Launched by Antara Cruises, it is the world’s longest river cruise journey, taking guests via the Sundarbans and Bangladesh, sailing along the Ganges and the Brahmaputra
June 22, 2022: Launching this December, Antara Luxury River Cruises has created the longest river journey in the world, a 51-day cruise along the Ganges and the Brahmaputra. From Kashi (Uttar Pradesh) to Dibrugarh (Assam) via Sunderbans and Bangladesh, one can now sail across 27 smaller rivers, 5 states and 2 countries. The 51-day cruise will be enjoyed aboard Antara’s newest art-deco boutique ship, Antara Ganga Vilas.
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.
Along the journey, each day will have an offshore and onshore experience. Starting at Varanasi, the cruise will meander the Ganges, 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 enters Bangladesh. Shop from the floating markets of Barisal onwards to Bagerhat which 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.
Elaborating on the experiences the journey offers, Raj Singh, Founder-Chairman of Antara Luxury River Cruises, says, “Our guests visit Matiari where they watch brassware and textiles in the villages being hand-created, they walk on the same grounds on archaeological sites that date to over 2500 years. We go to Vikramshila, one of the largest Buddhist universities alongside Nalanda and Bhagalpur for its centuries old Tussar silk weaving traditions. The fascinating colonial, Dutch and French influences and architecture across the interiors of Bengal, the raw untouched beauty across the Bangladesh-India border with the Sunderbans, precious arts and artisan visits where guests can engage with and talk to them - we have so carefully curated the entire journey, each stop, and every experience. A real insight into understanding this special region whilst enjoying the phenomenal riverscapes that the revered Ganga and Brahmaputra offer.”
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.
While the title of introducing the world’s longest cruise in general goes to Royal Caribbean, this cruise by Antara will offer a microscopic look into the cultures, architecture, influences, and agriculture that dictate the life of those in interiors of India.