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What is River Cruising

River Cruising is a leisure activity that’s organized along inland waterways, with stops at various ports en route. Since many cities and towns developed around rivers, river cruise ships often dock in the centre of cities and towns.
River cruising is a unique way of traveling. It is like experiencing life in the slow lane, where the pace is gentle with no rush, nature all around, and abundant opportunities to explore riverside towns and cities along the way. It is a very tranquilizing experience in natural surroundings, away from the pressures of life, with good food and enjoyable company.
In recent years, river cruising has become an increasingly popular form of leisure travel. With smaller ships, and itineraries that take voyagers to big cities, small villages and through breathtaking landscapes, river cruise lines offer a very unique type of experience. Popular river cruises include trips along the Nile, Amazon, Mississippi, Yangtze, Mekong, Danube, Loboc (Philippines), Rhine, Seine, Volga, Douro (Spain/Portugal) and the Po (Italy) rivers.

River Cruising in India

Wake up to the sound of birds, the splash of oars cutting through water and the smell of rural India and its natural greenery, when you go on an Indian river cruise.
India is progressively becoming a key location for luxury travel and luxury cruises. River cruises in India are gaining more popularity because of the diverse cultural legacies, geography and landscape along the banks of popular and historically rich rivers like the Ganges, Brahmaputra, and also the backwaters of Kerala. These cruises take one through history where the past and the future are seamlessly blended together into one beautiful tapestry.
The Ganges River, in the north, is believed to be the oldest in India, and is revered by millions of people all over the world. It originates in the Himalayas and is the starting point for many luxury river cruises. Ganga and its tributaries offer a range of landscapes, from distant mountains, the Gangetic plains and the religious ghats of Varanasi to the colonial buildings alongside the Hoogly (Ganges in Bengal) in Kolkata.
The Brahmaputra in the east, said to be one of the most ferocious of rivers, offers some of the most thrilling cruising experiences as it makes its way through Assam. In Madhya Pradesh, you are treated to the central Indian heritage in the Narmada cruises, while down south the Godavari showcases the temple culture that is prominent along its banks. Kerala's backwater cruises are a marvel of their own.
Along these rivers is witnessed rich flora and fauna. From wildlife, tea gardens and beaches to forests, creeks and a rich cultural heritage, there is something for everyone. The diversity of languages, customs, lifestyle and vegetation, from one city to another, is fascinating and a lesson in history in itself!

Best Season in India

River cruising is an activity that can be enjoyed during the dry season.

What to Pack

Pack light as you will not have too much storage space once on board
Carry basic medicines – for motion sickness, nausea etc – and toiletries
It could rain anytime, so pack accordingly; carrying an umbrella is a good idea
Sunglasses, sunhat and sunscreen are a must

Ecological Concerns

Be a responsible traveler, do not litter
When exploring inland, keep a paper bag handy for any trash
Try and not be intrusive, especially when around wildlife
Be respectful of your surroundings and abide by the rules of the land


If you have a disabled traveler with you, please check with the cruise operator if it has facilities to accommodate special needs
It is best to avoid rivers during the monsoon
Respect local cultures, as you would be experiencing many of them during your journey

Where to go

When to go

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Ideal Conditions

  • Still and dry - winter is the ideal season

What to wear

Casuals and comfortable clothes; also bring along warm clothes (for the evenings, and for those days when there's a nip in the air) and waterproofs; comfortable walking shoes

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