Plateau International Announces New Representaton Of Luxury River Cruise Specialist Assam Bengal Navigation For Journeys Through India

Charaidew & Sukapha - Assam Bengal NavigationPlateau International, today announced it will represent long distance river cruising pioneers, Assam Bengal Navigation, to tour operators, travel agencies and travel designers across Europe and Australasia looking for unique travel experiences in India on the Himalayan rivers of Brahmaputra and Ganges.

Since 2003, Assam Bengal Navigation (ABN) have been leading specialists in developing diverse river itineraries in Assam and Bengal along two of the subcontinent’s greatest rivers to showcase their vibrant riverine culture, historic archaeological sites and exotic wildlife.

Assam Bengal Navigation have four elegant river ships and a charming private houseboat for the experiential traveller to explore in conscious luxury these little-known regions of India and can be combined with an eco-safari stay in the national parks.

Dedicated onboard guides and naturalists provide guests with a deeper insight into the wildlife and heritage of each region. Onboard there are many cultural performances to give guests a deeper insight into the region. Assam Bengal Navigation operates an environmentally conscious service and builds connections within the surrounding rural communities, contributing a percentage of sales and hiring locally.

The Indo-British company is co-owned and managed by two families: the Brocks and the Phookans who promote low volume quality tourism in the region which has also resulted in the restoration of many old monuments and mansions along the Ganges River in Bengal and brought about the revival of several artisan hamlets along the river.

Assam Bengal Navigation was awarded the Indian National Tourism Award in 2004 for Innovation and in 2007, were the first to run cruises on the River Hooghly (Lower Ganges) between Kolkata and Farakka.

The Brahmaputra River has three small shallow draft ships which operate several itineraries between October and April, taking in the lush flora and fauna of Assam as well as a plethora of temples, village communities and their crafts.

The exotic wildlife of UNESCO World Heritage Site, Kaziranga National Park includes many migratory birds, the one-horned rhino, Bengal tiger, elephant, leopard, Sloth bears and Hoolock Gibbons, the Indian Ape unique to north-east India.

It is possible to add a few days at Assam Bengal Navigation’s luxury wildlife resort, Diphlu River Lodge, set on the edge of the park and accommodating 24 guests which allows more time to observe the varied species of wildlife. The rich reservoirs of the park attract over 400 bird species such as grey pelican, hornbills, grey-headed fish eagle and Jerdon’s bushchat.

Other activities include white-water rafting, exploring on cycle rickshaws and barbecuing on deserted sandbanks along with onboard entertainment. For private charter, the private wooden houseboat with one cabin offers couples the opportunity to travel at a relaxed pace on a personal adventure while absorbing the natural beauty of Assam.

Cruises on the Lower Ganges operate out of Kolkata between October and April, sailing through the vibrant heritage of Bengal where French, Dutch, Danish, Portuguese and English created settlements and built many noteworthy historic monuments.

During the winter months, the Lower Ganges cruise can be combined with Ganges cruises from Farakka to historic Patna, including Murshidabad which was the last capital of independent Bengal before British rule and once the epicenter of art and culture, including ivory sculptors, Hindustani classical music, silk-weaving and the Murshidabad style of Mughal painting.

During August and September there are two departures that reach all the way to Varanasi, the Holy Grail of Ganges cruises. This expedition was pioneered in 2014. Assam Bengal Navigation pride themselves on immersive tourism, from the ships’ colonial interiors to fragrant local cuisine and the interaction with crew as well as local villagers performing their crafts.

Each of the fleet has its own character, style and purpose, being comfortable and contemporary boutique river ships with colonial décor and traditional Indian furnishings. A comfortable saloon, bar, dining room and canopied sundeck compliment the tasteful en-suite air-conditioned cabins and some ships offer a small onboard spa. The food is one of the highlights on every cruise, with daily variations and signature dishes of Assam and Bengali cuisine blended with continental options. A great variety of cultural performances take place on board.

Plateau International represent luxury hotels, boutique river cruises and high-end DMCs from around the globe, connecting the right buyers in the most relevant markets across Europe and Australasia. Founder Marco Rosa commented, “Assam Bengal Navigation is a natural fit with our portfolio of luxury and authentic experiences and a welcome addition, representing a fascinating and little-known region of India for travellers to discover.”

Antara Phookan, Director of Assam Bengal Navigation added, “We pride ourselves on creating authentic experiences that foster a genuine connection between guests and the communities we interact with on the Indian subcontinent’s greatest river valleys. We have established the ABN Foundation to support education, environmental protection and local community development initiatives which receive 5% of every cabin booked. We are delighted to collaborate with Plateau and benefit from their expertise in representing boutique river cruise companies.”

About Assam Bengal Navigation
Pioneers of river cruises since 2003, Assam Bengal Navigation is the most experienced cruising operator in India and a family-owned/operated company with a large percentage of repeat guests. Their small fleet of elegant boutique river ships transport inquisitive travellers along the exotic waterways of The Ganges and Brahmaputra Rivers, giving deep insight into riverine culture and communities with the help of dedicated English speaking guides and naturalists who are hired and trained from within the region. Assam Bengal Navigation create experiences that foster a genuine connection between guests and the communities. Abundant wildlife and national parks, archaeological monuments and crafting villages together with barbeques on deserted sandbanks and eco-safari extensions create an immersive experience for travellers exploring Assam and Bengal.

About Plateau International
Plateau International’s role is to promote the concept of luxury experiences. As a sales representation company, their carefully selected portfolio of clients from around the globe includes some of the finest boutique hotels, small luxury cruise lines and hand-picked DMCs who benefit from Plateau’s extensive and time-honoured network of tour operator partnerships for the luxury and five-star market spanning Europe and Australasia. Well-connected within the travel industry with a wealth of experience in working with top brands over the past 25 years, Plateau’s expansive network of travel designers, travel agencies and tour operators, including Traveller Made partners, consistently raises the visibility of clients represented and generates demand for bookings from new sources, maximising sales potential. Efficiency, reliability and professionalism are at the core of Plateau’s mandate to deliver a world-class service in expanding sales and extending thriving relationships.

(Plateau International, Assam Bengal Navigation)

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