World’s longest River Cruise from Varanasi to Dibrugarh flagged off today

World’s longest River Cruise  from Varanasi to Dibrugarh flagged off today

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi flagged off the World’s Longest River Cruise-MV Ganga Vilas and inaugurated the Tent City at Varanasi via video conferencing today. He also inaugurated and laid the foundation stones for several other inland waterways projects worth more than Rs. 1000 crores during the event. In line with the Prime Minister’s endeavour to boost river cruise tourism, the huge untapped potential of river cruises will get unlocked with the launch of this service and it will herald a new age of river cruise tourism for India.

World's longest river cruise from Varanasi on River Ganga to Dibrugarh on River Brahmaputra crossing Kolkata on River Hooghly on a debut sail. The luxury cruise will sail 51 days covering 3,200 kilometres along 27 river systems in India, including the Ganga-Bhagirathi-Hooghly, Brahmaputra, and West Coast Canal. And will visit over 50 tourist spots including World Heritage Sites, 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. This will be the single largest river journey that a cruise will cover.

The MV Ganga Vilas can accommodate 36 passengers at a time. The cruise has 18 suites which are elegantly designed and are equipped with a variety of facilities like a bathroom with a shower, convertible beds, a French balcony, an LED TV, a safe, smoke alarms, life vests and sprinklers. Apart from this it has restaurant, spa, and sundeck too.  The cruise’s restaurant serves Continental and Indian cuisine at few buffet counters with 40-seats on the Main Deck. The Upper Deck also has a bar.

'NIRAAN' The Tent City at Varanasi

Tent City has been conceptualised on the banks of the River Ganga to tap the potential of tourism in the region. The project has been developed opposite to city ghats which will provide accommodation facilities and cater to the increased tourist influx in Varanasi, especially since the inauguration of Kashi Vishwanath Dham. It has been developed by Varanasi Development Authority in PPP mode. The tourists will reach the Tent City by boats from different Ghats situated in the vicinity. The tent city will be operational from October to June every year and will be dismantled for three months due to the rise in river water level in the rainy season.

Speaking on the occasion, Shri Sarbananda Sonowal, Union Minister of Ports, Shipping & Waterways and Ayush. said, “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 packs 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.”