I have covered these trips in a couple of blogs here and my personal site but never really had the opportunity to describe that boat ride in detail.
Earlier I used to visit the pilgrim by bus and the first time we chose this route via Serampore station by train, I was apprehensive of the boat ride for two reasons.
First - I have seen people sit on the edge of the boat and many carry their bikes and cycle.
Second – I do not know to swim.
The first shock I received a few years back was the cost of the ticket INR 4.50. They actually transact half a rupee in this side of the planet. However the cost is now INR 5.00 and that saves both parties the trouble for change.
The ride is just for five minutes and the frequency is every ten minutes you have a motor boat sailing between the ghats.
You have similar boat rides between Dakhineswar and Belur, also of the same order.