World's longest river cruise set to start from January 2023
The Indian government is all set to launch the world's longest luxury river cruise in January 2023. Known as Ganga Vilas Cruise, the cruise will take you from Varanasi to Dibrugarh via Bangladesh, then pass through Kolkata and Dhaka. The new development was recently announced by the Union Minister of Ports, Shipping, and Waterways Sarbananda Sonowal. The cruise will start on January 10, 2023.
The 50-day long journey will span across 4,000 kilometers
The 50-day cruise will cover a distance of 4,000 kilometers. The long journey is expected to cover 27 river systems, 50 tourist sites including World Heritage sites, and national parks and sanctuaries, including the Kaziranga National Park and the Sundarbans. The tour will also offer you a glimpse of the Ganga aarti, the world's largest mangrove forest, and the Mayang village in Assam.
Know about the cruise route
The journey has been declared the world's single largest river journey by a single river ship. Commencing the journey from Varanasi on January 10 and the cruise will reach Bogibeel in Assam on March 1. It will pass Varanasi and reach Patna on the eighth day traveling through Buxar, Ramnagar, and Ghazipur. It will then cover 1,100 kilometers in Bangladesh before re-entering Indian waters.
The endeavor was possible under the Indo-Bangladesh Protocol Route
According to Sonowal, the journey will put India and Bangladesh on the world's river cruise map. The Indo-Bangladesh Protocol Route made the endeavor possible as it has already established trade and transit channels connecting both the countries on Ganga and Brahmaputra rivers. According to Sonowal, such services help India develop in coastal and river shipping areas and more will be launched in the future.
The luxury cruise ship will feature 18 suites
The cruise liners will also have national permits which will allow them to move seamlessly across different states, Sonowal stated. The cruise ship is 62.5 meters in length and 12.7 meters in width and is the first river cruise ship made in India. The luxury ship will feature 18 suites along with facilities like a spa, sundeck, French balcony, and a 40-seater restaurant.
Ticket prices will be decided on a cost-plus basis
The cruise will run on a PPE model with the MoU to run the first set of cruise liners signed between Antara Luxury River Cruises and JM Baxi River Cruises and the Island Waterways Authority of India (IWAI). The value of tickets will be decided by the operators based on cost-plus pricing and the Center will not intervene in the pricing policy.