India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, is set to flag off the longest river cruise in the world — Ganga Vilas — to Dibrugarh from Varanasi via Bangladesh on 13 January, Yogi Adityanath, UP’s Chief Minister, mentioned on Monday.
Covering about 3200 km in about 50 days and passing via 27 river systems in Bangladesh and India, the cruise vessel will offer tourists a chance to visit over 50 places of architectural importance, including world heritage sites.
The cruise will also pass through sanctuaries and national parks, including the Sundarbans Delta and the Kaziranga National Park. To make the experience on the cruise enjoyable, there will be facilities like a gym, a spa, music, personalized butler services, cultural programs, an open-air observation deck, etc.
In November 2022, Sarbananda Sonowal, Minister of Ports, Shipping, and Waterways, posted on Twitter that the longest river cruise in the world is expected to embark on its journey in January. Ganga Vilas will sail from sacred Varanasi via Bangladesh to Dibrugarh, spanning 4,000 km on two of the greatest Indian rivers, Brahmaputra and Ganga.
Per the official website, the spectacular Ganga Vilas — with its 80 passengers — is a unique luxury river cruise vessel with about 18 suites and other associated and advanced facilities. It is built with a futuristic vision and unique design.
The cruise will meander to prominent destinations along River Hooghly in Kolkata and River Ganges in Varanasi.
Per the timetable released earlier, the Ganga Vilas Cruise will embark on its journey to Patna from Varanasi on the eighth day, passing via Ghazipur, Buxar, and Ramnagar. From Patna, this cruise is going to set sail for
Kolkata is expected to reach the capital of West Bengal on the 20th day via Murshidabad and Farakka. The following day, it will depart for Dhaka and step into the border of Bangladesh. It will remain in the country’s waters for the coming 15 days. Finally, through Guwahati, it will come back to India before sailing through Sibsagar and reaching Dibrugarh, its final destination.
Per Forbes, the passengers of the Ganga Vilas Cruise will visit spectacular landmarks that range from Varanasi – one of the oldest cities and a vital site in the Hindu faith – to the Buddhist monastery Vikramshila. The journey’s Bangladesh leg will offer a chance to experience the charm of the ghost city of Sonargaon and the Sixty Dome Mosque, among other culturally and historically significant places.
References: Indian Express, Times Now