November 30, 2022: Come January 2023, India will see the launch of the world's longest river cruise, covering 4000 kms from Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh to Dibrugarh in Assam.
It will traverse, two rivers, the Ganga and Brahmaputra.
The Union Minister of Ports, Shipping and Waterways Sarbananda Sonowal, tweeted this information on November 2, with a short video on the cruise. Link here: pic.twitter.com/1buzy8ISig.
The voyage will commence on January 10, 2023 and culminate on March 1.
The service will usher in a novel opportunity for the people of Assam to use inland waterways for promoting their trade, tourism and for cargo transportation.
The 50 days long journey will cover 27 river systems and visit over 50 tourist sites including World Heritage Sites like the Kaziranga reserve.
The route of the ship includes three major waterways, National Water Way 1 over the Ganga-Bhagirathi-Hooghly river system, The Indo-Bangla Protocol Route from Kolkata to Dhubri over several rivers in Bangladesh, and National Waterway 2 over Brahmaputra.
After starting at Varanasi over River Ganga, the cruise will enter the Hooghly river at Farakka and reach the Sunderbans through Kolkata, sailing downstream.
The cruise will navigate through various channels of the world’s largest delta of Megha river, which is formed Ganga and Brahmaputra.
From Sunderbans, the cruise will start sailing upstream on the rivers included in the Indo-Bangla Protocol Route, which is mainly the Brahmaputra river and its distributaries known in various names in Bangladesh.
The cruise will travel nearly 1,100 kilometres through Bangladesh before entering India again and will travel over the entire West-East length of Assam through Brahmaputra from Dhubri to Dibrugarh.
The ship will have 18 luxury suites, along with various facilities and amenities like a restaurant, spa and sundeck.
The Varanasi-Dibrugarh cruise is expected to be run on a Public Private Partnership model with the Memorandum of Understanding to run the first set of cruise liners signed recently between the Island Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) and Anatara Luxury River Cruises and JM Baxi River Cruises.