The epic 51-day voyage will take you along the Ganges and the Brahmaputra rivers aboard the magnificent Ganga Vilas by Antara Cruises.
This December, Antara Cruises will be launching the longest river journey in the world. The extraordinary cruise along the Ganges and the Brahmaputra will take you from Kashi in Uttar Pradesh to Dibrugarh in Assam via Sunderbans and Bangladesh. One can now sail across 27 smaller rivers, five states, and two countries.
The 51-day cruise aboard Antara Ganga Vilas, the brand’s newest art-deco boutique ship, is a fantastic opportunity for anyone looking to explore South Asian culture along some of its most ancient regions and systems. Perfect for leisure travellers, history buffs, culture enthusiasts, and nature lovers, the cruise further allows for a hop-on and hop-off option for those who would like to travel only on specific segments.
Commenting on this unique itinerary, Raj Singh, founder chairman of Antara Luxury River Cruises, said, “Each experience has been personally vetted and designed by me for fellow enthusiastic travellers. The historic route has been finalized with the support, assistance and cooperation of the Governments of India and Bangladesh that are working together to ensure a seamless travel between the two countries.”
Each day will have interesting offshore and onshore experiences. Starting at Varanasi, with short day trips to the sites along the way, the cruise will meander the Ganges’ waters stopping at world heritage sites and ancient places in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar and into West Bengal for deep insights into its colonial influences and regional traditions.
Cruising through the world’s largest mangrove forest, UNESCO-protected Sundarbans, the ship will enter Bangladesh where the floating markets of Barisal onwards to Bagerhat will welcome you. It also houses the famed 60 dome mosque to Sonargaon, the heritage town in the country. The journey will continue from Dhaka into the Jamuna to the north of Bangladesh and turn east to re-enter India at Dhubri, embracing the Brahmaputra for the Assam leg of the trip, sailing through the wild and numerous cultural sites along the way.
Reflecting upon the artisans and the craft techniques that have lived along these ever-changing yet seemingly eternal riverbanks, Annapurna Garimella, an art historian and director of Antara Cruises adds, “Life and civilizations began along these rivers; and artistic expression is the most powerful reflection of a culture. The cruise explores so many of these facets whether in food, textiles, architecture or agriculture. Sailing through this vast landscape is to immerse oneself into the culture of this land we now call India.”
Built-in the mid-20th century modern style, the 18-suite Antara Ganga Vilas is a luxurious amalgamation of refined texture and simple elegance. Each room is inspired by a color-square painting by Bauhaus and Black Mountain designer-teacher Josef Albers and all fabrics, linen, furniture, and serveware are made in India, and some are even made along the river. Large ceiling-to-floor guillotine windows bring enchanting river views into the ship’s expansive spaces, further enhancing the feeling of moving within and yet observing a riverscape in motion.