Travel in style on board an expedition style luxury cruise ship on the River Brahmaputra in Assam. You will see remnants of a lesser known civilization, tribal life & the spiritual life of the Vaishnavite sect on the largest river Island in the world. Assam is famous the world over for tea. You will visit a tea-estate & enjoy lunch with a tea-estate family. See the animal & bird life of the Kaziranga National Park as your ship cruises through the wilderness. Cultural performances, enlightening lectures & bonfire on a deserted Island are all part of the adventure. Stay at a resort in the park and embark on elephant & jeep safaris to see the most famous of the wild-life here – the one horned rhinoceros! Here's a link to a short video on the M.V. Mahabaahu Cruise
Departure Dates & Costs 2020:
Brahmaputra River Cruise and Kaziranga National Park (8 days)
Upstream: March 1 - 8 or Mar 29 - Apr 5
Downstream: March 8 - 15 or April 5 - 12
Special offer: $ 2,345 USD per person if booked by Aug 31, 2019
Regular pricing: $ 2,600 USD per person
Single Supplement $ 1,185 USD
Domestic flight Kolkata - Jorhat included
Day 1 (Saturday): Arrive Kolkata
Arrival in Kolkata by international flight. On arrival you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Optional afternoon city tour of Kolkata. Arrive a night early and add time in cultural Kolkata!
Day 2 (Sunday): Kolkata – Jorhat / Board MV Mahabaahu (B,L,D)
After breakfast we are transferred to airport for our flight to Jorhat. On arrival at the Jorhat airport, you will be met at the receiving area and with packed lunch. Drive the scenic roads of Assam to Neamati Ghat (about 40 minutes) to board the MV Mahabaahu. We check into our cabins and immediately gather in the restaurant for the essential safety briefing and to experience the first sail.All gather on the open deck to enjoy the first sail and scan the river for a fleeting sight of the Gangetic Dolphins. We proceed into theevening with a talk on ‘Sibsagar and the Ahom civilization’. Soon we drop anchor and the evening follows into welcome dinner. 5 nights onboard MV Mahabaahu.
Day 3 (Monday): Sibsagar and home-hosted lunch (B,L,D)
After an early breakfast, we start our day-excursion to Sibsagar, the ancient city and capital of the Tai-speaking Ahoms who came in the 13th Century AD to the area from the north-east and were essentially of Tibeto-Burman origin. Sibsagar town literally means ‘the ocean of Lord Shiva’ as it is built around a huge man made water tank ordered by the Ahom Queen. The Shiva Dol, constructed in the year 1734 is believed to be the highest Shiva temple in India. We visit The Talatal or Kareng Ghar, the palace of the Ahom Kings and the Rang Ghar, an amphitheater, a place of entertainment or important meetings for the Royals and their guests. Thereafter we drive to a Tea Estate for a relaxed afternoon where we enjoy a traditional Assamese lunch with the Tea-estate family who have been involved in the tea business over a period of a century. Here we sip our beverages as we explore the lawns and proceed to indulge in traditional Assamese cuisine. We return to MV Mahabaahu by sunset and enjoy a relaxed evening in the Soma lounge before proceeding for dinner.
Day 4 (Tuesday): Majuli Island / Mishing Village (B,L,D)
Start the day with a walk along the swamps to catch a sight of owls, orioles, changeable eagles, adjutant storks, sea gulls, kingfishers, swallows and many more. As we have our breakfast, we sail towards Majuli, a cosmos of Assamese culture where various philosophies co-exist and thrive. After breakfast, we enjoy a talk on ‘Majuli’ the seat of Vaishnav culture and proceed in our tenders to the mainland where a drive takes us to a scenic corner of a Satra for an interesting cultural performance by Satriya singers and dancers. Next, we drive to Kamlabari Satra to witness the Vaishnavite priests dancing to the rhythm of cymbals, drums and chanting in the temple premise.We enjoy hot lunch on MV Mahabaahu and sail towards the closest Mishing Village. The Mishings live on the bank of river in ‘Chang ghars’, houses with raised platform. All Mishing women are expert weavers. The indoor life of a Mishing person revolves around the kitchen area where the family can get together. After the Mishing Village MV Mahabaahu heads towards Dhansiri Mukh where the waters of Bhramaputra and Dhansiri meet, while we enjoy a talk on ‘Assam, its geographical location & importance’. We then enjoy the evening under the stars on a deserted island and proceed for dinner.
Day 5 (Wednesday): Kaziranga Park Boat Safari (B,L,D)
After yoga or an early morning walk on a deserted island MV Mahabaahu sails towards the Eastern Range of Kaziranga for boat Safari. We enjoy breakfast and a talk on ‘The River Brahmaputra and the life that exists alongside’. We proceed for the safari in our tenders for about two hours. The shores are high but one can see roof turtles on protruding drift wood, water lizards, otters, elephants, wild buffaloes, rhinos, darters, herons, pied kingfishers, white throated kingfishers, serpent eagles and many more. The sightings are always determined by the weather conditions. We return for lunch. This evening we enjoy the Chef’s Cooking Demonstration followed by a talk on ‘Tea, Silk and Jute in Assam.’ The evening on a deserted island with bonfire is always unusual. We enjoy dinner on MV Mahabaahu.
Day 6 (Thursday): Weaver’s village at Bishwanath Ghat / Silghat Tea Estate and/or Jute Mill
After breakfast, we enjoy an interesting talk on ‘Kaziranga and the wild life in India’. Then we step into our tenders to go to the shores of BishwanathGhat. We visit the Shiva Dol in reverence of Lord Shiva and there is no way that we can avoid the women with their weaves. We enjoy a walk through the village and see how this suburban village thrives. We sail on for the next couple of hours and enjoy a relaxed lunch and reach Silghat. Take a short drive to the Kaliabore tea estate, which is a vast expanse of undulating land with tea bushes, watching the tribal women pick tea leaves. We proceed to the tea factory to learn about all that goes into preparing a cup-of-tea. We return to where the ship is anchored. Close by is a co-operative Jute Mill is an interesting place to understand how the Jute fibre takes the form of very eco-friendly gunny bags. By sunset, we enjoy a cultural evening on the ship. We have an early dinner and retire for the evening.
Day 7 (Friday): Kaziranga National Park (B,L,D)
We rise very early today and after a warm cup of tea and some snacks, drive out towards the Kaziranga National Park. The most prized inhabitant of Kaziranga is the Greater One-Horned Indian Rhinoceros, but the Park is home to as many as 180 different mammals including wild elephants, tiger, deer, Asiatic wild buffalo and a rich variety of birds. We reach the Kohora Mihimukh range of the National Park and are ready to start our morning adventure; once-in-a-lifetime elephant-backed safari where we search for the elusive rhinoceros, tigers, swamp deer and hog deer and more and a large number of very interesting birds. The park never ceases to surprise us. After breakfast at a resort in Kaziranga, we drive on to Bagori, the Western Range of Kaziranga and get into the open jeeps for some more wild life adventure and an extensive coverage of this magnificent park. After the safari we check-in at a hotel in the Kaziranga National Park. Rest of the day is free. Overnight at the lodge.
Day 8 (Saturday): Kaziranga / Drive to Guwahati / Depart (B)
In the early morning we leave for another Jeep Safari in the national park. We return to our hotel for breakfast. After breakfast, we check-out and leave for Guwahati airport (approx. 2 ½ hour drive for the departure flight).
Extensions to Sikkim/Darjeeling, Bhutan, or Rajasthan can be added to compliment the journey.
It was more than I anticipated – a good learning experience and wonderful service. Keep up the good work. Thank you, thank you. K. Basher
What a special experience here on this lovely cruiseboat. The staff were exceptionally helpful and friendly. Meals were delicious. My elephant ride and jungle safari were both fabulous! Not to be missed. S. Booth
Thank you for a wonderful first time visit to India. The Assam region is colourful and varied which led to grand experiences and a greater appreciation of the area. The crew were attentive, helpful and always ready to respond with care and smiles. The naturalist was so generous with his time and knowledge and his willingness to help with camera problems. P. MacDonald
Memorable river cruise made even better by the staff and crew. Food, service, the deserted island BBQ, the presentations and all the varied natural and cultural experiences will be embedded in the part of the brain that stores happy memories. Thank you so much. C. Evans
Truly shown a wonderful enlightening time aboard the ship. I wish to extend a heartfelt thank you to those working behind the scenes. I will never forget this journey aboard your first class river cruise. And, thank you to Tours of Exploration BC Canada for recommending this cruise. T. Macintosh
What a great experience! The staff and crew were excellent!!! They exceeded our expectations. R. Chesnik
Our first visit to India ended on this wonderful ship of luxury. Everyone was so kind and took care of us with such concern for our comforts. First rate! M. Chesnik, Windsor, Ontario
This was a wonderful experience – both cultural and all other aspects. Thank you for everything. M. McCracken