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World’s longest river cruise ‘Ganga Vilas’ that PM Modi will flag off on Jan 13 has an Assam connection

First Published: 8th January, 2023 17:19 IST

The cruise, with a capacity of 80 passengers, is a luxury river cruise vessel with 18 suites and all other associated facilities.

The world’s longest river cruise – Ganga Vilas – from Varanasi to Dibrugarh via Bangladesh is all set to be flagged off on January 13 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The cruise, with a capacity of 80 passengers, is a luxury river cruise vessel with 18 suites and all other associated facilities.
“The luxury cruise will cover a distance of more than 3,200 kms across 27 river systems in 5 states in India and Bangladesh. The huge untapped potential of river cruise is set to get unlocked with the launch of this service,” said Minister of Ports, Shipping and Waterways Sarbananda Sonowal.
“Under the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, we are exploring the immense wealth that our rich river system has to offer. This avenue of sustainable development via inland waterways has received a tremendous boost as efforts to augment cargo traffic as well as passenger tourism has borne fruit with encouraging results. The MV Ganga Vilas cruise is a step towards unlocking the huge potential river tourism in the country has to offer. Our rich heritage will get further transcended in the global stage as tourists will be able to experience the spiritual, the educational, the well-being, the cultural as well as the richness of the biodiversity of India.
From Kashi to Sarnath, from Majuli to Mayong, from Sunderbans to Kaziranga, this cruise pack an experience of a lifetime. I believe that this wonderful initiative, under the guidance of Prime Minister Modi ji, is the beginning of a new era in river cruise tourism in India and strengthening our government’s commitment to enable Act East, both through policy and practice.” added Sonowal
All you need to know about world’s longest river cruise:
The Route
The cruise ship will travel 3200 kilometres in 50 days and pass 27 river systems in Bangladesh and India. Tourists will have the chance to explore more than 50 noteworthy architectural sites, including world heritage sites.
The 51 days’ cruise is planned with visits to 50 tourist spots including World Heritage Sights, National Parks, river Ghats, and major cities like Patna in Bihar, Sahibganj in Jharkhand, Kolkata in West Bengal, Dhaka in Bangladesh and Guwahati in Assam. From the famous “Ganga Arti” in Varanasi, it will stop at Sarnath, a place of great reverence for Buddhism. It will also cover Mayong, known for its Tantric craft, and Majuli, the largest river island and hub of Vaishnavite cultural in Assam. The travellers will also visit the Bihar School of Yoga and Vikramshila University, allowing them to soak in the rich Indian heritage in spirituality and knowledge. The cruise will also traverse through the biodiversity rich World Heritage Sites of Sunderbans in Bay of Bengal delta, famous for Royal Bengal Tigers, as well as Kaziranga National Park, famous for one horn rhino.
The specifications of the cruise
The MV Ganga Vilas vessel is 62 meters in length, 12 meters in width and comfortably sails with a draft of 1.4 meters. It has three decks, 18 suites on board with a capacity of 36 tourists, with all the amenities to provide a memorable and luxurious experience for the tourists. The ship follows sustainable principles at its core as it is equipped with pollution-free mechanisms and noise control technologies.
The maiden voyage of MV Ganga Vilas will witness 32 tourists from Switzerland relishing the Varanasi to Dibrugarh journey. The expected date of arrival of MV Ganga Vilas in Dibrugarh is on 1st March, 2023.
Further highlighting the need to develop river cruise tourism in the country, Sonowal said that the development of this sector would generate employment opportunity in the hinterland. The government is making capital expenditure to build capacity for the success of river cruise tourism in the country. He said the river tourism circuits will be developed and integrated with the existing tourism circuits for maximum exposure and rapid development of this sector in the country.

Also Read: AR Rahman’s mega concert in Guwahati on Feb 1. Check tickets, time details here

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