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regular-article-logo Saturday, 15 June 2024

Five days of sailing on river Ganges with India's first vegan cruise — Ganges Voyager

t2 got an opportunity to sail on the serene Ganges for five days, stopping at some well-known and princely spots of West Bengal with the recently introduced vegan and sustainable cruise by the brand

Rohini Chakraborty Published 05.02.24, 10:58 AM
The Ganges Voyager, a meticulously crafted vessel by Indian artisans, has a length of 56.5m and a width of 12.5m. With a permanent crew and eco-friendly measures, it cruises at a comfortable 10 knots. Its 28 suites with personal French balconies offer scenic views, a non-alcoholic mini bar, a sitting area, and entertainment amenities.

The Ganges Voyager, a meticulously crafted vessel by Indian artisans, has a length of 56.5m and a width of 12.5m. With a permanent crew and eco-friendly measures, it cruises at a comfortable 10 knots. Its 28 suites with personal French balconies offer scenic views, a non-alcoholic mini bar, a sitting area, and entertainment amenities. Pictures: Antara Cruises and the author

Antara River Cruises, an emerging boutique cruise brand under Heritage River Journeys, is swiftly captivating travellers with immersive journeys along the majestic waterways of India and Bangladesh. t2 got an opportunity to sail on the serene Ganges for five days, stopping at some well-known and princely spots of West Bengal with the recently introduced vegan and sustainable cruise by the brand. A vegan cruise? Yes, Antara Cruises went the extra mile to give the passengers onboard the authentic feel of a completely vegan journey. This first-of-its-kind cruise also ensured no animal or animal products were used on the vessel. And the crew were in all-cotton outfits from head to toe without a single touch of anything synthetic.

The Heritage Suite provides privacy and comfort. It has a spacious French balcony with panoramic views. Equipped with an elegant four-poster bed, Persian rugs, and floor-to-ceiling glass doors, the suite exudes luxury. The hand-painted walls add a charming touch to the room

The Heritage Suite provides privacy and comfort. It has a spacious French balcony with panoramic views. Equipped with an elegant four-poster bed, Persian rugs, and floor-to-ceiling glass doors, the suite exudes luxury. The hand-painted walls add a charming touch to the room

The accommodation onboard is divided into the Maharaja Suites, the Heritage Suites, the Colonial Suites and the Signature Suites. The ship provides a daily briefing on activities. Dining onboard is a fusion of traditional Indian, particularly Bengali, and international cuisine, which are completely vegan. The culinary team crafts meals with locally-sourced, seasonal ingredients, some indigenous to the region, ensuring a delightful experience for passengers.

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The suites have cosy seating areas done up in period decor down to the elegant wooden furniture and the walls are adorned with stencilled designs, local murals and period pictures

The suites have cosy seating areas done up in period decor down to the elegant wooden furniture and the walls are adorned with stencilled designs, local murals and period pictures

For a growing number, vegan travel signifies a significant shift towards sustainable living. A growing vegan community actively seeks these specialised cruises that provide travellers the chance to embark on a vacation aligned with their values. Antara River Cruises’ is catering to that clientele.

The five-day onboard journey was all about sailing by and disembarking in areas where various European settlers had established trading outposts and left a legacy of their settlements from the 17th through the 19th centuries.

Unwind on the massive sundeck, surrounded by invigorating fresh air and bask in the warm embrace of the sun. Soak in the vibes of the local life as you sail down the river

Unwind on the massive sundeck, surrounded by invigorating fresh air and bask in the warm embrace of the sun. Soak in the vibes of the local life as you sail down the river

Starting the upstream journey from the Botanical Garden jetty in Calcutta, our first stop was at Kalna, followed by Matiari on the second day, Khushbagh on the third, Murshidabad and Mayapur on the fourth and finally Chandannagar on Day 5. Here are some glimpses of the the five-day excursion.

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