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.
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.