Tailor-made Tour 10 days from £4595 per person

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  Places Visited: Kolkata, Guwahati, Kaziranga, Majuli Island, Dibrugarh, Kolkata

One of our favourite journeys across India's waterways that showcases the best of India's remote culture and most secretive wildlife. You visit the world's largest river island.

 

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Suggested itinerary

Day 1
UK to Kolkata

Fly from the UK to Kolkata

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Day 2
Kolkata

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

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Day 3
Kolkata, Silghat

After a leisurely breakfast, you will be collected from your hotel late in the morning and transferred to the airport for a flight to Jorhat. On arrival, you will be collected and driven two and half hours to Silghat, a picturesque beach below jungle-covered hills and close to Kaziranga National Park to board your cruise ship. You may board the ABN Charaidew II or the ABN Sukapha. You settle into your cabins as it sets sail.

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Day 4
Kaziranga Central Range

After an early breakfast, you’ll be driven to Kaziranga’s Central Range for a morning jeep safari. Covering an area of approximately 430 sq km, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Kaziranga National Park is home to the world’s largest population of the Indian One-Horned Rhinoceros and the Indian Wild Water Buffalo. It has also earned the distinction of having the highest density of Royal Bengal Tigers (one every five sq. km.), making this park an incredibly rich biodiversity hotspot. With its marshy swamps and thickets of elephant grass, the park supports large populations of Indian elephants, Indian bison, swamp deer, and Capped Langurs. ​Kaziranga National Park frequently draws comparisons to the Serengeti in Africa due to the park's abundance of wildlife and birds and is considered a birding paradise. Bird species found here include the Oriental Honey Buzzard, Black-shouldered Kite, White-tailed Eagle, Himalayan Griffon and many more. Returning to the ship, you’ll cruise upstream with Kaziranga National Park on the right bank to anchor for the night at Vishnath.

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Day 5
Vishnath

You will visit Vishnath this morning, known for its Ahom-period Shiva temple. Walk through the town before reboarding and setting off again, with Kaziranga still on the far bank. Keep an eye out for wild elephants, which have been spotted, and once, memorably, a tiger. A leisurely afternoon of cruising down the river offers a good chance of spotting the endangered Gangetic dolphin and observe life in the bankside villages as we pass. Arrive in the evening at Dhansiri Mukh.

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Day 6
Kaziranga Eastern Range

This morning, you’ll dock and take a jeep safari to Kaziranga’s little-visited Eastern Range, with grasslands much favoured by rhinos, where you might also spot the rare Bengal Florican. Return to the boat and continue your cruise upstream.

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Day 7
Passing Riverbank villages

Today brings another opportunity to watch life unfold on the riverbanks as you cruise upstream. The languid pace of life onboard the boat offers a rare opportunity to sit and watch the world slip by, chat with fellow guests, or catch up on your reading. You’ll have time to stretch your legs by walking through a bankside village, gaining an insight into life in rural India.

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Day 8
Majuli island

You should reach Majuli Island around breakfast time. One of the world’s largest river islands and a microcosm of Assamese culture, Majuli is much-photographed but little-visited. It is a stronghold of the peaceful religion of neo-Vaishnavism, and the elegant island satras — some for celibate monks, some for families — showcase a unique way of life where the faithful live simply, offering worship through gayan-bayan (songs and musical instruments) and readings. You’ll visit a monastery at Auniati with its eclectic museum, then attend a dance performance at Kamalabari monastery before cruising across Neamati Ghat on the opposite bank. In the afternoon, you’ll have the opportunity to visit a nearby village.

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Day 9
Tea Estates and ancient Kingdoms

Today, you will visit a tea estate in Jorhat and observe the journey from tea bush to cup. (Please note that the factory is inoperative between December and mid-March.) Later, you’ll be driven to Sibsagar, the one-time capital of the Ahom kings of Assam. Shan by origin but converted to Hinduism, the Ahoms ruled Assam for some 700 years until the 1820s. Their culture and architecture is a unique and intriguing amalgam of India and Southeast Asia. You’ll see temples with stupa-like profiles and palaces of distinctive form. The temple tank here is believed to be the world’s largest hand-excavated reservoir and quite the feat of engineering, as you’ll see. Return to your ship, which will have cruised up to Neamati Ghat, close to Jorhat.

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Day 10
Dibrugarh, Kolkata

This morning, you disembark and will be driven to Dibrugarh airport for your onward journey back to Kolkata. The drive to the airport takes around 4 ½ hours and passes through this typical colonial town and a major base for American flights over 'The Hump' to China in WWII. On arrival in Kolkata, you will be transferred to your hotel for the night, and the remainder of your day will be at leisure.

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Day 11
Kolkata

Depending on the time of your onward flight, you will be appropriately transferred to the airport.

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Tailor-made Tour 10 days from £4595 per person


What's included

✓   International flights 

✓   Arrival and departure transfers 

✓   Nine nights of accommodation, including seven nights on the cruise and two nights in Kolkata

✓   All excursions on board with English-speaking guides

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

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