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Tour Highlights

  • Enjoy an enchanting welcome dinner at the colonial Dutch mansion, Bolgatty Palace, complete with a hypnotic kathakali performance.
  • Discover the boundless rooms and entryways of Udaipur’s City Palace – which is in actuality, a sprawling complex of multiple palaces. Stroll past exquisite mirrors and handlaid silver, and of course, visit the Suraj Gokhda where kings would address the public.
  • 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.
  • Indulge in an al-fresco gala overlooking the Taj Mahal. Your preferred beverage in hand, watch as the sunset casts a kaleidoscope of colours over the iconic building. 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.
  • Sit atop our private rooftop and watch devotees perform the day's aarti ceremony as our Hindu guide explains the significance of the Ganges and the ritual of light.
  • Explore Kolkata’s many personalities on a privately charted tram tour, and also on foot. Delve into the Gothic, baroque and classical revival style buildings, as well as a number of historical and religious sites.
Clay carving by hand, India

Where we visit

India by Private Jet Tour Map

Full Itinerary


Kochi (India)

Day 1: Saturday 15 September

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.

Kochi

Day 2: Sunday 16 September

This morning, stroll the north shore which is awash with Kochi’s iconic Chinese fishing nets. Aided by a local fisherman, 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.

Kochi

Day 3: Monday 17 September

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 are 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.

Goa

Day 4: Tuesday 18 September

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.

Palolem Beach, Goa

Goa

Day 5: Wednesday 19 September

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 red-tile 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.

Udaipur

Day 6: Thursday 20 September

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.
Ranakpur Temple, Udaipur

Udaipur

Day 7: Friday 21 September

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.

Jaipur

Day 8: Saturday 22 September

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.

Jaipur

Day 9: Sunday 23 September

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.
Lake Palace, India All inclusive luxury tour with Captain's Choice

Jaipur

Day 10: Monday 24 September

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 al fresco on the veranda.


Jaipur - Agra

Day 11: Tuesday 25 September

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.
  • Let 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.

Langur on the wall, Jaigarh Fort

Agra

Day 12: Wednesday 26 September

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.

Varanasi

Day 13: Thursday 27 September

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.

Boys swimming, Ganges River, Varanasi

Varanasi - Kolkata

Day 14: Friday 28 September

By dawn, the ghats of Varanasi are a completely different place. Only a handful of devout pilgrims are up at this hour, allowing us a clear view of the enchanting geometry of steps painted in vivid colours. Overhead, a few lonely birds circle while the worshippers take their ritual bath and pray. We have the option of waking early to witness this riveting sight. When morning has fully broken, we make our way through atmospheric back lanes to the Kashi Vishwanath Temple. It is one of 12 jyortirlingas, or holiest Shiva temples, in India. Breakfast takes place in our hotel, after which, we rejoin our private jet for the flight to Kolkata.

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.

Kolkata

Day 15: Saturday 29 September

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.

Traffic jam of taxis, Kolkata

Kolkata

Day 16: Sunday 30 September

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.

Kolkata - Australia

Day 17: Monday 1 October

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.

Tile Banner, India

Everything has been Considered & Included

Sometimes travelling can be a chore, distracting you from the fascinating places you are in. That’s why everything mundane has been moved behind the scenes. You will never have to carry a map, luggage, small change for tips or bargain for a taxi fare.

Our Valet Luggage service is also included, which means that we treat your luggage as preciously as we would our own. Simply pack your bags. We pick them up and make sure that they arrive safely at your next hotel. We also provide home-to-airport-to-home transfers. And just in case, a doctor travels with us too.

Caviar
Dom Perignon with reflection
Private Jet 757

YOUR HOME IN THE AIR

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 promise no overnight flights. 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.

Sleeping aboard our private jet 757

RESIDENCES OF THE HIGHEST STANDARD

Welcome to your homes away from home. Each one has a certain something that sets it apart from every other residence at its location. Whether for its history, cultural significance or natural setting, we’ve selected only the very best.

Taj Gateway, Varanasi

Set in two hectares of gardens with fruit trees, the Taj Gateway is a supremely comfortable retreat from the bustling streets of Varanasi. Our recently renovated Executive City View Rooms look out onto peaceful tropical gardens or the swimming pool, and have spacious bathrooms in which to soak the day away. A highlight is Varuna, a restaurant within the hotel that serves the best of India's northern regions as well as a special Ayurvedic thali, or platter.

Taj Rambagh Palace, Jaipur

Any aristocrat would happily call the Taj Rambagh home. Stately hallways and high ceilings lined with daybeds invite you to idle and to pretend that you are the Maharaja of Jaipur, who still owns this palace. Magnificent four-poster beds, fabrics and antiques characterise the interiors. And for a glimpse of local high society, visit the Polo Bar, their lounge of choice. We have reserved Premier Rooms with balconies.

Taj Exotica, Goa

The Taj Exotica is a tranquil resort on Benaulim Beach, sprawled over 56 acres of lush greenery with the Arabian Sea lapping at its feet. Complete with tiled roofs, textured walls and high, exposed rafter ceilings, there is a colonial ambience. Your luxury villa room of king size and twin beds, boasts its own living space with patio overlooking the alluring landscaped gardens that seemingly are there just for you.

Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur

Built in the middle of Lake Pichola, this nearly 300-year-old, all-white palace is a mesmerising sight. Delicate archways, courtyards with fountains, inlaid marble and walls of colourful hand-crafted frescoes and floral motifs come together in this resplendent space. Once the summer playground of the royal dynasty of Mewar, each palatial room envelops you in luxurious Indian architectural details, high ceilings as well as the rich fabrics and furnishings for which traditional Rajput décor is renowned.

Oberoi Amarvilas, Agra

The Oberoi Amarvilas is only separated from the Taj Mahal by a river gorge, which means astounding views of the monument, from each and every room. Its architecture is inspired by the Taj Mahal and Mughal palaces, with terraced gardens and swimming areas. In your Premier Rooms, polished teak floors, hand-knotted carpets and a spacious balcony create an inviting space from which to gaze at this stunning symbol of love.

Vivanta by Taj-Malabar, Kochi

Located on Willingdon Island, jutting into the harbour, the Superior Rooms at Vivanta by Taj take in views of evocative old Kochi and the new port. Appointed in a classic style, these studios feature wood and woven materials, a tribute to Kerala's ever-present coconut thatch, while the expansive pool allows for sunset views over the water.

Oberoi Grand, Kolkata

The Oberoi Grand is a colonial landmark in Chowringhee, a historic district close to B.B.D. Bagh, where the East India Company was headquartered. It's neoclassical exterior reveals a lush green courtyard inside, while its Premier Rooms feature furnishings in the style of the British Raj, paired with the most modern of conveniences. It is in the centre of busy Kolkata,but all you'll ever hear is birdsong and the gentle rustle of palm trees.

Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur
Taj Lake Palace
Taj Rambagh Palace, Jaipur

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Business-class private jet journey from Sydney to Sydney.

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