Flagged off from Varanasi on January 13, the world's longest river cruise -- 'MV Ganga Vilas' -- culminated its journey in Dibrugarh, Assam, on Tuesday after traversing for 50 days.
Welcoming the MV Ganga Vilas at its culminating destination, Sarbananda Sonowal, Union Minister for Ports, Shipping and Waterways, hailed it as a historic and path-breaking event witnessed in the inland waterways sector since India attained Independence 75 years ago.
MV Ganga Vilas arrived at Bogibeel at 2.30 p.m. on Tuesday where a warm welcome was accorded by the dignitaries led by Sonowal to all the 28 foreign tourists travelling in it.
With the successful conclusion of its maiden journey covering a distance of over 3,200 km, the MV Ganga Vilas opens up a new vista of opportunity in river tourism for the entire South Asia region.
Earlier, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had flagged off MV Ganga Vilas - the first indigenously made cruise vessel in India - from Varanasi on January 13.
Built with a unique design and a futuristic vision, the cruise has three decks and 18 suites on board with a capacity of carrying 36 tourists. It is already booked for to and fro journey for the next two years.
During the journey, the tourists travelled to some iconic places such as Patna Sahib, Bodh Gaya, Vikramshila, Dhaka, the Sunderbans and the Kaziranga before reaching Dibrugarh in Assam.
Sonowal said, "The robustness of the ship during the course of this journey shows how our tremendous strength in ship building capacity is a world class enterprise. The successful cruise movement as well as cargo movement on inland waterways is a testament to the vision of Prime Minister Modi to bring about transformation through transportation. We continue to work under the dynamic leadership of the Prime Minister towards achieving the 'Maritime India Vision' by 2030, 'Sagarmal' by 2035 along with PM Gati Shakti National Master Plan and National Logistics Policy."
MV Ganga Vilas has put India and Bangladesh on the river cruise map of the world. It has also opened a new vista and vertical for tourism and freight carriage in the Indian sub-continent.
Tourists, both domestic and global, who would like to experience spirituality, now have the opportunity to visit destinations like Kashi, Bodh Gaya, Vikramshila, Patna Sahib, while those who want to explore the natural diversity will cover destinations like Sundarbans and Kaziranga.