India’s New Luxury River Cruise: Antara Cruises’s MV Ganga Vilas

by | Jan 19, 2023

Explore the majestic Ganga River in style with MV Ganga Vilas. Enjoy a luxurious river cruise experience that takes you through ancient sites, bustling cities and lush landscapes.

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Experience India uniquely and luxuriously – embark on a premium Ganges River Cruise. This grand voyage takes you through India’s heartland over the course of 51 days in unparalleled comfort.

The cruise on MV Ganga Vilas by Antara Cruises is unlike anything else – it is India’s first full-fledged luxury river experience, with all the amenities of an exquisite luxury resort. With India’s rich and diverse landscape as your backdrop, explore India in a way only this river can offer. From India’s bustling cities to its remote villages and exotic wildlife, this cruise ensures you don’t miss a thing.

It will be quite an experience to cruise along the Ganges River, a waterway used for navigation and transportation for thousands of years. India’s river cruise offers a unique journey you won’t find anywhere else in the world. Enjoy freshly prepared meals, luxurious cabins and unparalleled service from the India-trained crew onboard MV Ganga Vilas, already sold out until March 2024.

The journey along the River Ganges onboard MV Ganga Vilas

The river sailing on MV Ganga Vilas begins in Varanasi, India’s spiritual capital, and continues eastwards for Dibrugarh in Assam via Bangladesh. Over the course of 3200 km and 51 days, explore 27 river systems through five states in eastern India. Discover unique wildlife, vibrant cities and ancient monuments along the way. From World Heritage Sites to river ghats and national parks, this is a journey of a lifetime.

Antara Cruises also offers 3- to 8-day journeys, allowing you to tailor your trip based on the time you have. So regardless of the duration of your cruise, you can expect to be entertained and pampered with carefully curated onboard experiences.

Sights along the river system include Kashi, Bodh Gaya, Vikramshila, Patna and Majuli. You will also have the opportunity to cruise through Dhaka in Bangladesh for a unique multinational experience. Marvel at India’s natural diversity as you pass through the Sundarbans and forests of Assam.

What’s onboard MV Ganga Vilas

MV Ganga Vilas is a 62-metre long, 12-metre wide river cruise carrying 36 passengers in 18 luxe suites. It features three decks, butler service, inspired cuisine, wifi, all-inclusive shore excursions, and signature events. With a draft requirement of only 1.4m MV Ganga Vilas can traverse shallow waters, allowing travellers to explore almost all parts of the river. In addition, a high crew-to-guest ratio ensures personalized services, allowing guests to make the most of their luxury river cruise.

The rise of river cruising in India

India’s river cruise industry is beginning to rise, with offerings similar to river cruises found on the Danube, Rhine and Seine. Now travellers can experience a luxurious river cruise on India’s waterways, complete with all the amenities associated with traditional river cruising. At the same time, ten new passenger ship terminals along National Waterway-2 (an 891-kilometre section of the Brahmaputra River) will allow travellers from all around the world to explore and experience the river’s diverse culture.

River tourism offers a sensible way to bring focus and attention to river cleanliness, river safety and river beautification. Moreover, as river tourism grows, it can provide a source of income for local communities living along the riverbanks and will indeed become one of India’s many sought-after experiences in no time.

During a speech in December, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, “This will be an unprecedented cruise of its kind in the whole world. It will also be a reflection of the growing cruise tourism (industry) in India.”

India’s Union Port, Shipping and Waterways Minister Sarbananda Sonowal added, “Our rich heritage will get further transcended in the global stage as tourists will be able to experience the spiritual, educational…cultural as well as the richness of the biodiversity of India.”

Kashif Siddiqui, Antara’s director of sales and marketing, told CNN in an interview that the plan is to run the 3,200-km cruise on the Ganges twice a year between October and March when the weather is nice, and the river water is high. Tickets to board the MV Ganga Vilas costs between 4.2 million to 4.5 million rupees or $51,000 to $54,800 per guest.

Antara Cruise’s MV Ganga Vilas is a magnificent river-travel experience that will take you through India in time and style, making it a journey to remember forever. ◼

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© This article was first published online in Jan 2023 – World Travel Magazine.

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