Have you ever had a ride on a rocket being not an astronaut? You can have a ride on the rocket in Bangladesh!!! Yes, I am talking about the legendary Paddle Streamer Rocket service in Bangladesh. You just need to go back by 100 years, an improbable colonial relic of the British East India Company’s time in Bengal, this was the fasted waterway transportation to travel from Dhaka to Kolkata and Khulan. But the present time it goes up to Morelganj stoping at Chandpur, Barisal, mongla and many other ports.
At present time there are more luxurious and faster waterways transports to travel to Bagerhat, Sundarbans, Khulna or Barisal but it is still the elegancy to have the ride on the rocket and discover the riverine beauty of Bangladesh. Rockets in Bangladesh is the last fleet of paddlewheel steamers in the whole world still in the regular passenger service. All the travel guides including Lonely Planet suggest Bangladesh rocket steamer service and it is also featured on BBC, CNN, and other travel channels. In the original fleet there were 7 vessels but now only 4 operational.
Difference between 1st & 2nd Class
1st Class: The rocket steamer has got 2 levels. the first class and 2nd class cabins are on the upper level. All the first-class cabins are in the front part of the upper level which is absolutely reserved for the first-class passengers. There are two different sizes of Rocket steamer. In the bigger size of rocket steamer, there are 12 air-conditioned first-class cabins and 8 in the smaller one. Half of these 1st class cabins have a twin bed of rest of the 1st class cabin single bed with a washbasin, fan, tv, and no attached toilet. In the middle of the cabins, there are sofas for sitting and a big dining table. The main feature of this first-class cabin is the free space on the front side of the upper level. Sitting in this noiseless and perfect place with a cup of tea is worthy to be here in this 100-year-old legendary boat Rocket steamer.
2nd Class: All the 2nd class cabins located in the backside of the upper level and here all the rooms are a bit small and having no washbasin and bed linen. But there is a small fan inside the cabin and some chairs outside of the door sitting on those chairs you can enjoy the riverine beauty of Bangladesh. There are ten 2nd class cabins in the big boats and 6 in the smaller one. 2nd class passengers can dine in the first-class dining paying an extra fee.
Lower deck: In the lower level of the Rocket steer there are inter and deck classes. In this section, it is unlikely sold and fit for a foreigner to travel but one sleeping bag is must require traveling in this class.
Time schedule of paddle steamer
DownStream: From Dhaka, at 6.30 pm they leave every day except Friday and reach Hularhat at 10.30 am and Morelganj it arrives at 02.30 pm the next day. This is time is not fixed there might be 1- or 2-hours delay reaching on these mentioned ports.
Up Stream: From Morelganj, they leave at 8.30 am and arrive at Hularhat at 01.00 pm and it finally reaches Dhaka the next day in the afternoon. Sunday is the day off for this route.
[We strongly recommend you to contact us to get the latest time table of the Paddle Steamer due to the frequent change of the schedule by authority]
Ticket price of paddle steamer (Rocket)
First-class double-cabin: Dhaka-Barishal 2,310 BDT, Dhaka-Hularhat 3,124 BDT, and Dhaka-Morelganj: 3,740 BDT.
Second class double-cabin: Dhaka-Barishal 1,260 BDT, Dhaka-Hularhat 1,710 BDT, and Dhaka-Morelganj 2,100 BDT.
Rocket Steamer Service in Bangladesh is currently off but soon they will resume their service.