Antara River Cruises hosts 50 travel agents from the UK to experience a Ganges river cruise on the Antara Ganges Voyager II

Antara River Cruises hosts 50 travel agents from the UK to experience a Ganges river cruise on the Antara Ganges Voyager II

Antara River Cruises, pioneers of river cruising in India,  recently hosted 50 Agents from the UK on the river ship Antara Ganges Voyager II for 3 nights and 4 days from June 8-11, 2024.

The meticulously planned three day cruise, to showcase the  joys of cruising on the Ganges and excursions into the towns along the banks, was a huge success with the guests.

Raj Singh Promotor and Managing Director Antara Cruises welcomed the guests on board with a traditional welcome of garlands and tikas and  said,  “ We are delighted that they could experience sailing on the Indian waterways, particularly on the sacred river Ganga, flowing more than 1,500 miles from the Himalayas to the Bay of Bengal. It was on the  banks of the Ganga in Sarnath that the Buddha preached his first sermon in 528 BCE, and it was along these waters that the British built the first capital of the British Raj, Kolkata”.

The cruise itinerary included the following highlights:

Day 1 Sailing on the river and seeing the sights of Kolkata from the river with colonial buildings like the High Court, Belur Math, Howrah train station and the different bathing/ferry ghats (river banks)  of Kolkata .

Day 2 Excursion of Kalna , where the guests took a ride on electric rickshaws to the enchanting Rajbari Temple Complex, which has the highest concentration of temples in the region and  the Nabakailas Temple, built in 1809 by the Bardhaman Maharaja, which contains 108 eight slope-roofed shrines dedicated to Lord Shiva. They also stopped by a local market selling seasonal vegetables and fruits.

Later  they sailed downstream towards Chandernagore to explore, a French colony established in 1673 as a trading post on the riverbanks. Here they walked along the promenade, and visited a few colonial buildings including the former French governor’s residence, now converted to a museum and the Sacred Heart Church, designed by French Architect Jacques Duchatz inaugurated in 1884.

Day 3 The guests sailed back to Kolkata and embarked on a city tour of Kolkata starting with the unique and  bustling Flower Market located below and adjacent to the cantilevered Howrah Bridge that spans the Ganga. Thereafter they visited Kumartuli, a traditional potters’ quarter in northern Kolkata, renowned for its sculpting prowess, which not only manufactures clay idols for various festivals but also regularly exports them.

The tour ended with a Panoramic Tour of Kolkata, featuring the well preserved British colonial buildings in Kolkata: Writer’s Building, General Post Office, High Court, Raj Bhawan (Governor’s House), Town Hall, Council House, Treasury Building, Reserve Bank of India and Dalhousie Square. A must visit is the St. John’s Church, the oldest Anglican Church in Kolkata, built in 1756 and of course, the grand Victoria Memorial for a photo op!

The Antara Story: Antara believes the best way to see South Asia is from the river. What began in 2003 as a dream for travel industry pioneer and naturalist Raj Singh has today turned into Antara’s thoughtfully designed, well-appointed fleet of nine ships that sail South Asia’s most iconic rivers. Antara offers its guests beautiful perches on moving water from which to enjoy vibrant and meditative landscapes, people, crafts and wildlife. Our philosophy is to bring the region’s indigenous environments and cultures to the world, sustainably, and with its renowned hospitality, in ships that are designed with thought, luxury and care. Antara cruises encompass the Ganga, the Padma and the Brahmaputra River systems to make the world’s longest river cruise. In 2024, Antara commenced sailing the four rivers that inundate Bhitarkanika National Park, India’s second largest mangrove forest.

 



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