Ganga Vilas: All about the world's longest river cruise
The world's longest river cruise is set to begin from Varanasi on January 13. The cruise named Ganga Vilas will cover a distance of 3200km from Varanasi to Dibrugarh via Bangladesh. It will take around 50 days to complete the journey. Loaded with various modern amenities, the cruise will open trade and transit channels between India and Bangladesh. Read on to know more.
Union Minister of Ports Sarbananda Sonowal announced the development
The cruise will spend 15 days in Bangladesh
The new luxury river cruise vessel will set its journey from Varanasi on January 13. It will reach Patna on the eighth day, from where it will reach Kolkata on the 20th day. After a day's halt, it will again set sail for Bangladesh. There, it will spend 15 days before entering India again and reaching Bogibeel, Dibrugarh in Assam.
More details about the journey
The cruise will cover the distance in 50 days, traveling through 27 river systems in India and Bangladesh. During its journey, Ganga Vilas will stop at more than 50 architecturally important places, including world heritage sites. It will also pass through national parks and sanctuaries, including the Sundarbans Delta and Kaziranga National Park. The service will facilitate all kinds of tourists.
The luxury cruise features 18 suites
Ganga Vilas comprises 18 suites, blending cultural and modern amenities with minimalistic designs. The suites have been furnished with relaxing interiors with dedicated color palettes. These suites have been equipped with numerous amenities such as attached bathrooms with showers, convertible beds, balconies, smart TVs, smoke detectors and sprinklers, and life vests. It also has a 40-seater restaurant serving Indian and Continental delicacies.
Cruise operators will determine the cost of the ticket
The cruise will run on the public-private partnership(PPP) model. As per the agreement signed by Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) with Antara Luxury River Cruises and JM Baxi River Cruises, the operators will determine the cost of the ticket based on the duration and area of the journey. As per information available on Antara Luxury River Cruises' website tickets start at Rs. 75,000.
It will open transit channels between India and Bangladesh
Coastal and river shipping services are a priority for the government, which is trying to create a network of shipping lanes to bring down the cost of freight transport. The Indo-Bangladesh Protocol Route will facilitate the cruise's 1,100-km journey in the neighboring country. This route, which connects the Ganga and Brahmaputra rivers, has already opened trade and transit channels between the two countries.
The cruise left Kolkata with 32 Swiss tourists
As per India Seatrade News, the cruise left Kolkata on December 22 with 32 Swiss nationals and will reach Varanasi on January 6. After which, it will be officially flagged off on January 13. The Swiss guests will visit religious and spiritual places in Varanasi and will also visit Chunar after which they will go on the world's longest river voyage.