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River Island Cruise

This cruise on the highest navigable reaches of the Brahmaputra highlights the unique culture of the area, fusing Indian and Southeast Asian influences with a visit to Sibsagar – the old capital of the Ahom kings – and Majuli Island, with its unique Hindu monastic communities famous for their dance drama. Wildlife is not forgotten and the cruise visits the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Kaziranga National Park where sightings of one-horned rhinos are virtually guaranteed.
06 October, 2018 to 13 October, 2018 Make a booking request for River Island Cruise, departing on 06 October, 2018

Prices quoted here are often dependent on currency fluctuations. Please check with (01432 507450 or info@small-cruise-ships.com) for the very latest price, which may well be cheaper than the one advertised here.

Cabin £ 1025 GBP pp (+ 5% Tax Applicable to all Cabin Categories. From 69 USD pp)
10 twin-bedded and 2 double-bedded cabins with en-suite shower and W.C.
view cabin photo
Cabin Solo £ 1575 GBP pp (+ 5% Tax Applicable to all Cabin Categories. From 69 USD pp)
10 twin-bedded and 2 double-bedded cabins with en-suite shower and W.C.
view cabin photo
29 December, 2018 to 05 January, 2019 Make a booking request for River Island Cruise, departing on 29 December, 2018

Prices quoted here are often dependent on currency fluctuations. Please check with (01432 507450 or info@small-cruise-ships.com) for the very latest price, which may well be cheaper than the one advertised here.

Cabin £ 1709 GBP pp (+ 5% Tax Applicable to all Cabin Categories. From 69 USD pp)
10 twin-bedded and 2 double-bedded cabins with en-suite shower and W.C.
view cabin photo
Cabin Solo £ 2525 GBP pp (+ 5% Tax Applicable to all Cabin Categories. From 69 USD pp)
10 twin-bedded and 2 double-bedded cabins with en-suite shower and W.C.
view cabin photo
23 March, 2019 to 30 March, 2019 Make a booking request for River Island Cruise, departing on 23 March, 2019

Prices quoted here are often dependent on currency fluctuations. Please check with (01432 507450 or info@small-cruise-ships.com) for the very latest price, which may well be cheaper than the one advertised here.

Cabin £ 2235 GBP pp (+ 5% Tax Applicable to all Cabin Categories. From 69 USD pp)
10 twin-bedded and 2 double-bedded cabins with en-suite shower and W.C.
view cabin photo
Cabin Solo £ 3365 GBP pp (+ 5% Tax Applicable to all Cabin Categories. From 69 USD pp)
10 twin-bedded and 2 double-bedded cabins with en-suite shower and W.C.
view cabin photo

River Island Cruise itinerary:

show reverse itinerary
DAY 1 Jorhat
​ Arrive at Jorhat airport and drive 2 ½ hrs to Steemer Ghat, a lovely beach below jungle-covered hills and close to Kaziranga National Park. Alternatively, arrive at Guwahati airport and drive 4 ½ hrs to Steemer Ghat.
DAY 2 Kaziranga National Park
​ Disembark pre-dawn and drive to Kaziranga National Park’s Central Range for an early morning elephant ride, your best chance for close encounters with wildlife. ​ Covering an area of approximately 430 sq kms, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Kaziranga National Park is home to the world’s largest population of the Indian One-Horned Rhinoceros as well as the Indian Wild Water Buffalo. It has also earned the distinction of having the highest density of Royal Bengal Tigers (one every five sq. km.) making this park an incredibly rich biodiversity hotspot. With its marshy swamps and thickets of elephant grass, this park supports large populations of Indian elephants, Indian bison, swamp deer, and Capped Langurs. ​ Besides wildlife, Kaziranga National Park is also a birding paradise. A few of the bird species found here are the Oriental Honey Buzzard, Black-shouldered Kite, White-tailed Eagle, Himalayan Griffon and so on. ​ Kaziranga National Park also frequently draws comparisons to the Serengeti in Africa due to the park's abundance of wildlife and birds. ​ Return to breakfast on board the ship, cruising upstream with Kaziranga National Park on the right bank. Around midday, we reach Vishnath, known for its an Ahom-period Shiva temple. Walk through the town before reboarding and setting off again, with Kaziranga still on the far bank. Wild elephants may sometimes be spotted and once, memorably, even a tiger. ​
DAY 3 On the River
​ The day is spent on the river where there will be a good chance of spotting the endangered Gangetic dolphin, as well as creating a sensation in bankside villages as we pass. Arrive in the evening at lonely Dhansiri Mukh.
DAY 4 Kaziranga National Park
​ This morning, we land and take a jeep safari to Kaziranga’s little-visited Eastern Range, with grasslands much favoured by rhinos where you might also spot the rare Bengal Florican. Return to the boat and continue our cruise upstream. ​
DAY 5 On the River
​ Another day spent cruising upstream. We shall take time to pause and walk through a bankside village, getting an insight into the life of rural India.
DAY 6 Majuli Island
Around the time of breakfast, we should reach Majuli Island, one of the world’s largest river islands. A microcosm of Assamese culture, Majuli represents rural idyll in Assam. A stronghold of the peaceful religion of neo-Vaishnavism, the elegant island satras — some for celibate monks, some for families — showcase a unique way of life where the faithful live simply, offering worship through gayan-bayan (songs and musical instruments) and readings. We visit a monastery at Auniati with an eclectic museum, then attend a dance performance at Kamalbari monastery, before cruising across to Neamati Ghat on the opposite bank.
DAY 7 Sibsagar
We visit Horu Charai tea estate this morning and witness all the processes of tea production. (Note: the factory is inoperative between December and mid-March.) Later, drive for about an hour to Sibsagar, the one-time capital of the Ahom kings of Assam. Shan by origin but converts to Hinduism, the Ahoms ruled Assam for some 700 years until the 1820s. Their culture and architecture is a strange and delightful amalgam of India and Southeast Asia. We shall see temples with stupa-like profiles and palaces of distinctive form. For the record book, the temple tank here is believed to be the world’s largest hand-excavated reservoir. Return to your ship, which will have cruised up to Dikhou Mukh close to Sibsagar. (Dependent on river conditions, the last night may be spent at Neamati, close to Jorhat.)
DAY 8 Dibrugarh
​ This morning, drive for 2 ½ hours to Dibrugarh airport, passing through this typical colonial town and major base for American flights over 'The Hump' to China in WWII. Alternatively, drive for around 1 ½ hors to Jorhat airport. ​
Please Note:
Cruising is subject to river conditions and elephant safaris are subject to availability. Kaziranga National Park comprises low-lying grassland, which may not be visitable when the river is at or near flood level. ​ All driving times mentioned in this itinerary are approximate.

River Island Cruise reverse itinerary:

show main itinerary
Please Note: *
Cruising is subject to river conditions and elephant safaris are subject to availability. Kaziranga National Park comprises low-lying grassland, which may not be visitable when the river is at or near flood level. ​ All driving times mentioned in this itinerary are approximate.
DAY 8 Dibrugarh *
​ This morning, drive for 2 ½ hours to Dibrugarh airport, passing through this typical colonial town and major base for American flights over 'The Hump' to China in WWII. Alternatively, drive for around 1 ½ hors to Jorhat airport. ​
DAY 7 Sibsagar *
We visit Horu Charai tea estate this morning and witness all the processes of tea production. (Note: the factory is inoperative between December and mid-March.) Later, drive for about an hour to Sibsagar, the one-time capital of the Ahom kings of Assam. Shan by origin but converts to Hinduism, the Ahoms ruled Assam for some 700 years until the 1820s. Their culture and architecture is a strange and delightful amalgam of India and Southeast Asia. We shall see temples with stupa-like profiles and palaces of distinctive form. For the record book, the temple tank here is believed to be the world’s largest hand-excavated reservoir. Return to your ship, which will have cruised up to Dikhou Mukh close to Sibsagar. (Dependent on river conditions, the last night may be spent at Neamati, close to Jorhat.)
DAY 6 Majuli Island *
Around the time of breakfast, we should reach Majuli Island, one of the world’s largest river islands. A microcosm of Assamese culture, Majuli represents rural idyll in Assam. A stronghold of the peaceful religion of neo-Vaishnavism, the elegant island satras — some for celibate monks, some for families — showcase a unique way of life where the faithful live simply, offering worship through gayan-bayan (songs and musical instruments) and readings. We visit a monastery at Auniati with an eclectic museum, then attend a dance performance at Kamalbari monastery, before cruising across to Neamati Ghat on the opposite bank.
DAY 5 On the River *
​ Another day spent cruising upstream. We shall take time to pause and walk through a bankside village, getting an insight into the life of rural India.
DAY 4 Kaziranga National Park *
​ This morning, we land and take a jeep safari to Kaziranga’s little-visited Eastern Range, with grasslands much favoured by rhinos where you might also spot the rare Bengal Florican. Return to the boat and continue our cruise upstream. ​
DAY 3 On the River *
​ The day is spent on the river where there will be a good chance of spotting the endangered Gangetic dolphin, as well as creating a sensation in bankside villages as we pass. Arrive in the evening at lonely Dhansiri Mukh.
DAY 2 Kaziranga National Park *
​ Disembark pre-dawn and drive to Kaziranga National Park’s Central Range for an early morning elephant ride, your best chance for close encounters with wildlife. ​ Covering an area of approximately 430 sq kms, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Kaziranga National Park is home to the world’s largest population of the Indian One-Horned Rhinoceros as well as the Indian Wild Water Buffalo. It has also earned the distinction of having the highest density of Royal Bengal Tigers (one every five sq. km.) making this park an incredibly rich biodiversity hotspot. With its marshy swamps and thickets of elephant grass, this park supports large populations of Indian elephants, Indian bison, swamp deer, and Capped Langurs. ​ Besides wildlife, Kaziranga National Park is also a birding paradise. A few of the bird species found here are the Oriental Honey Buzzard, Black-shouldered Kite, White-tailed Eagle, Himalayan Griffon and so on. ​ Kaziranga National Park also frequently draws comparisons to the Serengeti in Africa due to the park's abundance of wildlife and birds. ​ Return to breakfast on board the ship, cruising upstream with Kaziranga National Park on the right bank. Around midday, we reach Vishnath, known for its an Ahom-period Shiva temple. Walk through the town before reboarding and setting off again, with Kaziranga still on the far bank. Wild elephants may sometimes be spotted and once, memorably, even a tiger. ​
DAY 1 Jorhat *
​ Arrive at Jorhat airport and drive 2 ½ hrs to Steemer Ghat, a lovely beach below jungle-covered hills and close to Kaziranga National Park. Alternatively, arrive at Guwahati airport and drive 4 ½ hrs to Steemer Ghat.
* = Indicative
Map for River Island Cruise
ABN Charaidew, the ship servicing River Island Cruise

ABN Charaidew

Vessel Type: River Boat

Lenght: 38 meters

Passenger Capacity: 24

Rebuilt: 2003

ABN Charaidew is a 38m-long, twin-engined, steel hulled passenger boat. She was completely stripped down and rebuilt in 2003 to provide 10 twin-bedded and 2 double-bedded cabins with en-suite shower and W.C.

The grand old lady of our fleet, she makes up in character what she lacks in twenty-first century glitz.

The polished brass engine room telegraph and enormous ship’s wheel bear witness to her heritage. All cabin accommodation is on the upper deck, as is a bar and saloon opening onto a front deck. A dining room with full-length opening glass doors on each side is on the lower deck, while a large top sundeck offers additional comfortable open-air seating in shade or sun.

Local handloom fabrics specially woven for us and comfortable cane sofas and chairs contribute to the attractive decor.

​Onboard features

* Spacious cabins with individual climate control

* En suite shower/WC with Biotique toiletries

* Generous cupboard space and under-bed storage

* Hair drier in each cabin

* ​High quality linens

* Large sliding glass windows offering panoramic views of the river

* Vast sundeck both open and shaded, with sunloungers or steamer chairs.

Services

* Shore excursion programme including all admissions

* Naturalist onboard the vessel

* Cold towel service after excursions

* Welcome drink after excursions

* Shoe-cleaning after excursions

* Turndown service in all cabins

* Expertly trained culinary staff

* Single seating for buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner

* Acclaimed combination of Indian & Western cuisines

* Wide choice of wines, spirits & beer

* Complimentary tea, coffee & mineral water throughout

* Welcome reception

* Farewell reception

* Local on-board dance & song performances.

• JORHAT - One of the two centres of the Assam tea industry, surrounded by tea estates. Close to here, the Tea Research Institute makes a fascinating visit.

• KAZIRANGA - A World Heritage site and right on the river, Kaziranga National park holds most of India's One-Horned Rhinoceros as well as elephant, tiger, wild buffalo, sambar, swamp deer, hog deer and many other species. Viewing is both by jeep and on elephant back.

• MAJULI ISLAND - A vast river island in the Brahmaputra, on which are a number of unique Vaishnavite Hindu monasteries, famous for performances of religious dance-drama.
Enquire now about River Island Cruise

Travel on the ABN Charaidew

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