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27 River Systems, 50 Days, 4000 Km: World's Longest Luxury Cruise from Varanasi to Dibrugarh

The Union government and the Uttar Pradesh state government is set to launch the world’s longest luxury river cruise—from Varanasi to Dibrugarh via Bangladesh— in a bid to provide impetus to inland waterways development in India, Mint reported.

The Varanasi-Dibrugarh cruise is expected to be run on a public-private partnership (PPP) model. Scheduled to start on January 10, the cruise will cover 4,000-km long and will 50 days to complete the journey from Varanasi. It will pass through Kolkata and Dhaka before reaching Bogibeel in the Dibrugarh district of India’s eastern state Assam on March 1. The cruise will start in Varanasi and reach Patna on the 8th day passing through Buxar, Ramnagar, and Ghazipur.

The cruise will cover almost 1,100 km in Bangladesh before re-entering India. The recently concluded agreement on Indo-Bangladesh Protocol Route, facilitates trade and transit channels between the two countries and connects the Ganga and Brahmaputra rivers.

“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," minister of ports, shipping and waterways Sarbananda Sonowal said in an interview with Mint.

The government’s Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) has signed an agreement with Antara Luxury River Cruises and JM Baxi River Cruises for the initiative. The ticket price will be determined by the operators based on demand.


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