Go back to
Home » My Kolkata » Places » Winter sailing on the Hooghly now made smoother by The Barge Company


Winter sailing on the Hooghly now made smoother by The Barge Company

The Telegraph gets you a first look of their four barges, and engages in a brief chat with the men behind them

Zeba Akhtar Ali | Published 10.11.22, 07:43 AM

From the house of Eastern Navigation Pvt. Ltd. (Estd. 1963), a shipbuilding, inland water transport and marine infrastructure firm, comes The Barge Company. It is a premium river cruise experience company on the Ganges founded by Piyush Singhee and Mukul Singhee in the year 2022 to curate definitive experiences for Kolkata on its very own Hooghly.

The duo who are both mechanical engineers and have been part of the industrial and marine infrastructure space, wanted to combine their industry experience in operating a barge with entertainment and luxury. They will be operating the iconic party barges Riviera and Desire of Kolkata and also launch their youngest and coziest, Eden, for bespoke events and their largest offering so far, The Bengal Paddle. All their barges are designed and constructed in-house, keeping customer experience at the heart of their philosophy so the user can get a 360-degree river experience.


The parent company’s effort (Eastern Navigation) in constant innovation has led them to take on their most ambitious project yet — a complete restoration of a steam engine-operated paddle steamer originally constructed in 1945. This colonial-era vessel now re-imagined as The Bengal Paddle, will offer a singular river experience on the Hooghly as the last surviving paddle steamer in all of India. The Barge Company will ensure that through a strong line-up of events open to the public, people can experience this piece of vintage luxury and soak in the history of the Gangetic Delta.

The Telegraph gets you a first look of their four barges, and a brief chat with the men behind them.

“Growing up in Kolkata, we would often hear someone in our family or one of our friends say, ‘What is there to even do in this city?’ I think a large reason for that is that sometimes, we as a city, don’t take pride in our civic spaces and our rich heritage. And the river is at the centre of it all, given Kolkata is one of the only metropolitan cities in India with a thriving river front. This is a question and image of the city that has always bothered us. With The Barge Company, we want to remedy just that, make access to the Hooghly easier than ever, and provide the city with surreal river experiences,” said Piyush Singhee (left), co-founder. Mukul Singhee, one of the other co-founders, added, “If you want to ask us what can you do on the barge, how about we change the question to what can’t you do on our barges? We help design your perfect events, with our custom-built barges. Everything from the design to the execution can be customised for you and your requirements.”

“We have romanticised the river and seen it through the lens of nostalgia; we need to redefine how we look at the river. At the Barge Co,we are looking to open the river to a host of new experiences, just not weddings and private parties but to mainstream interactions with the river through events in the arts, culture, lifestyle, and F&B space. We are seeking out innovative partnerships and collaborations that celebrate the uniqueness of the Hooghly,” said Rishika Das Roy, who handles marketing for the brand.


The Bengal Paddle: Bringing vintage luxe to the Ganges is this luxury paddle steamer, the only one of its kind in the country that can accommodate over 500 people and can be used for a variety of events. The Bengal Paddle will offer a singular experience in all of India as far as river experiences go. It has now been given a new lease of life with the joint efforts of exemplary minds in heritage restoration, naval architecture, structural engineering and the events and lifestyle space. An extraordinary amount of effort has been undertaken to preserve the elements of the original vessel. Particular attention was paid to capturing the essence of the hull shape and the rivetted superstructures, the steam engine, the paddles, the anchor windlass and the searchlight. Nearly 250 tonnes of steel, eight tonnes of teak wood and 4.5 lakh hours of skilled and semi-skilled labour have gone into the restoration.

Riviera: Think classic barge party setting, and Riviera is a choice that works for all sorts of events from corporate to personal. It makes for an exceptional choice for a plush celebration. Stunning views of the city’s skyline at the Upper Deck in addition to the woody banquet space spread over 900sqft of air-conditioned area.

Desire: Desire is the perfect fit for occasions, where one wants to make a splash, in the most intimate of settings. A plush 450sqft AC banquet and an open deck area spread over two levels, totalling an additional 1,600sqft, makes it perfect for warmly lit brunches, proposals, birthdays, bridal or baby showers, bachelor/ bachelorettes, pre-wedding functions, anniversaries, and so on.

Eden: Looking for an easy-breezy hangout on the river, thinking of proposing to your special someone, entertaining some important guests for chai or cocktails? Eden is the perfect boat for a small group who want to experience the river like never before.

Pictures: The Barge Company

Last updated on 10.11.22, 03:52 PM

More from My Kolkata