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World’s Longest Luxury Cruise to Launch in India by 2023

by Rishika Choudhury

Date & Time: Nov 14, 2022 7:00 PM

Read Time: 1 minute




The central government has announced plans to launch the world's longest luxury river cruise. The river cruise will aim to boost India's inland water tourism. The 50-day cruise will take passengers from the heart of Uttar Pradesh to the far reaches of Assam, as well as through Bangladesh. The cruise will depart from Varanasi on January 10 and cover a total distance of 4,000 kilometres. The Ganga Vilas cruise will travel through major cities such as Kolkata and Dhaka before arriving in Bogibeel, Assam's Dibrugarh district, on March 1. The new cruise will visit over 50 tourist sites, including some World Heritage sites, while travelling through 27 different river systems.

World’s Longest River Cruise

"This will be the world's largest river journey by a single river ship, putting both India and Bangladesh on the river cruise map," said Sarbananda Sonowal, Minister of Ports, Shipping, and Waterways.

The minister also stated that the development of coastal and river shipping, including cruise services, is one of the government's top priorities. Such services have the potential to capitalise on India's enormous potential as a waterway tourism hub. In addition, Sonowal stated that the development of inland waterways can benefit India's logistics systems by facilitating trade and cargo movement.

First to Operate in PPP Model

The Ganga Vilas cruise will be the first of its kind, operating on a public-private partnership (PPP) model. The cruise will be run by private companies Antara Luxury River Cruises and JM Baxi River Cruises, with assistance from the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI).

The cruise's operators will set the ticket price on a cost-plus basis, with no intervention from the government. It is worth noting that river cruises are already available on National Waterway 1 (NW-1) (Ganga-Bhagirathi-Hoogly), NW-2 (Brahmaputra), and NW-3 (Brahmaputra) (West Coast Canal).

Also Read: Govt launched scheme to support PPP projects

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