By launching the MV Ganga Vilas cruise from Varanasi on Friday, the prime minister gave the travel, tourism, and hospitality industries a symbolic boost. The Inland Waterways Authority is running a luxurious 51-day cruise along the Ganga and Brahmaputra River systems, which will go through numerous states and two countries and stop at about 50 tourist and historical sites. The project has received assistance from the Ministry of Shipping, Ports, and Waterways (MoPSW), who’s Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) will administer the voyage.
MV Ganga Vilas: All You Need to Know
- The world’s most extended river cruise, MV Ganga Vilas, was the first to be made locally.
- This is the world’s longest river cruise, running from Kashi to Dibrugarh, and it will offer a rare chance to put North Indian tourist destinations on the map of the world’s travel destinations. Furthermore, it will boost Eastern India’s tourism industry and job prospects.
- The PM emphasized the complementary strategies, Namami Gange for cleanliness and Arth Ganga for economic growth, used for overall development in the Ganga basin.
- The Ministry of Ports, Shipping, and Waterways coordinate this ship tourism initiative.
- With 36 passengers and 18 suites on board, the ship has three decks, is fully equipped with contemporary comforts, and avoids river pollution.
- “Built with a unique design and a modern idea,” the Ganga Vilas cruise. It will encompass “important locations along the Hooghly River in Kolkata to the Ganges River in Varanasi.”
- A water treatment plant that draws water from the river for everyday usage also exists, along with a separate facility for sewage treatment.
- The ship will be able to cross Bangladesh at a distance of more than 1,100 kilometers thanks to the Indo-Bangladesh Protocol Route, which has already opened up trade and transit routes between the two close neighbors.
- To keep the visitors entertained and to make their trip comfortable, the ship offers a gym, a spa, a restaurant, and other amenities on board.
Ganga Vilas Ticket Price
The daily cost of the MVA Ganga Vilas cruise will be between ?25,000 and ?50,000. Each traveller will pay about 20 lakh for the entire journey. The ship can accommodate 36 guests.
Ganga Vilas Cruise Route
Getting to Dibrugarh from Varanasi: The cruise ship, MV Ganga Vilas, scheduled to depart from Varanasi, will travel 3,200 kilometers over 51 days, passing through 27 river systems and six states before arriving at Dibrugarh.
Environmental tourism combined with pilgrimage: It will stop briefly to cover the well-known Varanasi Ganga Arti, Sarnath, a Buddhist pilgrimage site, and even Majuli, the largest river island in Assam.
It will include these World Heritage Sites: 50 tourist destinations are visited during the cruise, including World Heritage sites, national parks, river ghats, and important cities like Patna in Bihar, Sahibganj in Jharkhand, Kolkata in West Bengal, Dhaka in Bangladesh, and Guwahati in Assam.
What issues have been brought up – Why Ganga Vilas?
Priority should be given to reducing siltation and river pollution: There must be a solution for the two biggest problems affecting India’s rivers: silting and pollution.
Creating jobs and repairing the environment must coexist: The Prime Minister and the Minister of Shipping and Ports, Sarbananda Sonowal, have mentioned the employment opportunities that riverine tourism may create in areas like Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Bihar, and Assam. However, creating jobs and environmental restoration must go hand in hand.
Additional Indian cruises
- The 10-night Brahmaputra river cruise departs from Guwahati and travels to Jorhat and Dibrugarh. This voyage visits Majuli Island, Kaziranga National Park, Sibsagar, the historic kingdom of the Ahom kings, and other locations. Additionally, the schedule includes excursions to the well-known silk-weaving communities of Tezpur and Sualkuchi.
- Visitors to the southern Indian city of Mangalore can relax in the serene Phalguni River. The tourist-filled boat travels through the coastal villages of Karnataka for three hours. The highlight of the cruise adventure is, however, the Mangalorean food served onboard.
Journey far ahead
Engage regional communities: For the government to achieve its objective of tripling the number of cruise passengers from 4 lacks to almost ten times that amount. However, local communities must be included for this expansion to be sustainable.
Kerala offers a valuable lesson: even though the PM is the face of the Center’s push in the area, states and the private sector must also be involved. For instance, Kerala’s approach to monetizing and maintaining its backwaters is an excellent illustration of how East Indian states might benefit.
Smaller craft may be involved: While there is potential for larger, more opulent ships, riverine tourism might also grow and accommodate visitors from various socioeconomic backgrounds. Additionally, smaller vessels can present less ecological difficulty.
Addition of best practices from around the world: However, the Ganga cruise should only be the start of exploiting India’s various and varied river systems’ untapped potential for tourism. At the same time, the growth must take into account the finest practices from India and the rest of the globe while ensuring that local communities and the environment are not neglected.
The labor-intensive hospitality industry may be able to fill some of the formal employment that India’s economy, which is in transition, so urgently needs. India can safeguard its rivers and generate jobs at the same time if it is diligent and innovative in its planning, given the expanding worldwide market for environmentally conscious travel. “The trip will provide the foreign tourists with the chance to embark on an experience adventure and savor the art, culture, history, and spirituality of India and Bangladesh,”