Rocket is the generic name that is given to special Paddle Steamer from the colonial period that run daily between Dhaka and Khulna (now a days, till Morelganj), stopping at Chandpur, Barisal, Mongla and many other lesser ports in the route. With white wooden cabins, beds in crispy white sheets and a range of western and local dishes served on fine china, the tranquil paddle steam boat voyage through spectacular rivers leaves a genteel memory in the minds of millions.
If you’re heading to the Sundarbans, Kolkata, or the historic Muslim city from 15th century – Bagerhat, traveling by a Paddle Steamer is a great way to go for a major part of the journey. You can enjoy the true riverine beauty of Bangladesh by traveling on Paddle Steamer. Many top travel guides, including Lonely Planet, recommend a Paddle Steamer trip while in Bangladesh, and they have been featured on the BBC, CNN and other news services.
Classes in Paddle Steamer
Paddle Steamer have two levels. Front side of the upper level is reserved for 1st class. There are 12 cabins here in large vessels, and 8 in the smaller ones. Half of them containing two single bed on the cabin, with a wash basin, and fan. Other half is with single bed with the same facilities. In the middle space between two cabin, there is sofa for sitting, and table for dining. The real highlight of 1st class, though, is the outside deck at the front of the boat, where you can sit while stewards serve tea and biscuits, and the Padma flows by.
Second class is at the back of the boat. Rooms are smaller than those in 1st class, and have no washbasin and no bed linen. There are small fans, though, and some chairs outside your door for scenery-gazing. If you are staying back here, it might be possible for you to dine in 1st class, for a fee, naturally. There are 10 cabins in this section in big vessels, and 6 in the smaller vessels.
Inter and deck classes are similar to those in ferries. Foreigners are highly unlikely to be sold tickets in either of these classes. You have to bring your sleeping bag to travel in this class.
Departure time of Paddle Steamer
- From Dhaka, paddle steam boats leave everyday at 06.30 pm except Fridays, and reach Hularhat at 10.30 am and Morelganj at 02.30 pm next day. There might be 1 or 2 hours delay to reach this ports.
- From Morelganj, they leave at 08.30 am, and leave Hularhat at 01.00 pm for Dhaka. It is a 16 hours journey from Hularhat. Does not operate in Sundays from this end to Dhaka.
Ticket price of Paddle Steamer
Update-1: Price of Paddle Steamer ticket increased 40%, effective from 6 March, 2013.
Update-2: 10% Service charge has been added with 1st class ticket price only, effective from 12 Dec, 2013. 2nd class cabin price remains same.
The new price is as follows:
- First class double-cabin ticket for Dhaka-Barishal is 2,310 BDT, Dhaka-Hularhat 3,124 BDT, and Dhaka-Morelganj 3,740 BDT.
- Second class double-cabin ticket for Dhaka-Barishal is 1,260 BDT, Dhaka-hularhat 1,710 BDT, and Dhaka-Morelganj 2,100 BDT.
Advance ticket of Paddle Steamer
Because of heavy demand, it is almost impossible to get a cabin ticket if you just show up on departure time in the Paddle Steamer. You need to book at least 1 month before your journey to get a cabin ticket. The authority will issue the ticket just before 2 days of the journey. You need to keep in touch with them regularly until they issue the ticket.
Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Corporation (BIWTC)
5 Dilkusha, Dhaka.
Office hour: Sunday – Thursday: 9.00 am – 5.00 pm
No online or e-mail booking facility.
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