The 'Brahmaputra Cruises (Jungle Book Tour/India)' has been ranked sixth among the cruises including the Amazon, the Antartica, the North Pole, Australia and Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, Managing Director of Assam Bengal Navigation Company, Ashish Phookan, said.

Recalling that Assam Bengal Navigation Company, an Indo- British joint venture, had pioneered long-distance river cruising in India in 2003, he said the company completes ten years of cruising on Brahmaputra river on the 'ABN Charaidew' this year.

The Company also has 'Bengal Cruises' with their second boat 'ABN Sukapha' operating on the Hoogli river since 2007 and on the Ganges since 2010, Phookan said, adding, their third boat 'ABN Rajmahal' will commence commercial operation on the Ganges from February next year.

For this pioneering venture, the Assam Bengal Navigation, a sister concern of Jungle Travels India, was conferred the National Tourism Award by the Union Ministry of Tourism for 2004-2005, he said.

'Brahmaputra Cruises' feature visits and attractions such as wildlife viewing, both by jeep and on elephant back, village walks, visits to tea gardens, exploring towns in cycle rickshaws, barbecues on deserted river islands, dance performances and visits to archaeological sites, pilgrimage centres and craft workshops, Phookan said.

Wildlife and wilderness are the main features of the cruises in Assam on the vast Brahmaputra river. The river bed is often 20 or 30 km across - an empty world of sand spits and water with marvelous bird life and the occasional Gangetic Dolphin, he said.


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