Cox & Kings adds weekend, 'Signature' tour options By Barbara Mays / August 19, 1999 Share 1 -- TAMPA, Fla. -- Cox & Kings has been operating tours to India for a long time and has gained a reputation for exciting and comprehensive tour itineraries. This year the firm added a series of weekend packages. Next year it is expanding what the company calls Signature Events in India that will join the portfolio of tour options. Most of Cox & Kings' weekend offerings are aimed at U.S. business people working in India. "We have been offering the Signature option on an ad hoc basis for perhaps the past year," said Nathaniel Waring, president of Cox & Kings USA."These new offerings are designed so that India's extraordinary cultural heritage is readily accessible to the business person who wants to visit the Taj Mahal, enjoy the palace hotels or even go tiger viewing during his free time," Waring said.Cox & Kings has been in operation in India since 1758. According to its director of business development, Nicholas Ballard, it is the firm's solid reputation that draws clients. "We are basically offering clients access to our long-standing ties and contacts."Not many other [operators/tour firms] in this market can provide the sort of behind-the-scene options we can."We have the resources to accommodate almost any request," Ballard said. The Signature Events options range from a half day to two days and from about $100 per person depending on activity or tour chosen. (See below for some options.)Waring added that given the growing presence of major U.S. corporations in India, "we feel that a strong market exists for weekend travel packages."Among the weekend tours available:A three-day Elephant Safari in search of the Bengal tiger takes participants riding on elephant-back to Corbett National Park in Uttar Pradesh. It is priced at $750 per person.An Ayurvedic Spa & Retreat features stays at the Coconut Lagoon in Kumarakom, with access to holistic therapies and Ayurvedic massage amid the backwaters of Kerala state, where lodging is in one of 37 Tharawad cottages. Activities also are available. Tour price is $685 per person.Fabled Rajasthan includes a flight to Udaipur for two nights at Lake Palace Hotel. The island outpost hotel is in the middle of Lake Pichola. It is priced at $875 per person.Cox & Kings, The Americas Phone (800) 999-1758 Fax: (813) 258-3852 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.orgA Signature Events samplerTAMPA, Fla. -- Among the options available under Cox & Kings Signature Events in India banner are:Save the Tiger, which affords guests a chance to spend an afternoon with a naturalist learning about tigers in India today and their future. Currently, according to officials, there are 2,000 Bengal tigers free in India's national parks and reserves.The Raj Lifestyle, which travels from Delhi to Simla in classic Raj style on a steam train that wends its way up the mountain. Guests stay at the Cecil Hotel and play a round of golf at Naldera, India's oldest course, which affords spectacular views of the Himalayan foothills.Darjeeling Tea for Two in Calcutta, which takes participants to one of Assam's largest plantations at the Calcutta Tea Exchange, where they experience the smells and the hustle and bustle of the tea auction house.Cocktails with a Maharajah, which lets visitors spend an evening as a guest of a maharaja and maharani at their private residence in a medieval palace in the heart of Rajasthan.A Hamptons Weekend Dinner in Delhi. The countryside around Delhi has become the weekend getaway for Delhi's elite. Clients can be the guests at one of these compounds for an evening of food and conversation with a mix of Delhi's leading citizens. It's a late night.A Polo Match. Guests spend an afternoon watching a game that is as old as the country itself at Delhi's Jaipur Polo Grounds and as a guest of a player. Afternoon tea also is included.Indian Classical Dance in a classically styled Gurukul, or master dance classroom, outside of Bangalore in southern India. Participants will attend a master class to learn the ancient dance forms, see a performance, have dinner in a garden setting and spend the night in one of the stone private villas.Lights, Camera, Bollywood, which supports India's claim that it produces more feature films than Hollywood. Many of these Hindi films are shot at the expanse of studios and outdoor sets in Bombay, known in the industry as Bollywood. Guests will visit a live set with a director as guide.The Colorful Silks of South India, which focuses on Kanchipuram, where some of the most beautiful and sought-after silk saris are produced. A tour of this fascinating cottage industry goes behind the scenes to see how these treasures are brought from the drawing board to the loom.