Have you already participated in Antara Luxury River Cruises?
âIndian rivers are interesting worlds in themselves,â said Raj Singh, President of Antara Luxury River Cruises proudly, as we settled down to chat in the airy lounge of the cruise ship. An authority on river cruises in India, he had previously drawn a map of Indian rivers and tracing the various cruise routes available in the eastern part of the country. Hemant Mediratta, Co-Founder and COO, added to Singh’s Anthem of Indian Rivers, which was a reminder that river cruises were great for slow journeys, where you appreciate your surroundings instead of rushing to one destination to another. And between them, the pioneers of the Indian river cruise industry, have already mapped out some very interesting river routes, starting from Calcutta and going as far as Varanasi or Dhaka in Bangladesh.
The pandemic may have forced them to delay their plans, but there is no reason to complain. These pioneers of India’s river cruise industry have rolled out new plans that include a variety of options, from short fixed cruises and custom cruises to offering their luxury ship as a floating venue for events. , including weddings, pre or post wedding events. , birthdays, family reunions, even company conferences.
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Spread over three levels, this spacious, high-ceiling floating hotel consists of 28 state-of-the-art cabins (accommodating 56 people in total) of different categories, each with a view of the river as you cruise. Along with the usual luxury amenities such as a bed dressed in soft linens to flat screen TVs, rainfall showers in bathrooms to premium bath amenities, iPhone docking station to universal electrical outlets , to name a few, there are comfortable seating areas and French balconies with floor-to-ceiling glass doors. The main deck (with the exception of the Signature suites) houses the large dining room. The upper deck houses the lounge and bar, as well as a sun terrace. The second middle floor contains the other suites, including the most spacious suite on board – the Maharaja Suite, the very colonial Viceroy Suite, the Heritage Suite and the Colonial Suites.
Like the rest of the ship, all rooms contain works of art, including hand stencils on the walls, copies of famous old Calcutta paintings, traditional style murals, and more.
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With an eclectic mix of guests, especially from overseas, the kitchen is fully equipped to handle global cuisine as well as Indian specialties. The emphasis is on fresh ingredients (because as you cruise along the lower Ganges river you are never far from the village markets). The baked goods are homemade. Safety is a major concern throughout the vessel and the entire galley is flameless.
Interestingly, you don’t have to stray away from the panoramic view when you visit the spa, which offers Indian and Western treatments. And if you want to get rid of the calories you’ve accumulated through culinary treatments, there’s a modern gym. You can also opt for yoga and meditation sessions. On a cruise, you are likely to spend time outboard to visit historical, architectural or spiritual attractions, a village market or a weaving colony or a craft village. A supply boat ensures a smooth transfer between the main ship and drop-off points along the coast during the voyage. In the evening, varied entertainment programs are usually offered on board, such as folk dances, which will give you a taste of the local culture.
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Antara Cruises offers pre-programmed cruises to personalized cruises. Some of their recent fixed cruises include a two-night Christmas cruise, a three-night cruise to accommodate 2021, a return trip to Mayapur during Republic Day, and special Valentine’s Day and Holi offers.
Plus, when the ship is docked in Calcutta, you can opt for a luxury vacation to enjoy an experiential multigenerational vacation. The company is committed to only offering cabins with a view of the river for guests staying. With only a limited number of people allowed on board and the strictest health and safety measures, this is an ideal getaway in this pandemic situation. And you get the classic view of the river on one side and the city skyline on the other. And if you’re lucky, you might also see the rare Ganges dolphin frolicking among the waves.