Sikkim & Brahmaputra Far Horizon River Cruise

Your pre-cruise tour will take you around Kolkata, before you visit Gangtok and Darjeeling. With the Himalayas as your stunning backdrop, you will be able to take advantage of some stunning views during your time in Darjeeling. Tiger Hill is famous for offering fantastic vistas over the surrounding area and it is here where you will get to experience an impressive sunrise.

Once you meet with MV Mahabaahu, it’s time to start your relaxing cruise along the Brahmaputra. As you enjoy excellent wildlife spotting opportunities and the chance to meet some of the local people that live along the river banks, there will be so much that leaves a lasting impression on you. Whether it’s a potential sighting of a tiger in the Kaziranga National Park, the delight on the faces of the Mishing People when you pay their village a visit or the long process which you will learn goes into bringing tea from the plantations to your mug, there will be so many memories to share when you return home.

Gangtok, India

Itinerary

Arrive at your hotel and check-in. Rest of the day is at leisure on own.

After breakfast, visit the Victoria Memorial (Victoria Memorial is closed every Monday). This marble-white monument is one of the most fascinating landmarks of Kolkata. Here, come face to face with miniature paintings and images of Queen Mary, King George V and Queen Victoria. Of special importance are the Queen's dresses, the famous Rosewood piano, the Whispering Gallery in the dome and numerous artillery weapons used in the Battle of Plassey.

St. Paul’s Cathedral, built in the Indo-Gothic style of architecture, and was built in the year 1847 by Major W.N. Forbes of the East India Company. The height of the Cathedral is 201 ft. This Cathedral has the rare distinction of being the first Episcopal Church built in this part of the world. The peak of St. Paul's Cathedral has been designed as a replica of the famous Canterbury Cathedral's Henry Tower.

Thereafter visit Mother Teresa’s House, called ‘Nirmal Hriday,’ and also visit Shishu Bhawan, located near her house. Mother Teresa’s great work of caring for abandoned children on the streets of Kolkata is carried out at this center. Watch the children’s face light up with just one smile of yours.

After breakfast, you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Bagdogra. Upon arrival in Bagdogra, our representative will meet you at the airport. Thereafter, you will be transferred to Gangtok.

Today you will visit the famous monastery of Rumtek which was the official seat of the Gyalwa Karmapa -the head of the Kagyu order of Tibetan Buddhism. Later visit the Do Drul Chorten (Stupa), Namgyal Institute of Tibetology (Closed on Sundays), Cottage Industry (Closed on Sundays) and the Enchey Monastery.

After a leisurely breakfast, check out from hotel and drive to Darjeeling. Arrive Darjeeling and check in to your hotel. Rest of the day is free.

Early morning (Sunrise) leave for Tiger Hill which is famous for its magnificent views over Kanchenjunga After breakfast, enjoy a ride on the Toy Train (subject to operation) to Ghoom Monastery. Visit the Ghoom Monastery which enshrines an image of the Maitreya Buddha. Later visit the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute (closed on Thursday) and the adjacent Himalayan Zoological Park (Closed on Thursday) which is a high altitude wildlife park home to several high altitude animals.

After a leisurely breakfast, drive to Bagdogra airport for flight to Guwahati. Arrive Guwahati and check-in at your hotel. The day is free.

In time check out from your hotel and transfer to the airport to board your flight to Jorhat. Arrival Jorhat and transfer to Neamati Ghat (with packed lunch) where an Assamese welcome aboard the MV Mahabaahu awaits us. After the essential safety briefing you check into our cabin.

On the Donyi Polo Deck, raise a traditional toast to the mighty Brahmaputra River that carves the valley am. If Lucky, you will catch a fleeting glimpse of the Gangetic dolphins and notice the sky flocked with bar headed geese, egrets and cormorants returning to their abodes on deserted islands as the sun lowers itself in the western horizon.

Enjoy a talk on'Sibsagar, the seat of Ahom Civilisation'that ruled the north eastern region of India for six centuries. A short talk on 'Tea in Assam'continues over High Tea followed by a relaxed evening in the Soma Lounge followed by a sit down welcome dinner completes the day

After an early breakfast, start your day excursion to Sibsagar, the ancient city and capital of the Tai-speaking Ahoms who came in the 13thCentury AD to the area from the north east and were essentially of Tibeto-Burman origin.

Sibsagar town literally means 'the ocean of Lord Shiva’ as it is built around a huge man made water tank ordered by the Ahom Queen. The Shiva Dol, constructed in the year 1734 is believed to be the highest Shiva temple in India.

Visit The Talatal or Kareng Ghar, the palace of the Ahom Kings and the Rang Ghar, an amphitheatre, a place of entertainment or important meetings for the Royals and their guests. Thereafter, we drive to a Tea Estate for a relaxed afternoon tea and a traditional Assamese lunch with the estate family who have been involved in the tea business for over a century. Return to MV Mahabaahu by sunset and enjoy a relaxed evening before proceeding for dinner.

Start the day with Yoga or go for a walk along the swamps to catch a sight of owls, orioles, changeable eagles, adjutant storks, sea gulls, kingfishers, swallows and many more.

During breakfast, sail towards Majuli, a cosmos of Assamese culture where various philosophies co-exist and thrive. Afterwards, enjoy a talk on 'Majuli, the seat of Vaishnav culture’ and proceed in the excursion boats to the mainland where a drive takes you to a scenic corner of a ‘Satra’ (monastery) for an interesting cultural performance by Satriya singers and dancers.

Next, proceed to Kamlabari Satra to witness the Vaishnavite priests dancing to the rhythm of cymbals, drums and chanting in the temple premise.

enjoy hot lunch on MV Mahabaahu and sail towards the closest Mishing Village.

The Mishings live on the bank of river in 'Chang Ghars', houses with raised platforms. All Mishing women are expert weavers. You can buy ethnic colourful cotton weaves and indulges in a dhoti tying and Mekhela Chaadar wearing demonstration.

After the Mishing Village visit, MV Mahabaahu heads towards Dhansiri Mukh where the waters of Brahmaputra and Dhansiri meet, while you enjoy a talk on ‘Assam, its geographical location & importance’.

Later enjoy the evening under the stars on a deserted island and proceed for dinner.

MV Mahabaahu sails towards the Eastern Range of Kazirang. Enjoy breakfast and a talk on ‘The River Brahmaputra and the life that exists alongside’. and proceed for the boat safari. The shores are high but one can see roof turtles on protruding drift wood, water lizards, otters, elephants, wild buffaloes, rhinos, darters, herons, pied kingfishers, white throated kingfishers, serpent eagles and many more. The sightings are always determined by the weather conditions.

Return for lunch. This evening we enjoy the Chef’s Cooking Demonstration followed by a talk on ‘Tea, Silk and Jute in Assam.’ plus an evening on a deserted island with bonfire is always exclusive. Please Note: Bonfire may be avoided if a suitable sandbank cannot be found or if we experience inclement weather conditions.

After breakfast on MV Mahabaahu, enjoy an interesting talk on ‘Kaziranga and the wild life in India’. Then step into your excursion boats to go to the shores of Bishwanath Ghat. As you walk through the village you are struck by the simplicity of life while the weaver women surround us with their silk and cotton weaves. Enjoy some happy interaction with them.

Sail on for the next couple of hours and enjoy a relaxed lunch and reach Silghat. Take a short drive to the Kaliabore tea estate, which is a vast undulating expanse of land with tea bushes. Proceed to the tea factory to see the processing of the Assam Tea and getting an insight into all that goes into preparing a cup-of-tea. (The tea factory is not operational from mid-December to mid-February as it is time for pruning the tea bushes)

Return to where the ship is anchored. Close by a co-operative Jute Mill is an interesting place to understand how the Jute fibre takes the form of very eco-friendly gunny bags. At sunset, we enjoy a cultural evening on the ship followed by an early dinner.

Early morning wakeup call and after a hot cup of tea/coffee, drive out towards the Kaziranga National Park. The most prized inhabitant of Kaziranga is the Greater One-Horned Indian Rhinoceros, but the Park is home to as many as 180 different mammals including wild elephants, tiger, deer, Asiatic wild buffalo and a rich variety of birds. We reach the Kohora Mihimukh range of the National Park and are ready to start our morning adventure; once-in-a-lifetime elephant-backed safari where we search for the elusive rhinoceros, tigers, swamp deer and hog deer and more and a large number of very interesting birds. The park never ceases to surprise us.

After breakfast at a resort in Kaziranga, drive on to Bagori, the Western Range of Kaziranga and get into the open jeeps for some more wild life adventure and an extensive coverage of this magnificent park.

Return to MV Mahabaahu for a leisurely lunch and a relaxed afternoon. In the evening, proceed for a traditional Assamese theme dinner.

Enjoy breakfast while MV Mahabaahu lifts anchor and heads on towards an island that is occupied predominantly by a ‘bangla’ speaking Muslim community who are involved in the extensive farming. After lunch, enjoy a talk on ‘Kamakhya and the Occult and Peacock Island’.

After a visit to this village, return to the ship for lunch and sail towards the Peacock Island---famous for the highly endangered Golden Langur. It would be a good idea to have binoculars and cameras at hand. Later you sail towards Pandu Port. Get ready for the Farewell Dinner ‘Alvida Bhoj’ and enjoy a relaxed evening.

Have a relaxed breakfast. Luggage down, as per the flight schedule. With packed lunch, drive to the Kamakhya Temple (flight time permitting). This Temple is devoted to the eternal feminine the Kama Khya, goddess of desire. Bid farewell to the land of Kamakhya and drive to the airport to board our onward flight.

Price Guide

Date Fares from (pp)
22 September 2018 (upstream) £3,579
06 October 2018 (upstream) £4,039
20 October 2018 (upstream) £4,039
24 November 2018 (downstream) £4,139
01 December 2018 (upstream) £4,039
08 December 2018 (downstream) £3,669
15 December 2018 (upstream) £3,579
05 January 2019 (downstream) £3,949
16 February 2019 (downstream) £3,949
23 February 2019 (upstream) £3,859
16 March 2019 (downstream) £3,949
23 March 2019 (upstream) £3,859
30 March 2019 (downstream) £3,949
06 April 2019 (upstream) £3,579
13 April 2019 (downstream) £3,669

What's Included

  • Save up to £680pp on selected departures if booked by 31st May 2018*
  • Return London flights and internal flights
  • Non UK transfers
  • 4* hotel stay in Kolkata, Gangtok and Darjeeling
  • 7 nights aboard the M.V Mahabaahu
  • Life enriching tours and excursions
  • Buffet breakfast & lunch on board
  • A La Carte dinner during the cruise
  • Complimentary tea, coffee and bottled water during the cruise
  • Luxurious air conditioned cabins on board