Ganga Vilas, the world’s longest luxury cruise, begins its journey on the India-Bangladesh route. On Friday, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi virtually inaugurated the private cruise vessel MV Ganga Vilas from his parliamentary constituency Varanasi.
Indian Union Shipping Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sharma and Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav were present at the event in Varanasi.
Narendra Modi said the launch of the world’s longest river cruise on the Ganga river is a landmark moment. India “is entering into a robust phase of tourism as with a growing global profile”
He also added, “This project will usher in new opportunities for tourism in India. I would like to say to all passengers of Ganga Vilas, India has everything you can imagine.”
“Not only that, it has more than you can even imagine. India cannot be explained in just one word. India can only be felt from the heart. Because India has opened its heart to all irrespective of caste, religion, or country.”
The journey of Ganga Vilas is from Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, India to Patna-Kolkata, via Dhaka, Bangladesh to Dibrugarh in Assam. The central government of the country has taken this initiative to increase the development of inland waterways.
Ganga Vilas will reach Bihar’s capital Patna on January 20 via Gazipur, Buxar from Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh. From there it will reach West Bengal’s Murshidabad, Kolkata. After an overnight stay, it will reach Dhaka on February 12 after passing through Sundarbans and Barisal.
Then it will reach Guwahati on February 23 after passing through Aricha, Tangail, Chilmari, and Dhubri in Assam, India. From there Ganga Vilas will reach Dibrugarh through Majuli Delta on March 1.
In other words, the ferry will pass over 27 rivers of India-Bangladesh in the longest river journey. More than 50 tourist places including traditional and religious places will be visited. There will be river maps of both countries to ensure which route is taken.
According to the protocol set by the two neighbouring countries, the ride will move to Bangladesh through the Ganga, Brahmaputra and the Bay of Bengal. Similarly, according to the Indian Vessels Act, there is a national permit for smooth sailing across the state.
India’s Shipping Minister Sarbananda Sonowal said that the Ganges Luxury Cruiser will cross 27 rivers and cover a distance of 3,200 kilometres from Benares in Uttar Pradesh to Dibrugarh in Assam. The total journey will be of 51 days. The ferry will cross about 1100 km of Bangladesh after passing through Kolkata.
The ferry on the Benares-Dibrugarh route will run on a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model. An agreement has been signed with ‘Antara Luxury River Cruise‘ and ‘JM Baxi River Cruise’ under the Authority of Inland Waterway India under the Central Government of India.
On the auspicious opening day, the cruise, which has 18 luxurious suites and a maximum capacity of 36 tourists, was boarded by 32 Swiss and one German tourist. There are French balconies, state-of-the-art restaurants, spas, sundecks, and many other facilities which can be purchased at the cost of 25 thousand rupees per day.