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Cruising The Ganges Is All About People And Places

April 15, 2017 Headline News, River Cruising No Comments Email Email

When we boarded the Ganges Voyager in Kolkata she introduced herself as Sabrina and said she was Swiss – the other passengers looked at each other and thought they had miss heard as she looked as Indian as the crew – something didn’t add up!

Sabrina was born in Goa but adopted by a Swiss family at eight months. Now a successful travel agent in Switzerland, Sabrina has mixed feelings when she returns to her birth country. “On my first visit with the smells, all the hustle and bustle and the noise I thought to myself; this is me, I could live here but now I am comfortable with the thought that I am lucky and have the best of both worlds.” the 30 something Sabrina said.  Unfortunately ongoing research and investigation surrounding the identity of her birth parents has so far proved fruitless.

Sabrina and children

The Voyager and its sister ship radiate luxury with spacious all suite accommodation from 261 sq ft in the Signature suite to 400 sq ft in the Maharaja suite. The spacious beds with quality sheets and covers, the panoramic floor to ceiling glass French doors, Flat screen LCD TV down to the fresh flower arrangements are just some of the things that will make your cruise a memorable one. The buffet breakfast and lunch provide fresh varieties of Indian and European fare and the a la carte dinner has multiple choices and the mix and match seating allows guest to get to know one another. All shore excursions include well versed local guides and VOX listening devices. During the trip there were a number of on board performances by cultural dance troupes. One evening we had an impromptu sunset pre dinner drinks and canapes on the river bank.  The luxury continued with comfortable seats, a fully stocked bar, a BBQ, waiter service followed by a fireworks display and the spectacular launch of some candle powered balloons.

for a celebration

We embarked on the Ganges Voyager on an eight day seven night cruise scheduled from Kolkata/ Murshidabad /Kolkata but due to the low water level towards the end of the sailing season we were 90 k’s short. The captain and crew were ingenious in revising the itinerary and took us to some rarely visited destinations which captured everyone’s imagination. At one stage we all transferred to a Tug boat which had been following us and because of her low draft we were able to go further up the river to see the world headquarters of the Hare Krishna, an extremely imposing building at Mayapur. Not yet complete the building will rival the size of the Vatican. Our final day was spent visiting Chandernagore just 30 k’s from Kolkata. It was established as a French colony in 1673 and still features a French flavour with a riverside esplanade and imposing 18th century buildings and the Sacred Heart Church.

Dance troupe

The distinguished patriarch of the Heritage River Journeys operation, Mr Raj Singh was the brainchild behind the MV Ganges Voyager, MV Ganges Voyager 11 and the RV Bengal Ganga. Raj established the company in 2004 and had some other cruise enthusiasts join him on the Board of Directors and the company was operational in 2009. “We have plans to extend the cruises from Kolkata, through Varanasi to Gauhati via Bangladesh.” he said. We are currently sailing this route with cargo only but we hope to introduce passengers in April or May with a new ship. This will be a journey of 3,500 k’s.” “We also propose to combine rail travel with river cruising one week on the river another on a train.” He said.  The company hopes to boost their cruise rating to 5/5 as they introduce organic food across the fleet.

Into the night sky

For more information on cruising the Ganges: info@gangesvoyager.com

For booking inquiries:    John Boyd jlbati@ozemail.com.au

Written by John Savage

The welcoming committee

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