51 days, 5 Indian states, 3,200 km journey across 17 river systems, the Antara Ganga Vilas is an experiential voyage unlike any other! The epic voyage meanders through India’s holiest River Ganga, on the first cruise ship ever built in India. MV Ganga Vilas set sail from Varanasi earlier this week. They will disembark at Nimati Ghat in Dibrugarh, Assam, after 2.5 months of encircling national parks, UNESCO World Heritage sites, and big cities. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said: “The beginning of the world’s longest river cruise service on river Ganga is a landmark moment. It will herald a new age of tourism in India.”
The all-suite cruise boasts 18 well-appointed cabins with floor-to-ceiling windows that let in calming river views and heartwarming Indian panoramas. The luxury cruise with three decks offers a fascinating itinerary packed with offboard experiences like experiencing the iconic Ganga Aarti in Varanasi, visiting the 18th century Takht Sri Patna Sahib Temple, and much more.
Onboard amenities include a movie zone, entertainment in the form of games, dance performances, music recitals, book readings, and lectures. Unwind in the land of Ayurveda in a spa well-equipped with Ayurvedic treatments, beauty services, and even Balinese and Swedish-style therapies.
It is not surprising that the cruise is fully booked till March 2024, per Antara Luxury River Cruises Vice President Saudamini Mathur. He specified the tourists would be served local delicacies and seasonal delights of India and Bangladesh. Do not expect to sip Dom and indulge in caviar as no non-vegeterian food or alcohol will be served on the ship.
If interested travelers should note that it is not mandatory to be onboard for the entire 51- day journey, “Some guests are checking in at Varanasi and checking out at Kolkata, while some carry on till Dibrugarh,” shared Singh.
The organizers certainly recommend going the long haul to make the most of this immersive experience. To find yourself cruising through the picturesque locales of India and Bangladesh, opt for tours from April 2024 onwards. For roughly $68,000 per person, you will get a suite for the 51-day journey. It also includes all meals, experiences, and guided tours.