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Winter woes? Take a cruise

india Updated: Jan 12, 2007 18:10 IST
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Imagine a journeyto the world’s largest mangrove gene pool aboard a luxury liner, surfing the Internet and still savouring the beauty of the awe-inspiring Gangetic delta.

If that sounds impossible, think again. The mystic Sundarbans with its tidal crisscrossing waterways, countless islands, mangrove forests and royal Bengal tigers would now be available to tourists, both home and abroad in the form of luxury cruising. Who let the boats out?

Kolkata-based Vivada Cruises, a project of Vivada Inland Waterways Limited, is launching a dayand-night luxury river cruise service this month with top-star facilities, that sails from Kolkata to the Sundarbans.                                    

  A cruise to remember

The cruise comes as a complete package that combines luxury with ecotourism, adventure sports, leisure and nature treks on a 400-km trip.

Vivada is launching the first such cruising experience in India, along with West Bengal Forest Development Corporation (WBFDC).

“It will provide a unique experience, combining Bengal hospitality, with art, culture and service of international standards. It will be the vacation of a lifetime ,” says MV Nath, chairman of Vivada Inland Waterways Ltd.

“We will take the tourists to the explore creeks in smaller crafts that sail from the cruiser,” he further explains.

The three-deck cruiser with AC rooms will take tourists to heritage sites like Bandel, Chandannagore and Murshidabad along the Ganges during the months of April, May and June when Sundarbans sees fewer tourists.

Monsoon menace over: Thanks to the cruiser, Sundarbans can now be experienced even during the monsoon. Though that time is considered off-season, it looks best during the rains, turning into a traveller’s paradise.

Floating luxury: The cruise will have facilities ranging from conferencing, Internet, global positioning system, multi-cuisine restaurant, art gallery, library, open-air gym among others.

Count the moolah The cruise packages are between Rs 15,000 and Rs 20,000 covering Sajnekhali Bird Sanctuary, tiger reserves, Bhagbatpur Crocodile Project and other forest reserves.

Any takers for a star cruise to Sundarbans while reading Amitava Ghosh’s The Hungry Tide set in the wild water world?

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