Bengal Despatch 1 & 5:

The Historic Hooghly (Lower Ganges)

7 NIGHTS

From USD 1,470 per person

 

UPSTREAM ITINERARY

 

DAY 1

This morning, you will be collected from your hotel to embark your ship by midday. Sail past the old Danish colony of Serampore to Barrackpore. Land and take a walk through the cantonment – past the Semaphore Tower, Government House, the Temple of Fame and Flagstaff House – to get a better understanding of India's journey to independence. Sail up to Chandernagore, a French possession until 1950.

DAY 2

Visit the 18th century church and Dupleix’s House, the erstwhile Governor-General of French India. Sail upstream past the old Dutch settlement of Chinsura before landing to visit the imposing Imambara at Hooghly. With verses from the Koran written on its walls, the Imambara is an opportunity to step back in time and relive a slice of Islamic history in Bengal. Sail into the night to a mooring near Kalna.

DAY 3

After breakfast, land at the country town of Kalna and take rickshaws to see a group of some of Bengal’s most attractive terracotta temples, the unique Shiva temple with concentric rings made up of 108 shrinelets, and a muslin-weaving centre. Continue on through the countryside to Mayapur to visit the vast new ISKCON (International Society for Krishna Consciousness) temple which dominates the skyline. As the headquarters of ISKCON or the Hare Krishna movement, the temple receives over a million singing and dancing devotees a year from around the world. Sail on through the night to a mooring near Matiari.

DAY 4

This morning visit the brass-working village of Matiari, a charming riverside village. Interact with the locals of Matiari and witness the whole primitive process of beating out brass water pots and other vessels. Later, cruise on and visit the battlefield of Plassey where, in 1757, Robert Clive, the Commander-in-Chief of British India, defeated Siraj-ud-Daulah, the last independent Nawab of Bengal, to change the course of Indian history. Moor close to Khushbagh for the night.

DAY 5

This morning, walk to the Khushbagh, a peaceful Mughal-style garden that encloses the tombs of Siraj-ud-Daulah – the last independent Nawab of Bengal – and his family. Continue a little way upstream to where the great Hazarduari Palace dominates the waterfront. Built by an English architect in 1837, the palace hosts an extensive collection of pictures, china, weapons and other objects. Carry on to visit the great Katra Mosque before driving out to see the Katgola Palace. Built in classical Georgian style by rich local merchants, Katgola Palace represents the other side of the coin of the 'White Mughal' period when English and Indian cultures came close to fusion. Moor overnight on the riverbank across from town at Baranagar. 

DAY 6

This morning, walk through the fields of the delightfully sleepy village of Baranagar to visit its three gorgeous miniature terracotta temples. This is rural India at its most idyllic. Continue up the lower Ganges (or the Hooghly), which transforms into a charming waterway twisting and turning between banks lined with mustard fields and mango orchards. Carry on up a long canal section to a mooring close to the Farakka Barrage.

DAY 7

Disembark and go on a full-day excursion by road to Gaur, near the town of Malda, or English Bazar. This quiet, deserted place was once one of India’s great cities, first under the Hindus in 12th century, then as the Muslim capital of Eastern India from the 14th to the 16th century. There are plentiful remains of mosques, palaces and gateways and you visit a number of the most interesting before rejoining the ship in the evening.

DAY 8

For those taking only Bengal Despatch 1, transfer to Farakka station in the morning for a 4 hr (approx.) train journey to Kolkata. Our representatives will meet you on arrival and transfer you to a central Kolkata hotel.  

For those taking both Bengal Despatch 1 and 2 cruises, an excursion by road takes you to Pandua where you will visit the great 14th century Adina Mosque before returning to Farakka where your ship will have passed through the lock at the barrage.

DOWNSTREAM ITINERARY

DAY 1

Take a 4 hr (approx.) train journey from Kolkata to Farakka in the afternoon, and then a short road transfer to the ship. Guests joining independently at Farakka can board the ship from midday onwards. 

 

For those taking both Bengal Despatch 4 and Bengal Despatch 5 cruises, a full day excursion by road takes you to Gaur. This quiet, deserted place was once one of India’s great cities, first under the Hindus in the 12th century, then as the muslim capital of Eastern India from the 14th to the 16th century. There are plentiful remain of mosques, palaces and gateways. Later, travel on through the town of Malda, or English Bazar, to Pandua where you will visit the great 14th century Adina Mosque before returning to Farakka where your ship will have passed through the lock at the barrage.

DAY 2

This morning’s cruise is along a straight canal section to Jangipur, where the afternoon is free to explore this small country town on foot.

 

Alternatively, for those taking only Bengal Despatch 5, enjoy a full day excursion by road to Gaur, near the town of Malda, or English Bazar. This quiet, deserted place was once one of India’s great cities, first under the Hindus in 12th century, then as the Muslim capital of Eastern India from the 14th to the 16th century. There are plentiful remains of mosques, palaces and gateways and you visit a number of the most interesting historical sites before rejoining the ship in the evening near Jangipur.

 

Set sail down the Lower Ganges, a charming waterway twisting and turning between banks lined with mustard fields and mango orchards. Moor at Baranagar for the night.

DAY 3

This morning, visit the delightfully sleepy village of Baranagar with three gorgeous miniature terracotta temples to which you walk through the fields. This is rural India at its most idyllic.

 

Continue on down past Azimganj, boasting some fine riverside mansions, to Murshidabad where the Nawab’s great Hazarduari Palace dominates the waterfront. Built by an English architect in 1837, the palace hosts an extensive collection of pictures, china, weapons and other objects. Carry on to visit the great Katra Mosque before driving out to see the Katgola Palace. Built in classical Georgian style by rich local merchants, Katgola Palace represents the other side of the coin of the 'White Mughal' period when English and Indian cultures came close to fusion. Moor overnight on the riverbank across from town.

DAY 4

Sail downstream a short distance then walk to the Khushbagh, a peaceful Mughul-style garden enclosing the tombs of Siraj-ud-Daulah – the last independent Nawab of Bengal – and his family. Return to the ship and continue downstream past the old British cantonment of Berhampur to a rural mooring close to the battlefield of Plassey where, in 1757, Robert Clive, the Commander-in-Chief of British India, defeated Siraj-ud-Daulah, to change the course of Indian history. You can walk through the fields to the commemorative obelisk. Cruise on to a mooring near Katwa, a market town with narrow bustling bazaars.

DAY 5

Visit the brassworking village of Matiari where you can see the whole primitive process of beating out brass water pots and other vessels. Continue on through the countryside to Mayapur to visit the vast new ISKCON (International Society for Krishna Consciousness) temple which dominates the skyline. As the headquarters of ISKCON or the Hare Krishna movement, the temple receives over a million singing and dancing devotees a year from around the world.

DAY 6

Continue on down to the country town of Kalna. Take cycle rickshaws to see a group of some of Bengal’s most attractive terracotta temples, as well as the unique Shiva temple with concentric rings made up of 108 shrinelets. Sail on, leaving fields behind and arrive at the outskirts of Kolkata. Land near Bandel to visit the imposing Imambara at Hooghly. With verses from the Koran written on its walls, the Imambara is an opportunity to step back in time and relive a slice of Islamic history in Bengal. Sail downstream past fine waterfront buildings and the old Dutch settlement at Chinsura to moor at Chandernagore.

DAY 7

At Chandernagore, a French possession until 1950, visit the 18th century church and Dupleix’s House, the erstwhile Governor-General of French India, before continuing down to Barrackpore. Land and take a walk through the cantonment – past the Semaphore Tower, Government House, the Temple of Fame and Flagstaff House – to get a better understanding of India's journey to independence. Subject to river tide, cruise under the Howrah Bridge to reach central Kolkata.

DAY 8

Disembark and transfer to central Kolkata or airport.

These itineraries, including cruises and approximate durations, are subject to river and weather conditions.

ACCOMMODATION
The 'Historic Hooghly' cruises are offered in the Boutique Expedition and Active Expedition cruising styles.

BOUTIQUE EXPEDITION CRUISING

with ABN Rajmahal

Our selection of boutique cruise ships are comfortable, contemporary, and celebratory of Assam and Bengal's rich regional heritage. They are designed to reflect a sense of homecoming to the region: the unique objets d'art and handicrafts aboard the ships have been carefully collected and curated over the years, and the locally made furniture and textiles are a product of traditional craftsmanship and modern design intervention.

As such, each boutique ship was designed to be purposefully distinct in its style, with interesting stories that accompany each ship's décor.

ABN Rajmahal has 22 cabins: 14 spacious twin/double cabins on the upper deck; 4 twin/double cabins on the main deck; and 4 single cabins on the main deck for which we charge no supplement.

 

All cabins have en suites with W.C., French balconies, a writing desk and chair, mini-fridge, individual climate control, and storage space.

 

There are three cabin categories on ABN Rajmahal:

UPPER DECK TWIN/DOUBLE CABIN

This cabin is located on the upper deck, offering travellers a better vantage point from which to watch rural India glide by

MAIN DECK TWIN/DOUBLE CABIN

This cabin is identical to the upper deck cabins, but it is located on the main deck instead

MAIN DECK SINGLE CABIN

Featuring a single bed, this cabin is ideal for solo travellers, for which we charge no supplement
 

ACTIVE EXPEDITION CRUISING

with ABN Sukapha

Our selection of active cruise ships are small in size, comfortable and filled with character. The décor is fresh and stylish, featuring handlooms, bamboo panelling, and locally made cane and rattan furniture.

 

Cycles on board and local tuk-tuks allow for independent exploration; additionally, on a few departures, we operate ‘cruising and cycling’ tours.

 

With only 12 cabins, it is ideal for a small group of travellers or private charter for a group of family and friends.

ABN Sukapha is deliberately intimate in size with 12 cabins, all of which are located on the main deck of the ship.

The maximum group size on board ABN Sukapha is 24 guests.

All cabins have en suites with W.C., French balconies, individual climate control, and storage space.

There are no separate cabin categories for ABN Sukapha.

INTERESTED IN THIS TOUR?

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