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INDIA: 150 YEARS OF TRAMS IN CALCUTTA

8-16 days-trip per person from 2.699,- €
18. Feb. / 21. Feb. - 28. Feb. / 05. March 2023

INDIA: 150 YEARS OF TRAMS IN CALCUTTA

Bildmaterial: © Sagnik Gupta

The world-famous tram in Calcutta is celebrating its 150th anniversary and nobody knows whether it will  have been the last round of celebrations. The state and city governments no longer want the trams, the city police chief stops the trams as often as possible, even the operating company WBTC prefers to buy e-buses abroad and dreams of trolleybus systems. It's coming to an end and this trip could be one of the last chances to experience a more or less working system!

Things look completely different in Doha, where a stopover can be made on the flight to India. There are now three tram and metro lines each, including a tram that runs completely without overhead wires! Optional excursions on a classic dhow or in the desert complete the visit.

At the end of the journey you can experience the eastern Himalayas with spectacular views of the sublime mountain range. Travel to Darjeeling in style onboard a steam hauled charter train on the legendary "Darjeeling Himalayan Railway". Fulfill a lifetime dream within the sights of the majestic Himalayas.

Tour description

Day 1: Frankfurt - Doha (optional)
Individual arrival at Frankfurt airport and evening flight with Qatar Airways to Doha. Arrive there around midnight and transfer to your hotel.

Day 2: Doha: first encounters (optional)
You will receive a rover card already preloaded with 30 Qatari Riyal, the value covers all journeys on the Metro and Lusail Tram during your stay. In the late afternoon, you have the option of heading into the desert for dinner under the stars.

Day 3: Doha: Tram yard and depots (optional)
Visit the yard of the newly opened Lusail tram, operating Astolm Citadis cars, followed by the depot of the Avenio trams supplied by Siemens for the "Education City"-network with a completely catenary-free operation. The official tram program for today ends at the depot of the "Green Line" metro. Explore the metro and tram lines of the city on your own afterwards. Optional late afternoon cruise on a classic dhow along the skyline of Doha including dinner.

Day 4: Doha - Calcutta (optional) / Frankfurt - Delhi
If you are in Doha, take the red metro line to the airport in the afternoon and fly to Calcutta with Qatar Airways. If you start your journey today, fly with Air India in the evening from Frankfurt.

Day 5: Calcutta: Arrivals
Qatar Airways arrives in Calcutta at night. Enjoy an itinerary on your own for the rest of the day. Air India arrives in Delhi in the morning, connecting to Calcutta around noon. Your local guide awaits you at the airport for both arrivals and takes you to your centrally located hotel.

Days 6 - 10: Calcutta: The iconic trams
In close cooperation with very committed local tram friends who have joined together in the "Calcutta Tram User Association" and the "West Bengal Transport Corporation" as the tram operator, exclusive tram charters have been arranged each day early in the morning when the streets of the megacity are not so busy. The main focus is on "old" cars as well as on rebuild or newly build cars from the workshop in Nonapukur, some of which are now the last ones in operating condition. Visits to all tram depots (including those that are currently closed) and the workshop are arranged. Here you can also photograph the work- and staff-cars, which are well worth seeing.

At the time this program went to press, only 2 tram lines (24/29 and 25) are being served. Five others were temporarily shut down due to the construction of the Metro. It is rumored that line 5 will start operating again in January 2023. The program will be adapted to the current situation on site. The number of our charters and the availability of special cars are guaranteed, but whether we plye on route 5, 11 or 25 can only be confirmed shortly before our arrival in India - and maybe even only on site. The charters will take place every morning, followed by visits to the depots and the workshop. Afternoons are normally free to enjoy the regular tram operations and offer the opportunity to experience the real Indian realities of life with or without the tram, but mostly unfiltered. Due to the early start in the morning, breakfast will be taken "en route" after the charters. Your guides will endeavor to provide a European breakfast option, but this cannot always be guaranteed.

If you are interested, you can join the tourist visit program for half a day. Visits to the Jain Temple, College Street Book Market, Indian Museum, Kalighat Kali Temple, Mother Teresa's House, St. Paul's Cathedral, Victoria Memorial Hall and an exclusive dinner cruise on the Ganges are planned. Our local agency can also provide full-day-tours to any place in West-Bengal, just talk to us, please.

Day 11: Calcutta - Frankfurt / Calcutta Howrah - New Jalpaiguri - Siliguri (optional)
Qatar Airways passengers fly home via Doha as early as 3 a.m. Air India follows 3 hours later via Delhi to Frankfurt. Qatar Airways reaches Frankfurt around 2 p.m., Air India lands around 6 p.m. Individual journey home.

Those who wish to extend their stay in Darjeeling will take the express train from Howrah Station to New Jalpaiguri in the afternoon. Arrival there in the evening and short transfer to the hotel in Siliguri.

Day 12: Siliguri - Kurseong - Darjeeling (optional)
Motor by car to Kurseong (located about halfway), from there one of the classic DHR steam locomotives pulls a charter passenger train exclusively for the group to Darjeeling, located 31 km away and 700 m higher. With 360-degree loops and many hairpin bends, the DHR is a unique testament to British engineering and offers breathtaking views of snow-capped mountain peaks, world-famous tea gardens and ornate monasteries. Maybe even a spectacular view of the third highest mountain on earth, the Kanchenjunga, will be possible. Transfer from Darjeeling train station to the hotel.

Day 13: Darjeeling: Tea in front of the mountains(optional)
Discover one of the legendary tea plantations today, followed by a visit to the famous Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Ghum, one of the oldest monasteries in West Bengal. On a trip with the "Ropeway", Darjeeling's cable car, you will once again be able to marvel at the majestic mountains of the Himalayas (provided the weather is calm). Although today's Darjeeling is no longer the tranquil retreat of wealthy Britons of the past, much of its colonial history is still alive today.

Day 14: Darjeeling: Tiger Hill (optional)
Early morning drive to Tiger Hill to witness the sunrise over the Himalayas with Mount Everest in the distance (weather permitting). Return to the hotel, enjoy breakfast and free time. Discover the testimonies of the "Raj" or take photos at the DHR steam locomotive depot. In the evening farewell dinner at the historic Windamere Hotel, which will delight you with its charm of bygone times.

Day 15: Darjeeling - Bagdogra - Delhi
Morning transfer to Bagdogra airport. From there all participants fly to Delhi. Transfers to your hotel near the international airport and dinner. If you want to see more of India (Delhi, Taj Mahal Agra, Rajasthan desert or the legendary meter gauge railway from Kalka to Shimla), please contact us.

Day 16: Delhi - Frankfurt
Breakfast, afterwards transfer to the airport and return flights with Qatar Airways or Air India to Germany. Arrival there in the late afternoon. Individual jorney home.

A short note on tourist activities while in Calcutta: you can join 2 afternoon tourist sessions free of charge during your stay in town. There is an abundance of additional tourist sightseeing possibilities in and around Calcutta and we have listed just 3 that our local agency suggests. These tours can be booked by 1 participant minimum but the prices decrease significantly if there are at least 2 participants for the same tour on the same day.
Please find some ideas here (PDF):

Download the tour program in English language here.

How to book

Please find all information about the booking process here !
The booking form can be found here (PDF)

Travel date

18. Feb. / 21. Feb. - 28. Feb. / 05. March 2023

Tour price per person

8-16 days-tour

Tour modulesharing a double roomsingle room surcharge
Doha & Calcutta (18.-28.Feb.2023)3.399,- €465,- €
Calcutta (21.-28.Feb.2023)2.699,- €375,- €
Darjeeling (28.Feb.-05.Mar.2023)1.199,- €475,- €
Entire tour (18.Feb.-05.Mar.2023)6.999,- €1.315,- €
   
Tram-only itinerary at Calcutta (23.-27.Feb.2023) not including any tourist services like accomodation, meals, transfers, flights: 699,- €
Land-only for the Doha, Calcutta and Entire tour: deduct 750,- € please.
Ask us for more variation of the itineraries, please
Member of the VDVA will receive a 3% discount on the tour price (proof of membership needed)
 
Please note that these itineraries are based on a departure from Germany. We will be happy to arrange the air-tickets from/to your home-airport or you may book the tickets yourself. Please contact us for all options possible.

Minimum number of participants

15 persons (Darjeeling 10 persons)

Maximum number of participants

30 persons

Booking deadline

31. December 2022

Services included in the tour price (depending on the itineraries booked)

  • Flight from/to Frankfurt with Qatar Airways / Air India in Economy Class including taxes and fees
  • 4 nights in a 4-star hotel in a double room including breakfast
  • 12 nights in a 4-star hotel in a double room including half-board
  • 1 Gala Dinner each in Calcutta and Darjeeling
  • Bus transfers in Doha and Calcutta in modern air-conditioned coaches
  • Transfers in Darjeeling in modern cars with driver
  • VIP service upon entry Doha
  • 5 Kolkata charter tram trips
  • Depot and workshop visits in Doha and Calcutta
  • Kurseong-Darjeeling charter train
  • Sunrise at Tiger Hill
  • Poppe tour guide (Peter-H. Patt)
  • Local English speaking guide
  • Climate protection contribution

Not included are excursions marked as optional, meals/drinks not mentioned, tips (expect about 12-15 € per travel day/participant), expenses of a personal nature as well as the Indian visa. The visa is applied for in electronic form on the Internet. It must be paid online by credit card or PayPal. If you live near an Indian diplomatic mission and have a lot of time, you can also apply for a classic visa (sticker in your passport).

The "Tram only program" price in Calcutta includes only the tram-related activities. Tourist travel services such as flights, transfers, overnight stays or meals are not included.

The VDVA discount is only granted if you hold a valid membership in the VDVA at the time of booking. A discount after having received the invoice is not possible.

A short description "How to book" can be found here (PDF).

Additional services

  • We are happy to arrange additional nights in the hotel. Business class surcharge for Qatar Airways / Air India on request.
  • Rail&Fly 2nd class DB:         60,- €
  • Excursion "Desert" in Doha: 75,- €
  • Excursion "Dhow" in Doha:  65,- €

Accomodation

Doha, Mercure Grand Hotel ****
Kalkutta, The Pearless Inn ****
Siliguri, Lemon Tree Hotel ****
Darjeeling, Mayfair Resort Hotel ****
Delhi, Holiday Inn Airport Hotel ****

In Doha, the hotel is located in the immediate vicinity of the red metro line and the tram ringline. In Calcutta, the terminus "Esplanade" is only a few meters away from the hotel.


Travel in Corona times

You will receive current information on Corona regulations with the travel documents. Please assume that access restrictions, proof of vaccination protection or convalescence status as well as test procedures in the destination  areas may also apply in the future.

Your tour experts and guides

Luc Koenot: Luc is a walking encyclopedia of trams and has already successfully organized many events and special trips for tram fans over several decades.

Lars F. Richter:
associated with the trams in Calcutta and the VDVA for many decades, he will always be able to support the group with his expertise.

Peter H. Patt:
as a trainee travel agent, Thomas E. Fischer was his trainer, and so he soon found himself working as a part-time tour guide at Intra Express. The hobby became a profession and many tour guides for Intra Express followed.

When Thomas E. Fischer retired from Intra Express in 2018, many tram travelers saw this as a great loss. The lack of professionally organized tram trips did not let some committed tram friends rest until now, starting with this trip, the "old" travel ideas of Intra Express together with the specialist knowledge of the tram fans and the many years of expertise of Poppe Reisen as a tour operator could be re-implemented.

Travel documents and health

Please inquire about the current entry and vaccination regulations for Qatar and India on the website of your government.

This trip is not barrier-free.

Travel insurances

The tour price does not include travel insurances. We strongly recommend to book a travel cancellation insurance and medical coverage insurance. The amount of the premium depends on the travel price.

General Conditions

Subject to programme, hotel and flight schedule changes. Subject to tariff and exchange rate changes. The general terms and conditions (GTC) / travel conditions of Poppe Reisen GmbH & Co. KG apply.

How to book

Download the tour program in English language here.
Please find all information about the booking process here !
The booking form can be found here (PDF)

Download: More on the EU customer protection rights and our GTC (in German language) can be found can be found here.



© Sagnik Gupta


© Peter-H. Patt


© Peter-H. Patt


© Sagnik Gupta


© Peter-H. Patt


© Peter-H. Patt


© Sagnik Gupta


© Peter-H. Patt


© Sagnik Gupta


© Peter-H. Patt


© Peter-H. Patt


© Peter-H. Patt


© Peter-H. Patt


© Peter-H. Patt


© Peter-H. Patt


© Peter-H. Patt


© Peter-H. Patt

© Peter-H. Patt
© Peter-H. Patt


© Peter-H. Patt

© Peter-H. Patt
© Peter-H. Patt




Ihr Ansprechpartner / Your contact


Peter Patt

Tel. 0049 (0) 6131 27066-24

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