Why travel with ABN
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 of the local community. Whether this means teaching an English class at the Baranagar Tuition Centre (supported by The ABN Foundation), or meeting local change-makers and doers 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 on the Indian Subcontinent's greatest river valleys.
Authenticity of service
Since ABN's inception, we have been championing local in everything we do. It is our company policy to select 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 it also means that 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 are very appreciative of our staff’s efforts: discreet, authentic, and ever ready to help. Some things can’t be taught... and our crew’s genuine desire to go out of their way and ensure that each guest is well taken care of is one of them.
A trusted operator with over 15 years of experience
As the pioneer of river cruises in India in 2003, ABN is the most experienced cruising operator in India. We have been working with travel partners since 2003, most of whom we still work with to this day. We also attribute our success and growth as a family-owned and -operated company to the word-of-mouth recommendations and support of our ever-growing ABN community, with a large portion of our guests being return customers.
5% for the region
In 2017, we formalized our efforts of 15+ years of philanthropy into ABN Foundation, a charitable organisation that funds education, environment protection, and local community development initiatives. Five percent of every cabin or room booked on an ABN property will be contributed towards making a positive impact on the region and, thereby, the planet.
As more and more companies start their cruising operations in India’s rivers and set up hotels in her national parks, we are first-hand witnesses of their impact and, as such, 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 practice to minimize our impact on the environment are:
All our ships, lodges and houseboats are deliberately boutique in size, accommodating from a couple up 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 that the animal corridor remains undisturbed.
Style that spotlights regional heritage
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. Great care has been taken 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, object d'arts 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 that's waiting to be told.
As further evidence of our commitment to supporting local, 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 honored to have hosted the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, HRH Prince William and Catherine Middleton, at Diphlu River Lodge during their royal visit to India.