MV Ganga Vilas
In an effort to boost tourism in India and highlight the country's rich river system, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will flag off the 51-day luxury Ganga cruise from Varanasi to Dibrugarh on January 13th. The 3,200-kilometer river voyage, which is being dubbed as the world's longest, will feature visits to 50 tourist spots, including World Heritage sites and national parks, across 27 river systems in India and Bangladesh.
The Ganga Cruise:
- The Ganga cruise, which is being managed by private operators with the support of the Inland Waterways Authority of India, will be aboard the ship MV Ganga Vilas. The ship is equipped with three decks and 18 suites, with a capacity for 36 tourists.
- The luxury amenities on board include comfortable seating, gourmet dining, and scenic views. According to reports, 32 tourists from Switzerland have signed up for the entire journey, which will cost approximately Rs 25,000 per person per day.
- The cruise will pass through major cities like Patna in Bihar, Sahibganj in Jharkhand, Kolkata in West Bengal, Dhaka in Bangladesh, and Guwahati in Assam, before reaching Dibrugarh on March 1st.
- Along the way, the cruise will make pit-stops to cover various historical, cultural, and religious spots, including the famous Ganga Arti in Varanasi, the Buddhist site of Sarnath, and even Majuli, the largest river island in Assam. The travellers will also visit the Bihar School of Yoga and Vikramshila University. The cruise will also traverse through the Sunderbans in the Bay of Bengal delta, as well as Kaziranga National Park.
Promoting River Tourism:
- Union Minister of Ports, Shipping, and Waterways, Sarbananda Sonowal, emphasized the need to develop river cruise tourism in India and highlighted how the sector would generate employment opportunities in the hinterland.
- He also stated that river tourism circuits would be developed and integrated with existing tourism circuits for maximum exposure and rapid development of this sector in the country.
The Ganga cruise is a unique opportunity for tourists to explore India's rich river system and experience the country's cultural and historical heritage. With a range of luxury amenities and scenic views, the cruise is sure to be an unforgettable experience. The initiative to develop river cruise tourism in India will not only boost tourism but also generate employment opportunities in the hinterland. The maiden voyage of the Ganga cruise on January 13th will be flagged off by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and is expected to pave the way for more such cruises in the future.
Written by IAS POINT