January 15, 2023: The Prime Minister, flagged off the World’s Longest River Cruise-MV Ganga Vilas and inaugurated the Tent City at Varanasi via video conferencing on January 13.
Directly addressing the tourists from foreign countries who are traveling on the maiden journey of the cruise, the Prime Minister said, “Today India has everything and a lot beyond your imagination.” He further added that India can only be experienced from the heart as the nation has welcomed everyone with open hearts irrespective of region or religion, creed or country and welcomed tourists from all parts of the world.
Throwing light on the experience of the river cruise, the Prime Minister informed that it has something special for everyone. He added that those seeking spirituality will cover destinations like Kashi, Bodh Gaya, Vikramshila, Patna Sahib and Majuli, tourists looking out for a multinational cruise experience will get the opportunity to via Dhaka in Bangladesh, and those wanting to witness the natural diversity of India will cross through Sundarbans and the forests of Assam.
Observing that the cruise will pass through 25 different river streams, the Prime Minister said that this cruise has significant importance for those who have a keen interest in understanding the river systems of India. He also mentioned that it is a golden opportunity for those who want to explore the myriad culinary and cuisines of India.
“One can witness the extraordinary amalgamation of the heritage of India and its modernity on this cruise”, the Prime Minister remarked as he shed light on the new era of cruise tourism where new employment opportunities will be created for the youth of the country. “Not just foreign tourists but Indians who traveled to different nations for such an experience can head towards North India now”, the Prime Minister said. Similar experiences are being readied in other inland waterways of the country to give a boost to cruise tourism while keeping in mind the budget as well as the luxury experience, he added
MV Ganga Vilas
MV Ganga Vilas will begin its journey from Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh and travel around 3,200 km in 51 days to reach Dibrugarh in Assam via Bangladesh, sailing across 27 river systems in India and Bangladesh. MV Ganga Vilas has three decks, 18 suites on board with a capacity of 36 tourists, with all the luxury amenities. The maiden voyage has 32 tourists from Switzerland signing The 51 days cruise is planned with visits to 50 tourist spots including World Heritage Sites, National Parks, River Ghats, and major cities like Patna in Bihar, Sahibganj in Jharkhand, Kolkata in West Bengal, Dhaka in Bangladesh and Guwahati in Assam. The journey will give the tourists an opportunity to embark upon an experiential voyage and indulge in the art, culture, history, and spirituality of India and Bangladesh.