Has anyone been on Northern India and Nepal tour?



  • Well, we booked this trip for 2022 October. We were surprised that they only have two fall departures listed. And one is already sold out! Hah. So we reserved a spot. We were supposed to be leaving this week for the Nepal tour. This will be our 3rd attempt to get to India, and we can't wait!

  • We are on the 16th. Which I have noticed has now gone sold out.

  • Oops, I meant the 8th! Which is still available. I need more coffee.

  • We did this trip Nov 2019...our first time with Tauck. We enjoyed it so much that we've booked Australia and New Zealand for Nov 2021.

  • We have booked Northern Nepal and India for October 30, 2021. We would love hear from others joining on that date. Does anyone know if we get to visit the Tigers Nest Monastery??? It is not clear if we go there or not. I think Tauck used to take us there.
    Judy and Richie Scottsdale AZ

  • We didn't go to Tigers Nest monastery but I believe it is in Bhutan.
    Great trip.

  • Cathy...based on that route, it appears you are traveling on American Airlines. Is there any way you can eliminate one of those layovers? I traveled on United Airlines thru Newark to New Dehli. I was on the Portrait of India tour. I may consider taking the Nepal portion in the future. I absolutely loved India. I look forward hearing about your trip--2022--that one will happen for sure:)

  • On the India trip, we flew to New Delhi, most flights arrive in the middle of the night. The airport is crazy busy, nearly all men. Cant remember which airline we used, but it would have not been business class back then

  • Cathy - We had a similar routing when we did the Portrait of India tour. Ours was Tucson, Dallas, London to New Delhi. The London to New Delhi flight was in (in my opinion) an antiquated BA business class configuration - half the seats faced backwards and the window seats had to climb over the aisle seat if the aisle seat had their legs up. Hopefully if you're on BA you get a better configuration. In addition, as I'm sure you know, Heathrow is terrible (again in my opinion). You almost always have to change terminals and the bus rides between terminals can be an adventure, especially if they are doing any construction. For one trip we spent 45 minutes in the middle of nowhere on one of those inter-terminal shuttles. Fortunately we had enough time, but still standing, in a packed shuttle for 45 minutes wasn't fun. If you have other options besides the AA One World, then the routing PureLuxury suggests would be better or if you can find any Turkish Air routes that replace Istanbul for London that would be a big improvement - The Istanbul airport and lounge is far better than Heathrow. We used Turkish Air to/from the Israel/Jordan tour.

  • I think as the COVID numbers improve worldwide, the airlines will add routes and options. Right now Delta/AF/KLM doesn't even fly to Amman, Jordan!!

  • Smiling Sam
    . . . . . The London to New Delhi flight was in (in my opinion) an antiquated BA business class configuration - half the seats faced backwards and the window seats had to climb over the aisle seat if the aisle seat had their legs up.

    While some passengers may like it (really?), many aviation travel writers consider it the worst business class seat ever built! One writer even asked, "Who designed it and why? Why would anyone design such a seat and any airline choose it? What were they thinking?!?"

  • I took JAL via Tokyo. Great service and comfort in Business class.

  • Cathy--the United flight from Newark was a Boeing 777 Business Class. Very comfortable. Tauck booked my air. The business class air fare was very very reasonable. It was ~$3300. This was December 2018 and I booked as soon as the window opened; however, I'm sure all of Tauck fares for that route were the same, based on availability. As mentioned by others, Turkish Airlines is wonderful and their lounges are really nice. As I also try to avoid Heathrow, I'm strongly considering booking BA for the Jordan-Eqypt trip as there is only one layover in London for me - eliminating a 2nd layover in Frankfurt if I book on United. Not 100% ready to pull the plug yet, primarily due to not being sure the December 2021 trip will take place. I booked my own airfare for the 2020 departure thru American Express and was lucky enough to get a full refund. I'm not so sure how that would work this year. I'll hold on to my money a little longer and will check to see if Tauck is booking flights without requiring payment at time of booking.

  • edited February 2021

    We did the Northern India and Nepal in 2017. Our second Tauck trip. We are on the West Coast and traveled the opposite direction that most would probably go. We traveled on ANA from Seattle (SEA) through Tokyo (NRT) to Delhi (DEL). Returning we went from Mumbai (BOM) through Tokyo (NRT), with a 10 hour layover, back to Seattle (SEA).

    One thing I will have to say is that our flight on ANA in business class was probably the best travel experience that we have had on any airline so far.

  • JohnS - Haven't flown with ANA but we have flown on JAL business class to/from the Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand tour and JAL was wonderful.

  • On our Israel and Jordan trip in 2018 we flew BA Business from Dulles to London to Tel Aviv and had that back facing and forward facing seat arrangement. Agree with everyone it is terrible! I wanted privacy so I TRIED keeping the divider up but that was a waste as every time staff came by they lowered it. Stepping over the legs of a sleeping neighbor was also a lot of fun. They bused us for what seemed like 20 minutes from the terminal to the plane then we had to carry our carry on bags all the way up the stairway to the plane. Next since we were in the upper level we had to walk upstairs to our seats facing our neighbor. It was such a wonderful experience and we paid all that extra money for it !! We decided right then and there never to fly BA Business again to London Heathrow. Sure there are other plane configurations but you still have to put up with Heathrow and its 4-5 security checks. We would rather go out of our way to other parts of Europe then put up with that nonsense.

  • I'm really disappointed Delta got rid of their newly refurbished 777's with suites last year. We were booked on one, but had to cancel and never had a chance to fly in it. Of course they might have had early suspicions about the engines. :)

    The first time I passed through Heathrow was back in 1971! I was headed to Denmark to my first ship assignment out of the Academy. It was terrible and under construction even back then. I remember the buses and having to go up and down stairs, cross what seemed like dirty alleys (I looked for rats just in case), etc. The longest plane taxi, however was in Amsterdam's Schiphol airport- I'm sure it was shorter and closer, but at the time it seemed like we taxied from the terminal for 30 - 45 min. across numerous roads and farmer's fields to a distant runway in the next county!

  • Check out the Gulf States carriers: Emirates, Etihad, Qatar. I flew Emirates to Hanoi. It was great. I had a layover of several hours in Dubai in the middle of the night, and they took me to an airport hotel so I could shower, sleep for a few hours (don't think I slept, though I did sleep on the planes) and gave a voucher for a meal. That's a business class perk -- as was transportation from my home in NH to Logan Airport in Boston (I just made it under the 50 mile limit.), which saved me about $360. I, too, suggest avoiding LHR if possible. I've taken many flights through there and in the weird 747 business class seats.

  • My husband can’t even remember what airline we flew on, but it was on a Premium plus type of seating which we think is a very economical way of upgrading if business class fares are not in your budget.

  • We now pretty much use Tauck to book our flights overseas. But I also go to Google Flights to search the various options/prices for any trips we're taking. They'll list flights/prices for major airlines. You can also check plane and seating configurations on seatguru.com once you have an airline and flight number. With all the changes due to Covid things could quickly change but it's a place to start to see a number of options.

  • Cathy I went to India in 2019, flew Delta to Amsterdam and KLM from Amsterdam to Delhi. This year hopefully I'll make it to Singapore and Bali in October and so far Delta does not offer any flights however KLM does with long layovers and 2 transfers.

  • I think the air pollution in Delhi is trumping the Covid problem right now. I understood they have closed all the schools because it is so bad. When we were there, it was pretty bad, the air was kinda soupy and it was quite spooky looking at the sky and watching the hundreds of vultures circling around everywhere. It didn’t cause us any problems and I am sure the mask wearing will help and it won’t look odd now as everyone will be wearing one.

  • Cathy - we did the Portrait of India tour, but it ended in Mumbai with a farewell cocktail party and we flew back to London that same night at about 2am like you have planned.

  • cathyandsteve Cathy--I am like Sam. I was on the Portrait of India tour. After lunch we had a few hours to wander around before the farewell dinner. My flight departed Mumbai at midnight. I remember attending the farewell dinner, sitting around chatting for a short time afterwards and then departing for the airport.

  • edited December 2021

    Although we only took the Spotlight on India tour, the thing that amazed me when flying to and From Delhi, also arriving and departing in the middle of the night, were the huge traffic jams and packed airport even though it was that time of night. I assume Mumbai may be the same. The Tour director left us all early in the evening before the tour was officially over. We went to bed for a nap before our driver collected us for the airport. Men everywhere, you hardly see any women.

  • British

    Although we only took the Spotlight on India tour, the thing that amazed me when flying to and From Delhi, also arriving and departing in the middle of the night, were the huge traffic jams and packed airport even though it was that time of night. I assume Mumbai may be the same.

    Totally agree...the airport was very crowded. I was very thankful for the Tauck provided escort. Their services were invaluable. I was also grateful for these same services arriving Jordan and departing Egypt.

  • If you do end up with free time in Mumbai, visit the Crawford Market. It is very interesting…great people watching!

  • Cathy, although I can’t answer any of your questions, I have seen that series. I’d like to recommend another series called The Story of India. It’s headed by a guy called….I think his first name is James, I forget, but his last name is Woods. He is a well known History Professor in England ( In his heyday, he was extremely good looking too) The series was on PBS and it is certainly available on DVD. It really helps you understand the ancient history and unique way of thinking and culture.

  • Whoops, just looked it up…The STORY OF INDIA BY MICHAEL WOOD 😀

  • Thank you British. I just googled this and you can watch, free of charge, the 6 episode Documentary (approx. 1 hour each) on watchdocumentaries.com. I have always been fascinated by India and hope to one day be able to visit this fascinating country.

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