Specialist - Quality India Travel
India’s diversity and vastness is a never-ending source for many unforgettable trips. Although this is one of the world’s oldest countries, its tourism of the subcontinent is still in its infancy. Even the most experienced traveler needs to plan ahead, and use one of the country’s travel sources which offer only the most reliable and knowledgeable contacts and trip planners.
Classic Holidays therefore has chosen to concentrate exclusively on travel programs of India and the neighboring state of Nepal. All of our team members have tested the different programs we offer, ensuring safe but exciting visits to the best cities, monuments and other sites. During our travels, we always assess the quality of the trips to ensure they meet only our high-quality standards.
Classic Holidays on the Internet
Under www.topindiatravel.com, you find the various tour programs and their prices, the hotels we stay at during our journeys; information about the cities in India, UNESCO world heritage sites, and Indian wildlife; and the actual description of ayurveda and yoga resorts, beach hotels and resorts that are not contained in the catalog. Our web site offers additional information, and if you cannot find the information you need, please feel free to contact Classic Holidays. Our website is user-friendly, full of information and kept up-to-date with information about the cities, pricing, monuments and more.
You will become acquainted with Classic Holidays' quality services even before your trip begins! Our service begins with a detailed consultation and the elaborate planning of your personal travel program. Before your departure, you will receive comprehensive information about your trip’s course as well as about the country and its people. By request we can also provide your international airline tickets. You will need to acquire your visa and travel insurance prior to your departure in your home country. From your arrival at the International airport in Delhi until your departure back home, we are determined to make your trip memorable. During the trip, our tour guides and car drivers are focused only on your well-being.
Travel á la carte - or Custom-tailored travel
The trip featured in our catalog is a suggested program, and are planned based on the current local conditions (weather, political climate, etc). We are happy to consider your special requests, and plan out an entirely personal tailor-made travel program. The more we know about your travel preferences and goals, the better we can advise you on which trip is the best for you. No matter what you choose, if you travel alone, with a partner or with a group, you will travel with the comforts of a well-organized tour group.
We can organize travel programs for special interest groups including house boat cruises, a tree house vacation, sail expeditions, scuba diving tours, ayurveda and yoga courses, cooking courses, a farm vacation and luxury train tours.
Almost all our offered trips are perfect for the individual traveler. You will travel with a private chauffeur through the country. When you reach the monuments and other tour spots, you will spend time with local tour guides. You have the freedom to determine where you would like to stop and when you begin and end the day. Obviously your chauffeur helps you choose a restaurant, help translate something as needed and also tell you about the countryside you are traveling through, a site that you see, or what the food is when you stop to eat. However, your chauffeur is not trained as tour guide and cannot take over his functions.
Group trips with Guaranteed Departure
Classic Holidays also offers guided group trips into other areas of the country. As a rule these are accompanied by an English-speaking tour leader. We always encourage a small group for these tours, and have no more than ten to twelve participants. We know that with this size group our tour leader can fulfill the requirements of each guest. If the minimum size of the group cannot be achieved, we will not cancel the tour. In this case, we propose the already booked participants continue the trip with a private chauffeur and without an accompanying tour guide, but rely on the local tour guides when they reach a destination.
Note: We never cancel our tours.
Accommodations and Travel ServicesHotel Categories
Each of our individual travel programs include stays at different classes of hotels. You stay basically in rooms with a shower / bath and WC (water closet) or toilet. In the majority of the hotels, you will not stay in a single room, but a double room. If you desire a single room, the surcharge at most hotels for single occupancy is very high. Since we do not typically classify the hotels, we do rate the hotels per our high standards and criteria.
The standard class includes simple, but clean hotels. Lodgings in the 3- and 4-star category (international) are comfortable, providing highly well-groomed accommodations. Most of the 3- and 4-star hotels have swimming pools. The luxury class offers highly comfortable accommodations with elegant furnishings and very good service. The super luxury classes are the flagships at those hotels including the Oberoi hotel group (Vilas- Resort), the world-famous hotel accommodations of the Aman hotel group and naturally the best hotels of the well-known Indian hotel chain Taj.
"Palace/Heritage Hotels”: With 22 principalities, Rajasthan was once the stronghold of the Indian nobility. In 1947, with the independence of India, the Maharajas (kings of Rajasthan) lost their political power. Their magnificent residences however survived. As Indira Gandhi withdrew the state appendage of the aristocrats in 1971, the Maharajas often lacked the money in order to maintain the palaces any longer. In order to safeguard it from the disrepair, many were rebuilt into hotels, including dreamlike treasures of the majestic luxury houses. Frequently, they are inhabited (in parts) by the Maharaja family. Although a high dollar amount was used for renovation of these hotels, one cannot expect the comfort of a luxury hotel from all houses (heritage accommodations). Many times all of the sanitary facilities do not meet always to the industry standard. Occasionally there is no water or the electricity fails.
To make your trip memorable, enjoyable and an experience, we offer you also a "Mix" of the hotel categories for your planned trip. You can get our input on the best places to stay as we have personally visited all of the heritage accommodations.
Ayurveda Treatment and Yoga
Classic Holidays now offers a way to escape everyday stress that can affect your health and spirit, and enjoy one of our wellness travel programs that takes you to places away from the typical tourist locations. Each during your trip you will receive and experience a treatment that will help rejuvenate your body, mind and spirit, and also help with body purification. These treatments include corresponding Panchakarma elements and are conducted under medical supervision and with a prescription. At the ayurveda resorts, you can participate in daily yoga and meditation sessions; learn about your personalized nutritional diet and fitness plan according to the Indian medical art Ayurveda.
Please note that Ayurveda treatments are not advised during pregnancy.
You should only sun bathe and go swimming (in the sea or pool) only after consulting with the treating Ayurveda physician (there is a danger of UV contingent allergic reactions).
Click here for Ayurveda in India
Beaches in India
The natural beaches in India are almost exclusively public. We would like you to point out that during the monsoon seasons swimming in the sea is not possible. This applies especially to the periods from May until July as well as October and November.
Early days booking: If you want to include visits to India’s beaches or arrange a trip that is solely along the beaches, then we recommend that you book your trip early. Especially during the high season, the flights and hotels are booked well in advance.
Our India trips are not designed to be “study tours” but rather “experiential trips”. Our trips will offer an insight into our culture, as well as the everyday life of the great people of India.
There are local tour guides available for you at the respective tourist spots and places. In the context of group tours or per your request, we will provide an English-speaking (or other languages) tour leader that will accompany you while touring the local monuments, sites and other locations. Since our tour leaders can speak the local languages, you will not have to worry about language barriers when you converse with the local country people.
The tour guides will gladly answer all questions that arise during the tour. Our tour guides are no scholars, but rather connoisseurs of the country who will share their enthusiasm for the country, its history and its culture with you. We select our tour guides very carefully and finance their language courses and other courses so that they are always up-to-date on current affairs, history and more. Our guides are flexible in their schedules, so they are ready to help you during your travels even if your suggested itinerary is changed during the course of the trip.
India is home to world-class handicrafts, so we have included in our programs visits to handcraft shops along your travels. In North India, it is common that the tour guide invites you to visit a local workshop to learn about and shop for carpets, marble or the like. After the demonstration, you would be taken to the adjoining showroom to have a look at finished objects. The tour guides receive small commissions on anything you buy which is customary in India and around the world. If you do not want to purchase anything, let your tour guide know so you can continue sightseeing or be able to return to your hotel. But we strongly recommend you, to go through all the demonstration of existing handicrafts in India and experience the techniques of making them. In most of the cities we have appointed handicraft showrooms which we have visited to guarantee the quality of the products that the craftsman sells. In fact all of the shops are approved by the government of India. On request, we can furnish you the list of those handicrafts shops.
All trips include the cost of entrance fees as part of the total price of the tour. In the interest of the conservation of the cultural heritages, the price of admission to all monuments has gone up considerably in the last years. When reviewing the cost of our trips, you should keep in mind that entrance fees account for up to $ 150 per person.
Changes in the Tour program
The actual itinerary mentioned in the catalog can change based on the season, weather, official holidays, change in opening and closing times of monuments and national parks or monument closing day (Note: Taj Mahal is closed every Friday). Our local agencies are familiar with such problems however and will do everything in order to accomplish the program anyhow.
If you travel by house boat or other boats, those trips can be subject to changes dependent upon the water level and weather. Elephant rides included in our tour program are also subject to weather conditions and the availability of the animals. Flight connections to Ladakh are also subject to the weather conditions because the approach to land can take place only as a visual flight. Also, last-minute time changes and / or flight schedule changes can occur.
Please take into consideration that you cannot expect western perfection, immaculate cleanness and dead on time punctuality in a country that uses "yesterday" and "tomorrow” all the time.
During festival season (December until February), music will play sometimes during the entire night out of loudspeakers at temples, churches and mosques Also traffic noise in India is a common annoyance. You find that "Blow your horn" is a normal occurrence.
Your travel documents
After receiving your booking, we ask you, to fill out your registration form and send it to us as soon as possible. After taking into consideration your special requests, we will work on your special tour program. We offer the largest number of items you can select from to include in your travel plan, more than any other travel service and at the best price in the tour industry. You can select from a wide range of side trips and other places to visit including a village safari, camel ride, elephant ride, lunch and dinner at certain places, a dance and laser light show at Agra, extra sightseeing etc.
After working on your tailor-made tour program, we send it to you for your approval. We also ask you whether you need us to book your international flight (you also have the option to book your international flight yourself). After getting your approval, we ask you to wire at least a 50% deposit to our bank account (instructions will be provided at the time of booking). The deposit is used for the hotel reservations, and to book train and flight tickets. If we book your international flight you will need to remit the full amount of airfare plus 50% of the tour package cost. The balance of the trip’s cost can be paid upon your arrival in US Dollars or Euros. Upon your arrival in India and before your trip starts, you will be provided with all of your necessary travel documents (Hotel Vouchers and Flight or Train Tickets).
Please note: We don’t provide Visa and Insurance services. But, we strongly recommend that you get travel insurance from your local travel insurance provider.
Services Not Included In the Price
There are no hidden costs - our tour price clearly lists all inclusions and exclusions. Our tour price is generally an all inclusive price. For hassle-free travel and unlike our competitors, we generally include entrance fees to monuments, excursions to nearby sights, mineral water bottles etc in our tour price.
In the tour price mentioned on the website, there are other costs that are not included in the cost. Exclusions are: Visa fees, travel insurance, all suggestions marked as a possibility during the respective tour course, tips, massages, fees required for water sport possibilities, video fees and camera fees as well as other personal expenses. Any type of airfare (domestic or international).
Disclaimer of Liability in Adventure & Expedition Trips
In expedition trips (such as climbing Himalaya, or staying in the tree house), equestrian and diving tours there are special risks involved that you must keep in mind. Classic Holidays is barred from liabilities of such risks. Naturally, we take responsibility for the proper selection of our partners, but the course of such a trip depends basically on the participants themselves and other influencing factors (for example weather). We ask for notice of this liability exclusion.
On the Road
Transportation by land is impacted by road conditions, weather and the condition of the vehicle. Please note that the performance of the vehicles would not always fulfill the European and western standards.
For an individual l tour up to 3 participants, vehicles of "standard category" are deployed. With small groups of up to 7 persons, we use small buses such as The Tempo Traveler. In trips in rough terrain - for example in the Himalaya or highland of Kerala - jeeps of domestic production are used. During overland drives, the suitcases are transported usually on the roof of the vehicle. The drivers will try to protect your baggage with a tarpaulin, but pollutants and small scratches cannot be averted in the frequent uploading and unloading of baggage. Please avoid bringing your finest leather suitcases.
We can also accommodate your request for a desired vehicle type which you can do while planning your trip.
On the Rail
Train journeys in India are a "must". Our express trains - called Shatabdi Express - are fast, and very comfortable. The compartments are air-conditioned, the seats are adjustable and newspapers, meals and drinks are served on board. Unfortunately these trains do not service all of the routes.
On the remaining trains, there is a multitude of different categories:
1st Class A/C Sleeper (A/C = air-conditioning): As a rule two cabin types are possible: 1 cabin for 4 passengers (lockable from inside) with 2 beds below and 2 beds above. Alternatively, there are also cabins for 2 persons (also lockable from inside) with a bed above and a bed below.
2nd Class A/C Sleeper: The compartments are divided in 2 parts: On one side equipped with 4 sleep possibilities (2 below, 2 above) and two sleep possibilities at the opposite side (below and above). These compartments are not closable; however they are equipped with curtains.
For overnight train trips, you need to make your reservation in advance (4 weeks before trip start at the latest).
In the Air
Flights within India are not cheap. In India there are some “No Frills Airlines” on the market. With frequent low-priced flights they offer during the flight no services (drinks and foods can be paid directly). Often, these airlines are bookable only on the Internet and have very strict cancellation conditions. Basically, we try at the time of planning your trip, to restrain the amount of flying within India as little as possible - flight delays and flight failure happen often.
Other Plus Points
- No hidden costs - our tour price clearly lists all inclusions and exclusions. While India has become an expensive destination in south-east Asian countries, we offer you the best price for our tour programs. Not only will you have a memorable trip, but you'll visit more sites and experience more getting the best possible value for your money. But don't get us wrong! We never sell "cheap tours". You will stay in the best hotels, have the best transportation, visit the best sites, and eat the best meals.
- We always stay in touch with our clients, wherever you are traveling in India or Nepal. We are aware of your itinerary, and are just a call away if you need us.
- We always use SUV (Toyota or similar) for the whole tour, while most of the companies use small and mid size cars. In India you have to travel approx. 200 Km daily because of long distances. That's why we strongly recommend only SUVs.
- We give the services of our representatives at each city who will help you in hotel check in, guide introduction and other services.
- Most of the companies allow you to travel strictly according to the tour itinerary (tour program). But with us, unlike other companies, along with the sight-seeing mentioned in the program, you are free to explore any extra tourist spots or markets according to your wish in and around each and every city. Car and driver will available for you at no extra cost. On the contrary, we give you from our side list of extra sight-seeing in each city, which can be done on your own discretion.
With the growing inconsistency and fraud in online travel companies, especially in Asian countries like India, Classic holidays is determined to give you up-to-date information and quality services and do our best to make your holidays memorable. We strictly adhere to professional ethics.