All eyes on Ganga Vilas! World's longest river cruise to boost tourism in India
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is all set to launch the world's longest river cruise, Ganga Vilas, on January 13 in Varanasi, a popular city in India's northern state of Uttar Pradesh.
Sarbananda Sonowal, who is the Union Minister of Ports, Shipping & Waterways and Ayush, said that the launch will herald a new age of river cruise tourism for India.
The Ganga Vilas is a 51 days planned cruise with visits to 50 tourist spots. During the journey, the cruise will visit world heritage sites, national parks, river ghats, and major cities like Patna (Bihar), Sahibganj (Jharkhand), Kolkata (West Bengal), Guwahati (Assam). It will also visit Dhaka (Bangladesh).
"Under the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, we are exploring the immense wealth that our rich river system has to offer," Sonowal said in a release by the Indian government.
"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," he added.
Here's all you need to know about MV Ganga Vilas:
The Ganga Vilas is 62 meters in length and 12 meters in width. The government release said that it comfortably sails with a draft of 1.4 meters.
It has three decks, and 18 suites on board with a capacity of 36 tourists. Passengers will be able to avail all the amenities and are expected to receive a memorable and luxurious experience. The ship follows sustainable principles at its core as it is equipped with pollution-free mechanisms and noise control technologies.
Here are the places the tourists will visit on the MV Ganga Vilas cruise:
The government release further revealed that the tourists will visit multiple spots to showcase the rich heritage of India, such as the famous Ganga Arti in Varanasi, Sarnath-a place of great reverence for Buddhism.
It will also cover Mayong, a place known for its Tantric craft and it will also make a stop at Majuli, the largest river island and hub of Vaishnavite culture in Assam.
The travellers will also visit the Bihar School of Yoga and Vikramshila University, allowing them to soak in the rich Indian heritage in spirituality and knowledge.
The cruise will also traverse through the World Heritage Sites of Sunderbans in the Bay of Bengal delta as well as Kaziranga National Park.