The Odisha government is gearing up to commence river cruises in a bid to revamp the tourism industry, which has been severely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. The Odisha tourism department is all set to launch a luxury houseboat, Garuda, one of its kind, for commercial operations in the Chilika lake.
The visitors will have a five-star experience on the floating cruise, and besides this, the tour packages shall be curated for tourists and shall cover Bhitarkanika National Park and adjoining areas of Gahirmatha Wildlife Sanctuary.
The packages will consist of an overnight stay along with full board meals, activities and cruising covering different islands in Chilika. On the luxury houseboat ‘Garuda’, there will be two floors housing two suite rooms and four premium rooms, a bar and a restaurant. An open air lobby in the upper deck will also be built for meetings and conferences and an investment of INR 3 crore has been made.
The houseboat has been indigenously designed, developed and manufactured in Barkul, Odisha. The project has been approved by Odisha Tourism through a single window mechanism.