Our experts say
A slice of luxury in a remote part of India, this cruise is an amazing way to explore Assam and meet the people who live on the banks of the giant Brahmaputra river.
It may surprise you that one of India’s least visited regions is home to one of the most luxurious river cruises in the country. The MV Mahabaahu glides lazily up and down the mighty Brahmaputra River, past forests, paddy fields and villages.
On board there are talks from expert naturalists, yoga sessions, and the opportunity to get to know fellow passengers over dinner and drinks. There’s also a spa and swimming pool, and of course spotting some of Assam’s most exotic wildlife right from the deck. Known as the Serengeti of India, Assam is home to wild buffalo, huge tuskers, golden langurs, over 450 species of bird, and the majestic Bengal tiger. There’s also a chance to stop and meet the one horned-rhino in Kaziranga National Park.
Rural Assam is home to several indigenous tribal groups with whom guests can interact during village visits, and discover how traditional handicrafts are made. Other shore excursions include temples, national parks and tea estates, where you can share a meal with a tea planter’s family and learn about the origins of English Breakfast Tea. In the evening, stop on an uninhabited island and enjoy sundowners around a blazing bonfire whilst looking forward to what tomorrow will bring.
Remember, this is just a suggested itinerary - your own holiday can be tailored to your preference of budget, duration, locations and experiences. Get in touch to chat over some plans with us.
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Day 1: Take to the skies
Take the overnight flight from wherever you are to Kolkata (formerly Calcutta).
Day 2: Welcome to India!
We will meet you at the airport and drive you to your hotel in Kolkata – check in, put your feet up, and get ready for the upcoming adventure.
Day 3: Explore Kolkata
Before setting off on your cruise on the mighty Brahmaputra river, it’s a good idea to spend a little time exploring the historic and unexpectedly charming city of Kolkata. This morning we will show you around some of the main sites like the Victoria Memorial, and in the afternoon go for a walking tour to discover the diverse communities who have made Kolkata their home.
Day 4: Fly to Assam and board your ship
This morning’s flight to Assam’s capital Guwahati (flying over Bangladesh) takes just over an hour, and when you arrive we will meet you at the airport and drive you to the riverside to board your luxurious ship, the MV Mahabaahu. Your next 7 nights will be spent on board the ship as you sail upstream on the great Brahmaputra river with plenty stops and interesting goings-on along the way.
Day 5: Cruise the Brahmaputra – river island
Start the day, if you like, with yoga on the deck. The MV Mahabaahu will sail steadily upstream with a stop to visit a farming village on a river island. Tonight you will anchor near a deserted island where you can have a bonfire and barbecue.
Day 6: Cruise the Brahmaputra – tea and jute
Today’s cruising includes a talk on the tea and jute trade in Assam, before stopping to visit the Kaliabore Tea Estate to see how Assam tea is produced in the factory (closed from mid-December to mid-February). You can also visit the nearby cooperative jute mill, and in the evening the ship will host an evening of Assamese culture.
Day 7: Cruise the Brahmaputra – rhinos at Kaziranga
It’s an early morning start today for a game safari in Kaziranga National Park, famed for its one-horned rhinos and the occasional tiger, although it is home to 180 mammal species. (Kaziranga is closed in October and May – if you come at this time you can do an additional boat safari at the Diphlu confluence).
Day 8: Cruise the Brahmaputra – life on the river
The ship will sail further upstream to the eastern range of Kaziranga for a boat safari and a talk on the Brahmaputra’s rich wildlife. Boat safaris last about 2 hours and amongst other species here you can spot roofed turtles, water lizards, otters, kingfishers and serpent eagles.
Day 9: Cruise the Brahmaputra – Mishing villages
Cruising further upstream in Assam, today you can stop off and meet the Mishing people in their villages. The Mishing live in houses on raised platforms and are expert weavers, always happy to show you how to dress in their traditional attire.
Day 10: Cruise the Brahmaputra – Majuli River Island
Today starts with a talk on Majuli, the world’s largest river island, and its Vaishnava culture. Visit the island to see some of the island’s traditional music and dance, as well as priests dancing in the temples. Later on drive to Sibsagar, the ancient city of the Ahom Kings.
Day 11: Disembark & continue to Dibrugarh
After disembarking the ship it’s a 5-hour drive to Dirbrugarh where you can check into the fantastic Mancotta Chang Bungalow, a tea planter’s house which now functions as a heritage hotel. Here you can visit the nearby tea gardens, and wander into town to explore the markets and sample some local Assamese cuisine. Haaj-Paar is a local weaving centre employing local women and is well worth a visit.
Day 12: Dibrugarh
Take time to explore Dibrugarh at your own pace. We can arrange excursions to nearby places such as the Temple of Bells or the traditional Buddhist village of Namphake.
Day 13: Dibrugarh
Enjoy your last day in Dibrugarh sipping tea and doing some last-minute shopping.
Day 14: Fly to Delhi & fly home
Check out of your hotel and we will drive you to the airport to board your flight to Delhi to connect with your return flight home.
Duration: 13 nights
Location: Tribal North East India Holidays, India
Our 'Cruise through Assam on the Brahmaputra River ' itinerary includes: International flights (price based on London), internal flights, accommodation, daily breakfast (with lunches & dinners while on the cruise), transfers & drives in chauffeur-driven AC vehicle, sightseeing and activities as indicated.
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