MV Mahabaahu, first Indo-Bangla cruise sets sail on Brahmaputra
_A Monitor Report1 Jun, 2019 | 1311 Views|-+
Neena Morada, Cruise Director, MV Mahabaahu and Motiur Rahman, Managing Director, Journey Wallet Ltd are seen with foreign tourists inside the cruise
Dhaka : MV Mahabaahu, a luxurious Indo-Bangla marine passenger vessel set sail on Brahmaputra on April 29 from Assam for its first voyage to Kolkata, making a stop at Dhaka on May 6.
Dazzling sandbars, lush forests, close encounters with wildlife and ancient architecture - these are some of the delights that MV Mahabaahu offers to the guests.
Three UNESCO World Heritage Sites - Sundarbans, Mosque City of Bagerhat (Bangladesh) and Manas National Park in Assam - are among its stopovers.
They stayed on Assam for 7 days and left its Pandu port on a 17 day voyage with 43 persons on board including 10 foreign tourists, 8 British and 2 Indian. The rest are crew members.
They reached Dhaka on May 6 and again started for Kolkata on May 9. In September, they will start for Sundarbans from Kolkata.
"Our effort is to offer tourists to experience this 'off beat path' on the deliciously lush landscape where more than 700 rivers braid through the country.
Travelling by boat provides a fabulous opportunity to see the country differently,” said Neena Morada, Cruise Director, MV Mahabaahu.
This allowed the country to reveal its intricate weave of majority Muslims, Christian Adivasi Tribal, Buddhists and Hindu Cultures. Hilsha fishing with otters, floating markets and clay pottery are part and parcels of Bangla life which the guests got to enjoy.
In October last year, India and Bangladesh signed a new river route protocol, according to which tourist vessels from Assam will sail through Bangladesh for Kolkata. Following the treaty, MV Madhumati, RV Bengal Ganga and now MV Mahabaahu set sail.
MV Mahabaahu is a joint venture between Adventure Resorts and Cruises Limited and Assam Tourism Development Corporation. The local support in Bangladesh is provided by tour operator Journey Wallet Ltd.
"Foreigners are excited to take this trip. They used to cruise to Assam and Kolkata only. Now, they are getting to enjoy Bangladesh on the way. This 18-20 day long voyage on Assam-Bangladesh-Kolkata route is profitable for the ship companies and tour operators too. Many industries will benefit. The government will earn foreign currency as well," said Motiur Rahman, Managing Director, Journey Wallet Ltd.
The luxurious ship runs on three engines. It has a capacity of 44 persons. There are various categories of rooms. And the ship is equipped with all the 5-star facilities - spa, gym, game room, bar, restaurant etc. There are also local products displayed on the ship that foreigners can shop as per choice.
Accommodation costs Rs. 18,000 per person per night. Guests need to pay extra for additional facilities.