36 tourists, 51 days: World’s longest river cruise Ganga is ready for journey

The luxurious triple-deck cruise, MV Ganga Vilas, reached Kashi from Kolkata on Monday (January 9) and is all set to embark on the world’s longest river journey from Varanasi to Dibrugarh in Assam.

A group of 36 Swiss tourists, who arrived in the city by flight on Tuesday, have booked a cruise, which will be flagged off by Prime Minister Narendra Modi via video conferencing on January 13. A 52-day journey on the world’s longest river will cost around Rs 13 lakh, with an average fare of around Rs 25,000 per person per night.

Ganga Vilas, a river ship traveling from Varanasi to Dibrugarh, will travel 3200 kms in 50 days.

The flag-off ceremony at Ravidas Ghat will be attended by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Union Minister for Ports, Shipping and Waterways Sarbananda Sonowal. After this, he will open a high-end tent city on the banks of the Ganges.

After the flag-off, Ganga Vilas will leave for Dibrugarh carrying 33 tourists including 32 Swiss and one German. The 62.5 m long, 12.8 m wide and 1.35 m deep vessel will travel 3200 km navigating 27 different river systems in Bangladesh and India.

The cruise will cover over 50 architecturally significant places including World Heritage Sites. The ship will also pass through national parks and wildlife sanctuaries such as the Sundarbans Delta and Kaziranga National Park.

The grand cruise has 18 suites with all the necessary amenities. The ship’s luxuriously decorated suites are constructed with a unique design and futuristic outlook.

The cruise has facilities like gym, spa, outdoor observation deck, private butler service, music, cultural programs etc.

According to UP tourism representatives, the suites have a range of amenities including a bathroom with shower, convertible bed, a French balcony, an LED TV, a safe, smoke alarm, life vests and sprinklers.