RARE Newsletter | Vol 40 | Two Rivers & A Sail Story | August - 2021

AUGUST, 2021
“Rivers are places that renew our spirit, connect us with ourselves, and link us directly with the flow and rhythm of the natural world.”
-Ted Turner
Circa 2003, travel in India made a mighty shift forward when Assam Bengal Navigation, an Indo-British company introduced river cruising on two of the mighty rivers of India – Ganges and Brahmaputra. A chance conversation between Ashish and Jahnabi Phookan with Andrew and Grania Brock, the result was the pioneering idea of river cruising to discover heritage, cultures, natural heritage and settlements along the river. This boutique portfolio offers river cruises on specially-designed small ships and houseboats that introduce you to unique, authentic culture and nature - engaged experiences. Diphlu River Lodge, a safari eco-lodge in Kaziranga National Park was once Ashish & Jahnabi Phookan’s jungle home that is open to guests.


A once in a lifetime experience, traverse the two mighty rivers, with a riverside view of some of the remote towns and hamlets, sanctuaries teeming with wildlife and delve in to the history of the colonial remnants along the riverbanks.

Each river is unique in its offering, this year we will be highlighting the vast expanse of the Brahmaputra (incidentally the only male river in India) at times oceanic. For the first time ever, we are introducing short (2-3 nights) itineraries that are ideal introductions to the beauty of this region focused on different sectors of the Brahmaputra River.
Brahmaputra River CITY & BEYOND

The luxury boutique ship, ABN Charaidew II has 18 cabins spread over two decks is an ideal way to explore the river valley in style and comfort. The décor is a homage to Assam and the vessel includes a dining hall, a small gym and spa, a saloon and a bar on the sun deck. This voyage is an ideal introduction to the Brahmaputra River valley and vignettes of Assam.


  • Cruising the Brahmaputra is unlike any other river cruise.
  • Wake up to panoramic views of Assam’s natural beauty from the middle of the river.
  • Immerse yourself in Assamese culture, indigenous silks & textiles and enjoy tribal folk cultural performance.
  • Walks into idyllic village settlements on the river bank and temple visits.
  • Treat your taste buds to an array of indigenous cuisines from Assam.
  • Enjoy a BBQ on a private sandbank or sand island under a starry night with live music, far away from urban life.

Price: INR 66,400++* per person for 2 nights


The boutique expedition ship, ABN Sukapha is smaller in size to the above ship. In an effort to conserve India’s forests, her 12 upper deck cabins are bamboo-paneled, air-conditioned,  roomy with en suite bathrooms and floor to ceiling panoramic windows. There is a spa and a saloon with a library. The dining room is on the main deck and a spacious sundeck at the very top. Furniture on board is locally made; objet d'arts in the saloon are from Assam and Bengal; and fabrics are all locally sourced by the finest artisans in all of the state. 


  • Cruising the upper reaches of the Brahmaputra River where it is almost oceanic.
  • Discover the rural idyll of Majuli, one of the world’s largest river islands and a microcosm of Assamese culture.
  • Watch in delight as the ‘dancing monks’ of Majuli perform Sattriya, a graceful classical dance from Assam originating in the 15th century.
  • Wake up to panoramic views of Assam’s natural beauty from your cabin.
  • Immerse yourself in tribal culture as you discover the riverside villages of indigenous communities.
  • Savour indigenous tribal cuisines and various blends of Assam teas at a cooking demonstration and tasting session. 
  • Experience the magic of an Assamese sunset on comfortable loungers on the sundeck.
  • Keep an eye out for the endangered Gangetic river dolphin - a wondrous sight on the Brahmaputra river.
  • Cruise along the banks of the Kaziranga national park where you can get lucky to spot wild animals from the ship.

Price: INR 75,000++* per person for 3 nights

Catch the 2nd Gen of this river cruising venture, Antara Phookan in conversation with Shoba Mohan here to catch a glimpse of what is in store:
Action & Adventure in the Indian Subcontinent with Assam Bengal Navigation

For more details and to book your spot, contact us at
+919810265781 / +917814955020 / bookrare@rareindia.com.
. . . .
facebook icon twitter icon youtube icon linkedin icon instagram icon
A Collection of the finest ‘conscious luxury’ hotels