Last Updated: January 16, 2023, 21:15 IST
The MV Ganga Vilas, the world’s longest river cruise, was flagged off in Varanasi on Friday, January 13. Prime Minister Narendra Modi virtually inaugurated the luxury cruise voyage from Varanasi to Dibrugarh. The event was attended by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath Assam, Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma, and Sarbananda Sonowal, the Union Minister of Port Shipping and Waterways, among other dignitaries.
The MV Ganga Vilas’ maiden voyage will host 32 tourists from Switzerland. MV Ganga Vilas will cover a journey of 3,200 km in 51 days. It will reach Assam’s Dibrugarh after passing through Bangladesh. The 50 tourist sports included in the cruise include several river ghats, World Heritage Sites, National Parks, and major cities in both India and Bangladesh. The 32 Swiss tourists embarking on the maiden voyage will be able to enjoy the vibrant culture of Patna, Sahibganj, Kolkata, Dhaka, and Guwahati.
The vessel itself measures 62 meters in length and 12 meters in width. It has set sail with a draft of 1.4 meters. The three decks and 18 suites on board can harbour 36 tourists. Pictures and videos from within the ship show brightly painted walls, carpeted hallways, stylish interiors with cosy ambient lighting, spacious rooms with big windows for a clear view of the journey, and elegant decks with wooden flooring. The dining and lounge areas are dotted with comfortable-looking sofas, with potted plants spread across the vessel adding a pleasant touch of green. The ship even features an indoor gym with sophisticated exercise equipment.
In his speech, PM Modi hinted at the unique experience the cruise will provide, saying that India can only be experienced from the heart. He also focused on how the voyage will provide undertakers with first-hand experience of the waterways of India as it passes through 25 different river systems and the myriad culinary cuisines of the country. PM Modi said that the MV Ganga Vilas will also be instrumental in opening new avenues of employment in the tourism sector.
The expected arrival date of the cruise ship in Dibrugarh is on March 1.
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