We have travelled extensively on ocean and river over the last 20 years and have, with the exception of our October Pandaw India trip, always enjoyed our adventures. On two occasions plans went astray but we were adequately compensated. This is the first time I have voiced my dissatisfaction in a public forum and I have endeavoured to report the issues as accurately as possible.
We arrived in Kolkata in anticipation of the inaugural 14 day cruise to Varanasi. Unfortunately the late finish to the monsoon season and associated flooding closed the lock at Farraka and prevented our boat Katha Pandaw from reaching Varanasi. We were only notified of this closure at 3.30 pm the day before although Pandaw had knowledge of potential problems with our itinerary some days prior. One hour before we were due to board our boat, we were given the option to cancel but we had accommodation, tours and flights booked for the end of our cruise and we felt we were unable to organise an alternate itinerary without any notice or help let alone compensation for consequential losses. In reality there was no real choice. We were told the amended itinerary, which we did not receive for four days, of one week on the boat Kolkata return and one week by air and bus would be “amazing”.
Sadly this holiday was far from amazing and far from the luxury as advertised by Pandaw. We made the best of our first week on Katha Pandaw as the scenery along The Ganges was beautiful. However the boat was not safe nor fit for passengers. In terms of safety, electrical sockets were loose, grouting in showers filthy, tiles were falling off bathroom walls and the showers would suddenly lose all cold water with the result that many passengers were scalded, including myself on three occasions.