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World's Longest Cruise to Connect Varanasi with Dibrugarh

A 50-day and 4000 km long cruise will flag off from Varanasi at the beginning of next year.

Worlds Longest Cruise to Connect Varanasi with Dibrugarh

Sentinel Digital Desk

GUWAHATI: The longest cruise liner in the world is all set to flag off Varanasi on the bank of the Ganga at the very beginning of next year.

The project was announced to connect several places of tourism as well as religious interest with a single cruise. The Union Minister of Ports, Shipping and Waterways for the Government of India made this announcement. Named the Ganga Vilas Cruise, it will take fifty days to traverse through Ganga, Brahmaputra and the Bay of Bengal. This project is expected to be a landmark both in terms of tourism and water-based connectivity in the country.

"Ganga Vilas cruise will sail from Varanasi to Dibrugarh in the longest river journey of 50 days covering 27 river systems and visit over 50 tourist sites including World Heritage Sites. This will be the single largest river journey by a single river ship in the world and would put both India and Bangladesh on the river cruise map of the world," said Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal.

The project is said to flag off from the historic city of Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh on January 10 and reach the destination of Dibrugarh by March 1. The total distance to be covered by this cruise is about 4000 kilometres and the ship will take fifty days to make this trip. The cruise will touch several important points including the ports of Kolkata and Dhaka. Ganga Vilas will also cover more than 1000 kilometres in Bangladesh before reentering Indian Waters and the Brahmaputra.

This project has been created in the public-private partnership model. The government of India's Inland Waterways Authority of India, Antara Luxury River Cruises and JM Baxi River Cruises have signed an agreement for its smooth conduct. While all the necessary permissions and routes will be given by the department, they will not have a say in the pricing of the tickets for the trip.

It is necessary to mention that after the amendment of the Indian Vessel Act, cruise vessels with a national permit are allowed to ply across state borders without any extra mandate. It will also use the Indo-Bangladesh Protocol Route which has been opened for trade and commerce between the neighbouring countries. It is also an essential part of connecting the two major rivers of the country namely the Ganga and the Brahmaputra. Tests have already been completed successfully as a cargo vessel reached Guwahati from Patna a few months back.

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