Tailor-made Tour 6 days from £1625 per person

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  Places Visited: Kolkata, Guwahati, Sualkuchi, Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary, Kurua, Guwahati, Kolkata

Assam Bengal Navigation is the original cruise operator on India’s Brahmaputra and Ganges Rivers, having navigated these mighty waterways since 2003.

A world away from the more well-trodden roads of India, the eastern corner remains untouched by mass tourism. From dancing monks to one-horned rhinos, colonial vestiges to terracotta temples, remote villages to bustling cities, travelling by boat opens up a treasure trove of history, culture, wildlife and religion.

Your journey on the Brahmaputra will be aboard either ABN Charaidew II or ABN Sukapha.

ABN Charaidew II

With 18 cabins in total, including two spacious deluxe cabins, 12 standard twin/double cabins, and four standard cabins with a queen bed for solo travellers, ABN Charaidew II is a boutique, modern ship that wonderfully blends traditional Assamese aesthetics with touches of colonial elegance. All standard cabins have French balconies, while the two deluxe cabins have a private balcony.

ABN Sukapha

ABN Sukapha was designed specifically to navigate the mighty waters of the Brahmaputra river, making her an extremely adept yet comfortable active expedition-style ship. Her 12 cabins are bamboo-panelled, roomy and offer panoramic views of the river. Cane furniture on board, objet d'arts and handlooms on the ship are all locally made by talented artisans from Assam.

Holiday Types

Cultural Holidays Wildlife Holidays River Cruising Holidays Luxury Train Holidays Family Holidays Honeymoons Beach Holidays Adventure Holidays


Suggested itinerary

Day 1

You will be met on arrival and transferred to your hotel The Oberoi Grand for 1 night. The remainder of your day will be at leisure.

Kolkata, or ‘Calcutta’ as it was known prior to 2001, is the capital of West Bengal state, and India’s third largest city, with a population of approximately 14.1 million. The trading post originally founded by the East India Company in the 17th century served as the country’s capital until 1911, and continues to be a major regional hub, albeit one with well-chronicled problems.

The backdrop to this vibrant cultural life is an architectural heritage spanning two-and-a-half centuries of colonial rule. Built to commemorate the British Raj at its zenith, the Victoria Memorial is Kolkata’s most grandiloquent monument – a stately blend of British, Mughal, Deccani, Moorish and Venetian styles whose marble domes soar majestically above the banks of the Hooghly River, surrounded by ornamental lakes and parched maidans.

Elsewhere in the city – connected by an efficient Metro system – lies a wealth of museums and art galleries, the famous Kali Ghat temple (after which the city was originally named) and hallowed turf of the Eden Gardens, high altar of Indian cricket. But above all, Kolkata is a place whose everyday sights frequently prove the most arresting: the flower sellers spreading out their wares in the dawn light at Mullick Ghat; the wrestlers, devotees of the Monkey God Hanuman, exercising on the nearby riverside steps; the overloaded barges of straw arriving at Kumartuli Ghat, where voluptuous deities are fashioned out of clay for the annual Durga Puja festival; and the streams of rickshaws, trucks and pedestrians pouring across Howrah Bridge at rush hours.

Accommodation Options

Day 2
Kolkata, Guwahati

Transfer to the domestic airport and board a flight to Guwahati airport. You will be met on arrival and transferred to your ship close to the great Saraighat Bridge. Enjoy lunch while cruising downstream to the little town of Sualkuchi, where the clatter of looms gives a clue to the town’s industry. Post-lunch, walk through the village and visit its silk-weaving workshops and observe the whole process of silk manufacture, from cocoon and spinning to dyeing and hand-weaving into exquisite mekhela chadars (a two-piece sari, the traditional attire of Assamese women).

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Day 3

This morning you’ll cruise upstream and disembark at Pandu docks for a short sightseeing tour of the city of Guwahati. A drive up Nilachal Hill brings you to the holy Kamakhya temple, though with its tantric rites and animal sacrifice, the more squeamish among may prefer to content themselves with its exteriors. Visit the poignant Commonwealth War Graves cemetery as well as a shop selling local crafts. You’ll then cross by country boat to the mid-stream Peacock Island with its population of Golden Langurs before reboarding and cruising past Kurua on the north bank.

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Day 4
Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary

Today you’ll cruise upstream past jungle-covered hills and turn into the Mayong River. Here you’ll take a country boat for a kilometre or two to the roadhead from where you’ll be driven to Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary. This small park has a dense population of the Indian One-Horned Rhinoceros and it would be unlucky to not spot some of these armoured beasts on a jeep safari around the park. Return to the ship in the afternoon and cruise to a riverside village, which you can explore on foot. Later, sail downstream to spend the last night close to Kurua.

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Day 5
Guwahati, Kolkata

Cruise down to Pandu port. Disembark after breakfast and transfer to Guwahati airport for your flight to Kolkata. You will be met and transferred to the Oberoi Grand Hotel for the night on arrival. The remainder of the day will be at leisure in Kolkata for a spot of sightseeing or shopping.

Accommodation Options

Day 6
Kolkata, UK

Today, you will be transferred to the airport for your return flight home.

Accommodation Options

Tailor-made Tour 6 days from £1625 per person

What's included

✓   3 nights accommodation aboard your ABN cruise vessel and 2 nights at a five-star hotel in Kolkata

✓   All excursions on board the cruise with English-speaking guides

✓   Entrance fees to sites and monuments listed in the tour itinerary

✓   Meal plan: Full board on the cruise and Bed & Breakfast in Kolkata

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