Thursday, July 18, 2024

India to Launch Longest Luxury River Cruise from Varanasi to Dibrugarh in Jan, 2023

Nov 12, 2022: In order to boost inland waterways, India plans to launch the world’s largest river cruise between Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh and Dibrugarh in Assam in January 2023.
The “Ganga Vilas” cruise will travel 4,000 kilometres and pass through Bangladesh during its 50-day journey.
The journey will begin on January 10 and end on March 1 in Dibrugarh after stops in Kolkata and Dhaka. The cruise is expected to operate on a PPP basis. The Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Antara Luxury River Cruises and JM Baxi River Cruises for this purpose. According to reports, the ticket price would be determined by the operators without the intervention of the Centre.
The cruise will arrive in Patna on the eighth day after departing from Varanasi. It will arrive in Kolkata on the 20th day from there. After a day’s rest, it will set sail for Bangladesh, where it will spend 15 days before returning to India and arriving in Bogibeel (Dibrugarh).
“The Ganga Vilas cruise will sail from Varanasi to Dibrugarh in 50 days, covering 27 river systems and visiting over 50 tourist sites, including world heritage sites.” “This will be the world’s largest river journey by a single river ship, putting both India and Bangladesh on the river cruise map,” said Sarbananda Sonowal, minister of ports, shipping, and waterways.
“The service will facilitate all kinds of tourists. Moreover, with the amendment to Indian Vessel Act, cruise lines would have national permit to move seamlessly across states,” Sonowal added.
The government prioritises coastal and river shipping, including cruise services, in order to reduce the cost of freight transport in the country.
The Indo-Bangladesh Protocol Route will ease the cruise’s 1,100-kilometer journey through the neighbouring country. This route, which connects the Ganga and Brahmaputra rivers, has already established trade and transit links between the two countries.

Ganga Vilas cruise
photo credit: Pratidin Time | Ganga Vilas cruise
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