Inside India can arrange unique cruises on the River Brahmaputra in Assam, or cruises on the River Hugli between Kolkata and the Ganges. Inside India works together with an Indo-British joint venture whose expertise in the field of river cruising, on both waterways, is unrivalled.
Their first luxury river boat, the “Charaidew” with 12 air-conditioned en-suite cabins was joined in 2006 by her near-identical sister ship “Sukapha”. The ships operate on the Brahmaputra from October to April, and on the Hugli during the summer months.
Wildlife and wilderness are the main features of a Brahmaputra cruise – the river bed is often 20 or 30km across, an empty world of sand spits and water with marvelous bird life and the occasional Gangetic Dolphin. The cruises here also give access to a number of India’s National Parks, including Kaziranga, perhaps the finest of all, and Manas, a Project Tiger Reserve on the Bhutan border or the rarely visited Orang National Park home of the Great Indian One Horned Rhinoceros. Other high lights are Parkand the archaeological site of Sri Surya Prahar, the silk weaving village of Sualkuchi, the ruins of the medieval city of Gaur, Murshidabad, capital of the Nawabs of Bengal, delightful Bengali terracotta temples, and the colonial trading stations of the British and other European nations to the north of Calcutta.
Each water cruise has its specific charm. The Brahmaputra cruises feature visits and attractions such as wildlife viewing (both by jeep and on elephant back as per availability), village walks, visits to tea gardens, exploring country towns in cycle rickshaws, barbecues on deserted river islands, dance performances, and visits to craft workshops. There are many opportunities to see Assam’s rural way of life. The Hugli is a more intimate waterway, bordered by villages and rural landscape of jute fields and mango orchards. The emphasis here is on monuments and culture, whether Hindu, Muslim or Colonial. Cruises on the Hugli include sightseeing of temples, towns and villages, whether by bus, cycle rickshaw or on foot.