Delhi to London by bus: 70-day trip crosses 18 countries and tickets cost Dh74,000

The first stage of the 20,000-kilometre journey is set to depart India for the UK in May 2021

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The first hop-on, hop-off bus service from India to England is set to depart Delhi in May 2021.

Travel company Adventures Overland is calling the trip the "longest bus journey in the world" and is offering 20 people the chance to travel from Delhi to London by luxury coach.

The driving expedition specialist announced details of its Bus to London odyssey that will cover more than 20,000 kilometres across 18 countries over 70 days.

Like many things this year, the journey's start date may be postponed further, but owners Sanjay Madan and Tushar Agarwal are keen to push ahead with their ambitious road trip.

"The last few months have altered life for all of us, and the Covid-19 pandemic will continue for a while. Keeping this in mind, we will only start accepting bookings once there is clarity with respect to travel regulations, both locally and internationally," explains Adventures Overland's website.

When the trip does get going, it looks set to be epic. The bus will depart from Delhi and drive across India before journeying into South-East Asia through Myanmar, Thailand and Laos. It will then head to China and Central Asia, before finishing up in Europe.

Tickets for the road trip cost Dh73,510 per person – although the company says costs could vary closer to the departure date.

Only 20 passengers can book the entire trip, but there are options for anyone keen to join for one or two stages of the cross-country overland journey.

Travellers will be riding in comfort on a converted luxury coach, and will have access to free Wi-Fi and an entertainment system, as well as adjustable business-class seats with plenty legroom. Most nights will be spent at four or five-star hotels, with selected destinations having boutique accommodation.

Journey across 18 countries 

The road trip will take in 18 countries, including the Czech Republic, where travellers will get to explore Prague. Unsplash
The road trip will take in 18 countries, including the Czech Republic, where travellers will get to explore Prague. Unsplash

After Laos the bus will continue on to China. Travellers will then spend 16 days journeying through the sprawling country with planned stops including meeting pandas in Chengdu, walking the Great Wall, visiting the Mogao Caves and driving through the Gobi Desert.

Food is a big part of travel and Adventures Overland will organise meals at local restaurants and cafes in each location, and will provide English-speaking guides to share historical facts and interesting information about each destination.

From China, the bus will trundle along the well-trodden route of the Silk Road, crossing into Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. The expedition will then head into Russia, with planned visits to Astrakhan, Volga and Moscow, as well as a day cruise on the Caspian Sea.

The final stage of the journey will take in Europe, starting in the Baltic countries of Latvia and Lithuania, and continuing on to Poland. Travellers will visit the Czech capital of Prague, and Frankfurt in Germany, then drive towards Belgium.

After 68 days on the road, passengers will arrive in London with two days reserved for sightseeing in the UK's capital.

What’s included?

Included in the cost of the trip are all hotel stays, guides and fees related to visas, immigration, sightseeing and movement permits. Planned meals and daily snacks and drinks are also included in the cost, but additional sustenance costs  extra.

Sightseeing costs are included in the fare, with trips to places like the Great Wall of China on the itinerary. Unsplash
Sightseeing costs are included in the fare, with trips to places like the Great Wall of China on the itinerary. Unsplash

Adventures Overland's owners could set a new world record with the trip, but it won't be their first. The pair are already Guinness World Record holders, having made the longest journey in a foreign country when they travelled 17,107km across Australia in 2013.

London calling

This won't be the first time that Adventures Overland has driven from India to the UK. The company has hosted self-driving expeditions  for which people have come together to embark on mass road trips from Delhi to London. However, it's the first time the company will organise the journey by coach. The return leg will set off from England back to India in August 2021.

The 70-day journey will culminate in London. Unsplash
The 70-day journey will culminate in London. Unsplash

Although the trip looks set to be the first overland bus journey to travel from Delhi to London, it cannot claim the record for being the first tourist bus to travel from India to the UK. That title belongs to the Indiaman bus, which travelled from London to Kolkata and back again in 1957. It had 20 passengers and round-trip fares reportedly cost only £65 (Dh312) per person.