Ganges and Hugli cruises can be taken separately or together to offer a choice of durations from 4 to 15 nights. Ganges and Hugli cruises upstream from Kolkata are all about visits to villages, towns, temples and monuments in a little-known but fascinating and culturally rich part of India, on foot, by cycle rickshaw or minibus. The Sonepur Cattle Fair, on the banks of the Ganges in rural Bihar, is one of India’s great undiscovered spectacles, and we are able to anchor offshore to visit it in comfort.
Cruises on the Hugli operate all year round, while the Ganges cruises operate in the winter months only, and the Sonepur Cattle Fair occurs around the Full Moon in autumn.
BENGAL DESPATCH 1 & 5 - THE HISTORIC HUGLI
These 7-night cruises, upstream or downstream with return journey by rail, take you along the intimate lower Ganges sidestream, 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. Cruises can be combined with Ganges cruises on most dates.See more
BENGAL DESPATCH 2 & 4 - THE HOLY GANGES
These cruises along the main stream of the Ganges, 6 nights downstream/8 nights upstream, operate between Farakka, reached by rail from Kolkata, and the city of Patna, and can be combined with the Hugli cruises. 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 through totally undiscovered territory.
BENGAL DESPATCH 3 - SONEPUR CATTLE FAIR
The yearly Sonepur Cattle Fair outside Patna is the largest in the world, with everything from elephants to songbirds on sale, and is accompanied by every sort of
side show and festivity. These two 3-night short cruises allow for visits from the safety and serenity of a ship, and can be combined with Holy Ganges cruises. See more
BENGAL DESPATCH 8 - BENGAL MEMORIES
This 4 night cruise starting and finishing in Kolkata takes one through the Bengal countryside to the little town of Kalna, with its superb terracotta temples, as well as visiting the old French, Dutch and Danish settlements north of the city. Accommodation on board is also available for the nights before and after the cruise.See more
BENGAL DESPATCH 9 & 10 - THE CITY OF LIGHT
With our specially-designed new ship, ABN Rajmahal, we are able to offer two one-week cruises which access the Holy Grail of Ganges cruises, the sacred city of Varanasi itself. Operating only in periods of high water, when India is at its most lush and attractive, they explore untouched villages and towns of rural India along the river between Patnaand Varanasi. Both cruises feature two days of sightseeing in Varanasi itself, while the downstream cruise also includes a visit to the spectacular Chunar Fort. Cruise details are subject to final revision. See more