From the month of March 2019, tourists can plan a river cruise from Kolkata to Dhaka, the capital city of Bangladesh and Guwahati. The cruise will pass through Ganga, Padma and Brahmaputra rivers. Recently, both the countries, India and Bangladesh finalised and accepted the standard operating procedure for the movement of passengers cruise vessels, paving the way for starting this operation, TOI reported.
Abdus Samsah, Bangladesh shipping secretary was quoted in the report saying that private players will be allowed to operate river cruise between the two countries, which will cover about a distance of 1,539 km. Moreover, both the countries also agreed to allow private operators to run coastal cruise from Chennai to Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh.
According to sources quoted in the report, the Kolkata-based heritage cruise which operates the Ganga Voyager in the country has proposed to run the first vessel on the river route in the last week of March, next year. An official from the Shipping Ministry said that they are hopeful of more players showing interest on the river cruise. The official further informed that the river route passes through Sundarbans as well as other scenic areas. Thus, the river cruise journey will be a life time experience, he added. A vast forest, Sundarbans is located in the coastal region of the Bay of Bengal.
Following secretary-level talks between the two countries, Gopal Krishna who is the Indian shipping secretary said that both the countries, India and Bangladesh signed an agreement to use the Chattogram and Mongla ports in Bangladesh for movement of goods to and from India, in order to strengthen ties between them, the report stated.