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Assam Bengal Navigation Cruises

Sydney
posts: 30
reviews: 37
Assam Bengal Navigation Cruises

Hi, very keen to do this cruise in January but the reviews I have read are very mixed including some very unhappy ones. The reviews are mostly a couple of years old. Has anyone done a cruise with this company recently?

Thanks for the help in advance

29 replies to this topic
sydney
posts: 3
reviews: 6
21. Re: Assam Bengal Navigation Cruises

I am confused after reading the reviews about ABN. Some are very critical, while the later ones appear to be better. We are from Australia and used to this type of travel having been to India before.

Could some recent visitors place their comments about the tours. Maybe from March 2013 onwards, or do people not go on c these cruises from April onwards, say till about November 2013.

Do they travel on to see the Kazaringa national park ?? many thanks, SDS.

sydney
posts: 3
reviews: 6
22. Re: Assam Bengal Navigation Cruises

I am confused after reading the reviews about ABN. Some are very critical, while the later ones appear to be better. We are from Australia and used to this type of travel having been to India before.

Could some recent visitors place their comments about the tours. Maybe from March 2013 onwards, or do people not go on c these cruises from April onwards, say till about November 2013.

Do they travel on to see the Kazaringa national park ?? many thanks, SDS.

Sydney
posts: 53
reviews: 2
23. Re: Assam Bengal Navigation Cruises

I was travelling with the company up the Brahmaputra this time last year, on the "Chiradeaw". I was thrilled with the whole trip and really enjoyed all the variety. Kazaringa is quite an incredible wildlife area - animals in profusion (except the tigers kept away when we were there) and although I am not a mad birdwatcher - my co travellers were delighted with the sitings and knowledge of the guide. The food was excellent and catered to all tastes (I had to add spicy pickles to some of mine - but that is just me). I am not a 'normal breakfast' lover (no eggs) but I was wonderfully catered for with Indian type breakfast each morning. There was always plenty of bottled water, shoe cleaning every time you came back on the boat, and everything was SO CLEAN. The manager of the cruise had trained all his staff (mainly Assamese) so well and the others senior guides (all around 30 - 35 yrs) were extremely knowledgeable, helpful and friendly. They made you feel as though you were a very special passenger. I was so impressed that I am travelling with their other company Jungle Travels India in November to Dharamasala and other parts for one month as a solo traveller.

posts: 2
reviews: 5
24. Re: Assam Bengal Navigation Cruises

H i

We did the ABN cruise up the Hoogly to Kolkata early this year and all we can say is that it was up till now the best tour we have done in India. We travel to India at least twice a year I can recommend any tour with this company , the service , food , tour planning and information is excellent you won't be disappointed. Be aware though you are in India and India is the land of the unexpected and that's what makes it so incredible! Enjoy.

Sydney
posts: 53
reviews: 2
25. Re: Assam Bengal Navigation Cruises

So glad you agree with me about Bengal Navigation Company. I cannot recommend them too highly. This company, of course, have no control over "India". Great experience and can thoroughly recommend it. As well as the trip I am taking with their other company in November, I have another one planned with them next year.

They are good

London, United...
posts: 1
reviews: 38
26. Re: Assam Bengal Navigation Cruises

I have just returned from two glorious weeks on the Assam Bengal ship Sukapha (travelling from Patna to Kolkata). My experience was extremely positive and I simply do not understand or recognise any of the complaints which have been posted on this forum by a couple of disgruntled individuals. The ship is absolutely charming - quaint and a little old-fashioned. Potted Palms on the top deck and cane loungers - like walking into an Agatha Christie novel. The cabins are perfectly nice - very comfortable and reasonably spacious, with a small seating area. The bathrooms are large and the showers work extremely well. The mosquito netting at the cabin windows is well-fitted and insects were not an issue on the ship at all. What makes this trip special is the extraordinary high levels of customer service. The ship's Manager was outstanding - extremely professional and solicitous of the welfare and comfort of each and every guest. The guide was one of the best I have encountered anywhere in the world - highly knowledgeable about the sites we were visiting and Indian history in general. The staff ratio of two to every guest ensured a very pampered existence on the ship. The food was excellent - the chef responded well when we asked for additional Indian options for breakfast and for spicier food than is normally served. Drinks and other extras such as laundry were very reasonably priced. The daily excursions from the boat were well-planned and covered some extraordinary sites which would be completely inaccessible to other tourists. And finally, safety was taken very seriously. The Ganges was almost never more than 5 feet deep throughout the trip, yet lifejackets had to be carried on all excursions and a proper safety demonstration and rehearsal meant everyone would know how to use them in an emergency. In short, there is not much which I would desire to be improved. This kind of ship is not to be confused with a Queen Mary 2 transatlantic crossing. It's a lovely, quite charming small boat, which covers little-known routes in a remote part of India. It's a real treat and it would be very sad indeed if the negative postings deterred India lovers from trying this lovely route.

London
posts: 17
reviews: 109
27. Re: Assam Bengal Navigation Cruises

I applaud your honest reviews. In todays Sunday Times the travel section is promoting Assam Bengal Navigation. Having travelled to India several times and experienced how often the truth turns out to be disingenuous by money hungry travel companies, I can totally relate to your reviews. Even before reading the reviews I had my doubts about wanting to sleep on a boat of this quality, and my concerns about safety and hygiene, but your experiences only confirm the kind of nonsense I've also been put through in India in the past. I still love India, but what's the point in spending thousands of pounds and taking a risk?!

Arlington, Virginia
posts: 4
reviews: 2
28. Re: Assam Bengal Navigation Cruises

We just returned from a six-day cruise on the new ABN Rajamahal from Patna to Varanasi on the Ganges River as part of a Road Scholar 3-week "Spiritual and Cultural Journey: India's Golden Triangle and Holy Ganges River." This was the first cruise with our particular set of activities. My husband selected a higher-price cabin which was roomy and tastefully furnished. (Loved the washroom facilities). Common areas were comfortable and large enough to accommodate 20+ people. Meals were excellent and I wanted to bring the laundry man home. We had excursions or on-ship activities each day as we traveled up the river. Aside from excursions to visit isolated British monuments (which feedback should help eliminate), we were very satisfied, especially with walks through a village and some towns and time in Sarnath and Varnasi. Although the staff included some people with limited experience, the level of responsiveness was high. As one assistant manager said, "Everything is my job!" when I asked for something outside the scope of his responsibilities. The tour director was very organized and quick to respond to any challenge in arrangements. So we were very satisfied.

Arlington, Virginia
posts: 4
reviews: 2
29. Re: Assam Bengal Navigation Cruises

We recently spent a week on the new ABN Rajmahal in connection with our Road Scholar "Spiritual and Cultural Journey: India's Golden Triangle and Holy Ganges River." We traveled from Patna to Varanasi with daily excursions and onboard activities. Terrific time! We had one of the larger cabins which was tastefully decorated. The bathroom facilities were top rate and roomy. Food was terrific and staff were very responsive. (One assistant manager said, "Everything is my responsibility," when I asked him for something outside his responsibilities.) The lounge and top deck were roomy and furnished with comfortable sitting areas. The cruise manager was top rate and excellent at trouble-shooting, adjusting to schedule changes, etc. Would love to bring the chef and the laundry man home with us!

Edited: 10:40 am, October 16, 2014
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