Cruise to Sunderbans getting more luxurious
From September this year, the company that runs the only major luxury cruise in the region in association with the WBFDC is eyeing foreign tourists in a big way, reports Jaidev Majumdar.
The luxury cruise to the Sunderbans is getting more luxurious. From September this year, Vivada Inland Waterways Ltd—the company that runs the only major luxury cruise in the region in association with the West Bengal Forest Development Corporation (WBFDC)—is eyeing foreign tourists in a big way.
Vivada has so far made about six trips to the Sunderbans, with tourists as well as international tour operators familiarising them with the potential of Sunderbans as an eco tourism hotspot. Vivada claims that it has also received a lot of enthusiastic feedback from international tourists at the recently concluded Internationale Tourismus-Börse, Messe (ITB) at Berlin —billed as one of the largest travel trade show in the world. Following the feedback, Vivada has made the necessary makeover in its cruiser called “Paramhamsa,” to suit the palate of the international tourists.
M.V. Nath, chairman of Vivada, told Hindustan Times that the company has been taking a lot of overseas marketing initiatives to popularise the 3 nights and four days cruise including appointing of Strategic Research & Marketing group in New Delhi and a UK-based marketing agent in London to do the promotions.
R Sushila, executive director of Vivada, says that the 32 cabin Paramhamsa is now fully decked up for the occasion, complete with plush rooms and exotic cuisine. Beginning from the jetty at Strand Road, the vessel will travel along small and picturesque locales of Budge Budge, Falta, Raichak, Diamond Harbour and Kakdwip. With a stopover in the fishing town of Namkhana, the vessel will cruise through the Hatania-Doania river passing through numerous rivers, tributaries and creeks that make Sunderbans so unique. En route, the vessel will also stop at Bhagabatpur crocodile project exclusively for the crocs and Lothian Islands for a timeless walk amid the mangrove forest.
The watchtower at Bonnie Eco Tourism Camp offers a bird’s eye view of the dense mangrove forests underneath and a stop in a typical Sunderbans village Bali has been planned to give the tourists a feel of the local life. A canopy walk at Dobanki and a three centuries old temple at Netidhopani are added attractions to the cruise.
According to Ms Sushila, the cruise has been meticulously planned to give tourists an experience of a lifetime. While paintings by local painters are both displayed and sold on board as souvenir items, the food fits in seamlessly with the adventurous journey. Seafood is a major attraction with a dedicated section on crabs, lobsters and fish, both in buffet and live counters. Ethnic Bengali food is also cooked by specialists.
“Every season has its own charm in the Sunderbans but the monsoon is a treat. The hilsa is most tasty and there is always an element of uncertainty that will thrill the adventurous to the core,” Ms Sushila says.
The cruise is priced at $245 (lower deck) and $295 (upper deck) per person excluding taxes. “International tourists cannot complain on the price as we feel it has been kept quite reasonable with facilities that live up to the international standards,” Ms Sushila says.
Noida: The Noida authority along with other stakeholders on Thursday finalised the evacuation plan and exclusion zone for the demolition of the Supertech twin towers scheduled at 2:30pm on August 28. Officials said that the entire Emerald Court and ATS Village housing societies with around 7,000 residents will have to be evacuated along with their vehicles by 7am on the demolition day.
Four members of a family were killed when the van they were travelling in collided with a stationary truck on the Delhi-Meerut Expressway in Ghaziabad on Thursday afternoon. Police said that by the time they reached the site, the truck driver had fled away with the vehicle. Police identified the four victims as Sumit Kumar (34), his son Yagit, Tej Pal (48), and his wife Babli (40).
Artist Manish Nai then spent over a year putting the installation together. The end result is for all to see: walk into the Godrej campus at Vikhroli, and the donut-shaped installation titled Zero lies on a patch of green between the two office buildings (Godrej One and Godrej Two), surrounded by other remarkable outdoor installations including one by Subodh Gupta (Worship for All) and another by Neha Choksi (Child's Grove).
A joint team of the Government Railway Police and Railway Protection Force on Wednesday busted a gang of thieves with the arrest of five men. The accused have been identified as Suraj (31) of Gurdaspur; Ravi Kumar (23), a native of Uttar Pradesh; Sihkul Khan alias Sakrula Khan (25) of Rajasthan, Nadeem Nutt (22) of Bihar and Shyam Singh (21) of Ludhiana.
The two-day symposium aimed at transforming the green revolution hub of India, organized by Dr GS Khush Foundation and PAU in the honour of Dr Darshan Singh Brar, concluded here on Thursday. Rakesh Sharda, principal extension scientist (soil and water engineering) said only 50,000 hectares of area in the state is under micro irrigation. Directorntral Institute of Post, Rajbir Singh- Harvest Engineering and Technology, condemned the promotion of super seeder.