India is one of the hottest and most exotic places to travel to, with a number of small boutique lines offering voyages up and down the famous Ganges River or the Brahmaputra River.

One of the best ways to navigate these estuaries and see the best of India is Assam Bengal Navigation – a boutique river line which was the first to start Indian river cruising.

The brand has three ships which offer beautiful and luxurious settings – think cane and rattan furniture, wooden teak floors and outdoor settees and plush beds.

A Ganges River cruise will vary from three to 15 nights featuring visits to villages, towns and temples.

You’ll visit places like Kolkata or known as The City of Palaces. Formerly the capital of British India, you’ll also see French, Dutch and Danish colonial enclaves. Other places include Kalna which has some of the finest terracotta temples, Gaur which was the first Islamic capital of Bengal and now has a collection of early mosques, and more.

On the Brahmaputra River itineraries, guests will get to experience breathtaking wildlife both by jeep and on elephant back, as well as visits to tea gardens, barbecues on deserted river islands and more. Some of the places you’ll visit include Jorhat which is a centre for the Assam tea industry as well as Kaziranga National Park which has India’s One-Horned Rhino as well as tigers, wild buffalo and swamp deer.

Becky Carter, the Director of Sales and Product Development from Active Travel says that this is one of the best ways to explore India.

“Travelling with ABN is such a relaxing way to travel through India. The service and attention you receive onboard is exceptional and interesting shore excursions are offered at no additional charge.

“This allows you to unpack once and then take the time to truly appreciate all that India has to offer. ABN is so highly regarded by the local people, often they will come down to meet you and welcome you as their special guests in to their homes.”

Active Travel, which was one of the first companies to promote Asian river cruising to Australians, said that more travellers are looking for a different experience.

“The city of lights cruise along the Ganges is probably the most popular cruise as it visits the colourful city of Varanasi and visits a large number of sites of cultural and historical importance along the way.

“For those who have visited India before and are looking for something different then the cruises along the Bhamaputra is perfect. These cruises take you in to the World Heritage Site of Kaziranga National Park which is home to a population of over 1000 rhinoceros as well as tigers, wild elephants, sambar, swamp deer, hog deer, wild pig and many other species.”