When was Sundarban Houseboat launched?
Your Sundarban Houseboat was launched in 2013. The result was a continuous process of research and analysis in regards to hospitality and houseboat management for 2 years prior to the launch. The customisation and construction of the Houseboat was completed in 1 year 6 months’ time-frame keeping in mind your comfort and safety.
Tell me more about Sundarban Houseboat and people behind it?
Delivering high quality service to you is the primary concern of Sundarban Houseboat. The focus is solely on your (our honoured guests) needs. Thus, the concentration is on developing a customer-centric hospitality service model with a vision to provide the best experience and a hearty gratitude to nature by providing eco-friendly operations.
What is your office address?
Houseboat Holidays Pvt Ltd., Room No. 106, 7, Mangoe Lane, Dalhousie, Kolkata, 700001.
Sundarban Houseboat is a company registered under the Companies Act, as well as, with the West Bengal Tourism Development Corporation. You can connect with us through Facebook, instagram, whatsapp and TripAdvisor and learn more about us.
Can I make in-person payment at your office?
Yes. However, we happily accept online payments as well as account transfer transactions. And if you reside in Kolkata, we can also collect the payment from your door-step as well.
Can Sundarban houseboat be compared with a 4-Star Hotel?
Sundarban Houseboat does not brand its establishments as a 4-star or 5-star hotel. However the focus and goal is to provide comfort, convenience, and safe accommodation to you, our very precious guests. Sundarban Houseboat strives to deliver the highest standard of amenities and itinerary. Luxury is subjective and the focus is on creating great experiences for you. Your houseboat is designed and constructed by professional architects and developed as a core source of mechanical engineering. We try to keep your tour within the lines of an adventurous holiday, making it comfortable and exciting to explore the dense beauty of Sundarbans.
Can we get only Twin sharing cabins?
Yes, you can go for twin-sharing rooms. We have 3 comfortable and cozy double bed rooms available for you in the houseboat.
Why does the price differs for every tour and per guest?
The price has two cost components. One is a fixed component that includes all our expenses like fuel, etc. The other is the variable component that is based on the number of guests, for example, forest permission, food, etc. Your package is evaluated based on both these components. Thus, higher the number of guests, lower will be the costing per guest.
Is Sundarban Houseboat safe to travel?
Team Sundarban Houseboat follows all the safety norms and conditions as per prescription of the Inland Water Transport Authority (IWT). Your houseboat is equipped with all the essential safety and security gears e.g. Lifebuoy and Life Jacket etc.
Your houseboat is designed and constructed with high quality standards, equipped with advanced technologies to help offer comfort and peace of mind for you. There is an advanced GPS system installed, which allows for the monitoring of each and every movement. Your houseboat also has a depth finder installed to detect the water level and ensure the safety of transportation during a low tide situation.
Along with these, your boat also has a modern security alarm system installed with a panic button designed to alert the onboard crew as well as the natives and authorities residing in and around the forest. In case of any situation, the GPS system will transfer a distress message to our head office, police department, and the Forest Department.
Will the guests be staying in the houseboat throughout the trip or will they be commuting to other places?
This is a unique Water Safari. You will be taken to specified places of interest and sightseeing in and around the jungles of Sundarban.
what will be the locations for our pickup and drop-off?
Your pickup and drop-offs will be based on your convenience (any part of Kolkata). Multiple pickups and drop-offs for a single booking will be chargeable on a per kilometre basis. Pickup and drop-offs from nearby Kolkata locations, like, Dum Dum, Howrah, etc. will call for minor additional charges.
Will the pickup and drop-off vehicle be exclusive for a guest or do we have to share with other guests? What will be the arrangement for a large group?
If you have an exclusive houseboat booking (the entire houseboat is booked), the pickup/drop-off vehicle will be available exclusively for you. In case of shared tour, you will be required to share the vehicle with other guests. In case of a large group, you will have access to a luxury winger, with reclining seats available to accommodate 9 guests. For more number of guests, you will be provided with another vehicle based on the number of passengers.
How will you accommodate bookings, if a guest postpones or cancels the trip?
You are offered a convenient and adaptable array of services by Sundarban Houseboat. You can change your trip date 15 days prior to the originally scheduled tour date (subject to availability). You can also cancel your booking within 30-days after making a full payment (cancellation charges apply). In case you choose to book another slot, the cancellation charges are adjusted with the booking amount (only for bookings made within 6 months of the cancellation)
30 days or more from the scheduled trip – 3000 INR per night.
15 – 29 days: 30%
4 – 14 days: 40%
1 – 3 days: 60%
Date of trip: 80%
**Tax collected (if any) is non-refundable.**
**Cancellation charges are based on the package price value.**
**For cancellation from 3 days to date of the trip, only 50% of the cancellation charges is adjustable.**
**First rescheduling is allowed without any payment of any additional fees. Second and subsequent reschedulements are allowed subject to payment of 3000 INR per night. If the booking is made through a travel partner, the cancellation charges applicable will be based on whichever is higher basis.
What will happen in case of a trip cancellation?
Tour cancellations take place due to unavoidable situations arising out of force majeure. In case of such an occurrence, your tour is rescheduled to the next available date as per your convenience or a full refund is provided to you. Kindly note, that Sundarban houseboat is not liable for payments related to incidental damages/expenses imposed by your banking partner on account of such cancellations.
What are the different room options available?
Currently, your Houseboat has 1 Deluxe Room and 2 Super Deluxe rooms. Each room is fully air conditioned with attached bath. All facilities are at par with any top quality hotel. The rooms are designed to give you a feel of a luxury hotel within the limitations of an adventure boat.
Will there be a tour guide to help us explore different sites in Sundarban?
Yes, you will have a designated tour guide approved by the Forest Department for your assistance on-board, during the entire trip. As a bonus you will also have great stories from your onboard crew, who are all local residents that carry with them the heart of Sundarban.
What type of flora and fauna experiences can we get by visiting Sundarban?
Sundarban is the largest mangrove forest in the world with more than 84 species of beautiful flora. It is home to not only the mighty beast – The Royal Bengal Tiger, but also many other species of mammals, avifauna, aqua fauna and amphibians. It has mangroves which nurtures in the brackish Swampy water, alluvial soil, and seawater of the woodland habitation. The unique ecosystem of the wilderness gives life to not only the menacingly mighty tigers but also a myriad species – from foxes, fishing cats, pangolins, flying foxes, common grey mongoose, wild boars, macaques, spotted deer to a diverse pack of crustaceans.
How do you handle group trips?
Sundarban Houseboat offers group trips for groups up to 25 guests. The arrangements are made in the three rooms available on board. After getting your booking request, one of our booking agents will help you understand the total process regarding a group trip keeping in mind your specific needs.
Is there a predefined route for each package and will the destinations be covered within that package?
The routes depend on forest permissions, weather conditions, tides and other natural factors. You will be communicated about the routes prior to the commencement of the trip. However, weather, at times is unpredictable, hence in certain cases changes may also happen during the course of the tour.
What are the general terms and conditions for booking?
You will be picked-up from Kolkata at 1.55 pm. The drive to Jharkhali / Godkhali is between 2 – 3 hours from where your houseboat will depart. The departure will be at 5.55 PM.
After the completion of the trip, your houseboat will reach Jharkhali / Godkhali at approximately 4.30 pm. Thereafter you will travel to Kolkata. You can expect to reach Kolkata by 8.00 – 8.30 PM.
Pick and drop to Kolkata is optional. For detailed inclusion and exclusions, kindly refer the Package types in this section.
(For tour details kindly refer tour itinerary)
The team taking care of your trip is very proficient. All efforts are made to ensure that the time schedules are maintained as per plan. However, in case of delays due to unforeseen circumstances, we request you for your co-operation.
Each tour and schedule is devised keeping in mind your needs and other external factors. In the event of an unlikely situation, wherein your tour is cancelled, the tour will be rescheduled to a date of your choice subject to availability. If situations do not permit us to ply on a specific date, we will make a 100% refund of the amount paid.
In case of non-payment of charges as per schedule, the booking will be cancelled without any notice and the advance amount will be forfeited.
Our package includes – welcome drink, breakfast, lunch, dinner evening snacks, tea/coffee – along with a few a-la-carte snacks and beverages, which are not included in the packages.
Air conditioning is available in every cabin between 9:30 PM and 5:30 AM. If you require AC during the unlisted hours, it will be chargeable. However, it is free if you are opting for the Premium Package.
The fare covers Forest Department entry fees including still photography (Included in Super Premium Package only. For detailed inclusion and exclusions, kindly refer the Package types in this section). However in case you wish to make videos, documentaries, or similar visual content, you will have to make the necessary payment as per government guidelines.
Guests are requested to provide the following details, including that of children – Name, Age, and Gender. Guests from abroad have to provide photocopies of their Visa and Passport and carry their originals with them. The process is required for seeking permission from the Forest Department.
All communication with Guests will be made through WhatsApp/ email.
All disputes are subjected to Kolkata Jurisdiction.
In case of any delay in payment beyond 7 days, an interest of 24% p.a. will be applicable.
Do you provide mineral water for drinking?
You will be provided branded mineral water from 20 litre bottle of mineral water on board, which is included in the package. 1 litre mineral water bottles will be chargeable. This is done to reduce the use of plastic for keeping your environment safe.
What type of cuisines do you serve? Is there any choice of food available?
Your experienced chef on-board serves dishes from an indicative food menu. In case you have any individual needs or health concerns like food allergies or community-based requirements, such as only Jain cuisines, etc. an early communication will be required.
What is child policy?
We charge 50% for children within 4 years of age.
How are you defining The Luxury Houseboat experience?
Your houseboat is designed and built-in lines with the rustic nature of Sundarban. You will be provided with high-quality comfort, convenience, and safety measures. Your houseboat is equipped with all the facilities that guarantees your comfort and safety. The crew members are trained professionals, well-informed about all the safety measures and norms.
What does your packages include? What is the difference between different packages like Super Premium, Premium, Standard etc?
Your adventure tour and night stay in AC houseboat.
Welcome drinks, evening tea and snacks, dinner, breakfast, lunch, evening tea and snacks (regular veg or non-veg based on guests’ preference).
Pickup and drop from Kolkata to your Houseboat in an AC vehicle is available on payment of extra charge. (Included in Super-premium package).
All Forest Department entry fees to be paid by guests directly to forest department for sightseeing. (Included in Super-premium Packages).
Forest entry charges for carrying still/ video cameras or conducting videography, documentaries, etc. to be paid by guest directly.
All dock charges, porterage to be paid by guests directly. (Included in Super-premium Packages).
We have an ala- carte menu of snacks and drinks available for you, which is chargeable.
TYPE OF PACKAGES
(You may select any one as per your choice.)
STANDARD– Inclusions as mentioned above. Day time AC is chargeable (5.30 am to 9.30 pm) on an hourly basis per AC.
PREMIUM – Inclusions as mentioned above. AC is available free on-demand at all times.
SUPER PREMIUM – Inclusions as mentioned above. Pick and Drop from Kolkata, Forest permissions, Tribal dance and Special local delicacies are also included.
What are the other chargeable facilities available? How much forest charges we have to bear in case of shared tours?
- Pick and Drop from Kolkata (Included in Super Premium Package)
- Tribal Dance/ Baul Gaan ((Included in Super Premium Package)
- Half-day Kolkata sightseeing
- All Forest Department entry fees to be paid directly by the guests to the government. Required formalities for which will be done by us.
- Optional in case of a Private tour.
- Mandatory in case of shared tours. The total entry fees will be divided and borne by the number of guests for whom charges are applicable.
This is not applicable for Super Premium Package
You’ve mentioned that the maximum capacity of the Houseboat is to accomodate 14 adults. So, how can 3 cabins accommodate all the guests? What is the bed capacity? How many bathrooms are present?
Three rooms come with attached individual washrooms with baths. Each room is a double-bed room, which can be customized to accommodate 14 guests in total. Deluxe Room (Room-1) is our Special room that can house 2 guests and is ideal for couples and small families. Super Deluxe Rooms (Rooms 2 and 3) are our twin bedrooms (Can be joined to make it double or extended to accommodate 4 guests in each). There are additional 2 bunk beds available in the rooms that are comfortable as well as exciting to sleep in. The adventurous ones in the group will have access to tents and airbeds that can accommodate an additional 11 guests to spend their nights in the upper deck.
The houseboat can accommodate up to 25 guests (Only in case of a single group booking)
Why are your tour timing different from others? It’s not 1 night 2 days tour. It’s more of a 1 night 1 day tour. Can you explain?
When you plan for the tour, you base everything on what you know from Internet or may be other travellers. Unless you take the tour, you will not know what you will wish for in a particular moment when you are in Sundarbans. This is what we have gathered from thousands of guests who have travelled with us. In Sundarbans, we know when and what you will wish for and the little Genie in us will say with excitement “Your wish is my command”.
After a few hours of travel through roads, how about starting your cruise in the evening with a cool breeze lifting your mood with some soft music in the background or may be just a quiet time cruising…..
We can go on and on, but let the rest be a surprise…
We at Sundarban Houseboat very carefully fine tune everything with Circadian Rhythm of your body to ensure we give the maximum value for your time which we consider as priceless. The following are some of the reasons.
- Your tour basically commences from Kolkata on the first day in the afternoon with your pick for transportation to Sundarban and finishes next day evening at Kolkata with your drop. That will require you to provision 1 night and 2 days for your tour. Hence we use 1 night 2 days.
- The on-board duration is 23 hours for 1 night tour. Evan earlier when we used to pick up at 9.30 am in the morning, the on-board duration was 23 hours.
- Earlier in the first day, we were mostly cruising to Pakhiralaya for night stay (Near forest permission centre). Now to add value we are doing that as night cruise which is an extraordinary experience. Moreover it also adds 4 hours extra cruise the next day. So we can spend more time inside the forest.
- Forest permission charges are on a day basis. Earlier we were spending only 3 hours inside the forest. Now we are spending around 7 hours inside the forest. So blending the tour time with forest permission time.
- After a beautiful tour, you are travelling to Kolkata in evening so you can relax while travelling back.
- These changes have been done based on numerous feedback of our guests. We take the feedback very seriously. That makes us what we are today.
To sum it up- Start and reach back at a comfortable time, traveling during day and evening, amazing night cruise, maximum time in forest synced with forest permission, witness the best of Sundarbans perfectly synced with your physical and mental state of mind.
Most of our guests have limited time and want to get the maximum value out of it. So here is…..
Last but not least. We do not believe in conventional timings which others follow. Our tours are for you based on you only.
Hope this helps.