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PM Modi to launch Ganga Vilas cruise from Varanasi on Jan 13

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch the world’s longest river cruise with MV Ganga Vilas on January 13. Minister for shipping, ports and waterways Sarbananda Sonowal on Sunday said that it will herald a new age of river cruise tourism for India. The luxury cruise will cover a distance of more than 3,200 km across 27 river systems in five states in India and Bangladesh.

“The huge untapped potential of river cruise is set to get unlocked with the launch of this service,” added Sonowal. “This avenue of sustainable development via inland waterways has received a tremendous boost as efforts to augment cargo traffic as well as passenger tourism has borne fruit with encouraging results. The MV Ganga Vilas cruise is a step towards unlocking the huge potential river tourism in the country has to offer.

“Our rich heritage will get further transcended in the global stage as tourists will be able to experience the spiritual, the educational, the well being, the cultural as well as the richness of the biodiversity of India,” the minister said further.

The 51-day cruise is planned with visits to 50 tourist spots, including World Heritage Sights, 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 MV Ganga Vilas vessel is 62 meters in length, 12 meters in width and comfortably sails with a draft of 1.4 meters. It has three decks, 18 suites on board with a capacity of 36 tourists, with all the amenities to provide a memorable and luxurious experience for the tourists. The ship follows sustainable principles at its core as it is equipped with pollution-free mechanisms and noise control technologies.

The maiden voyage of MV Ganga Vilas will witness 32 tourists from Switzerland, official sources said. The expected date of arrival of MV Ganga Vilas in Dibrugarh is on March 1, 2023.

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