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Dhaka to Khulna; Taking the Rocket Paddle Steamer Boat

Bangladesh was proving to be a real adventure. There were lots of things to see in Dhaka, but we wanted to see all the top places to visit in Bangladesh, so it was time to say goodbye to Dhaka. Besides, after that run-in with the Bangladesh secret police and the prostitutes, leaving was a good choice! We wanted to go from Dhaka to Khulna, but rather than take a 12 hour bus, we had heard about a traditional rocket steamer boat (gotta love boats!) which plies that route once a week. What a trip it turned out to be.

So if you’re going from Dhaka to Khulna, this is the BEST way to travel in Bangladesh. My blog post should help you understand how the rocket steamer works, the schedule, the experience etc. Check it out:

Rocket Paddle Steamer Bangladesh
Rocket Paddle Steamer Bangladesh

What is the Rocket Paddle Steamer in Bangladesh?

The ‘Rocket’, as it’s known, is the colonial-period paddle steamer boat that runs daily from Dhaka to Khulna (actually on a little further to Morrelganj) and back. It stops at some lesser-known ports along the way too on its 2-day journey.

The boat is a wonderful throwback a century or two. The rocket is a super fun way to cross Bangladesh and IF you can secure a first-class cabin, then it’s a comfortable way too.

dhaka to khulna
dhaka to khulna boat

The Rocket Paddle Steamer Boat Route

First of all, you need to know: Rocket or Launch. The rocket paddle steamer is the iconic boat. The one you should try to take if you can. But it doesn’t go every day. In fact, it only goes TWICE A WEEK now. However, you can take a different boat from Khulna to Dhaka, or Dhaka to Khulna, on every day of the week except Sunday. But it won’t be the ‘Rocket’. That will be a standard boat known as a ‘launch’, not the ‘rocket’ steamer. Still a fun adventure. Just not quite as cool.

I took the steamer from Dhaka Sadarghat riverfront all the way to Khulna. But the route has slightly changed now. You can take it from Dhaka to the end of the line at Morrelganj. Or you can hop off at the stop before last, at Hularhat. It’s actually slightly closer to Khulna that the last stop. 

This is the route map/journey (ignore the blue lines thought, the boat doesn’t fall the roads!)