• New
  • Escorted Tour

Cruise Assam to Bengal

via Bangladesh

An amazing voyage through rivers and coastal seas from Assam to West Bengal via Bangladesh covering many UNESCO natural and cultural heritage sites! A once in life time voyage of immense diversity! 

 This 1,725 kms voyage is a cruise on the worlds longest waterways. Sailing the Brahmaputra, Jamna - Padma (Ganges) and Meghna-Hooghly (Lower Ganges) Rivers. 

Short drives take you through 5 UNESCO WORLD NATURAL AND CULTURAL HERITAGE SITES, Kaziranga and Manas plus both the Bangladesh and India Sundarbans It includes forest walks, morning-evening-night boat safaris, tribal performances, Baul Singing, otter-fishing, lives of honey-hunters, crocodile and deer eco-farms, single horned rhino adventures and the tigerlands of the Royal Bengal Tiger territories: along with confluence of the Ganges and Jamna and the colossal water upsurges at convergence of the Padma and Meghna. The open coastal sea through the Sunderban mangrove jungles (the largest in the world), Hilsa fishing with cotton, jamdhani and silk weavers, tea-planters, pottery and terracotta artisans, bell metal and brass craftsmen and the urban areas of Kolkata, Guwahati, Dhaka and Narayanganj.  Enjoy gourmet experiences of regional recipes onboard and at home hosted lunches, dinners and comforting continental and oriental cuisines.  The naturalist and the destination manager on board along with the local guides keep the journey informative, interesting and educative. 

Your travel itinerary

Saturday 05 April

Auckland – Singapore – KOLKATA (Calcutta)

A late morning departure on Singapore Airlines, change planes at Singapore for a late arrival in India, where you will be transferred to your central city hotel.

Sunday 06 April

KOLKATA

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Today is a city tour of Kolkata starting with old British Calcutta. Continue to Victoria Memorial, now serving as a royal museum of British Rule in India. Lunch is at a local restaurant, then onto Kumartuli, where a whole army of sculptors potters, frame decorators and dressers work with clay from the River Ganges, heaps of straw, cheap gold foils, bamboo, beads, plus, to create pieces of art.

Monday 07 April

KOLKATA - GUWAHATI - BOARD MV MAHABAAHU

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This morning you will transfer to the airport for the flight to Guwahati. On arrival there is a visit to the Kamakhya temple and local bazaar area. After an onboard lunch you will visit Peacock Island, the smallest inhabited river island of the world. We anchor in the Brahmaputra for the first night. 

The Brahmaputra River – 2900km long - one of the major rivers in Asia – flows through Tibet, the Himalayas, India (the Assam Valley), Bangladesh into the Bay of Bengal - possibly one of the holiest rivers of the World! - the only river in the world considered holy by Hindus, Buddhists, Jains and Bonpas, amounting to four religions!

Tuesday 08 April

SUALKUCHI WEAVING VILLAGE – GUALPARA

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After Yoga and a relaxed breakfast visit Sualkuchi—the silk hub of Assam to understand its production of Muga, (cherished golden silk of Assam), Paat (white wonder) and Eri (a warm non-violent silk).  Following a cultural performance, a walk through the village and maybe indulge in some shopping. Return for lunch as the cruise continues downstream.  This evening a talk on “Wildlife in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Kaziranga and Manas National Park. 

Wednesday 09 April

MANAS NATIONAL PARK

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An early morning drive to Manas National Park near the BHUTAN border. Here you have an elephant and Jeep Safari. Lunch will be in a resort at Manas. 

Thursday 10 April

DHUBRI

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A morning talk on “Sikh traditions and Hiramati culture” before attending a prayer ceremony (Ardas) which includes lunch at Dam-dama Sahib Gurudwara (a Sikh temple). Here you will experience the concept of langar (community eating). After that a visit to Asharekandi village, famous for its traditional crafts, Terracotta and Pottery. You may even try your hand at clay pottery.

Friday 11 April

DHUBRI-SHISHUMARA-SHAHBER AGLA-CHILMARI-BAHADURABAD

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We sail from Dhubri, to reach Shishumara for Indian Border Security Force clearance into the no-man stretch of water. 

The Bangladesh Border Guard Custom clearance is at Shahber Agla. Then at Chilmari, we complete immigration formalities, (Pilot Change) and enter Bangladesh. An Assamese theme dinner tonight. 

Saturday 12 April

BAHADURABAD TO SIRAJGANJ

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A full day cruising. After yoga, breakfast there will be a talk on “Bangladesh as a country, its monuments culture and commercial enterprises”. 

Sunday 13 April

SIRAJGANJ TO ARICHA

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 ‘An orientation on Sirajganj’ talk then travel by tender to the Sirajganj area. The Pachalia village is known for cotton weaving of colourful gamchas, lungis and saris, try some bargaining. At Hati Kamrul Navratna Temple a local artists cultural performance. Enjoy a local lunch at a roadside restaurant.

Monday 14 April

ARICHA - MAWA- NARAYANGANJ

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A day to experience the life along the river, The  mighty Jamuna and Ganges (Ganga) now merge and becomes Padma with its various boats, sand barrages, tugs, dredgers, fisherman, colourful ferries.  You have time to enjoy the Swimming Pool, Spa/massages/steam/sauna/Jacuzzi, a laid back afternoon. This evening opportunity for a riverside-walk along the banks of Padma.

Tuesday 15 April

Visit SONARGAON—JAMDHANI

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Todays tour starts with Sonargaon, a 13th century City, a walk through the ruins of Panam City to visit the Folklore museum,  Goaldi Mosque then to Nawapara to watch weaving beautiful saris /fabric. Lunch is home-cooked authentic Bangla food. 

Wednesday 16 April

VISIT CRAFT VILLAGES

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On the drive to Dhamra we stop at the National Martyr’s Monument (the Liberation War in 1971). Then move to the Metal Craft village to meet the Craftsman using a lost wax method. After a local restaurant lunch visit Kakran Pottery Village where potters cling to their ancestral profession. 

 

Thursday 17 April

DHAKA

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The city tour of Dhaka includes Dhakeshwari Temple and  the National Language Monument. Followed by a cycle rickshaw ride on the streets of Dhaka. Next visit the Lal Bagh Fort and the tomb of Bibi Pari and Shahista Palace, before a rickshaw ride to Shakhari Bazaar. This evening a home hosted dinner with a local family. 

 

Friday 18 April

DHAKA - CHANDPUR – BARISAL

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Leaving Dhaka Port our cruise returns into the waters of Padma. Here the volume and quantity of water at the confluence is immense. The fishermen of this area are known for Hilsa fishing, a delicacy of Bangladesh. We stop at a Hilsa fishing village and engage with the locals.  On arrival at Barisal we have a vist to the thriving village market for fresh vegetables and local fruits as well as spices. Also a tour of a Bangladeshi ferry. 

Saturday 19 April

FLOATING MARKET VISIT & CRUISE TOWARDS SUNDARBANS

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A very early morning drive to the floating vegetable market. This is a unique experience  where all transport is done on the river. We return to the boat and cruise to reach the UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE OF SUNDARBANS in the Kotka Forest Area. 

 

Sunday 20 April

SUNDARBANS - KOTKA WILDLIFE SANCTURARY

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It is a very exciting and different experience in these water laden animal sanctuaries. Another early morning departure for an exciting  90 min boat safari along the Sundarbans shores to the canals and creeks near The Kotka Wildlife Sanctuary. Here you observe (spotted deer, monkeys, wild boar, water monitor and birds) as they wake up among the aerial roots of the mangrove mudflats. Return for breakfast and continue our cruise through the estuary waters to reach Jamtola Beach. Here a walk through the mangrove vegetation where the tiger plays hide and seek leaveing behind ‘fresh pugmarks’. Also an opportunity to indulge and take a dip in the waters of Bay of Bengal. Onto to Chandpai Dolphin Sanctuary and after dinner, a night safari in the water inlets of the mangrove shores. 

 

Monday 21 April

HARBARIA FOREST STATION & KARAMJAL CROCODILE FARM

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Again an early morning boat safari to visit the Harbaria Forest Station. Return for breakfast then a three-hour morning forest walk at the Harbaria Forest Station to study the mangrove fauna and flora. Later continue by tender to the Karamjal Eco Tourism Center and the Karamjal Crocodile Farm. Followed by a ship lunch as we sail to Daingmari Dolphin Sanctuary waters. By tender you will observe not just dolphins but also watch the techniques of otter fishing. On to Mongla Port and the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Bagerhat. This evening a cultural performance. 

 

Tuesday 22 April

RETURN INTO INDIAN WATERS

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This is a full day for sailing from Mongla Port to Hemnagar. It is a relaxing day but with a lot of official activity on board both for custom and immigration clearance. 

Wednesday 23 April

SUNDARBANS - SAJNEKHALI

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An early morning trip to explore the waters of the Indian Sunderbans and its wild life. After breakfast, enjoy a Purulia cultural performance in one of the villages plus visit the Mangrove Interpretation Centre at Sajnekhali with a walk to see wild life. After lunch another boat safari in Sajnekhali to look in the narrow water inlets for more wild life.

Thursday 24 April

KOLKATA - CHANDAN NAGAR

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 After Immigration formalities we sail past Belur Math and the old Danish Colony of Serampore. We take a walk through the cantonment past the Semaphore Tower, Government House, the Temple of Fame and the Flagstaff House. 

Friday 25 April

CHANDAN NAGAR – MAYAPUR

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 This day starts with a visit to Bandel (the former Portuguese colony). Our cruise then  continues to Kalna where we take rickshaws to see some of West Bengal’s most attractive terracotta temples. 

Saturday 26 April

MAYAPUR - MATIARI – MURSHIDABAD

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 Today’s visits include; the famous (Tant Bengal cotton Weavers colony) at Phulia/ Shantipur, then the brass-working village of Matiari to witness the whole primitive process of beating out brass water pots and other vessels, before continuing upstream towards Mayapur with a visit to the headquarters of ISKCON (Hare Krishna).

Sunday 27 April

MURSHIDABAD

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A full day tour of Murshidabad. One of the oldest cities in West Bengal, Murshidabad stands as a testimony to the rich heritage of Nawabs of Bengal. Later, visit Katra Mosque and Katgola Gardens. Also visit the famous Adinath Temple, built in 1873. A late lunch and sail back towards Kolkata with the tide. 

Monday 28 April

KOLKATA-Singapore

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We will reach Kolkata today. Disembark after lunch and transfer to the airport for your Singapore Airlines return flight.

Tuesday 29 April

Singapore - Auckland

Arrive Singapore early morning, change planes and arrive Auckland late evening

Inclusions

• Return economy Singapore airline  airfares Auckland - Singapore – Kolkata

• Domestic air flight Kolkata – Guwahati

• Travel in air-conditioned coaches 

• Accommodation in 4-star hotel with private facilities in Kolkata

• Breakfasts, lunches and dinners are all included 

• 21-day river boat cruise, all meals including home hosted lunches and dinners.

• All entrance fees, park and boat safaris, excursions, cultural performances as outlined in the itinerary 

• Use of onboard Jacuzzi/Steam/Sauna (charges apply)

• All excursions off the boat are included

• Two bottles of mineral water per person, per day 

• All current applicable taxes.

• English speaking guide pre-cruise

• Services of English-speaking naturalist / destination manager throughout the cruise.

• Pukekohe Travel tour escort (subject to 20 people travelling) 

 

Cost

Cost Per Person *
Auckland - Auckland
Twin ShareSingle
 Suite (283 sqft)   $22,513   N/A 

Luxury Cabin with balcony  (230 sqft)

  $20,382   $22,508
 Deluxe Cabin - Balcony (206 sqft)   $19,530   $21,417
 Superior Cabin – No balcony (150 sqft)   $16,972   $18,655
Business Class Upgrade

 +$5913

Premium Economy Class Upgrade

P.O.A

Early Booking Discount (31 July 2024 )

$150 

Previous International Pukekohe Travel Tour Discount

$100

*This is a cash price. Credit cards will incur a 1.5% fee
*Itinerary and costs subject to change, airline and fuel charges and currency fluctuations prior to final payment

Exclusions

• Airport and security taxes (approx. $300 per person) 

• Items of a personal nature

• Camera / video fees at monuments 

• Indian (multiple entry) and Bangladesh visas

• Travel Insurance is essential (Please ask us for a quote)

• Gratuities and tips

 

Booking Conditions

• A non-refundable deposit of $2000 per person will secure a place on the tour 

• Full payment due no later than 20 December 2024

 

Cancellations

• From the date of booking until 20 December  2024 – loss of deposit 

• After 20 December  2024 – no refund 

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance is essential. Please feel free to contact us for a quote.

General Information

Currency / Money

• Cash is king. Take USD, Euro or Pounds Sterling to change into Rupees and Bangladesh Taka

• Credit Cards, Visa and Mastercard are accepted.

• ATMs are available in cities. It is advisable to use those located inside a bank – this can be time-consuming! 

 

Clothing

• Comfortable clothes are the order of the day – evening dinners are relaxed.

 • (Onboard laundry service is inexpensive and efficient). 

• Hats, sunglasses and comfortable sandals are a must. 

• A scarf or pareu is handy for temples etc or for sun protection. 

• A small umbrella is great for light rain showers or sunshade. 

• Photographic opportunities are plentiful – respect the local people and ask before taking photos. 

• Remember Binoculars and swimwear

Documentation

• A current passport is required valid six months beyond the date of travel.

• New Zealand passport holders require a visa for India  

• All other passports please ask

Temperatures ˚c     Max      Min

Gulwhati                    34     20 

Kolkata                       35.    24

Dhaka                         33     24

Sundarbans               33     26

 

Health and Mobility

• There are no obligatory inoculations required 

•Hepatitis should not be an issue but precautionary measures are your choice 

• Update your tetanus and polio

• Assam is a Malaria-risk area. A good Deet insect repellent is recommended and long-sleeved trousers and shirts early morning and evening are advised 

• Malaria prevention varies considerably. Check with your medical professional 

• A good standard of health and mobility are required.

Ship Information

M.V. Mahabaahu

M.V. Mahabaahu - is the only riverboat offering this exclusive cruise from Assam to West Bengal. This once in a lifetime experience offers UNESCO sites, National Parks, boat and jeep safaris, home hosted lunches and dinners, cultural experiences and so much more. M.V. Mahabaahu provides a very comfortable base from which to view all this action. Its large-windowed cabins ( several of which have balconies ) are all airconditioned and have a private ensuite bathroom. The ship facilities include an incredible spa experience, swimming pool, bar & lounge area and restaurant. The upper deck offers 360 views and is a great place to watch the wonders of the world pass by. Many shore excursions are taken by ship tender vessels which are large, spacious and open air. 

All meals, ship to shore excursions, onboard lectures and entertainment are included on this adventure.

 

Terms and Conditions

• For full terms and conditions please visit our website  www.pukekohetravel.co.nz/termsandconditions  or ask our tour consultant for a copy


Note: Pukekohe Travel reserves the right to correct errors and omissions on our website without recourse.
* Itinerary subject to change

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