Our downstream adventure begins at Neamati Ghat in Jorhat, the ancient capital of the Ahom Kingdom. Sail the Brahmaputra for an unforgettable experience of travelling on the mighty river. Our Brahmaputra river cruise gives you access to unparalled experiences with nature, wildlife, culture, luxury and life adjacent to the river.
Feel like royalty in the land of the Ahoms and discover the many charms of Assam in style. From elephant-back safaris in Kaziranga to trying your hand at tea picking at a plantation, to visiting the relics of the Ahom dynasty at Sivasagar - do all this and more while enjoying top class comfort.
Best time to visit: February to April
What is included in the tour
- Accommodation in premium ensuite cabins on cruise ship
- All meals including breakfast, lunch, tea, dinner
- Elephant safari, Boat safari in Kaziranga National Park
- Airport transfers to and from Guwahati, Jorhat
- All local transport
- Visit and lunch at Kaliabore tea estate
What is NOT included in the tour
- Personal medicines
- Alcoholic beverages (not specified in itinerary)
- Any shopping
- Transport beyond airport drop-off
- Personal travel insurance
- Discover neo-vaishnavite culture at the satras in Majuli Island
- Interact with tribal villagers and find out their stories
- Visit old relics of the Ahom dynasty at Sivasagar
- Spot exotic wildlife on an elephant safari in Kaziranga National Park
- Luxury accommodation on board cruise ship with gourmet meals and 5-star service
- Arrive at Jorhat Airport where our crew receives you. From here, a luxury SUV takes you to Neamati Ghat where our cruise ship is anchored. Hot towels and complimentary mineral water bottles are provided on the way to help you freshen up after your trip. A traditional Assamese welcome awaits you on board followed by a gourmet lunch of local delicacies. Enjoy a varied assortment of vegetarian and non- vegetarian treats including ‘Masoor Tenga’, the quintessential Assamese dish which is a tangy fish curry slow-cooked in a tomato-based broth. ‘Xaak aru bhaji’ is a vegetarian delight cooked with herbs and an assortment of spices. After lunch, we all gather on deck as we set sail, to take in the views of the shore from the vantage of the deck and for a chance to spot the elusive and endangered Gangetic Dolphin. The species locally called ‘susu’ is found in the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Karnaphuli- Sangu and Meghna rivers in India, Bangladesh and Nepal. Recent WWF surveys have shown that less than 1200 individual dolphins now remain in these rivers, in comparison to schools of 4000-5000 in 1982. Deforestation, pollution and entanglement in fishnets are some of the reasons behind the serious decrease in the population of the species. WWF in collaboration with the Government of India has taken some active measures to address the issue. These include encouraging local communities not to dispose waste in rivers and banning sand mining and commercial fishing on these stretches. On board, you will be given a short brief on safety precautions and guidelines. Just relax on deck and enjoy the cool breeze or enjoy a quiet afternoon in the comfort of your luxurious cabins. In the evening, a brief talk is given on the history of the invincible Ahom dynasty and Sivasagar, our first port of call the next day. Enjoy an elegant dinner specially prepared by our chef with both vegetarian and non-vegetarian options. Retire to your cabins after dinner and get a good night’s sleep.
- Have an early breakfast and set out for a day trip to Sivasagar, the ancient capital of the Ahom dynasty. The Ahoms ruled most of northeast for 600 years between 1228- 1826 CE and remain the longest unbroken dynasty in the history of India. Sivasagar literally translates to ‘ocean of Shiva’. The name is apt as the town is built around a massive man-made water tank. Visit the Talatal Ghar and Rang Ghar here and be regaled by the history of the place. Talatal Ghar was initially built as a base camp for the Ahom army. It has three underground storeys that remain closed to the public and four storeys above. Talatal Ghar like much of Ahom structures resembles Mughal architecture. It includes an octagonal temple and large open terrace. Recent excavations by ASI (Archaeological Survey of India) have discovered more wooden structures and logs at the site. Rang Ghar on the other hand was the royal sports pavilion where Ahom kings would watch traditional games like buffalo and elephant fights. From Sivasagar, we make our way to a nearby tea estate for lunch and a leisurely stroll of the plantation. Return to the ship by sunset for a cultural evening followed by a traditional Assamese dinner of exotic dishes like Silkworms, ‘Paro Manxho’ or pigeon meat, ‘Aloo Pitika’, mashed potatoes seasoned with mustard oil, coriander and onion and ‘Ou Khatta’, a sweet and sour chutney made from elephant apple (‘ou’) and jaggery.
- You can rise early for a yoga/meditation session on deck or relax in the comfort of your luxurious cabins and join us directly at breakfast.
- Today, our destination is the Island of Majuli, said to be the largest river island in the world. In the beginning of the 20th century, Majuli covered an estimated area of 1250 square kilometres. However, due to continued erosion over the years it has lost a significant part of its landmass and now covers about 352 square kilometres.
- Majuli is also considered the seat of neo-Vaishnavite culture in Assam. We will visit the satras (monasteries) and the dormitories for the monks who live here.
- Today we will also visit a tribal village inhabited by the ancient Mishing community. The Mishing are excellent weavers and a visit to their village brings you in contact with men and women practicing their traditional crafts of weaving, mask making and pottery.
- Return to the ship in the evening where you will learn of the fascinating history of the neo- Vaishnavite culture and the origin of the tribes. Our cruise ship heads towards Dhansiri Mukh, the confluence of the Brahmaputra and Dhansiri Rivers and drop anchor at a secluded island. The evening ends with a lovely dinner under the stars.
- Rise early for an instructed session of yoga/meditation on deck, followed by breakfast. Our ship heads towards the Eastern Range of Kaziranga for a Boat Safari. On the two-hour long safari you can spot a variety of bio-life including roof turtles, otters, lizards, herons, serpent eagles as well as bigger animals like elephants, rhinos and water buffaloes.
- Return to the ship for a gourmet lunch specially prepared by our chef, using local produce. In the evening, you can relax on deck as our ship sails over the gentle waves of the river.
- Tonight, once again we drop anchor at a secluded island where you can enjoy refreshments around a bonfire. Return to the ship for dinner and retire for the night.
- Enjoy a morning stroll on the beach followed by a hot breakfast on board. Today, we sail on to the famous Biswanath Ghat, situated on the banks of the Brahmaputra. Biswanath Ghat is home to a cluster of at least 100 temples and is also known as ‘Gupta Kashi’ being likened to the ancient city of Kashi or Varanasi with its shrines to 330 million gods and goddesses. Besides its religious significance, Biswanath Ghat served as a popular river port established by the British in the 19th century.
- Shiva Dol is another famous spot here, dedicated to Lord Shiva and built by the King of Tezpur in 1734. The Shiva Dol is believed to be the highest shiva temple in India. After walking around the village, taking in the sights and sounds of rural life, we return to the ship for lunch. We sail on for a couple of hours and drop anchor at Silghat.
- From here, we drive to Kaliabore Tea Estate to enjoy a guided tour of the plantation and the factory and to learn about the CTC method of tea making. How about trying your hand at tea picking? Join tea pluckers on the estate and see how deftly they choose and pick tea leaves into their trademark baskets that they carry on their backs. It’s wonderful to try it for yourself and appreciate the hard work that goes into your morning cuppa!
- We return to our ship for a cultural evening of traditional music and dance. Assamese music echoes ancient Chinese influences and its descending scale makes it distinct from other genres of Indian music. Enjoy vibrant Bihu and Jhumur dances, popularly performed at festivals across Assam. The graceful dances, elegant Assamese ‘mekhla’ costumes and lilting melodies create a charming ambience on deck.
- This is followed by dinner after which you can retire to your cabins for an early night.
- Today, we get an early start and drive to Kaziranga National Park. A UNESCO certified World Heritage site, Kaziranga is home to the endangered One-Horned Rhino exclusive to this part of the country. In fact, the approximate 1800 rhinos in Kaziranga account for two-thirds of the total global population of the species. The park’s other attractions include the Asiatic wild water buffalo, Indian elephant, swamp deer, sloth bear, Indian and Chinese pangolin, nine different species of primates, Golden jackal, Bengal fox and several species of local and migratory birds. The Hoolock gibbon at Kaziranga is the only ape found in India.
- We set off on an elephant-back safari in the Kohora Mihimukh Range of the Park, considered the best spot for sighting animals. At the end of the safari, a hearty breakfast awaits us at a resort. After breakfast, it’s back to the forest, this time in open jeeps to explore the western range of the park.
- We return to our cruise ship for lunch and take the rest of the afternoon to rest and recover from the morning’s exertions. In the evening, gather on deck for a fascinating talk on Kamakhya and the legends of Occult. Kamakhya Temple will be the last stop on our tour. Discover the fascinating story behind this ancient temple, dating back to 1645 CE and considered one of the holiest sites in Hinduism. Find out why the Goddess Sati’s body was cut into 51 pieces and how the Kamakhya Temple came to be built.
- This is a relaxed evening where you can sit back and enjoy the company of your fellow travellers, followed by a traditional Assamese dinner.
- Start your day with a morning session of yoga/meditation followed by a hearty breakfast spread. Today we sail towards a village inhabited by a small tribal community of bangla speakers engaged in extensive farming. After spending some time exploring the village, we return to the ship for lunch.
- Our next stop is the beautiful Peacock Island famous for its population of the rare Golden Langur, one of the most uncommon primates in the world.
- We spend some time strolling on the island and then return to the ship for our last dinner on board. The spread is authentic Assamese with mouthwatering dishes like ‘Khaar’, a ceremonial meat delicacy; Duck meat curry, ‘Baanhgajor Lagot Kukura’, chicken cooked with bamboo shoot and lentils and ‘Pitha, traditional sweets either steamed or fried and made with a variety of stuffings like jaggery and coconut.
- Have a relaxed breakfast on board after which our crew help disembark your luggage. Drive from here to Kamakhya Temple, dedicated to the Goddess of Desire, Kama Khya and a sacred site of worship for Hindu devotees.
- After the temple visit its time to head to Guwahati Airport where we bid you adieu and the tour comes to an end.