We get this question very often, what is the Kolkata boat party cost? or the price to charter a Boat, Cruises or Barges on Ganges?
And today I am going to give you the complete breakdown of all the expenses involved in every aspect of events on boats and cruises on Hooghly River.
Sailing down the Ganges River between the two iconic bridges, dancing to the tunes of a DJ and helping yourself with some beer or whiskey by the bar can be one of the best places you can have a party and this is why Kolkata Boat and Cruise parties is a mad craze.
Kolkata by the river suddenly looks like an entirely different city altogether and the steady wind through the channel makes you close your eyes and grab your partner to take a romantic pose like Jack and Rose of Titanic in front of the vessel.
Over a significant period of time that Crossindia Cruises has been involved in boat and cruise parties in the Hooghly river, we have seen more and more people opt for a different experience in boat parties to celebrate anniversaries, engagements, bachelors party, birthdays, corporate get together or simply a picnic or reunion.
But of course, one common question that everyone asks and wants to know is how much it costs or what is the price like to do a boat party.
But before I can elaborate on the price to have a boat party, let us understand the components of a boat party.
Boat and Cruise Charter:
The first is the vessel charter (or cost to hire a vessel) and this can be with or without food. In Kolkata food plays a vital role in boat party unlike other places where the objective is totally different.
I would stick to the vessels which in my opinion are good for having parties. Of course you have rent out a public ferry or a vegetable vendors wooden boat and have a party, which few people can do to sort of work it on a 600/- to 900/- per person budget if you are around 60 or 70 in numbers with some basic food, but safety aspects and acceptable toilets are something you have to reckon with.
In my opinion one should choose a boat to party which are presentable, safe ( as a vessel and also having necessary safety equipments like life jackets, buoys, fire extinguishers etc), and having acceptable clean toilets. So I shall explain the category of vessels based on these parameters.
The first category is boats which can have a capacity of 10 to 50 in numbers. There are currently three boats in the river which can have people up to 50 pax.
Then comes midsized vessels that can take from 80 to 150 pax and currently there are only two of them.
Then comes the category of ships and barges which can take 150 to 250 pax.
And the last category is a vessel, the only one as of now, that can take from 300 pax to as much as 1500 pax.
In the first two category all combined together you can expect the food and cruise price to be around 1500/- to 2100/- per person mark plus taxes. All together you can expect the costs to be around 2.5 lacs to 3.5 lacs plus taxes (all components together).
The third category, which is generally used for occasions such as wedding reception, engagement or marriage, you can expect the costs to be 4.5 lacs to 8.5 lacs and above for upto 250 pax.
And the big ship that can take in as much as 300 to 1500 pax, you can expect the costs to be from 7.5 lacs to Rs 12 lacs and above.
Entertainment on Cruise:
The second is entertainment. Entertainment can be in the form of a DJ or live band or any other form of live music.
Typically the cost of a DJ can fall from Rs 25000/- upwards and live bands come at around 35000/- (decent ones) and beyond 1.5 to 2 lacs (if you getting recognized artists. Along with music one needs to obtain necessary permissions to have this type of entertainment on the cruise.
Boat and Cruise Decor:
The third is decor. Now this is a vast category where you can go for regular decors that makes the vessel a lot more beautiful than it is or you can go for something totally unique and something upscale specially in marriages, engagements etc.
You can expect the cost of decors to range from Rs 10000/- to around 4 to 5 lacs on customized cruises.
Drinks on the ship:
The fourth component of a boat party is the alcohol. There are many people for whole this is a must and there are few that do without drinks on board.
To have alcohol on board you must have excise permission/licence. There are typically two types of excise license, servers license and temporary license.
Servers license is taken where drinks are bought only to be served and temporary license needs to be obtained if you are looking to sell alcohol on board for any public function etc or if alcohol is procured from the organizing company.
Beside this you would have to pay a service fees to set up the bar along with bar tenders, aerated drinks etc based on the volume of alcohol that is expected to be consumed.
If you want more on board..
Then comes the component of miscellaneous, which varies from cruise to cruise and from people to people to make their boat parties different and memorable.
These can be anything from printing customized boarding passes or having a video or photography shoot to a special cake and a lot of other customization services which can make your boat party unforgettable.
With the believe that boat parties are special and very different, there is a perception that a lot of people, in my opinion do not understand and that is how expensive it is to own and maintain boats by boat owners and companies which run these vessels, vessels which are in fact depreciating assets (unlike real estate) .
It is absolutely crazy to fathom the kind of costs that goes in to procure, keep, have permits, tolerate regular engine and maintenance costs, pay for crew, captain, staff, office etc and necessary charges to dock and undock to authorities and above everything go through the ordeal of annual dry docking, survey and maintenance.
It is with this understanding in mind that one can imagine and probably not compare with the costs of having a boat party to that of a restaurant or picnic spot.
Certainly cost of boat parties are a little higher than the usual restaurant or banquet marks, but the experience which it brings to celebrate the special occasion that you cherish remains in the memories, hearts and minds of friends and family for a long time.
It’s not what you see on board, it’s what you feel.
Originally written by- Vishal tupper