Exploration cruise | River cruise
Day by day itinerary
Depart UK and fly to Kolkata
Fly overnight to Kolkata, arriving the next day.
Arrive at Kolkata International Airport. After clearing Customs and Immigration our representative will meet you and escort you to the hotel, The Oberoi Grand, for a 2-night stay on a B&B basis. Evening at leisure.
After breakfast, visit the Victoria Memorial. This marble-white monument is one of the most fascinating landmarks of Kolkata. Here, come face to face with miniature paintings and images of Queen Mary, King George V and Queen Victoria. Of special importance are the Queen's dresses, the famous Rosewood piano, the Whispering Gallery in the dome and numerous artillery weapons used in the Battle of Plassey.
Next stop will be St. Paul’s Cathedral, built in the Indo-Gothic style of architecture, and was built in 1847 by Major W.N. Forbes of the East India Company. The height of the Cathedral is 201 ft. This Cathedral has the rare distinction of being the first Episcopal Church built in this part of the world. The peak of St. Paul's Cathedral has been designed as a replica of the famous Canterbury Cathedral's Henry Tower.
Thereafter visit Mother Teresa’s House, called ‘Nirmal Hriday,’ and also visit Shishu Bhawan, located near her house. Mother Teresa’s great work of caring for abandoned children on the streets of Kolkata is carried out at this center. Return to the hotel. Lunch & Dinner on own.
Kolkata to Jorhat
After breakfast, transfer to the airport to board a morning flight to Jorhat (flight via Guwahati) arriving early afternoon.
On arrival at Jorhat airport, you will be met at the receiving area and transferred to Neamati Ghat to board the MV Mahabaahu.
After a welcome from the friendly crew, you can check into your cabin. After a safety drill, gather on the open decks to enjoy the first sail and scan the river for a fleeting sight of the Gangetic Dolphins. In the evening enjoy a talk on ‘Sibsagar and the Ahom civilization’.
After an early breakfast, start your 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. Next, visit the Shiva Dol, constructed in the year 1734, believed to be the highest Shiva temple in India.
You will also 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 drive to a Tea Estate for a relaxed afternoon and enjoy a traditional Assamese lunch with the Tea-estate family who have been involved in the tea business over a period of a century.
Return to MV Mahabaahu by sunset and enjoy a relaxed evening in the Soma lounge before proceeding for dinner
Majuli Island and Mishing fishing village
During breakfast, the ship saila towards Majuli, a cosmos of Assamese culture where various philosophies co-exist and thrive.
After breakfast, enjoy a talk on 'Majuli', the seat of Vaishnav culture, and then take the tender to the mainland where a drive takes you to a scenic corner of a Satra for a cultural performance by Satriya singers and dancers. Next, drive to Kamlabari Satra to witness the Vaishnavite priests dancing to the rhythm of cymbals, drums and chanting in the temple premise.
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 you enjoy a talk on ‘Assam, its geographical location & importance’. Enjoy the evening under the stars on a deserted island and proceed for dinner.
MV Mahabaahu sails towards the Eastern Range of Kaziranga for a boat Safari. Enjoy breakfast and a talk on ‘The River Brahmaputra and the life that exists alongside’.
Proceed for the safari in 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.
Return to the ship for lunch. This evening enjoy the Chef’s Cooking Demonstration followed by a talk on ‘Tea, Silk and Jute in Assam.’
Enjoy the evening on a deserted island with a roaring bonfire. Enjoy dinner on MV Mahabaahu. (Bonfire may be avoided if a suitable sandbank cannot be found or if we experience inclement weather conditions)
After breakfast, enjoy an interesting talk on ‘Kaziranga and the wild life in India’, then take a tender to go to the shores of Bishwanath Ghat.
Visit the Shiva Dol in reverence of Lord Shiva and watch the women with their weaving looms. Enjoy a walk through the village and see how this suburban village thrives.
Sail on for the next couple of hours and enjoy a relaxed lunch as the ship sails to 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. Proceed to the tea factory to see the process of finally producing Assam Tea and coming to terms with ‘all that goes into preparing a cup-of-tea.’ (The tea factory is not operational from mid- December to mid -February as the tea is at its dormant stage during this time of the year). Return to where the ship is anchored.
Kaziranga National Park
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.
Enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime elephant-backed safari where you can search for the elusive rhinoceros, tigers, swamp deer, hog deer and a large number of very interesting birds.
After breakfast at a resort in Kaziranga, 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.
Return to MV Mahabaahu for a leisurely lunch and a relaxed afternoon.
After the leisurely pace of the day and having recovered the lost sleep, once again get together for a talk on ‘Kamakhya and the Occult and Peacock Island’ and then proceed for the traditional Assamese theme dinner.
In October and May when Kaziranga National Park is closed we do a short Jeep Safari in the outer area of the Kaziranga National Park. Elephant safari is not possible but one can opt for elephant joy ride on the outskirts of the park. During these two months we have an additional Boat Safari in a very picturesque area at the confluence of Diphlu and Brahmaputra River.
Catch up on Yoga on an island or on the deck for an hour and move on to breakfast while MV Mahabaahu lifts anchor and heads on towards an island that is occupied predominantly by a farming community.
After a visit to this village, return to the ship for lunch and sail towards Peacock Island that is home to some Golden Langurs.
After the Peacock island visit, sail towards Pandu Port and anchor at a jetty. Enjoy the Farewell Dinner ‘AlvidaBhoj’ on board.
Guwahati and Kolkata
The crew on-board organises your transport and with a packed lunch drive to the Kamakhya Temple. This Temple is devoted to the eternal feminine; the goddess of desire whose name is Kama Khya, granter of desires.
Drive onward from the temple to Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport with packed lunch for flight to Delhi / Kolkata.
Arrive Delhi/Kolkata and connect your onward international flight. Arrive UK the next day.
Any element of this cruise can be adjusted to suit your needs. Just contact us to find out more.
11-day stay & cruise on board M.V. Mahabaahu (Far Horizon Tours) from £2,909 incl. flights
Departure: 29 March 2018
Special tailor-made fares
- International flights to Kolkata
- Overseas transfers
- 2-nights accommodation on a B&B basis at The Oberoi Grand in a Deluxe Room
- Kolkata tour as described in the itinerary
- Indian domestic flight
Includes on board:
- Accommodation on the M.V. Mahabaahu on a full board basis
- All entrance fees to the Monuments and National Parks as per the itinerary
- 1 glass of domestic wine/beer with Farewell and Welcome dinners
- All excursions/lectures/performances and activities as per the itinerary
- Services of English speaking naturalist during sightseeing at all the places as per the itinerary
- Assisted arrival & departure transfers at Guwahati and Jorhat
- Land transport by air-conditioned vehicles except in Kaziranga and Majuli Island (Subject to availability)
- Transfers to airport
- Domestic flight to Kolkata
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