World’s Longest River Cruise ‘MV Ganga Vilas’ To End Its First Trip In Assam’s Dibrugarh, Journey Booked For Next Two Years

The world’s longest river cruise, MV Ganga Vilas, will culminate its journey on Tuesday (28 February) in Dibrugarh of Assam.

A welcome ceremony is being organised by the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) in Dibrugarh on the same day. The event will be graced by Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal along with other Union Ministers, State Ministers, Diplomats and officials.

‘MV Ganga Vilas’ is a cruise vessel made in India which began its journey from Varanasi on 13 January after being flagged off by the PM Narendra Modi.

The Cruise will cover a distance of 3,200 km in over 50 days before reaching Dibrugarh on the 28 February via Patna Sahib, Bodh Gaya, Vikramshila, Dhaka, the Suderbans and the Kaziranga national park.

Built with a unique design, the cruise has three decks and 18 suites on board with a capacity of 36 tourists. It is already booked for to and fro journey for the next two years.

“MV Ganga Vilas has put India and Bangladesh on the river cruise map of the world thus opening a new horizon and vertical for Tourism and freight carriage in the Indian subcontinent. Tourists seeking spirituality have the opportunity to visit destinations like Kashi, Bodh Gaya, Vikramshila, Patna Sahib and those keen on witnessing the natural diversity will cover destinations like Sundarbans and Kaziranga,” Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal said.

“This route heralds a new chapter for freight carriage through inland waterways both for India and Bangladesh. Now through this journey, tourists have an opportunity to go on board an immersive experiential voyage and explore the art, culture, history, and spirituality of India and Bangladesh along the entire route,” he added.

North Eastern India has a huge potential for freight carriage through National Waterways (NW). These National Waterways provide hinterland connectivity to states of Assam, Nagaland, Tripura, Manipur, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh also and connect these states with mainland India and sea ports of Kolkata and Haldia through Indo-Bangladesh Protocol route.

Several projects for developing inland water transport infrastructure namely fairway, terminals and navigation aids have been completed by IWAI in the North East region and some of them are under progress.

As per an IWAI internal study conducted in the year 2017, 49 Million Metric Tonnes per Annum (MMTPA) of cargo moves in and out of the NorthEast Region and around 30 MMTPA of cargo moves within the NorthEast region.