MAGICAL JOURNEY ON THE BRAHMAPUTRA RIVER

  
visit asia - tours to asiaCode BRM12D

From £2,595 per person
( Prices vary with departure dates, please enquire )

This cruise on the highest reaches of the Brahmaputra still navigable highlights the unique culture of the area, fusing Indian and S.E. Asian influences, with a visit to Sibsagar, the old capital of the Ahom kings, as well as to Majuli Island with its unique Hindu monastic communities famous for their dance drama. Wildlife is not forgotten though, and the cruise visits Kaziranga, where sightings of rhino are virtually guaranteed.

Price includes : Airport transfers, 03 nights in Calcutta, seven-night cruise on RV Sukapha or RV Charaidew on fullboard basis, guided visits in Calcutta with lunch as itinerary.

Price excludes : International flights, visa for India ( e-visa obtainable online), other meals, optional excursions, porterage, tipping and any service not specified.

Single supplement : £1,195

Departure dates : 11/10/15 – 30/12/15 – 23/03/16 – 20/04/16 – 30/11/16 - 28/12/16 - 22/03/17 - 19/04/17.

Day 01 Fly to Calcutta

Day 02 Calcutta (-/-/D)
On arrival in Calcutta , meeting with guide and transfer to hotel. Calcutta, once said to be the intellectual capital of India, has a rich contemporary cultural life established by the British in 1690. Dinner & overnight at 5* The Park Hotel.

Day 03 Calcutta (B/L/-)
Guided tour visiting the major sites of Calcutta : Victoria memorial, Dalhousie Square, St John’s Church, Jain temple, Collage Street, Book market and flower market followed by a tram ride across the city. Overnight at the Park Hotel.

Day 04 Calcutta/Jorhat (B/L/D)
visit asia - tours to asia Transfer to airport to board a flight to Jorhat. Arrive at Jorhat airport and car transfer (2.5 hours drive ) to Steemer Ghat, a lovely beach below jungle-covered hills and close to Kaziranga National Park. Embark the vessel for a 7 nights cruise on the legendary Brahmaputra river in Assam.

Day 05: Kaziranga National Park (B/L/D)
Disembark pre-dawn and drive to Kaziranga National Park’s Central Range for an early morning elephant ride, the best way to get really close to the rhino and other animals. Return to breakfast on board cruising upstream with Kaziranga National Park on the right bank. Around midday we reach Vishnath, with an Ahom-period Shiva temple. There are other later temples too, and we walk through the town before reboarding and setting off again, with Kaziranga still on the far bank. Wild elephant may sometimes be spotted, and once, memorably, a tiger.

Day 06: Dhansiri Mukh (B/L/D)
visit asia - tours to asia The day is spent on the river, and we have a good chance of spotting Gangetic dolphin, as well as creating a sensation in bankside villages as we pass. We should arrive in the evening at lonely Dhansiri Mukh.

Day 07: Kaziranga Eastern Range (B/L/D)
This morning we land and take a jeep safari in Kaziranga’s little-visited Eastern Range, with grasslands much favoured by rhino, where you might spot the rare Bengal Florican. Returning to the boat, we continue our cruise upstream

Day 08: Rural Assam (B/L/D)
Another day spent cruising upstream. We shall take time to pause and walk through a bankside village, getting an insight into the life of rural India.

Day 09: Majuli island (B/L/D)
visit asia - tours to asia Around breakfast time, we should reach Majuli Island, supposedly the world’s largest river island, and possessing unique Hindu monasteries famed for their dance-drama performances - the whole island is now shortlisted for future UNESCO World Heritage status. We visit a monastery at Auniati with an eclectic museum, then attend a dance performance at Kamalbari monastery, before cruising across to Neamati Ghat on the opposite bank.

Day 10: Sibsagar (B/L/D)
We visit Horu Charai tea estate this morning and see all the processes of tea production (factory inoperative between December and mid-March) then drive for about an hour to Sibsagar, the one-time capital of the kings of Assam. Shan by origin (Assam and Siam share the same derivation) but converted to Hinduism they ruled Assam for some 700 years until the 1820s, and their culture and architecture is a strange and delightful amalgam of Indian and S.E. Asian. We shall see temples with stupa-like profiles, and palaces of distinctive form - note the crocodiles and rather sexy caryatids that adorn the roof of the Rang Mahal. For the record book, the temple tank here is believed to be the world’s largest hand-excavated reservoir. We return to the ship which will have cruised up to Dikhou Mukh close to Sibsagar, and spend our last night on board. (Dependent on river conditions the last night may be spent at Neamati, close to Jorhat).

Day 11: Jorhat – Calcutta (B/-/-)
visit asia - tours to asia Disembark and overland transfer to Jorhat airport to board a return flight to Calcutta. Upon arrival transfer to your hotel for an overnight stay.

Day 12: Departure (B/-/-)
Transfer to airport for your flight home

Note : All cruises are subject to river conditions, elephant safaris subject to availability. Both Kaziranga and Orang National Parks contain low-lying grassland which may not be visitable when the river is at or near flood level.

About the Vessels :
RV Charaidew & RV Sukapha

Both cruises have 12 twin/double air conditioned en-suite cabins.
Food is a mixture of Western and Indian. Wine, beer and spirits are available onboard.