, the journey becomes an indulgence of the highest order,

and exactly what you deserve. With your comfort paramount,

we invite you to lounge, nap, nibble, sip and feast all-flight long.

Our devoted cabin crew excels at pampering guests. When you

land, you will be refreshed and ready for new adventures.

While a Boeing 757 normally seats 230, your Captain’s Choice

757 has been customised to provide complete comfort to just

50 privileged guests. The cabin features handmade Italian

leather, all-business class seats that recline a full 180° into

a lie-flat bed. You, your luggage and your shopping do not

ever have to fight for space.

You’ll be enjoying delightful gastronomic creations – our onboard

chef prides himself on delivering only the freshest and most

delicious of meals. Dom Pérignon flows freely, as it should,

and our bar offers premium labels, alongside a carefully curated

wine list, to please the most discerning of palates.


When you travel by private jet, you’ll be flying direct to cities

on routes no regular airline travels, experiencing a level of service

no regular airline provides. As one of only 50 guests, and with

a team to take care of you, the immigration process is accelerated.

Rather than stand in one long queue after another, we will have

a reserved lane that bypasses the seemingly endless security

and custom lines. With us taking care of all departure and arrival

formalities, your only job is to anticipate the next exciting leg

of your journey.

About Us

Captain’s Choice, creators of the world’s most life-enriching journeys, curated without compromise, continue to innovate and push the boundaries of luxury adventure and travel. Whether by private jet, small group hosted journeys, luxury and expedition voyages or land explorations, every decision is made with the guest’s experience and ultimate enjoyment in mind.

Insider Tip

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