MV Ganga Vilas puts India-Bangladesh on world river cruise map: Minister Sonowal
Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal with other dignitaries at an event in Dibrugarh to welcome the tourists of MV Ganga Vilas

Dibrugarh: The successful 50-day journey of MV Ganga Vilas has put India and Bangladesh on the river cruise map of the world, Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal said on Tuesday.

The minister was speaking at an event here organised to welcome the tourists of the world’s longest river cruise that reached Dibrugarh on Tuesday, concluding its 50-day river journey that started from Varanasi.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had flagged off the vessel on January 13 in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh.

The river cruise also shows the investment potential in the river tourism in the entire South Asia region, the Union Minister of Shipping, Ports and Waterways said.

“It as a historic and path-breaking event to be witnessed in the Inland Waterways sector. MV Ganga Vilas has put India and Bangladesh on the river cruise map of the world. It has opened a new vista and vertical for tourism and freight carriage in Indian sub-continent,” he said.

The successful completion of 3200-km long river journey opens up new opportunities in the river tourism potential in the entire South Asia region, Sonowal said.

There has been an encouraging response from foreign tourists to explore India via river ways. People from countries like Switzerland seen as tourist attractions, are coming to explore India through waterways, Shripad Yesso Naik, the Union Minister of State for Ports, Shipping & Waterways and Tourism said.

“I urge the investors to explore the potential that lies in our river ways segment which will grow as hot business area in the months to come,” he said.

MV Ganga Vilas arrived at Bogibeel in Dibrugarh at around 2:30 PM.

During its 50-day journey, the cruise crossed five states and one country covering 27 river systems.

The ship sailed through the states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal and Assam. It entered Assam on February 17 via Dhaka, Bangladesh.

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During the journey, the onboard tourists visited 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.

According to an official statement, the luxury cruise has three decks, 18 suites onboard with a capacity of 36 tourists.

The maiden voyage had 28 tourists from Switzerland signing up for the entire journey, it added.

Also Read | Ganga Vilas reaches Guwahati with 28 Swiss tourists on board

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