MV Ganga Vilas: All you need to know about world’s longest river cruise

Updated on Jan 13, 2023 11:29 AM IST

Once it is flagged off by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the ship will make pit stops at 50 architecturally important places, and pass through Bangladesh.

A view of the world’s longest river cruise with MV Ganga Vilas which was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Varanasi on January 13, 2023.
A view of the world’s longest river cruise with MV Ganga Vilas which was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Varanasi on January 13, 2023.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday flagged off the world's longest river Cruise, MV Ganga Vilas, in Varanasi via video conferencing. During the event, the prime minister also inaugurated Tent City in Varanasi and laid the foundation stones for several other inland waterways projects worth over 1000 crores. The flag-off ceremony is being held in the presence of minister for Ports, Shipping and Waterways Sarbananda Sonowal, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath, besides other ministers and senior officials from various ministries and departments. (Also Read | MV Ganga Vilas cruise: 20 lakh for full trip; how to book tickets)

All you need to know about Ganga Vilas cruise:

  1. Operated by Antara Cruises, MV Ganga Vilas will traverse 3,200km through five states in India and parts of Bangladesh over 51 days. It will begin its journey from Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh and reach Dibrugarh in Assam via Bangladesh.
  2. The vessel with three decks is 62 metres wide and 12 metres in breadth.
  3. Besides connecting National Waterway 1 (NW1) which includes Ganga and National Waterway 2 (NW2) on Brahmaputra, the cruise will cross 27 river systems.
  4. It has 18 suites on board with a capacity of 36 tourists, with all the luxury amenities. The suites have soothing interiors, furnished with numerous amenities such as French balconies, LED TVs, safes, smoke detectors, and convertible beds, according to a UP tourism department official.
  5. The cruise ship also has a 40-seater restaurant on the main deck, a spa, and a sun deck. The upper deck features a bar.
  6. 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.
  7. Sonowal said the journey will give foreign tourists an opportunity to embark upon an experiential voyage and indulge in the art, culture, history, and spirituality of India and Bangladesh.
  8. The maiden voyage has 32 tourists from Switzerland signing up for the entire length of the journey.
  9. The cruise was to reach Varanasi on January 6 but weather conditions and poor visibility meant that it reached Ghazipur, 65km from Varanasi, on January 8.
  10. The tourists were taken to the tomb of Lord Cornwallis in Ghazipur, the Ganga Aarti at the Dashashwamedh Ghat, and the newly renovated Kashi Vishwanath corridor.
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