Brahmaputra River Cruise


Mar 6th, 2006, 12:18 PM
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Brahmaputra River Cruise

Has anyone been on the Charaidew River Cruiser, if so please advise.
Lucyhda is offline  
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Mar 22nd, 2006, 08:27 AM
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This is just the question I was going to pose to the forum. I've gotten information from Steppes in the UK and from Assam web sites. I've also read about Assam and NE India in a guidebook (that doesn't say anything about the river cruises, however). I am quite interested in making the journey this fall. ZZ
Zambezi is offline  
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Nov 2nd, 2006, 12:48 PM
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Lucyhda, I'm doing the cruise in March 2007. Grateful for any feedback.
Mitch04 is offline  
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Mar 2nd, 2007, 06:05 AM
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We are very interested in taking this river trip Feb/2008. I would be so grateful for any info or opinions of your trip...thanks in advance.
norval is offline  
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May 1st, 2007, 11:42 PM
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I did the Assam Bengal Navigation cruise in April aboard ABN's newer vessel, the Sukapha. Gowever, I did manage to inspect the Charaidew - the older of the two. Personally, I preferred it. It hasa more character, and while a tad smaller, still offers the same facilities.

I think the ABN cruises are for genuine travellers, I think - not so much for tourists who simply love shopping.

Prior to the cruise, we stayed at Bansbari Lodge, Manas, 21 km from the border of India and Bhutan. The acommodation was basic but comfortable, and the meals were excellent.

We took two half day safaris through Manas National Park to the border, arriving at sunset. It was one of the most memorable views I have ever seen - and along the way we saw monkeys, herds of wild elephant, water bufffalo, Indian bison and deer - plus many birds.

We also did several walks through local villages, which were charming. The people were among the happiest I have ever seen, and the villages were spotlessly clean.

Bansbari is located overlooking a beautiful tea garden - which in itself is beautiful, especially when women in their colorful saris are picking tea leaves.

The cruise was great, although it took us through very remote areas where Europeans remain almost a novelty. In fact, apart from the 11 Europeans on the cruise, we never saw another white face for 2 weeks while in Assam.

The Brahmaputra is everything the Mekong is not - and vice versa. While the Mekong has almost non-stop river traffic, the Brahmaputra is wide and isloated, and it is not unusaul to see wild elephants on the banks, plus wild buffalo and deer. And while we did not spot one, tigers can also be seen I was told.

The cruise excursions (at least one a day) include villages, temples, monasteries and Kaziranga National Park, where we saw a number of one horned rhinos, elephants, monkeys, giant Indian storks and deer.

The vessel was excellent, and modelled on the Pandaw cruisers of Myanmar and Vietnam, but smaller with only a maximum of 10 double self contained cabins.

The food was excellent, and the crew extremely helpful and friendly. The vessels (there are two) carry a birdwatcher because of the prolific birdlife, and he enthusiastically assists passengers to spot many species.

I will file a proper trip report within the next few weeks. Suffice to say that it is difficult to compare Pandaw and Assam Bengal Navigation Company voyages because they are so different.

Each, in their own way, is wonderful. However, I stress that the ABN cruises are more for the traveller than tourists who love to shop - at least that's my view.

Even in the small towns there is very little to buy by way of trinkets as most of the shopps simply sell life's necessities - but perhaps that is part of the charm of this cruise. However, the vessels have trinkets and souvenirs on board. These are high quality and sell for reasonable prices, especially the bautifully beaded tribal necklaces and bracelets.

On the Brahmaputra, Gandhi or Kipling could be your cruise companions, for apart from the occasional vehicles, little must have changed in this part of the world for the past 50 years. Some of the villages still lack electricity.

Certainly, the ABN cruises are more adventurous and remote than the Pandaw's Mekong trip. I have yet to do the Irriwaddy cruise.

The website for the cruises and Bansbari Lodge is

After the cruise, we flew from Dibrugarh to Agra via Delhi and stayed in the Oberoi, surely one of the world's most spectacular hotels, where every room has a balcony with a stunning view of the Taj Mahal 600 yards away.

We then drove to Jaipur and stayed in the Jas Vilas - a small 11 room hotel that is like a wonderful oasis in the traffic madness of Jaipur. Good facilities, wonderful hosts, excellent swimming pool, and great food - always served by the pool.

Transport between Agra and Jaipur was provided by the Rajasthan Four Wheel Drive Company - excellent drivers and almost new a/c vehicles. Cost was $90US against the quotation given by the Oberoi of $350US!

Mitch04 is offline  
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May 2nd, 2007, 05:52 AM
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Mitch - thanks so much for this review. It sounds just wonderful!
Kathie is offline  
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May 2nd, 2007, 06:45 PM
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Kathie, I now have some photos at
Mitch04 is offline  
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May 2nd, 2007, 07:33 PM
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Thanks for the photos. It really looks like a wonderful trip.
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