Indian River Cruise: The Brahmaputra

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Run by: Wexas Travel

Reference number: 133750

From: £3220.00

Holiday overview

On this luxury, small-ship cruise, you’ll take in the highlights of the Brahmaputra, enjoying expert-led excursions, fascinating lectures, yoga and full-board dining throughout, from cooking classes to high tea and dinners on desert islands. And, between stops at stilted villages and ancient cities, you’ll spot river dolphins from the sun deck, golden monkeys on remote islets, turtles on boat safaris and the likes of rhinos and tigers on an elephant-back safari. It’s all set to a rich cultural backdrop, informed by stops for historic tea plantations and songs performed at 15th-century monasteries.

Holiday itinerary

Day 1: Depart UK

Begin your trip in style with complimentary airport access before your overnight flight.

Day 2: Arrive Kolkata

Arriving into Kolkata, a private transfer will see you to your luxurious accommodation – a palatial villa whose chandelier-lit restaurants and butler-served rooms have hosted heads of states since the 19th century. It’s the perfect introduction to the city’s colonial charms, exemplified by British-era clubs, botanic gardens and the spectacular Victoria Memorial, part US Capitol grandeur and part Taj Mahal elegance. But, this is still India at its colourful best, something evidenced by everything from vibrant markets and art galleries to the fragrant Bengali cuisine.

Stay: Oberoi Grand (Deluxe)

Day 3: Kolkata/Nimati

After breakfast, a short flight hop – bookended by included transfers – will see you to Nimati and the MV Mahabaahu to settle in to the panoramic views of your silk-adorned cabin. But, the luxuries don’t end there, with the 46 privileged guests treated to the likes of a library, on-board bakery, swimming pool and pair of bars. There’s even a range of spa treatments available. You’ll also enjoy a welcome drink on the sun deck, keeping your eyes out for Gangetic dolphins as you sweep past deserted islands. Then, before ending the day with the first of your gourmet dinners, you’ll begin your lecture programme with a talk on tea in Assam, held over high tea, of course.

Stay: MV Mahabaahu (Standard)

Day 4: Sibsagar

Today you’ll begin your series of included shore excursions with a guided tour of Sibsagar – the ancient capital of the Ahomese people. Translating literally as the ‘The Ocean of Lord Shiva’, it was built around a giant man-made water tank, its evocative ruins dating back to the 13th century. Highlights include the royal palace, the Rang Ghar Amphitheatre and the 18th-century Shiva Dol, believed to be the highest temple in India dedicated to the Hindu deity. After taking it all in, you’ll continue to a local tea plantation where you’ll be invited for lunch with the estate’s owners – the family has run the business for over a century.

Stay: MV Mahabaahu (Standard)

Day 5: Majuli/Mishing

This morning, you’ll have the choice between a complimentary yoga session or a leisurely walk along the swamps to spot kingfishers, owls and eagles. You’ll then sail on to Majuli, listening to a talk on this island city’s unique culture before excursions boats bring you ashore. Here, monasteries date back to the 1400s, something evidenced by wonderfully preserved weapons and jewellery. You’ll visit a selection of the most interesting, with performances by Satriya singers and dances by Vaishnavite priests showcasing the region’s myriad of Hindu traditions. Then, it’s back to the ship to sail on to a stilted village in Mishing where skilled artisans weave colourful cottons. Dinner today is held under the stars on a desert island.

Stay: MV Mahabaahu (Standard)

Day 6: Arrive Bishwanath Ghat

After today’s yoga or island walk, you’ll sail on to the eastern mountains of Kaziranga, your voyage soundtracked by a talk on river life. You’ll then be treated to a boat safari – the chance to spot everything from turtles, water lizards and otters to elephant, rhinos and buffalo. It’s a truly evocative experience. Then, back on board, a gourmet cooking demonstration with the ship’s chef will teach you the secrets behind the region’s famed delicacies.

Stay: MV Mahabaahu (Standard)

Day 7: Bishwanath Ghat/Silghat/Kaliabore

Following your now-customary yoga or morning walk, today’s talk focuses on India’s wildlife, with particular attention paid to Kaziranga National Park. You’ll then make shore at Biswanath Ghat, exchanging smiles with the locals and marvelling at their intricate cotton and silk weaving. It’s then on to Silghat for a short drive to Kailabore where vast, undulating contours are terraced into verdant tea plantations. You’ll then enjoy a tour of a tea factory, learning the age-old techniques that go into preparing a cuppa. Of course, there’s plenty of opportunity to have a taste. Returning to the ship, you’ll take a look at a mill co-operative before enjoying a cultural sunset performance followed by dinner.

Stay: MV Mahabaahu (Standard)

Day 8: Kaziranga National Park

Today, you’ll enjoy a true trip highlight – the UNESCO-listed Kaziranga National Park. Here, hidden in the Kohora Mihimukh range, you’ll climb atop an elephant to amble gently through the flood plains in search of elusive rhinoceros. But, other than the park’s horned headline act, there’s the chance to spot tigers, elephants, swamp deer and a spectacular array of birdlife. There’s also a jeep safari, bringing you into the long grass and forest-clad sweeps of Kaziranga’s western range. It’s the chance to spot any wildlife you may have missed on the elephant. Then, at day’s end, you’ll return to the ship for a traditional Assamese dinner. 

Stay: MV Mahabaahu (Standard)

Day 9: Peacock Island

After catching up on yoga, you’ll cruise down to down to an island that’s long been inhabited by the Bangla-speaking Muslim community – yet another thread to the...

This trip has no fixed departures but restrictions may apply - check operator website

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