India’s layered landscapes and cultural diversity mean that travellers are always going to experience something new, something not quite like what they may have seen in other parts of the country. In East India, discover a new way to travel: glide gently down thousands of kilometers of waterways on the Ganges and Brahmaputra rivers on a boutique ship, as it takes you to sanctuaries teeming with wildlife, colonial remnants along riverbanks, and into the heart and hearth of rural India.
A pioneer of river cruises in India since 2003, Assam Bengal Navigation offers discerning travellers an immersive experience of culture, wildlife, history and life along two of the Subcontinent’s greatest rivers – the Ganges and Brahmaputra.
Cruising on the Ganges
Travellers can choose between three- to seven-night cruises on the Ganges and Lower Ganges (Hooghly). This cruise starts from the eastern edge of the country in Kolkata, passing through the terracotta temple town of Kalna; the historically rich Plassey and Murshidabad; the Mughal ruins of Gaur, among others. In the summer months, Assam Bengal Navigation operates cruises all the way into the ghats of the oldest inhabited city in the world, Varanasi; here, waking up in your comfortable cabin with panoramic windows to the sound of prayers from the ghats is truly a special experience.
The Brahmaputra’s Spell
The Brahmaputra river travels for 2900 km across Tibet, India and Bangladesh, enriching the lands and bringing life to the regions it flows through. The ABN experience on the Brahmaputra is offered in four to ten nights of adventure, nature, wildlife and and eye-opening cultural trysts with the locals and indigenous riverine tribes of the Brahmaputra valley.
These Brahmaputra cruises have been rated among the world's top 10 most adventurous cruises by the CNN for it is a mighty river that was previously deemed too wild to navigate, too moody in its channel changes until Assam Bengal Navigation embarked on their first maiden voyage. The downstream cruise starts at Dibrugarh, wending its way past the largest river island of the world, Majuli; the tea town of Jorhat; the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Kaziranga National Park (home to the largest population of one-horned rhinos); and other stops.
Each trip is aboard boutique cruise ships that feature comfortable cabins with en-suites, that are decked out with modern amenities. The unique objets d'art and handlooms on the ships are sourced directly from artisans; and locally made furniture and textiles represent the rich heritage of Assam and Bengal with pride. Food on board is prepared fresh by expert chefs who are skilled in both regional cuisine as well as Continental fare. A favourite pastime of many travellers is to relax on the sundeck with a glass of G&T as they return the waves of curious schoolchildren from the shore. While there are ample facilities and amenities on board, there is something pleasingly vintage about the cruise ships of ABN. It could be the good old-fashioned hospitality, slow strides in the countryside or the thrill of going on a voyage of discovery. One thing is for sure. This is no plain sailing.
This was the best and most memorable birthday trip ever, organised by historian Dr Irene Rogers and Antara Phookan (ABN) a historic river cruise along the lower Ganges.Our Cruise manager Romeet...
I travelled with a group from Australia who had a fascination for the history of the Hoogly, Kolkata and the British East India Company and Raj. It is hard to put into words the amazing trip we had...
We went on a 3 day cruise with Assam Bengal Navigation last December (2019). Apart from the amazing sights that we saw on shore, our time on the boat was fantastic with staff who were always...
Nearest Airport : Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport Borjhar, Guwahati, Assam
More than 6 weeks before departure of cruise: 10% of charges
Between 4 and 6 weeks before departure of cruise: 20% of charges
Between 2 and 4 weeks before departure or arrival at lodges: 50% of charges
Less than 2 weeks before departure of cruise or 1 week before arrival at lodges: 100% of charges.
2. While every effort will be made to maintain the itinerary, in view of fluctuating river conditions and navigational or mechanical difficulties, all schedules and itineraries are subject to change without notice.
3. Clients must accept the decisions of the captain, cruise and Lodge managers, who are responsible for the safety of the vessel/lodges. The cruise/lodge managers shall have the power to remove from the vessel/lodges any client if considered necessary for their medical safety or whose actions are materially affecting the enjoyment of the cruise/lodges by other clients.
4. Clients must be fully insured to cover the costs of medical evacuation, and the company cannot accept responsibility for arranging such evacuation.
5. The company cannot accept liability for loss or damage to passengers' property whilst staying with us. All valuables should be deposited with the cruise or lodge manager.
6. Should fuel costs rise by more than 10% over those obtaining at the time of publishing the yearly tariff, the company may impose a fuel surcharge to cover the extra cost.
7. Assam Bengal Navigation makes the safety of its clients its highest priority, is continually monitoring local conditions, and may modify or cancel cruises for this reason. Nevertheless there may be occasions when opinions vary over the safety of visiting the region, and we have therefore introduced the following conditions.
The client warrants that at the time of booking, he is not travelling to the specific area of the cruise contrary to the advice of his own national Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Should that advice have subsequently changed to a definite recommendation against travelling for leisure purposes to the specific area of the cruise, and should the altered advice still be current 10 days or less before departure, then Assam Bengal Navigation will credit all moneys paid towards a subsequent booking to be taken within 24 months of the initial departure date. Where the client has initially booked contrary to the recommendations of his own government and subsequently decided to cancel, our normal cancellation conditions will apply.?
8. Any dispute arising out of this contract will be governed by Indian law under Guwahati High Court jurisdiction.
1. Reservations can only be confirmed on receipt of a deposit of 20% of the total cost (or full payment if within 6 weeks of cruise departure or within 4 weeks of arrival at Jungle Lodges).
Final balance is payable 6 weeks before departure for cruise and four weeks before arrival at Lodges. Failure to pay may be treated as a cancellation, and our cancellation terms applied.