WHY TRAVEL WITH ABN
An eco-conscious luxury collection of boutique ships, boats and jungle retreats in Northeast India
We offer understated luxury with a conscience, where our team of local crew and expert guides have curated a comprehensive itinerary; a remarkable Himalayan river journey filled with experiences in harmony with the local culture and nature. Together, we experience the traditions, culture, cuisine and communities of the places and people we visit, for luxury lies in genuine and often unexpected encounters and experiences, untrodden by the footprint of mass-tourism.
At ABN, we approach your journey with us – from the experience on board and off, to the people you meet, from the décor of our ships, jungle lodges and houseboats, to the quality of service you receive – with consideration for the local community. Whether this means teaching an English class at the Baranagar English Tuition Centre (supported by The ABN Foundation), or meeting local change-makers like a civil rights advocate or a tea-taster at a plantation, we create experiences that foster a genuine connection between guests and the communities we interact with in the Indian Subcontinent's greatest river valleys.
Authenticity of service
Since the very beginning, we have been championing local in everything we do. It is our company policy to recruit young men and women from the local communities that we operate in and provide them with English language skills and hospitality training; this not only directly boosts village economies, but also means our guests are taken care of by true ambassadors of the region who can represent their own culture better than anyone. Guests from around the world benefit from our staff’s efforts: friendly, authentic, and ever ready to help. Some things can’t be taught, including our crew’s genuine desire to go the extra mile to ensure each guest is taken care of.
A trusted Himalayan river cruise operator since 2003
As the pioneer of river cruises in India in 2003, ABN is the most experienced cruising operator in India. Many of our long-standing travel partners have been with us since day one, contributing to the confidence our guests feel when travelling with ABN. Our growth as a family-owned and -operated company can be attributed to the word-of-mouth recommendations and support of our ever-growing ABN community, with a large number of guests returning time and again.
5% for the region
In 2017, we formalised 15+ years of philanthropy into the ABN Foundation, a charitable organisation that funds education, environmental protections, and local community development initiatives. Five percent of every cabin or room booked on an ABN property goes towards making a positive impact on the region and therefore, the planet.
With the growing popularity of cruising operations on India’s rivers and increasing numbers of hotels in her national parks, we are first-hand witnesses of their impact. As such, we feel an even greater sense of responsibility now to protect and preserve the environment and communities that we operate in, just as we did in 2003 when we first launched.
A few examples we practise to minimise our impact on the environment are:
All our ships, lodges and houseboats are deliberately boutique in size, accommodating from a couple to 44 guests, as a way to ensure that we tread lightly wherever we go.
Greatly reducing usage of single-use plastics by offering guests drinking water in aluminium flasks.
Shopping for fresh produce at local farmers' markets.
Strict low noise and light pollution policies at Diphlu River Lodge.
Removal of all man-made barriers between Diphlu River Lodge and the national park, ensuring the animal corridor remains undisturbed.
Style that honours and supports regional communities
At ABN, we choose to celebrate our regional heritage at every opportunity, making it the hero every time we design our ABN ships, lodges and houseboats. We take great care to evoke a sense of homecoming to the region when you visit an ABN property, through the curation of hand-crafted wooden or cane/rattan furniture, hand-woven textiles bearing indigenous motifs, and locally sourced handicrafts and antiques. From the cane jakois and polos (traditional fishing gear) on the walls of the ship's saloon to the bisoni (Assamese hand-fan) motifs on our cushions, there's a story behind each piece just waiting to be told.
As further evidence of our commitment to supporting local communities, economies and traditional handicrafts, all ABN ships, jungle lodges and houseboats are built locally by expert craftsmen and engineers from Assam and Bengal.
Awards and accolades
ABN was awarded the National Tourism Award for Innovation for our pioneering venture in Indian river cruising. Additionally, ABN’s Diphlu River Lodge was ranked #2 in the category of India’s Best Wildlife Resorts by Lonely Planet. We were also honoured to host the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, HRH Prince William and Catherine Middleton, at Diphlu River Lodge during their royal visit to India.