Ganga Vilas boosts Indian G20 presidency to market India

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By Our Special Correspondent

New Delhi, January 7: India by launching Ganga Vilas, world’s longest river cruise, is set to make a loud statement to raise the tourism profile on the global stage when the European tourists are seeking affordable options and also alternative to China. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to flag off Ganga Vilas cruise on January 13 from Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh.

Tourists from Switzerland boarded Ganga Vilas from Kolkata. The cruise on Saturday reached Ghazipur from Patna, Bihar. The cruise is India’s offering of river tourism, while also allowing the tourists several packages to indulge in the luxuries on the river and also the cities. With India and Bangladesh joining hands for the Ganga Vilas cruise, the tourists will get opportunities to discover some of the exotic destinations on the route.

The cruise will end in Dibrugarh in Assam. The journey will cover 3,200 km in 50 days and pass through 27 river systems in India and Bangladesh. The luxury cruise is being operated by the Antara Group. The Swiss tourists who reached Ghazipur in Uttar Pradesh will visit famous places including the mausoleum of Lord Cornwallis.

The cruise launch is coming after the last few years of dredging works along the river line, with logistics hubs made at several places, including at Prayagraj. The Modi government has been working on the plan to offer logistics solutions on the Indian waterways.

The timing of the launch of the cruise is also coming at a time when Europeans in a large number are searching for affordable tourism options as Europe battles energy crisis as a consequence of the Russia-Ukraine War. Also, the international tourists are shunning China following the Covid-19 tsunami and opaqueness of the Communist regime to share the true extent of the pandemic.

During the 51-day itinerary, the cruise will sail along three major waterways in the sub-continent: National Waterway 1 over the Ganga-Bhagirathi-Hooghly River system, the Indo-Bangla Protocol Route from Kolkata to Dhubri, and National Waterway 2 over Brahmaputra.

The cruise will depart from Varanasi and arrive in Patna on its 8th day of travel after stopping in Buxar, Ramnagar, and Ghazipur. Ship will then set sail for Kolkata, where it will arrive on day 20 after passing through Farakka and Murshidabad. The World’s Longest River Cruise from Varanasi on River Ganga to Dibrugarh on River Brahmaputra. It will reach Dibrugarh on March 1. The cruise will travel through Patna, Kolkata, Dhaka, Dhubri, Guwahati, Majuli Island.

“Ganga Vilas will be our new luxury river cruise vessel with 18 suites and all other associated facilities. Built with a unique design and a futuristic vision, this cruise will meander across various prominent destinations that lie along Kolkata’s River Hooghly to Varanasi’s River Ganges,” the Antara Group said.

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