The world’s longest luxury river cruise—from Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh to Dibrugarh in Assam via Bangladesh— will be flagged off by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on January 13.
The launch of the cruise service is expected to provide huge impetus to inland waterways development in India,
The luxury cruise will cover a length of 4,000-km and it will take 50 days to complete the journey from Varanasi. It will pass through Kolkata and Dhaka before reaching Bogibeel in the Dibrugarh district of Assam on The cruise reach Patna on the 8th day passing through Buxar, Ramnagar, and Ghazipur.
The cruise will cover 50 major tourist sites, including some heritage sites, the famous Ganga Aarti at Varanasi and sanctuaries such as Kaziranga National Park and the Sundarbans Delta.
The cruise will travel around 1,100 km in Bangladesh before re-entering India. The recently concluded agreement on Indo-Bangladesh Protocol Route, facilitates trade and transit channels between the two countries and connects the Ganga and Brahmaputra rivers.
“Ganga Vilas cruise will sail from Varanasi to Dibrugarh in the longest river journey of 50 days covering 27 river systems and visit over 50 tourist sites including World Heritage Sites. This will be the single largest river journey by a single river ship in the world and would put both India and Bangladesh on the river cruise map of the world," minister of ports, shipping and waterways Sarbananda Sonowal said in a recent interview.
The government’s Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) has signed an agreement with Antara Luxury River Cruises and JM Baxi River Cruises for the initiative. The ticket price will be determined by the operators based on demand.
Centre has taken up the task of developing 100 national waterways
“This will be a unique cruise in the world and a reflection of growing cruise tourism in India. I request people of West Bengal to take the benefit of this,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said during a recent address in West Bengal.
“In ancient times, waterways were used in a big way for trade and tourism. That’s why several towns came up on the banks of rivers and there was industrial development,” PM said.
The PM said that the Centre has taken up the task of developing 100 national waterways and the target is to see world class cruise operating on these waterways besides movement of cargo. “In ancient times, waterways were used in a big way for trade and tourism.
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