Luxury River Cruising in India: Bespoke Private Charters

Most of International outbound travellers in India are stuck at home, not able to continue to explore and discover the world due to COVID-19 global travel lockdowns, restrictions, border closures, quarantine measures and most importantly an possible threat of another lock-down with risk of getting stuck in a foreign country.

A segment of this are travellers who love cruising, specially small ship river cruising, with global rivers like Rhine, Danube, Seine, Rhone, Mekong, Irrawaddy, Nile, Amazon, Yangtze, and Volga are amongst their favorites.

Back at home in India, we also have river cruising which not only offer similar Luxuries (like overseas locations), in terms of accommodation, services and safety, but also immersive experiences, which in most part exceed expectations in terms of authenticity and deeper engagements with our people, culture, nature and places in India.

Below I present the best of luxury river cruising in India on river Ganges on-board Antara Cruises.

Antara Cruises owns and operates its own fleet, currently two ships cruise on the Ganges, stationed in Kolkata. There are two more ships which are under different stages of completion to be launched soon.

The all-suite, all-inclusive cruise includes personalized butler service, all amenities, food, premium spirits, all offshore excursions, guided or otherwise and of course signature events which happen on the boat. There are 28 all-suite cabins for a maximum 56 guests with a crew strength of 38.

The existing itineraries with Antara (on-board Ganges Voyager I and II) offer a diverse selection, across the holy Ganges and Benaras to Murshidabad, Mayapur, and the Sundarbans. They are offering select cruise departures over Christmas, New Year in 2020 and also in Q1 of 2021.

However, due to Covid and safety regulations, a lot of travellers are skeptical to share a cruise with other guests, and be part of a regular sailing departure. As a result Antara Cruises offers option for bespoke charters, to be rented out completely just for your family or your closed group of family and friends starting from for 2 to 11 nights. Overall, a maximum of 56 guests can be accommodated onboard in 28 suites.

You can make Antara cruises a perfect venue for pre-weddings retreat, milestone events like anniversaries, birthdays, spiritual retreats and family reunion while sailing on the Ganga.

SUGGESTIVE CRUISE ITINERARIES:

ARTISANS OF BENGAL
KOLKATA – MAYAPUR ROUNDTRIP
7 NIGHTS 8 DAYS

A themed cruise exploring the varied traditions of textile weaving by handlooms and machines, indigenous pottery-making and the diverse culture and colonial heritage of Bengal.

TEMPLES & TEXTILES CRUISE
KOLKATA – SHANTIPUR
2 NIGHTS 3 DAYS

The colonial heritage of Bengal has inspired many a traveller to embark on a journey that depicts the region’s history through the river Ganges. On the banks of the Lower Ganges, the French, Dutch, Danish, Portuguese and English made settlements to trade, preach and farm while local rulers, saints, agriculturalists, musicians and writers created new ways of living as they encountered European commerce, tastes and power. Experience true luxury and relax while witnessing this culture with the care and hospitality of the Ganges Voyager and its crew.

GOLDEN BENGAL CRUISE
KOLKATA – MURSHIDABAD ROUNDTRIP
7 NIGHTS 8 DAYS

The land of many cultures and rich traditions, India is a visual delight for the visitors. Each of its diverse regions is the product of its deep-rooted past. This 9-day long voyage entails a round trip to Kolkata via Kalna, Chandernagore and other prominent cities. Our luxurious abode will add more stars to your experience, leaving you with fond memories.

INCREDIBLY ON THE GANGES
KOLKATA – BENARAS
11 NIGHTS 12 DAYS

All the nooks and corners of India are steeped in rich culture and experiences. This journey from Kolkata to Varanasi is destined to familiarise you with the ethnicity of the country and why it needs to be discovered. This 12-Day voyage, complemented with our luxurious accommodation will become a memorable travel experience for you to remember for a lifetime.

THE SUNDARBANS CRUISE
3 NIGHTS 4 DAYS

The colonial heritage of Bengal has inspired many a traveller to embark on a journey that depicts the region’s history through the river Ganges. On the banks of the Lower Ganges, the French, Dutch, Danish, Portuguese and English made settlements to trade, preach and farm while local rulers, saints, agriculturalists, musicians and writers created new ways of living as they encountered European commerce, tastes and power. Experience true luxury and relax while witnessing this culture with the care and hospitality of the Ganges Voyager and its crew.

EXCURSIONS:

In order to acquaint you with the beautiful journey of India’s past, they take you to a tour of historical monuments. These include British colonial buildings, Mother Teresa’s memorial home, Murshidabad’s Palace & Chandernagore’s French colonial buildings to name a few.

CULTURAL PROGRAMS


After spending the day in off-board excursions, enjoy cultural dance performances within the premises of the cruise. These folk dance forms offer a glimpse into India’s rich heritage and culture through their synchronized moves and attire.

THE FLEET (SHIPS):

An all suite fleet of ships with french balconies and large public spaces for you to enjoy and soak in the luxury of space. An inviting bed facing the ever-changing scenery. The floor-to-ceiling windows blur the line between outside and in, yet clearly present a world waiting to be explored your way.

ANTARA GANGES VOYAGER

The pioneering Ganges Voyager carries just 56 guests and offers a warm and relaxed experience. The ship takes you back in time with the grace and style of the colonial era with wood furniture and hand-stenciled murals.

Enjoy picturesque views from a panoramic balcony-window aboard this all-suite ship featuring the largest standard accommodations in river cruising. Savour Michelin-inspired cuisine and exceptional service while discovering India’s glorious destinations.

ANTARA GANGES VOYAGER II:

Antara Ganges Voyager II is a spacious, high-ceilinged 28 suites serene sanctuary, with beautiful hand-painted murals and all the comforts of a five-star hotel. All suites have a cosy sitting area and a French balcony with floor-to-ceiling glass doors. A bed dressed in soft linens, with a choice of pillows.

Your roomy bathroom has a rain shower, comfy robes and slippers, and spa-quality bath products. Other high-end amenities include a generous amount of closet space, under-bed storage, a flat-screen television with a wide selection of on-demand movies, individual climate control, bottled water replenished daily, fresh fruit and flowers upon arrival, an iPhone docking station with alarm clock, makeup mirrors and universal electrical plugs.

Luxurious Accommodation on-board Ganges Voyager I and II:

A total of 28 suites with choice of Maharaja, Viceroy, Heritage, Colonial and Signature Suites. The suite sizes range from 24 sq.m. for the Signature Suite to 37 sq.m. for the Maharajah Suite.

My favorite is the Maharaja Suite: The most luxurious and spacious suite aboard, with 400 sq. ft. of space, the Suite is a haven of luxury. Embellished with Persian rugs, Burma teak floors and rich tapestry, on-demand movie service, and a writing desk. Bathrooms are as luxurious as the room and are fitted with both spacious bathtub and shower panels.


Experiences on the River Ganges:

How to Book:

You can book Antara Cruises with their preferred booking partner in India – Experiential Travel Journeys Pvt. Ltd. based out of New Delhi. They are a Boutique Travel Design company specialising in small ship river cruising and can help to organise a Bespoke Private Charter for your Family.

– Amit Kalsi, Private Travel Designer

Published by experientialtraveljourneys

A Private Travel Designer specialising in private, luxury, experiential, transformational, off-beat, off-the-grid, bespoke, tailor-made, bespoke, authentic, sustainable journeys to destinations worldwide.

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