Cruise & Ferry Interiors 2022

1 0 7 vernacular aesthetic of the region and showcases locally made arts, handicrafts and textiles. Personally, I love that our vessels reflect our local culture because it completes the travel experience – it almost feels like you are lounging in the region’s personality. I also feel that in the fast-developing homogenous society that consumes global design trends, it is important to differentiate, yet take inspiration from, the distinct beauty in the aesthetic of our unique cultures. Back in 2003, we started our river cruising journey with ABN Charaidew I, a heritage vessel from the 1970s that was completely renovated with bamboopanelled walls to mirror the rustic style of Assam. In 2007 when we built ABN Sukapha in West Bengal, we continued to use bamboo-panelled walls to create a charming interior and as part of a conscious effort to use a sustainable material that was available locally in abundance. When we built our third ship, ABN Rajmahal, in 2014, a local shipyard in Kolkata incorporated more contemporary design elements into the ship with the inclusion of a removable sundeck roof. The boutique ship, which operates on the Ganges River, is inspired by the region’s distinct Bengal heritage, as well as a dash of the colonial style. The saloon lounge is a mix of traditional Bengali antique, colonial-style and wicker furniture alongside colourful block-printed pure cotton textiles adorned in Bengali motifs. Each nook is decorated with artwork, antique pieces, handicrafts, paintings, terracotta and brass works of folk art from various regions of West Bengal that my mother and I have collected over the years. It is maximalist in its design approach, but it will remind guests of walking into an eclectic Bengali home. Finally, our newest vessel ABN Charaidew II, which was built in 2019, has been designed to reflect the Assam Tea Plantation lifestyle of the colonial times whilst also being contemporary The Bengali-themed interiors are characterised by colonial-style and wicker furniture