We were a group of 4 couples from various places in India,old friends, who took a 3 day two night... read more
We were a group of 4 couples from various places in India,old friends, who took a 3 day two night... read more
The entire experience is awesome. You enjoy the stay more when food is fabulous and the crew is... read more
This trip has long been overdue. We have been planning to visit this place for the last couple of years, but evrytime something came in our way. I heard about this company from this very site. Although the overall reviews were good, to be very frank, I was at first very apprehensive about the quality of their service. During the planning of our trip, Mr. Roy, one of the proprietors, was very helpful with all the information. I am a very inquisitve person and asked a lot of questions and everytime Mr. Roy's response was affirmative. I asked him whether my mother, who is seventy and has osteoarthritis of both knee joints, would be able to travel with us, he just convinced me to bring her along. So, on 13.03.2017, our trip started. The pick-up time was 09:30 am and to our utter surprise, the car reached our address on time. And from then on, I was convinced that everything will be fine, because no matter what the bosses say, the staffs actually represent the company. Mr. Bhanjan, our minivan driver was very punctual and courteous. We were scheduled to reach Gadkhali jetty by 01:00 pm. We boarded the houseboat right on time. My mother was given special care while boarding the boat. Mr. Monty Sharma, our tour supervisor, was very helpful. We were greeted by Mr. Pranab Jana, the Captain of the vessel. As soon as we reached the...This trip has long been overdue. We have been planning to visit this place for the last couple of years, but evrytime something came in our way. I heard about this company from this very site. Although the overall reviews were good, to be very frank, I was at first very apprehensive about the quality of their service. During the planning of our trip, Mr. Roy, one of the proprietors, was very helpful with all the information. I am a very inquisitve person and asked a lot of questions and everytime Mr. Roy's response was affirmative. I asked him whether my mother, who is seventy and has osteoarthritis of both knee joints, would be able to travel with us, he just convinced me to bring her along. So, on 13.03.2017, our trip started. The pick-up time was 09:30 am and to our utter surprise, the car reached our address on time. And from then on, I was convinced that everything will be fine, because no matter what the bosses say, the staffs actually represent the company. Mr. Bhanjan, our minivan driver was very punctual and courteous. We were scheduled to reach Gadkhali jetty by 01:00 pm. We boarded the houseboat right on time. My mother was given special care while boarding the boat. Mr. Monty Sharma, our tour supervisor, was very helpful. We were greeted by Mr. Pranab Jana, the Captain of the vessel. As soon as we reached the upper deck, we were given welcome drinks and within half an hour our lunch was served. The word 'lavish' won't do justice to the quality and quantity of food. And that was true for all the meals. We were served three full meals everyday and evening snacks, which was nothing short of a meal. Mr. Pranab Jana can easily work as a wildlife guide for wildlife novices like me. He could identify a small creature from such a distnace when even my camera with its hiigh-tech zoom struggled to find any. He was always smiling and was always ready to share the titbits of his experience of 26 years with us. The next day, Mr. Arun Sarkar. our official tour guide boarded the vessel and he was the one who taught me and my daughters to identify different varieties of Kingfishers and Egrets. He was the one to show us the pugmarks of a tiger. My younger one, who is eight started identifying all the varieties of Egrets within half an hour. Thank you once again, Mr. Sarkar. I would also like to thank Mr. Monty Sharma for taking care of all our needs. The crew members, Tapan, Kripasindhu, Shubho, Palash, the cook and another boy, whose name I forgot, were all very helpful and attentive. The cabins are very comfortable and you hardly feel that you are staying in a houseboat.
I used to occupy a corner sofa on the upper deck lounge and sit there till midnight, enjoying the sounds that came from the forest which was just 30 metres away.
Overall, we had a wonderful time and I am looking forward to visit the place once again in not so far future and I'll of course travel in the same vessel with the same crew.More
Sailing within Sunderban has been on my agenda for a while. Was'nt sure if there where good sailing facilities till I bumped into Sunderban Houseboat, while researching on the internet. And then I spoke with Mr Bhaskar Roy & Mr Swarup Sarkar!
I must congratulate the duo for creating this masterpiece and nurturing it with utmost care and love.
We took a 3 nights / 4 days trip with Sunderban Houseboat. We were picked up from our homes and boarded the houseboat at Godkhali. From thereon it was a heavenly trip, specially for wildlife lovers.
The houseboat has three (3) AC double rooms which can accommodate 8 people (we had 4 couples). More people can be accommodated on the deck, if you are willing to be little more adventurous. The upper deck has sitting, dining and relaxing arrangements. The houseboat carries binoculars, telescope, carroms and all sundry games & entertainment including DVD player, etc.. and more importantly every staff on the boat is a wildlife admirer.
Initially I was skeptical about the availability of guide on board, but as it turned out every member of the houseboat team knew well enough to teach us a few lessons. On top of that the Captain (Pranab) and the Exec Officer (Monty) are experts in the true sense. Their sighting skills and knowledge is par excellence. They have thought about every minutest detail, and are every happy to guide, help, share. The houseboat turned into a fun-filled excitement during the day and a musical jamming station after sunset with staff and Monty chipping in. From a food perspective you just had to name a dish, and it was arranged.
3 night, 4 days passed away in a whisker. The houseboat is well equipped technically and for serious enthusiasts it is perhaps the most relaxing way to cruise and explore the national park. Sunderban Houseboat is a great experience. Looking forward to be onboard soon.
1. Good fresh food, clean linen, hospitable staff, well equipped toilets.
2. Cook Mondal is good.
3. Good forest guard Ashok Mondal made our trip very interesting by showing us birds and all the possible wildlife.
4. Monty-the manager of the boat-is very good natured, pleasing, knowledgeable person. He is a good singer, good tabla player, and a good photographer. He is writing a coffee table book on Sundarbans. He showed us his photos of wildlife on the TV screen.
5. The boat movement is tracked using GPS signal.
Some suggestions to the company:
1.On embarkation, a safety drill should be mandatorily conducted explaining where the life jackets are and what to do in emergency.
2. Sleeping on the deck should not be booked by them. My 72 year old friend had to sleep on air mattress which leaked in the middle of the night. The toilet for him was the common toilet that the staff uses. It is neither clean nor dry. He slipped. Furthermore, the toilet is one flight down and the step landings are very short making them very unsafe in the night when one is half asleep.
3. The trip overview from time to time on the boat is not proactive. It requires some pushing the trip manager.
4. The marketing office is not very communicative. Responses to emails do not come despite lot of chasing. Questions remain unanswered. My group had anxious time because of their uncommunicative approach.
5. The 2 binoculars that they have need repairs. I am an experienced birdwatcher and a very knowledgeable user of binoculars.
6. The list of recreational equipment should be read out by the manager to the guests for putting to use by them if they wish. The company should not expect that the guests would read it on the website and remember.
We started the New Year, 2017. by a 3night/4 day trip to the Sundarbans by the Sundarban Houseboat. We were a group of 6 friends so we had booked the entire houseboat which has 3 cabins ( of double beds each, but which can accommodate a total of 12- 14 if necessary, with bunk beds and foldable cots).
A very comfortable Tata Winger, driven by Mr Sarkar, picked us up in Kolkata, at 9 a.m., and, after saying Hello to Mr Roy, the owner, we drove through rustic but good roads through rural Bengal, and reached us at 12 noon to Jodkhali, where we were to embark on the houseboat.
The houseboat has the most wonderful covered upper deck with comfortable sofas and chairs, and a lovely view of the surrounding landscape. This is where we sat most of the time, and had our meals at the dining table. There are a couple of sun chairs too if you want to sit in the open. A TV for those interested in seeing movies, either on wildlife of the Sundarbans, or others ( they have an eclectic range), a bar with soft ( and hard) drinks and snacks, soft music in the background all add up to a most refreshing and wonderful experience.
And the food is out of this world. One of our group was a vegetarian, and the food was superlative. Tasty, well cooked, different at each meal. And a wide range. The cook Polash Mondal and his team were absolutely fabulous the way they cooked up delights each time.
Indeed , the whole team was par excellence. The Manager, Monty Sharma, ( owner Mr Roy’s nephew) is a great photographer and he keeps his team happy at all times. The captain , Pranab Jana , was absolutely perfect at his job. The houseboat glided slowly through the many channels, some wide, some narrow, in a noiseless tranquil and serene manner, lulling us, and enchanting us with the exotic mangrove landscape. One is at peace with nature. Though , of course, this is only on the surface, violence lies within, tigers and crocodiles, and other wild animals are aplenty.
The service team led by Suvankar Mondal was always at hand, to help us in and out of the boat ( we were all elderly), to look after us 24/7 and serve the meals with great care .
The guide Mr Mrinal Mondal was efficient and knowledgeable, as was the captain. We were shown a variety of birds and mangrove trees.
The cabins are clean and serviceable, the beds comfortable and the bathrooms though naturally small, were enough.
All in all, this was a wonderful experience and we highly recommend this Sundarban Houseboat.
If we had to make a complaint, it was only that the overlap of leaving groups and alighting groups leads to a little confusion. Naturally, since the vehicle brings in a group from Kolkata and departs with the leaving group, the time in between is limited.
We had to wait at the crowded noisy Jodhkhali embarkation point, on arrival from Kolkata, till the houseboat anchored and the earlier group of guests left. While we got on and sat in the upper deck, the cabins were cleaned and refreshed. All done very quickly and well.
We were told that the company is planning to buy some land in Jodhkali or nearby and build a comfortable resting place for arriving and departing guests. Once this is in place, all will be much better.
But even so, we cannot stress enough, the wonderful time we had. A lovely experience. All kudos to Mr Roy, Monty and his team.
Thank you very much indeed.
Mrs. Girija Viraraghavan
Tripadvisor Username: Virugiri
The booking was very well managed with all my questions answered. I travelled with my parents, my spouse and our 5 year old. They did take some time to confirm the booking but we were told that we needn't worry. They picked us up from our Kolkata home and drove us to Godkhali. The driver was late by 45 mins but the vehicle was well maintained and the AC worked well. At Godkhali we waited barely for 15 minutes before the boat arrived. The boat is undoubtedly the best boat in the Sunderbans. The deck is very well maintained with comfortable sofas, nice dining space and a couple of bean bags. They also have good quality binoculars and telescope. The journey on the boat started around 1 pm and we were served lunch soon after. Food was extremely tasty and was served with utmost care towards cleanliness while we slowly meandered along towards Sajnekhali. We saw a few crocs at Sajnekhali and watched a phenomenal sunset near Pakhiralaya. We watched a couple of movies from the large collection of movies they have. They also have a large number of board games which kept our kid happy. The only issue was the room. While I understand that the boat cannot provide luxurious rooms, the cabins are very small for more than 3 occupants and we were 5 of us. Also it is impossible to stay in the room without the AC which wasn't working too well before the boys fixed it as there is just a tiny wall fan in the cabin. However, we slept well anchored in the middle of the river. We went to Sudhanyakhali but we weren't lucky to see the swamp tiger. We however saw 2 green vipers over there. Our journey back was lovely with melodious music played on board.
Overall the trip was very nice and is made memorable by the brilliant crew on board including the chef who is really adept at his job. I hope the management retains the boys on board as they are the heart of the proposition.
The only sore point was the driver who made us wait in the sun on the way back while he was playing a game of carrom. We found it quite unbelievable that he continued to play the game even after he saw us waiting in the heat. That was the epitome of unprofessionalism and he was a far cry from the staff on board.
We booked a 3-day / 2-night trip on the houseboat. We were sure this will be a great experience but we were surprised and delighted how beautiful this trip turned out. The crew was fantastic, everyone on the boat was extremely friendly. The rooms and amenities on the boat were exceeding our expectations for such a boat trip. The food was excellent (in fact the best India food I had so far). And finally of course the nature, the wildlife and simply the whole experience on the boat. You will see loads of beautiful animals (many birds, monitor lizzards, crocodiles, ...I was lucky and even spotted a black cobra). There is a very good balance between getting off the boat and visit some wildlife centres and staying on board to relax and enjoy the beauty. And last but not least: simply cruising around on a boat with this wonderful scenary is just an experience you will remember forever.
Once again, thanks to the crew and the team for these wonderful days!