Sundarban Houseboat
Sundarban Houseboat
5
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Monday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Tuesday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Wednesday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Thursday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Friday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Saturday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Sunday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
About
Explore the Mystical Sundarbans cruising through its dense forest networks and backwaters. Sundarban Houseboat is an Exclusive Cruise Tour Houseboat, designed and built with Premium and Modern amenities and facilities - catering to guests who wish to experience the best of the mangrove forest on an All-Inclusive Sundarban Tour. Book from the best price Sundarban Tour Package, including Pick-up from and Drop to Kolkata.
Kolkata (Calcutta), India

Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Travellers talk about
(2 reviews)
(3 reviews)
(4 reviews)

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

5.0
5.0 of 5 bubbles105 reviews
Excellent
89
Very good
9
Average
5
Poor
2
Terrible
0

Culture46961286307
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2024 • Couples
The best two days and one night program of my life we enjoyed a lot the facilities though limited but more than enough for a day the FOOD THE HOSPITALITY WAS AWESOME
KEEP IT UP AND THREE CHEERS FOR THE OWNER AND THE CREW MEMBERS
Written 19 January 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Yogi Ardy
75 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2024 • Couples
The food and service was good.
But the night stay on boat was bad... bed crammped hardly any space for movement
Bathroom very average bedlinen quality bad. Considering we paid 17k per night for the stay included meals.
There was one guest birthday being celebrated on deck
Major noise of people moving up n down as the rooms are below the deck
Would not recommend a night stay to anyone
Just do the river cruise and stay at Sonarbangla resort which is 5 ⭐️.
Citings very rare. But the cruise ride n views are great. Don't miss the sunsets.
Visit to the crocodile- turtle enclosures is a waste of time.
Regards & best wishes
Yogi Ardy
Written 17 January 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Dear Mr Yogi, • Thank you for your valuable feedback regarding your recent sojourn aboard our Sundarban Houseboat. We deeply appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts, as it is through such honest reflections that we can truly refine the experiences we offer. • ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- • Your commendations regarding our food and service are received with gratitude, reaffirming our commitment to quality in these areas. However, it is with a sincere sense of responsibility that we address your concerns regarding the accommodation and the overall night stay experience. • ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- • We recognize that the essence of our offering – a foray into the heart of the Sundarbans – is not one of conventional luxury but of adventure and authenticity. The intimacy with nature, the closeness to the rhythmic life on the river, and the unvarnished engagement with the local environment define our houseboat journey. These are the elements we strive to highlight, the memories we aim to create, and the experiences we are passionate about delivering. • ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- • The bed linens and the spatial constraints you mentioned have been noted with immediate concern. Our intent has always been to ensure comfort without compromising the sense of being on an adventurous retreat. The rusticity of the houseboat is a deliberate design choice to resonate with the raw vibrancy of the Sundarbans. It is a balance we are continually striving to perfect, and your feedback is instrumental in this endeavour. • ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- • Regarding the noise disturbance from the celebratory event, we extend our sincerest apologies for any discomfort this caused. We recognize the importance of tranquillity during such escapes and will review our protocols for on-deck celebrations to better respect the sanctity of our guests' personal space. • ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- • It is important to highlight that the pricing of our houseboat stay is a reflection of the unique experience we offer. Far beyond mere accommodation, it encompasses the safety measures we meticulously maintain, the environmental compliance we adhere to, and the support we provide to the local community, which plays an integral role in the authentic Sundarbans adventure. • ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- • We understand that the essence of what we offer may not be in alignment with everyone’s expectations. Our communication has always aimed to clarify that the journey aboard our houseboat is not one of opulence but of immersion into the unparalleled beauty of the Sundarbans. The cost is not indicative of luxury but of an immersive experience that connects our guests with the spirit of this majestic place. • ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- • As we navigate through your review, we also take this as an opportunity to re-emphasize to our potential guests the nature of our houseboat experience. If you are seeking the plush comforts and polished amenities of a five-star hotel, our houseboat may not align with your preferences. However, if your heart yearns for the thrill of exploration, the touch of the morning breeze on the deck with a cup of tea in hand, and the sight of a sailor skilfully navigating the tides, we are the haven you seek. • ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- • Our vessel is a haven for the spirited adventurer, for the child within us all who marvels at the reflection of the stars on the water, who is ever curious about the mysterious wildlife, who finds joy in the innocence of nature. We invite those who seek to rediscover themselves amidst the untamed beauty of the Sundarbans, those who find an innocent smile breaking upon their face at the sight of the unknown. • ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- • In the Sundarbans, we coexist with the wildlife on their terms, and sightings are a gift from nature, not a guarantee. The enclosures and activities are curated to offer a glimpse into the lives of the species that inhabit this region, though they may not appeal to everyone's interests. • ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- • We value your patronage and your feedback, and we remain dedicated to enhancing our services while staying true to the adventurous ethos of our houseboat experience. We hope to have the opportunity to welcome you again, perhaps under different expectations, or to guide you to alternative accommodations that meet your desires for comfort and luxury. With warm regards and best wishes,
Written 19 January 2024
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Romanov78
Dubai, United Arab Emirates75 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2023 • Family
Review of Sundarban Houseboat

I] Summary

Ratings on a scale of 10:

-Booking process: 9
-Transfers & driver: 4
-Organisation & timing: 6
-Departure briefing: 2
-Houseboat crew: 7
-Onboard amenities: 5
-Dining: 7
-Independent guide service: 8
-Animal sightings: 6
-Tour Marketing & related correspondence: 10

Overall verdict: Sub-par experience. I would avoid this tour operator if I were you. Value for money? Heck, no!

II] In-depth review

Have tried to log our entire experience with as much detail as possible in the hope that others may benefit and understand what to expect from this operator’s non a/c houseboat service.

For our maiden family holiday to Kolkata, we decided to do the much touted Sundarban tour and after much deliberation and reading the positive reviews here, zeroed in on Sundarban House Boat (SHB). We booked the entire non a/c boat for a 1 night / 2 day tour and were looking forward to a “super-premium” curated private cruise to delight the family. The non a/c boat is operated under SHB’s associate brand “MAX Adventures”

1. Booking process

The booking process was rather smooth and involved a 50% advance with the rest due on the houseboat. Our main contact was the firm’s partner/manager named “Swaroop Biswas”. SHB / MAX Adventures run a super slick marketing operation via WhatsApp laden with flowery prose to bowl over unsuspecting guests about how much fun they’re going to have and how SHB/MAX is going to look after them all the way. However, our experience proved otherwise.

2. Transfers and driver - part 1

Our driver named “Tapan” arrived to pick us up from our Kolkata accommodation at 1:30 PM sharp in a clean and well maintained a/c Ertiga. So far so good, or so we thought. But nearly everything went downhill from here.

To start with, “Tapan” seemed to be overworked and had also contracted a nasty cough due to some unseasonal rains a couple of days earlier (by his own admission). Our entire journey to the Godhkali docks was punctuated with raspy coughing sans any kerchief or mask. So much for care about guests’ wellbeing or any pretense of hygiene. My family and I were rather uncomfortable about this aspect since we are tourists who want to maximise our experience rather than fall sick while on holiday. We had an otherwise smooth drive through several hamlets and arrived at Godhkali at 4:15 PM, well in time for boarding that SHB had claimed would be on time at 5 PM.

3. Organisation / timing (departure)

Here, we had an involuntary game of waiting (the boat was late) and thereafter some musical chairs where we had to swing with our luggage from one pier to another (both Tapan and the boat crew were confused as to which pier we would be picked up at). Anyway, we finally boarded a smaller boat which then ferried us across to the main houseboat anchored further away from the pier. We were silently transferred to the main houseboat and made our way up to the upper deck.

4. Houseboat crew

No welcome or smile from the crew, no basic introductions. After about 10 min of twiddling our thumbs, the captain finally introduced himself and said he would arrange tea and biscuits. However another crew member brought us some salty drink meant for the previous guests instead. On pointing this out, he got us some tea but we understood that communication was going to be a problem with these gents since English was hardly understood and Hindi too was not particularly their strong suit.

5. Departure from Godhkali

We set off after sunset at around 5:40 PM well behind schedule and with visibility rapidly dropping. Crew put on a couple of documentaries on the Sunderbans on the telly. Wifi availability was pretty good. Freshly made snacks were served at 7 or so. At around 9 PM, we docked for the night. When we queried about the visit to a local night market (touted as part of the itinerary) the captain sheepishly replied that the market would be closed by the time we got there. So, there was one fun activity crossed off the list for us.

6. Feedback to SHB/MAX

We relayed our experience thus far to Swaroop who heard us out patiently but also seemed to offer what seemed to be excuses: 1) Crew is “shy” and hence needed time to adjust to us to “open up” and be more cordial 2)All positive reviews about SHB are referring to their premium a/c houseboat service and not the non a/c service.

In response, one wonders why well experienced crew operating within the hospitality industry and catering to tourists ought to be “shy” and why all the glossy marketing texts sent to us regarding our non a/c booking mentioned the “wow” factor we could expect to experience when their reasoning later was that all of this is more aligned towards the a/c service. Moreover, with ambient evening/night temperatures dropping to a cool 15-17c in Dec, the non a/c houseboat ought to have been more than adequate.
Anyway, Swaroop promised to make amends by arranging a fine guide to start off our morning as well as to check on the driver’s cough issue.

Post our discussion with Swaroop, the boat crew became way more friendly and started making good effort to ensure a better experience.

7. Day tour

Sunrise amidst chirping birds while anchored midstream was a grand treat. A quick coffee later, we headed to the “Sajnekhali” watch tower where we were introduced to an independent guide (viz. not part of the SHB / MAX crew) named “Saptorishi”. With his deep knowledge of all things Sundarban and his zeal for the job, Saptorishi turned out to be the saving grace of this excursion. After a walkthrough of the tower and the environs, he joined us onboard and soon started pointing out several colourful birds, some water monitors etc. However, other than the odd boar and water monitor, animal sightings were few and far between. We did spot 1 large croc and a deer rather far away but alas, on asking the crew for a pair of binoculars for a better appreciation of the local flora and fauna, we were promptly told that they were broken. One more of the “146 items onboard” touted to us via WhatsApp that was either non existent or simply not available. So much for broken binoculars and broken promises! Rest of our day tour was more of aimless wandering between meandering water channels and more bird sightings. The Royal Bengal tiger remained ever so elusive and we had to stay content with sightings of the beast’s pug marks on the river banks and exciting (albeit grisly) stories from Saptorishi of how intelligent and adaptable they were and of the many instances that honey collectors and village folk had been made a meal of. After an expectant but alas, disappointingly uneventful wait late afternoon at the second watch tower “Sudhanyakhali” even our guide was ready to throw in the towel on further animal sightings. Here we saw a couple of river monitors and a mid sized wild boar.

8. Dining

Day 1. Post boarding snacks (onion pakora, “katla” fish fry, “jhol muri”) and dinner (veg fried rice, chilly chicken, “sandesh”) were ok.

Day 2. The breakfast and lunch service during the day tour was very good. Breakfast comprised freshly made piping hot puris and potato bhaji with omlettes, toast and curd. Lunch was a good spread with rice, wholesome dal, fried brinjal (“baingan” / eggplant), papad, “katla” fish curry followed by chilled rasogollas. The highlight was a vegetable preparation of “padwal” as well as some sort of sticky mango based sweet preparation which was supposed to be paired with the crispy papads. Tea and coffee was also available through the day.

9. Tour end

More delay. The houseboat returned to dock at Godhkali only around 6 PM (vs usually expected time of 4:30 - 5:00 PM). We paid the balance 50% and filled in the tour survey form

10. Transfers and driver - part 2

After our uncomfortable encounter with “Tapan” (remember the coughing driver?) during pickup and feedback to Swaroop, we had hoped (perhaps foolishly) that we would have gotten a different driver for the journey back. Not so! As soon as we set foot on the jetty and made a beeline for the car, we ran into “Tapan” again. And a very sullen version of the man too. Probably annoyed with our feedback to Swaroop, “Tapan” decided to speak in monosyllables and only when asked something. He also had a couple of new surprises in store for us. While he hadn’t fully recovered, he managed to somewhat suppress the cough but this time decided to engage in several loud and full throated conversations on his mobile phone while driving. So much for guests being advised not to call the driver when he’s at the wheel so as to not inconvenience the gent or jeopardize his safety (as advised in SHB/MAX WhatsApp messages prior to pick up). He also felt a pressing need to drive rather aggressively, go over speed bumps roughly and also over the road divider lines in the lane of oncoming traffic. It would seem that the driver was obviously more versatile and not bound by the silly rules that apply to the rest of us ordinary mortals.

And here’s the final irony to the tale and end to an overall miserable drive as we were about to dropped off in Kokata - a call between “Tapan” and non other than Swaroop himself. Unknown to Swaroop, Tapan had the call on speakerphone and when a raspy cough did escape, Swaroop smilingly cautioned him that the guests had complained of his cough and he ought to treat it or at least use a “rumaal” (handkerchief) if he was to continue doing it! And all of this in Bengali thinking us “guests” to be utter fools who would not pick up on the conversation at all.

11. Final summary

Our experience comprised a poorly organised tour, untrained (oops sorry, “shy” staff who needed to move out of their comfort zone), language barriers in communication (crew knew no English, were weak in Hindi) and few animal sightings. We saw no Bengal tiger though our driver “Tapan” certainly seemed to be a good enough substitute with some traits of the beast what with his roaring cough and mobile conversations and speed and aggression in prancing about on the road.

Were it not for the independent and knowledgeable guide, this tour would have been a disaster and absolute waste of hard earned money, time and energy. So much for a private, curated (and rather expensive) tour by SHB/MAX. “Meticulously tailored just for you” was SHB/MAX’s promise via WhatsApp. But we have a different view.. Lots of talk but when it comes to walking the talk? That’s a different story altogether!
Written 18 December 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

naivi121
Kolkata (Calcutta), India2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2023 • Couples
Had an excellent time ... The Experience Was Amazing ... and hospitality was way more impressive ... Thank u for An Amazing Holiday
Written 13 December 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Vijaykumar P
Chennai District, India11 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2023 • Couples
A cozy houseboat, an enthusiastic and super friendly crew, great customized meals amidst the fabulous backdrop of the Sunderbans, the Sunderbans Houseboat was a seven star experience. Memorable and unforgettable.
Written 9 March 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Preman N
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2023
Three days at Sundarbans Houseboat from 26th to 28th Jan'23 was a great experience. 10 of us hired the boat for a private cruise. Hospitality of the staff, taste and quality food were really amazing. We were fortunate to spot many animals including a tiger spotting which is very rare. Time away from city in wilderness with great group of supporting staff was amazing. I have recommended to many of my friends to have the experience of Sundarbans with Sundarbans houseboat.
Written 11 February 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Renu
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2022 • Family
We took a tour of 3 days 2 night tour with Sunderbanhouseboat.com. I would recommend to anyone who loves to enjoy nature without any customised options.Going slowly in the river on your boat, enjoying the natural beauty, the flora and fauna amid the nature was something which filled me with umpteen pleasure.Speaking of crew - everyone was very polite and caring. The hospitality was amazing including the captain of the ship who was jovial and trying his best to make your trip enjoyable and fruitful. Not to forget about the chef who made our trip even more enjoyable with sumptuous platter during meal times and snacks as well. The food was awesome. Even though we were vegetarian we liked everything offered. There were games on boat which my kids liked to play. Overall it was an awesome tour. I would love to go there again. 🙂👍🏻
Written 31 December 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Vacation798562
16 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2022 • Friends
I took my two friends who were visiting from abroad on the boat stay, not knowing what to expect. The experience was beyond our wildest expectations, starting from the hospitality of the staff, the tour guide, authentic bengali food, watching the stars in the middle of nowhere. Early morning wakeup call to see sunrise while being served hot tea and wildlife watching. Only regret is that we didnt stay for longer period. It was the best part of our India trip. Thanks so much to the management and crew for this experience.
Written 12 December 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Robert V
2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2022 • Friends
Brilliant trip stayed 9th and 10th of July. Saw lots of wildlife. Crew on board were brilliant catering to our every need. A/C worked perfectly. Would recommend this trip to anyone.
Written 18 July 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

A Chowdhury
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2022 • Family
Wonderful experience!!! Great management, great onboard arrangements, very friendly and supportive staff, awesome food, a life time experience indeed. A lot of thanks to Team Sundarban Houseboat.
Written 26 June 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Showing results 1-10 of 104

Sundarban Houseboat (Kolkata (Calcutta)) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos) - Tripadvisor