PM Flags Off World’s Longest River Cruise, Trip Costs 20 Lakhs
Through video conferencing, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today signalled the start of the MV Ganga Vilas, the longest river voyage in the world, in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh. For the first time, 32 Swiss visitors will travel to Dibrugarh, Assam, via Bangladesh. On the banks of the Ganga in Varanasi, the PM opened a “Tent City” that was built in the same manner as comparable structures in Rajasthan and Gujarat’s Kutch region.
The famous ghats of the holy city on the other side of the river will be visible from more than 200 tents, which will also host yoga classes and live classical music performances. Additionally, he established the framework for various inland waterways projects totaling more than 1,000 crore.
“With this cruise, many places of eastern India will now figure in world tourism map… What can be more unfortunate that since Independence the banks of the Ganga did not develop and thousands of people living along the Ganges had to migrate for job,” the PM said.The first cruise ship manufactured in India is called the MV Ganga Vilas. 3,200 kilometres will be covered in 51 days.
At the dock in Varanasi, the 32 Swiss visitors who would embark on the first voyage were greeted with garlands and shehnai music. Before embarking on the cruise, they will tour a number of historical and religious sites in Varanasi. Raj Singh, the director of the ship, told the news agency PTI that this five-star floating hotel has 18 suites and can accommodate 36 guests. In addition to this, it can house 40 crew personnel. The 62 metres long and 12 metres broad modernist ship needs a 1.4 metre draught.
Tourists will go via numerous well-known locations and 27 different river systems. The cruise will visit 50 tourist destinations, including world heritage sites, national parks, river ghats, and major cities like Patna in Bihar, Shahiganj in Jharkhand, Kolkata in West Bengal, Dhaka in Bangladesh, and Guwahati in Assam, according to a statement from Uttar Pradesh Tourism Minister Jaiveer Singh issued in Lucknow.
Additionally, the trip is equipped with amenities like a gym, spa, and salon. Raj Singh estimated that each passenger’s expenditure for the 51-day trip would be between 25,000 and 50,000 a day, or roughly 20 lakh. He stated that the voyage is outfitted with noise cancellation equipment and a pollution-free system.
The cruise director stated there is a sewage treatment facility on board to prevent sewage from entering the Ganges and a filtration plant to purify the Ganga water for bathing and other uses.
“India has everything that you can imagine. It has a lot beyond your imagination. India cannot be defined in words. It can only be experienced from the heart,” PM Modi said in his message for tourists.
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