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PM Modi to Inaugurate Largest River Cruise Jan 13

In November 2022, India introduced the esteemed Ganga Vilas projecta significant effort aimed at commencing a 4,000-kilometre cruise service. Spearheaded by the Prime Minister, the world's largest river cruise is slated for inauguration on January 13, 2023.

PM Modi to Inaugurate Largest River Cruise Jan 13

Orchestrated by the Exotic Heritage Group, a luxurious boat will traverse the route from Varanasi to Dibrugarh, passing through Bangladesh. The launch, eagerly awaited, aligns closely with the January 10 deadline previously announced by Minister Sarbananda Sonowal.

Unique Cruise Experience Anticipated by PM Modi

The Prime Minister has revealed plans for an extraordinary cruise experience, highlighting its distinctiveness. The recreational vessel is designed to traverse 27 river systems across India, encompassing renowned routes like Ganga-Bhagirathi-Hooghly, Brahmaputra, and West Coast Canal, all within a 50-day timeframe

During a video conference inaugurating various projects in West Bengal, PM Modi introduced this exceptional endeavour and encouraged the state's residents to avail themselves of its benefits.

  • Expansion of Cruise Tourism and Waterway Development

The Prime Minister emphasised the government's commitment to enhancing cruise tourism by establishing 100 national waterways. This initiative aims to accommodate both world-class cruises and efficient cargo transportation on these rivers. The endeavour is part of a broader strategy to optimise waterway utilisation for economic and recreational purposes, further driving the nation's progress.

Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Model to Govern Cruise Operations

A senior official from the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI), the overseeing body for National Waterways, confirmed that a privately operated cruise will become a regular feature. The planning of this cruise service has been notably influenced by the growth of the India-Bangladesh Protocol route as discussed below.

  • Enhanced Understanding of Heritage Through River Cruises

Citing the significance of rivers in shaping India's civilization, an official highlighted that river cruises offer visitors an enhanced grasp of the nation's history and heritage. The immersive experience along these waterways can provide valuable insights into the country's evolution.

  • Cruise Operations Under PPP Model

In November 2022, the Minister announced the implementation of the cruise under a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model, involving the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI), Antara Luxury River Cruises, and JM Baxi River Cruises.

  • Antara's Distinctive Rainforest Cruise

Antara will operate a river cruise vessel boasting 18 suites and comprehensive amenities. The cruise features an innovative design and a forward-looking approach. Its journey will traverse key destinations along the Hooghly River in Kolkata to the Ganges River in Varanasi.

  • Promoting Coastal and River Shipping, with Cruise Services a Priority

The Minister recently emphasised the government's emphasis on enhancing coastal and river shipping, with a particular focus on promoting cruise services. This initiative aligns with the broader goal of fostering maritime and river-based transportation for progressive growth.

Public-Private Partnership

What attractions and destinations will passengers experience during the cruise?

Aboard this remarkable river cruise, passengers will embark on an unforgettable journey filled with a multitude of captivating attractions and diverse destinations. The cruise's meticulously planned route will lead travellers through a rich tapestry of experiences, ensuring an immersive and enriching voyage.

  • Varanasi Ganga Aarti

One of the highlights of the journey is witnessing the renowned Varanasi Ganga Aarti. This mesmerising spiritual ritual takes place on the banks of the Ganges River in Varanasi, creating a profound atmosphere of devotion and reverence as lamps are offered to the sacred river.

  • Kaziranga National Park

The cruise will provide an opportunity to explore the iconic Kaziranga National Park. Famous for its population of one-horned rhinoceroses and diverse wildlife, this protected area offers wildlife enthusiasts an up-close encounter with the natural treasures of India's northeast.

  • Sundarbans Delta

Passengers will be able to immerse themselves in the unique beauty of the Sundarbans Delta. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is home to the largest mangrove forest in the world, teeming with biodiversity. Exploring this pristine ecosystem, travellers can catch glimpses of elusive Bengal tigers and vibrant bird species.

Sundarbans Delta

  • Cultural Insights and Heritage Sites

 Along the course of the cruise, passengers will have the opportunity to engage with the rich cultural heritage of the regions visited. This could include visits to historic temples, ancient towns, and vibrant local markets, providing a firsthand experience of the diverse traditions and ways of life.

  • Scenic Beauty and Landscapes

The cruise will meander through diverse landscapes, showcasing the changing vistas of the Ganges River and its surrounding areas. From picturesque villages to lush greenery and serene waterscapes, passengers will witness the natural beauty that characterises these regions.

  • Historical Landmarks

Throughout the journey, passengers may encounter historical landmarks that hold significance in the annals of Indian history. These landmarks could include architectural marvels, monuments, and ruins that tell stories of the past, adding depth to the cruise's cultural narrative.

The attractions and destinations along this cruise route offer a multifaceted exploration of India's cultural, natural, and historical treasures. This voyage is poised to provide travellers with an immersive and educational experience, weaving together the threads of spirituality, wildlife, heritage, and scenic beauty along its course.

Enhancing Global Recognition Through River Cruises

The Ministers November announcement emphasised that this initiative is poised to elevate both India and Bangladesh to prominent positions on the global river cruise map.

  • Unveiling the World's Largest River Journey

Describing the endeavour as an unparalleled achievement, the Minister highlighted that this venture stands as the largest single river journey undertaken by a solitary river ship worldwide. The significance of this feat lies in its ability to firmly establish India and Bangladesh as key players on the international river cruise stage.


What is the "PM Modi To Launch World's Largest River Cruise" initiative?

The "PM Modi To Launch World's Largest River Cruise" initiative refers to a significant project led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in which the world's largest river cruise is set to be inaugurated. The cruise will travel from Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh to Dibrugarh in Assam, covering a remarkable distance and offering a unique travel experience.

When is the inauguration of the world's largest river cruise scheduled?

The inauguration of the world's largest river cruise is scheduled for January 13.

What is the significance of this river cruise project?

This river cruise project is significant as it not only marks a momentous travel experience but also aims to showcase the cultural heritage and natural beauty of the regions along its route. It has garnered attention for being the largest river journey by a single river ship and is expected to elevate India and Bangladesh on the global river cruise map.

What route will the river cruise take?

The river cruise will travel from Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh to Dibrugarh in Assam. The route will include a passage through Bangladesh and cover approximately 4,000 kilometres.

How many days will the river cruise journey take?

The river cruise journey is expected to span across 50 days, providing passengers ample time to experience the diverse destinations along the route.

Who is organising and operating the river cruise?

The river cruise is organised and operated under the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model. The Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI), along with private entities like Antara Luxury River Cruises and JM Baxi River Cruises, are involved in the operation of the cruise.

What attractions and destinations will passengers experience during the cruise?

Passengers on the cruise will have the opportunity to visit around 50 significant tourist destinations. These include witnessing the Varanasi Ganga Aarti, exploring protected areas like Kaziranga National Park and the Sundarbans Delta, and enjoying the scenic beauty along the way.

How will this river cruise contribute to tourism in India and Bangladesh?

The river cruise is expected to boost tourism in both India and Bangladesh by offering a unique and immersive travel experience. It will provide travellers with insights into the history, heritage, and natural wonders of the regions it traverses.

What message did Prime Minister Modi convey about the river cruise project?

Prime Minister Modi expressed that the river cruise project is a unique and distinctive initiative that reflects the growing trend of cruise tourism in India. He encouraged people, especially in West Bengal, to take advantage of this remarkable opportunity.

What long-term goals does the government have in terms of waterways and cruise services?

The government has emphasised the growth of coastal and river shipping, with a focus on enhancing cruise services. The development of 100 national waterways is envisioned to accommodate world-class cruises and facilitate cargo flow, contributing to both economic and recreational aspects.

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