Assam Bengal Navigation Cruises

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Assam Bengal Navigation CruisesAssam Bengal Navigation Cruises

ASSAM BENGAL NAVIGATION pioneered long-distance river cruising in India with unique cruises on the River Brahmaputra in Assam and on the River Hugli between Kolkata and the Ganges.  The river boats, with between 12 and 22 comfortable, air-conditioned en-suite cabins, operate in Assam from October to April, and in Bengal virtually all through the year. A selection of the Hugli and Ganges cruises follow. Contact InterAsia for details of the full range of cruises available.

Hugli River  • Ganges River 
  • Bengal Despatch 1 - 8 Day Itinerary

    Bengal Despatch 1
    The Historic Hugli, upstream 7 nightsCruise along the intimate lower Ganges side stream, the River Hugli, which flows from Farakka on the main river down to Kolkata. As well as sightseeing of Kolkata itself and the European colonies just outside, the cruise takes in Murshidabad, capital of the Nawabs of Bengal, the battlefield of Plassey close by, and the many monuments of the medieval Islamic capital of Gaur. A highlight are several delightful and little known Bengali Terracotta temples.
    Day 1 – Kolkata
    You are collected from your hotel late morning to embark the ship at midday. Sail up past the old Danish colony of Serampore to Barrackpore, land and take a walk through the cantonment past the Semaphore Tower, Government House, the Temple of Fame, and Flagstaff House, its garden housing many of the British statues removed from central Kolkata.
    Day 2 – Kalna
    Sail up to Chandernagore, a French possession until 1950, and visit the 18th century church and Dupleix’s House containing a small museum. Land at Chinsura and take rickshaws to visit the Dutch cemetery and the imposing Imambara at Hugli where you reboard your ship and cruise upstream leaving urban sprawl behind. Sail into the night to a mooring near Kalna.
    Day 3 – Kalna – Mayapur
    Land at the country town of Kalna and take cycle rickshaws to see a group of some of Bengal’s most attractive terracotta temples, as well as the unique Shiva temple. Continue on through the countryside to Mayapur, its skyline dominated by the vast new ISKCON temple. Visit on the opposite bank at Nabadwip the older and humbler temples entwined within a giant banyan tree before sailing on through the night to a mooring near Matiari.
    Day 4 – Matiari 
    This morning visit the brass work village of Matiari. Later cruise on past the battlefield of Plassey, where in 1757 Clive’s defeat of Siraj-ud-Daulah changed the course of Indian history, to moor at Murshidabad.
    Day 5 – Murshidabad
    Land and travel by cycle rickshaw to the Khushbagh, a peaceful Moghul-style garden enclosing the tombs of Siraj-ud-Daulah and his family. Continue a little way upstream to visit the Nawab’s great Hazarduari Palace. Visit also the great Katra Mosque and drive out to two amazing buildings of the late 18th century, the Nashipara Palace and the Katgola Palace. Both were built in classical Georgian style by rich local merchants and represent the other side of the coin of the “White Moghul” period when English and Indian cultures came close to fusion. Overnight on the riverbank across from town.
    Day 6 – Baranagar – Jangipur
    Moor at the delightful sleepy village of Baranagar – rural India at its most idyllic. Continue up the Hugli, here a charming waterway twisting and turning between banks lined with mustard fields and mango orchards. Carry on to moor at dusk at Jangipur.
    Day 7 – Farakka Barrage
    Cruise up a long canal section to a mooring close to the Farakka Barrage. The afternoon is free. Alternatively take a full day excursion by road to Gaur, a quiet, deserted place which was once one of India’s great cities.
    Day 8 – Return to Kolkata by train 
    Transfer at dawn to Farakka station for the 6 hour train journey to Kolkata. Met on arrival and transferred to central Kolkata hotel.

  • Bengal Despatch 2 - 8 night Upstream

    Bengal Despatch 2
    The Holy Ganges, upstream, 8 nights
    Cruise along the main stream of the Ganges, 6 nights downstream or 8 nights upstream, between Farakka and the city of Patna. Mughal ruins at Rajmahal, East India Company relics at Patna and Monghyr, and Buddhist monuments at Boddh Gaya and elsewhere in this, the Buddha’s homeland, make for an exciting voyage.
    At Rajmahal, explore the remains of palaces, forts and mosques submerged in vegetation. Stop at idyllic Bateshwar to see fine 6th century rock carvings. Visit the impressive ruins of the 8th century Buddhist monastery of Vikramshil Sail along a stretch of the river where Gangetic Dolphin may be seen.
    At Bhagalpur, a centre of silk production, visit an 18th century mansion and a silk-weaving village. See the large Mughal fort at Monghyr, and an East India Company cemetery, now with villagers living amongst the grandiose tombs. Soak in the Sita Kund hot springs. Tour the excavated Buddhist monastery and stupa at Nalanda then on to the picturesque Pawapuri Jain temple in the middle of a lake.
    Patna, visiting the extraordinary 18th century Gola Ghar granary, the great Sikh temple and the rich collections of the State Museum.

  • Bengal Despatch 9 - 7 night Upstream

    Bengal Despatch 9
    City of Light, upstream 7 nights
    With the specially-designed new ship, ABN Rajmahal, this cruise accesses the sacred city of Varanasi. Operating only in periods of high water, when India is at its most lush and attractive, it explores untouched villages and towns of rural India along the river between Patna and Varanasi, concluding with two nights moored at Varanasi.
    At Patna visit the extraordinary 18th century Gola Ghar granary. Sail to the busy river port of Doriganj and visit the nearby archaeological site at Chirand.
    Visit Buxar, famous for the battle fought here in 1764, which, together with Plassey, laid the foundations of the British raj. Visit the memorial on the battlefield. See the imposing tomb of Lord Cornwallis, the general responsible for the British defeat at Yorktown. Visit the Buddhist site at Sarnath and the Deer Park where the Buddha preached his first sermon. Take row boats at dawn past the bathing ghats at Varanasi.

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  • Group Departure Dates and Prices

    Bengal Despatch 1 – The Historic Hugli Upstream
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    Bengal Despatch 2 – The Holy Ganges Upstream
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    Bengal Despatch 9 – City of Light Upstream
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    Prices are per person, in Australian dollars. Please confirm prices when booking.

  • Price Includes:
    •   Upper Deck cabin with ensuite
    •   All meals and excursions
    •   Transfers as listed
    •   Indian service tax of 3.09%

    Not included: drinks from the bar, laundry, tips.
    All itineraries are subject to river conditions.
    Contact InterAsia for the full range of Assam Bengal Navigation Cruises.
    Tour prices and inclusions are based on a minimum of 2 passengers. *As Ranthambore National Park is closed each year from July to September, alternate arrangements of the passenger’s choice will be made for bookings during this time. Additionally, access to India’s National Parks may be withdrawn at short notice due to changing conservation rules.
    International airfares are not included in the tour price.  Ask InterAsia for the current best value fare with our airline partners SINGAPORE AIRLINES, THAI AIRWAYS and MALAYSIA AIRLINES.

Assam Bengal Navigation Cruises


Photo Gallery

Assam Bengal Navigation Cruises


  • The graceful women in their bright, bright saris
  • Leisurely moments on deck
  • Varanasi on the Ganges
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