The world’s longest river cruise ‘MV Ganga Vilas’ on Tuesday reached Dibrugarh, concluding its 50-day river expedition that began from Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh on January 13. Welcoming ‘MV Ganga Vilas’ at its culminating destination in Dibrugarh, Sarbananda Sonowal, Minister of Ports, Shipping and Waterways (MoPSW) hailed it as a historic and path-breaking event to be witnessed in the Inland Waterways sector since India’s Independence 75 years ago.

MV Ganga Vilas arrived at Bogibeel at 2.30pm on Tuesday as the dignitaries led by Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal 

accorded a warm welcome to all the 28 foreign tourists 

travelling onboard. With the successful end of its maiden 

journey covering a distance of over 3,200 kms, the MV Ganga Vilas opens up a new vista of opportunity in the river tourism potential in the entire South Asia region.

Earlier, Prime Minister Narendra Modi 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 36 tourists. It is already booked for 

to and fro journey for the next two years. During this epoch 

making journey, the tourists travelling onboard had an 

opportunity to travel via iconic places like Patna Sahib, Bodh 

Gaya, Vikramshila, Dhaka, the Sunderbans and the Kaziranga 

before reaching Dibrugarh in Assam on Tuesday. 

Speaking on the historic moment,

Sarbanada Sonowal said, “The successful completion of world 

longest river cruise, MV Ganga Vilas, has exemplified how India under the leadership of PM Narendra Modi is ready to explore newer horizons to unlock value for the country. 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 PM 

Modi to bring about transformation through transportation. We 

continue to work under the dynamic leadership of PM Modi towards achieving Maritime India Vision, 2030; Sagarmal by 

2035 along with PM Gati Shakti National Master Plan and 

National Logistics Policy. Today, we have realised another 

milestone to unlock tremendous potential in blue economy of India.”

Speaking on the huge boost to the river economy in the 

Northeast region, Sonowal 

said, “Our glorious history of riverine trade is set to be reclaimed with the successful completion of world longest river cruise here today. With the visionary leadership of PM Narendra Modi, we have reclaimed our access from Brahmaputra to international 

marine trade routes via Indo Bangladesh Protocol Route (IBPR) and coastal ecosystem. The entire riverine economy through Arth Ganga has received a magnificent boost through the success of this River Cruise. The dream of the Prime Minister for an alternate transport which is economical, safe and environmentally sustainable 

has been truly realised with this success today. I firmly believe that 

by investing more in river transportation, we can make Modi ji’s noble initiative of Net Zero – with considerable reduction in 

pollution, economical option. As the Northeast India gets ready to power the engine of growth of India with its rich riverine system, I 

am sure the historic city of Dibrugarh and the whole region remains excited about the trade and commercial potential it carries forth in the ensuing days.”

‘MV Ganga Vilas’ has put India and Bangladesh on the river cruise map of the world. It has 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 and those who 

want to explore the natural diversity will cover destinations like Sundarbans and Kaziranga. Through this route tourists have an immersive expedition while exploring the art, culture, history, 

and spirituality of both India and Bangladesh. 

Sarbanda Sonowal while hailing the success of the world’s longest river cruise journey by MV Ganga Vilas appealed to the private 

sector operators to identify the river cruise circuits of their choice on various waterways and to enter this nascent sector and be a part of river cruise tourism ecosystem in the country for the wider prosperity of the country specially North Eastern 

Region. He appeal to all entrepreneurs and trade leaders to 

work together for reaping benefit from waterways.

The seamless movement of MV Ganga Vilas has established the 

viability of seamless movement of vessels between Ganga Valley and Brahmaputra Valley i.e. from Varanasi to Dibrugarh via 

Kolkata, Sonowal said.

Speaking on the occasion, Shripad Yesso Naik, the Union Minister of State for Ports, Shipping & Waterways and 

Tourism said, “The success of MV Ganga Vilas in completing 

world longest river cruise establish the commitment of the Modi government to renew possibilities for holistic development of the country. The potential of river cruise tourism has been proven huge 

with the success of Ganga Vilas. The encouraging response from 

foreign tourists to explore India via river ways is a wonderful 

avenue for the tourism sector of the country while the peripheral 

riverine economy of the country is also likely to get a boost.” 

Under the Jal Marg Vikas Project of the Ministry of Ports, 

Shipping & Waterways (MoPSW), the Narendra Modi 

government is investing more than Rs 6,000 crores to revamp the 

inland waterways through Arth Ganga and Mahabahu 

Brahmaputra projects. This is pivotal to the all round development of the Northeast India, Naik said.

Speaking on the occasion, the Union Minister of State for 

Ports, Shipping & Waterways, Shantanu Thakur said, “The 

focus on the development of east India, particularly the Northeast, 

has been a major initiative by Prime Minister

Narendra Modi ji. With the success of Ganga Vilas voyage, the entire region – from Varanasi to Kolkata and upto Dibrugarh – is 

likely to receive a boost in terms of riverine potential. The success of cargo and passenger voyage has opened up a new door of opportunity for the trading community of the region. The 

affordable, efficient and environment friendly inland water 

transportation is going to play a crucial role in ensuring a 

sustainable growth in the region.” 

The event was also attended by

Minister of State, Ministry of Shipping, Government of 

Bangladesh, Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury, Union Minister of State for Labour & 

Employment and Petroleum & Natural Gas Rameswar Teli, Union Minister of State for Education and External Affairs, Dr Rajkumar 

Ranjan, Assam minister Jayanta Malla Baruah, Lok Sabha MP from Arunachal Pradesh Tapir Gao, Assam MP Pradan Baruah, Secretary, Ministry of 

Ports, Shipping & Waterways Sudhansh Pant, Chairman, 

Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) Sanjay Bandopadhyay among others.


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