In the holy city of Varanasi, apart from enjoying the serene and spiritual ambience of its ghats, you can enjoy a ride on the luxury cruise called Alaknanda. The luxury cruise service in Varanasi was inaugurated in the month of September in 2018. Before the introduction of the cruise, both the locals and tourists were used to seeing boats (both motorised and non-motorised) on the waters of the River Ganga. This is the first time that an exquisite looking luxury cruise will make its way through the holy waters.
Varanasi is one of the most visited religious destinations in India, thanks to its historic ghats, splendid temples and the distinct flavour of the city itself. It is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, a fact that makes it even more fascinating as a popular tourist spot in India. It is the River Ganga though, which lends the city its identity. Indeed, the city and the river have become synonymous to each other. Much of the daily life in the city revolves around the Ganga, and it finds a strong presence in the everyday conversations and lifestyle of the people.
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It is not just the people of India though, who fall for the charm of Varanasi, which is undoubtedly among the most popular tourist destinations in India. International travellers have always held a soft spot in their hearts for this ancient city. Among other things, this has a lot to do with the authenticity of traditions, customs and Hindu beliefs which they are able to witness here.
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The city endures itself to visitors from abroad with its ancient feel. Walking among the maze of lanes and bylanes of Varanasi, with its small shops, eateries and interesting people who never stop surprising you in one way or the other, is like a revelation. Of course, there are the colorful ghats which are the scenes of religious rituals, ceremonies and other activities which offer a glimpse of its everyday life.
Perhaps, the popularity of this luxury cruise on River Ganges among international tourists is also due to the fact that it comes as close to “ancient India” as they may have read about in books and newspapers. Known as the Alaknanda luxury cruise, it will allow you to enjoy a cruise ride at Ghats of Varanasi. The next time you plan a trip to Varanasi, book a ride in this luxury cruise in Varanasi and enjoy the fabulous views of River Ganga, the ancient Ghats and the Ganga Aarti, the top three attractions of Varanasi tourism. In this blog, we will tell you some interesting facts about this luxury cruise, the ticket cost and information related to Alaknanda cruise booking.
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An introduction to Alaknanda Luxury Cruise
The luxury tourist cruise Alaknanda was started at Khidiya Ghat in Varanasi in the month of September in 2018 by the UP-CM Yogi Adityanath. With its launch, it became the first luxury cruise in Varanasi to take tourists on a ride around the 84 ghats in this city. It is 30 meters in length and can accommodate up to 110 passengers at any given time.
The double decker cruise liner was started by Nordic Cruise Line, a start-up company based in Kolkata. Varanasi is counted among the top travel destinations of Uttar Pradesh, thanks to its heritage, history and culture, and the introduction of this luxury cruise by Uttar Pradesh tourism will enhance its popularity even further.
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Features of the Alaknanda Luxury Cruise Varanasi
Double Decker Luxury Cruise Liner
The Alaknanda luxury cruise boasts a total area of around 2,000 sq. ft and can accommodate around 125 people at any given time. Out of the total numbers of seats in the cruise, 60 are installed in the air-conditioned lower deck. These also have huge see through glass windows to allow passengers to enjoy the spectacular Ganga Aarti at Dashashwamedh Ghat. The entire lower deck is air conditioned.
There is no air conditioning on the upper deck of the Alaknanda luxury cruise in Varanasi. However, the sides are open and allow the free circulation of air as well as enhance the aesthetic appeal of the double decked liner. Both the floors are also equipped with bio-toilets.
Luxurious Seating Facilities
The luxury factor of the Alaknanda double decked cruise liner is also reflected in the seating arrangements. There are luxurious sofas which allow the passengers to admire the views of sunrise and sunset besides relaxing. They can also enjoy the incredible views of the Aarti from these comfortable sofas while taking a cruise tour on the River Ganges.
Navigational System & Safety Features
Alaknanda luxury cruise is equipped with the latest, updated and advanced navigational systems along with onboard GPS. In addition, adequate steps have been taken to ensure the safety of passengers onboard. Besides safety jackets, there are lifeguards on boats in case of any emergencies. The luxury cruise has also been equipped with lifeboats.
Other Features Onboard the Alaknanda Luxury Cruise
Besides the facilities mentioned above, the luxury cruise also has been fitted with free Wi-Fi, a skid proof afterdeck and audio-visual systems. The kitchen is located on the upper deck and provides both vegetarian and non-vegetarian meals including continental cuisine to the guests onboard. Guests will also be served alcohol. Further, the cruise can also be used to hold business meetings, conferences and power lunches.
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Route, Ticket Fare, Timing & Online Booking
Route of the Alaknanda Luxury Cruise Varanasi
The cruise route of Alaknanda Varanasi cruise service will start from Assi Ghat and continue all the way to Panchganga Ghat. In doing so, it will cover a distance of around 12 km. From there, it will make its way through the other ghats including Chunar, one of the ancient and most famous places to visit in Varanasi.
Boarding Points for the Luxury Cruise
You can board the Alaknanda cruise in Varanasi from the following boarding points: Alaknanda Jetty, Ravidas Park Ghat Nagwa.
What is the Alaknanda Varanasi Cruise Fare?
The cruise fare onboard the Alakananda Varanasi Cruise is 750 INR, which also includes the GST (Goods and Service Tax).
Timings of the Alaknanda Luxury Cruise
Alaknanda, the first luxury cruise service in Varanasi, offers two rides to tourists throughout the day. The cruise timing is divided between morning and evening. While the morning cruise is available from 7:00 AM to 8:30 AM, the evening cruise is available from 6:00 PM to 8:30 PM.
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How to Explore Varanasi on a Luxury Cruise?
Going for the morning cruise will allow you to enjoy the spectacular views of the holy river Ganges as well as the beautiful views of the sunrise. The cruise will travel at a slow yet steady speed, allowing you to observe and absorb the beauty and sights that each of the 84 ghats have to offer. Watching the everyday happenings on the famous ghats of Varanasi, known as “Subah-e-Banaras” is a unique experience.
Going for the evening cruise has its own advantages, one of which is that it allows you to enjoy some incredible sightseeing. Besides enjoying the views of the setting sun, you will be able to witness the Ganga Aarti. Seated in the luxury of your cruise liner, you will be able to enjoy the synchronised chanting of mantras, lighted lamps and the floating of diyas.
How to Book a Ride on Alaknanda Cruise?
The ticket booking for the cruise tour of Varanasi on River Ganges can be done by visiting the official website of Nordic cruise line (the company which owns Alakananda). After arriving at the website, you can complete the online ticket booking by clicking on the “bookings” section and then selecting the kind of cruise you want.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Q.How do I book the tickets for the Alakananda luxury cruise?
You can book the tickets for a ride on the Alakananda luxury cruise on its official website: nordiccruiseline.com
Q.Is dinner available on the deck of the Alakananda luxury cruise?
No, but light refreshments and snacks are available.
Q. What type of cruises are available with the Alakananda?
You can select from either the morning cruise or the evening cruise with the Alakananda.
Q.What will be the starting point of the Alakananda cruise?
Both the morning and evening cruises will start from Alaknanda Jetty, Sant Ravidas Ghat behind Ravidas Park, Nagwa (Ahead of Assi Ghat), Varanasi.
Q.Can I enjoy the Ganga Aarti from within the cruise itself?
Yes, you can enjoy the Ganga Aarti from within the cruise, as huge windows have been installed for the purpose.
Q.What are the timings of the morning and evening cruise of the Alakananda?
The timing of the morning cruise is 7:00 AM to 8:30 AM, while that of the evening cruise is 6:00 PM to 8:30 PM.
Q.Can I enjoy a party onboard the Alakananda luxury cruise?
Yes, you can enjoy a party onboard the Alakananda luxury cruise with up to 50 of your friends. Some of the facilities available include free WiFi, a skid proof afterdeck, four bio toilets, a fully AV equipped mini stage on the lower deck and a host of other safety features. It is also perfect for enjoying a cultural evening on the River Ganga.
Q.Why should I take the morning cruise on the Alaknanda?
If you opt for the morning cruise, you will be treated to views of the entire riverfront along with the views of the River Ganga.
About the author
Writing, for me, is an artistic expression of the countless thoughts flooding my mind. For now, travel content writing is what keeps me going! In my spare time, I like nothing better than immersing myself in a book, along with a cuppa! A classic movie helps too! I define traveling as a process of self-discovery. Hailing from Darjeeling, my ultimate desire is to escape to the hills, with the mountain air and solitude as my constant companions!