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“Superb -- Put This on your Bucket List (review is of an overnight tour)”

Sundarban Houseboat - Day Tour
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Attraction details
Owner description: Now EXPLORE THE MAGIC OF SUNDARBANS with it’s first luxury Air conditioned houseboat providing the World’s first wildlife safari in a houseboat. Each and every day tour in the houseboat is personalized and unique as it is tailor made to the desires and expectation of the guests. The Houseboat is equipped with all modern amenities which we believe, will be beyond your expectations.
Reviewed 26 March 2017

This is the only houseboat on the Sunderban, and if you are taking the time to visit the Kolkata area, you should try it. There are also day-boats on the Sunderban, but there is nothing like waking up to the calls of the birds along these peaceful waterways, and for that you need the houseboat.

International tourists may find the accommodations homespun rather than luxurious. But the ship is clean, well-maintained, and has everything you need. The crew was helpful, solicitous and friendly. A special thank you to Dapan Mandar (apologies if that is misspelled) who took care of us like family. The food was home-style but excellent, and plentiful. The coffee was honestly some of the best I have ever had in my life.

The crew provides you with entertainment each evening -- music videos one night, and a local dance troupe (for a reasonable extra charge) the next. It is a thoughtful and enjoyable program.

Our naturalist guide Summer (his name thoughtfully simplified for our Western ears) was knowledgeable and friendly, and the entire crew helped us spot birds and other wildlife.

If you are looking only for a luxury cruise for a party or romantic weekend, go to Kerala instead. This cruise is more about the natural wonder of the Sunderban, which is a unique and fascinating area. You will not see tigers -- they are too elusive in this area (and dangerous -- so you probably don't want to see one). We did see tiger tracks on the riverbank. But the bird life is amazing, and we saw lots of other wildlife -- a huge crocodile sunning itself on the land and then slipping silently into the water, dozens of kingfishers, egrets, fiddler crabs, mudskippers, and monitor lizards. We visited a beautiful village and several wildlife reserves. We spent a lot of time on deck watching the river pass by, or at the bow of the ship in the beanbag chairs.

A few practical notes for international visitors. The drive from Kolkata is a couple of hours and the roads are not great. However, the houseboat provided a car and driver who fetched us from our hotel and dropped us at the airport when we left. There is little mobile network coverage once you are cruising. Our room had a shower with hot water, but shipboard bathing is necessarily awkward, so take that nice long bath in your hotel before you travel to the ship. Most of the crew speaks a little English, but a couple speak it quite well, so communication works with a minimal effort. We booked a private trip and had the run of the ship.

This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, the price is reasonable, and cruising along the delta is relaxing and serene. Highly recommended.

3  Thank ichiji
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviews (48)
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3 - 7 of 48 reviews

Reviewed 20 March 2017

The staffs, foods, cleanliness and cordial welcome from Sunderban Houseboat really made my trip a lifetime memory...highly recommended..

Thank drsanjibanpatra84
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 March 2017

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.

4  Thank doctorabhijit
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 March 2017

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  Thank ad0312
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 January 2017

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.

5  Thank RiyawanWala
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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