On Saturday, THE WEST Bengal Transport Corporation (WBTC) launched a boat ride, named European Settlements Boat Ride (ESBR), from Kolkata to Serampore and Chandernagore and back that will be offered every weekend.
Officials said, "the route of the ride Millenium Park to Serampore to Chandannagore to Millenium Park. The ride will be organised by the WBTC in collaboration with the Danish Cultural Institute and Oxford Bookstores."
Officials said, "The ride will start at 10 am from Millenium Park each weekend. The first stop will be around 1 pm at Serampore. The second half will be around 3:30 pm at Chandernagore. The ride will end at Millenium Park around 9 pm."
According to the information, history shows that the Danes had settled in Serampore. The French did the same in then Chandernagore. While Pondicherry (now Puducherry) and Diu are well-known, little is known about European history along the Hooghly River.
On these rides, people can enjoy the water view, watch movies, listen to European music or grab a book from the extensive library during the ride. Light snacks will be on offer, too.
Officials have informed that the ride will take 11 hours, replete with traditional European music. The vessel for the ride is decked up in souvenirs, photos and memorabilia of Europe, and also has a well-stocked Library, commissioned by the Oxford Bookstores.
WBTC chairman Rachhpal Singh said, “The idea is to make riverine transport experience exciting and affordable, and popular among the youth.”
Rajanvir Singh Kapur, managing director of WBTC said, “The boat ride will give people a glimpse into the European history in India. This river ride will be a perfect weekend getaway for people."
Thomas Sehested, director of, Danish Cultural Institute India said, “I am excited to learn that WBTC is commencing the European Settlements Boat Ride, touching the former European Settlements at the Hoogly River. The area is an important part of our common pre-colonial history – with fascinating stories of exchange not just in trade, but also in culture, literature, art, philosophy and so much more. And going by ferry is the best way of seeing these World Heritage sites. It was after all how the Europeans first came.”
Priti Paul of Oxford Bookstores said, “It’s good to have such unique initiatives that help people understand the history and appreciate global cultures.”