A luxury ship has made history while sailing from the Indian spiritual city of Varanasi on a voyage that will help usher in a new age of tourism on the subcontinent. The MV Ganga Vilas luxury ship will travel along the Ganges, India's holiest river, and other waterways through five states in western India, then into neighboring Bangladesh, visiting national parks, UNESCO World Heritage sites, big cities, and tourist destinations along the way.
The MV Ganga Vilas luxury ship is set to travel 3,200 kilometers (1,988 miles) of waterway in India and Bangladesh, making it the world's longest river cruise, according to organizers.
India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has touted the cruise as one of the centerpieces of his government's major program of infrastructure initiatives, will make a digital appearance to send the ship off in style.
In a passionate speech made by Modi on December 30 2022, the prime minister referenced the cruise as part of a burgeoning trend that could bring more visitors to his country.
"This will be an unprecedented cruise of its kind in the whole world," Narendra Modi said. "It will also be a reflection of the growing cruise tourism industry in India." India remains committed to bringing maximum international tourists to optimise its full tourism potential and hence earn huge foreign currency.
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