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ABN Sukapha on the Ganges undergoes a revamp

Updated: Dec 30, 2022

You may have seen our charming expedition-style boat, ABN Sukapha, temporarily renamed Varuna, on National Geographic Expeditions and G Adventures in recent years as part of an exclusive charter.

ABN Sukapha was the first cruise ship to sail the Ganges in 2007. This was a true river expedition of its kind as this remote part of India that our cruises take guests to was never built for tourism. Additionally, though the Ganges is an iconic river that is revered in Indian culture, she is still – first and foremost – a source of livelihood for the millions that live alongside her. Since 2007, ABN Sukapha opened up the Ganges to responsible tourism, showing a small number of discerning travellers at a time the well-kept secrets of the Ganges.

So, as is natural for any pioneer, to be the first to create a Ganges river cruise itinerary that will lead the way for other cruise ships to follow, meant that our focus was on ensuring a seamless voyage of discovery – through old colonial settlements, towns, villages and long-lost monuments along the river. Indeed, to start cruising on these sacred waters meant approaching the region and all that it stood for with the sensitivity and respect that the Ganges deserved.

Our research into the Ganges cruises began in 2005, with several reconnaissance trips along these waters in the winter of 2006, all of which comprised of challenging yet thrilling discoveries. Having pioneered long-distance river cruising on Indian waters with ABN Charaidew on the Brahmaputra river in 2003, we were somewhat relieved of the hurdles of having to take care of the mountains of paperwork and research required to build and operate a river cruise vessel, that would operate as a 'travelling hotel' carrying foreign tourists into remote areas. Needless to say, such a concept was unheard of and, thus, treated as a delicate matter of attention in these remote areas of India.

When ABN Sukapha did launch, she opened up the Ganges to the cruising world, receiving accolades as well as appreciation for being a cruise ship that was sensitive to the culture of the region, purposefully choosing to celebrate local craftsmanship and be built for comfort, rather than ostentation.

ABN Sukapha is a charming ship with beautiful bamboo-panelled walls and bedecked with Indian motifs and craftsmanship throughout. She is intimate in size with 12 twin-bedded cabins, a saloon, dining room, sundeck and spa on board.



ABN Sukapha saloon has been revamped with bright colours and touches of Ikat prints.

Cosy corners created with cane and upholstered sofas. All furniture and folk artwork onboard the ship were hand-crafted by local artisans.



The 12 cabins of ABN Sukapha come with large French windows to comfortably watch the ever-changing scenery of the Ganges.



The sundeck on ABN Sukapha has completely transformed with this new bar on the deck.

Orange and teal cushions against cream cane chairs add more brightness to the sundeck.

A few more touches will be added in September 2018 to complete its look. We do hope that you enjoy it.

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