When you have some free time in hand, spending an evening on the river cruise in Guwahati can be a worthwhile decision. Several cruise operators in the Guwahati city run cruises suited to visitor need providing one of the best couple (and family! ) hangout locations.
A place to be in the evening
‘Alfresco’ is one of the most well known ‘cruises’ among visitors to Guwahati. The ship also has a floating restaurant for people who like to have any evening snacks or dinner.
So if you think about sipping a cup of coffee with a partner or a family enjoying the scenic beauty of the river over a sunset, the river cruise is just for you.
Upper Deck of Alfresco River Cruise
The cruise has two areas for visitors – the lower deck and the upper deck. The upper is the top of the ship with an arrangement of seating for about 60 persons. There are two parts of sun deck – left and right named Surya and Vayu.
The upper deck also has a toilet so you don’t have to get down every time when kids/elderly are accompanying. You can stand along the cruising ship deck glancing the horizon.
The top deck seems pretty safe even for the kids with covered enclosures and handrails for the grip.
Lower Deck of Alfresco River Cruise
The lower deck, on the other hand, more like a big hall type with an expanded seating capacity of 100 odd persons. There is a small stage on the lower deck where the live performance takes place.
There is also a bar cabin on the rear side of the lower deck behind the stairs to the upper deck. If you are non-alcoholic, it may be awkward for you to share the surround with individuals ordering booze on their tables on the upper and lower deck. So be prepared for it!
Food on Cruise
Now let us talk about the food onboard. On the deck, you are given two kinds of menu cards. One with liquor types displays details about the drink and its cost. The other menu card is the usual one we come across in the restaurants with food and beverages.
The Sunset Cruise
If you opt for ‘sunset cruise’ it is advisable to order as early as possible. This is because you have only one hour in hand and you don’t want to miss the sunset for the sake of snacks.
So just finish off with them as quick as possible. The other thing I would like to mention is that food is not included in the cruise tariff of a sunset cruise on Alfresco.
Things you should know!
Another important thing to note for upper deck seekers is that they need to get down through the stairs towards the lower deck to enjoy the live performance. So, while the upper deck offers more scintillating views, the lower deck has a live performance advantage.
There is no movement restriction on deck occupants. So any lower deck visitor can climb upstairs to catch a glimpse of mighty river Brahmaputra from the top. Similarly, the upper deck visitors can come down to visit lower deck, click picks or enjoy the music.
How to go ?
The booking process is quite simple on Alfresco. You can either email them or contact via phone. They do not take payments online but reserve your seats on the said dates till the time of ship departure. So when you arrive at the ship they match your names with the bookings and ask for payments.
The tickets can also be booked through their counter in the same premise where the ship is anchored. The ship departs from Machkhowa which is quite near Guwahati Railway Station and Fancy Bazaar market.
The price of the upper deck has a tariff of Rs 400 while lower deck costs Rs 350. The kids (between 3-13 years) are charged Rs 300 and 250 respectively. The passengers are made to enter the Alfresco Cruise in a queue. The deck occupants are not allowed to carry outside eatables.
Cruise Entry and Seasons
As far as entry timing is concerned, mostly it depends on the season and weather. Located on the eastern side of India, the sun sets early in Guwahati.
So if it is winter, the cruise sets off even early. During the peak of summer, the cruise may set off around 5 PM. And you are required to report half an hour earlier.