NEW DELHI, Jan 13: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday flagged off the world's longest river cruise -- MV Ganga Vilas, which will cover 3,200 kilometres across 27 river systems in five states in India and Bangladesh in 51 days.
MV Ganga Vilas is the first-ever cruise vessel to be made in India and it began its journey from Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh and will reach Dibrugarh in Assam via Bangladesh.
The beginning of the cruise service on river Ganga is a landmark moment and it will herald a new age of tourism in India, the Prime Minister said and invited foreign tourists to come to India and explore the vibrancy of the country. Modi further said the river cruise will promote tourism and create new job opportunities.
He also said more river cruise systems are being developed in various parts of the country.
According to an official statement, the luxury cruise has three decks, 18 suites on board with a capacity of 36 tourists, with all the luxury amenities.
The maiden voyage has 32 tourists from Switzerland signing up for the entire length of the journey, it added.
As per the statement, MV Ganga Vilas cruise is curated to bring out the best of the country to be showcased to the world.
The 51-day 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.
The journey will give the tourists an opportunity to embark upon an experiential voyage and indulge in the art, culture, history, and spirituality of India and Bangladesh, the statement said.