MV Ganga Vilas: World's longest river cruise enters last leg of its tour - Details
World's longest river cruise MV Ganga Vilas, after traversing through Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal as well as Bangladesh, arrived Dhubri in Assam on its 39 day of the voyage.
Flagged off by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the historic cruise set sail from Varanasi on January 13 and is scheduled to complete the journey on March 1, when it anchors at Bogibeel in Dibrugarh drawing a close to its 51 day cruise.
Officials said that MV Ganga Vilas arrived at zero point on the India-Bangladesh border on Friday morning after which it sailed further 32 km to reach Dhubri port in the afternoon.
The cruise vessel is being escorted by survey vessel SL Subansiri throughout its journey from the Zero point up to Pandu port. Tug HPT Ambedkar remains on standby for any assistance required.
The Union Minister of Ports, Shipping and Waterways, Sarbananda Sonowal termed the arrival of Ganga Vilas cruise ship at Dhubri in Assam as a "watershed moment" in the inland waterways transportation towards transformation of the northeast India.
The minister congratulated the people of Assam and the northeast on this "historic moment" that is set to unlock huge potential of river tourism, allowing trickle down development for people across the bank of the Brahmaputra.
He also said that the vision of "our dynamic Prime Minister to bring transformation via transportation has been realised as Ganga Vilas enters the Assam phase of its journey".
The positive response from the tourists onboard the ship bears testament to the possibility of bright days of river cruise tourism on Ganga and Brahmaputra, the minister said.
"We remain committed towards re-energising our rich inter web of river systems to unlock value and bring development to the interiors of our country... This watershed moment of inland water transportation will unveil progress and development in the northeast region, as it prepares itself to propel itself as the engine of growth of India under the powerful leadership of PM Narendra Modi ji," said Sonowal, also former chief minister of Assam.
The 32 tourists from Switzerland, travelling on this landmark voyage, were received by the Deputy Commissioner of Dhubri along with Regional Director of Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) along with other officials of IWT and Tourism departments of the government.