Category Archives: Cruises

Singapore reports growth of 25% in Indian cruise tourists

Singapore-based cruise companies are reporting strong growth in footfall of Indian tourists, with some 127,000 of them having sailed on luxury liners last year, up 25 per cent from 2016. Industry players have also noted a jump in fly-cruise tourists from India. A spokesperson for Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings said the company believes the Indian market “has potential to grow at double-digit rates”. “We are seeing an increasing number of Indian tourists booking fly-cruise packages to Singapore as the island is a regional hub and port… From Singapore, the tourists are able to visit a number of other countries depending on the cruise package they have booked,” the spokesperson said. A Royal Caribbean spokesperson said the number of Indian guests taking its cruises has increased by 10 per cent to 20 per cent yearly, especially after the arrival of its Voyager Class ships to South-east Asia in 2013. Indian tourists like the convenience of packing for one trip but being able to travel to several countries at one time, the spokesperson added. In 2017, international visitor arrivals in Singapore increased by 6.2 per cent to 17.4 million, with those from India posting the highest growth rate of 16 per cent, according to Singapore Tourism Board.

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Nitin Gadkari inaugurates Drishti Marine’s ferry services in Goa

Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways, Shipping and Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation inaugurated the Mormugao Port Trust and Drishti Marine’s inland ferry services in the port city of Vasco in Goa. The inaugural plaque was unveiled at the newly constructed Airport Ferry Terminal (AFT) at Baina beach. The ferry service is aimed at offering transport to tourists and locals from and to the airport to different parts of Goa. Drishti Marine operates passenger ferry operations on behalf of the Mormugao Port Trust (MPT). It undertook this project and constructed the fully dismantleable and environmental-friendly floating jetty and terminal at Baina Beach. At the inaugural ceremony, Gadkari said, “Our country has a 7,500 km long coastline, which can help the development of our country. The biggest advantage of tourism is that 49 per cent of the capital investment is utilised for job creation. If one wants to travel by road, the cost is Rs. 1.5 (per km), by railways the cost is Re. 1 (per km) and by water the cost is 20 paise (per km). The first phase will see the opening of routes between Vasco and Panaji and will eventually extend to other areas. Phase Two will start from the Airport Ferry Terminal to Baga, Siquerim, as well as Chapora Fort.

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Celebrity Cruises unveils 2 new ships

Celebrity Cruises has announced the launch of two new ships – Celebrity Edge and Celebrity Flora in Mumbai with operations beginning from December 2018 and May 2019 respectively. Capable of hosting about 2952 guests onboard, Celebrity Edge has an innovative design with an infinite veranda, magic carpet and a suite. Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, President and CEO, Celebrity Cruises said, “The first itineraries of Celebrity Edge will be in the Caribbean this year followed by Europe in April 2019. Based on the travel patterns and desires of the Indian market, we plan to work here to bring Indian guests onboard throughout the itineraries we will be offering in Europe from Barcelona and Rome. Celebrity Flora is also a brand new ship purposefully built for the Galapagos Islands, a bucket-list destinations for many people around the world. The ship is an environment friendly ship with 50 suites for 100 guests. The design of the ship is like a yacht and the sailing starts from May 2019 for seven-night cruise itineraries.” Celebrity Cruises also revealed it will be investing USD 400 million to modernise its fleet of ships between 2019 to 2023. Four of the ships will undergo complete renovation of the staterooms and bathrooms. Redesigning the public space on the ships will also be part of the modernisation.

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RCI’s ‘Mariner of the Seas’ sets sail for India

Tirun Travel Marketing, the exclusive India representative of Royal Caribbean International, has announced cruise sailings to and from India in the pre-monsoon season, onboard its Mariner of the Seas. The cruise line will take guests across Asia including Singapore, Phuket, Muscat and Dubai as well as Goa, with six- and seven-night sailings ex Cochin. Ratna Chadha, CEO, Tirun Travel Marketing, said, “Cruise travel is becoming increasingly popular in the Indian subcontinent, especially as more and more vacationers from India are joining the flock of international cruise travellers. We are glad to share that all of our recent cruises have received an overwhelming response and we are certain that ‘Mariner of the Seas’ visit to India will further enhance the propensity of Indian holidaymakers to opt for RCI cruises.” The cruise line has segmented its 13-night sailing into two itineraries with a six-night Singapore to Cochin sailing from April 9-15 and a seven-night Cochin to Dubai sailing from April 15-22. The ‘Singapore to Cochin’ itinerary, that has an all-inclusive price of Rs 50,649 per person for the Promenade-view room, will take Indian vacationers across Phuket. Mariner of the Seas is also home to activities such as rock climbing, ice skating, arcade gaming and multi-level night clubs for travellers.  

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Avalon Waterways to offer India river cruise in 2019

Avalon Waterways is set to expand in India in 2019, offering cruise tours that visit the country’s Golden Triangle and sail on the Ganges River. Avalon’s 13-day India itineraries will begin in Delhi and also visit Agra and Jaipur. Passengers will then fly to Kolkata, where they’ll board their ship and travel north on the Hooghly, a tributary of the Ganges. The river portion of the cruise will visit small cities such as Kalna, Matiari, Murshidabad and Mayapur. The line will charter Ganges Voyager, a 36-passenger vessel formerly used by Vantage Deluxe World Travel for its India trips. The cruises begin in February 2019 and will also run in September, October and November 2019.  

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Travel Tours announces ‘Cruise Week’ from February 19-24

Travel Tours, the flagship leisure-travel brand of FCTG Australia in India, announced ‘Cruise Week’ that aims at providing an opportunity to Indian travellers to plan their cruise holidays. ‘Cruise Week’ showcases several cruise holiday products available for Indian travellers while changing the perception of cruises as luxury holiday options. From a platter of experiences to select from, Cruise Week offers limited period deals on more than 20 cruises. Cruise Holidays starting from INR 48,999 are available across all 27 Travel Tours stores in 17 cities countrywide. Itineraries include economy class airfare, visa, insurance, cruise and transfers with standard and luxury stay options to suit the needs of every type of traveller. Cruise packages are available for travel destinations such as Asia, Europe, United States, etc.

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MSC World Cruise 2020 includes stop in Mumbai

MSC Cruises has announced the opening of sales of its second world cruise, setting sail in 2020. With a halt in Mumbai, the 2020 MSC World Cruise has a new itinerary that includes exotic destinations with 43 destinations and 23 countries on board MSC Magnifica. Other destinations include Ushuaia in Argentina, Rapa Nui in Easter Island, Darwin in Australia, Valparaiso in Chile and Salalah in Oman. Gianni Onorato, Chief Executive Officer, MSC Cruises, says, “Following on from the successful launch of our first MSC World Cruise last year due to set sail in January 2019, we are now delighted to open sales for a new world cruise for 2020 developed to offer unforgettable experiences and destinations to guests. In addition, the experience onboard MSC Magnifica been designed to reflect the cultures and cuisines of the countries that the ship visits, giving guests the opportunity to fully immerse themselves in a true around-the-world voyage of discovery both on board and on shore.” Guests embarking from Civitavecchia/Rome, Genoa, Marseille and Barcelona on January 4-7, 2020 respectively will cross five continents on a three-month voyage of discovery to some of the world’s most talked-about destinations.

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Cruise Club to represent Dubai Business Events

Cruise Club has been appointed as the representative in India for Dubai Business Events, a division of Dubai Tourism and the city’s official convention bureau. Based out of Mumbai, Cruise Club’s role is to increase Dubai’s market share from incentive groups and corporate meetings. The team has already begun its delegate boosting activity, promoting upcoming events such as the Lions Clubs International ISAAME Forum, set tot take place in December at Dubai World Trade Centre. Issam Kazim, CEO, Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DCTCM) said, “India remains a top priority for us, now consistently being the largest source market for tourists to Dubai. This is a feat achieved through years of establishing and building strong trade ties in the market, in addition to the execution of a segment-specific approach across India. Charson Advisory has played a great role in realising this feat, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank them for their consistently professional approach, enduring commitment and dependable work.”

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Mumbai Port Trust lays foundation stone for international cruise terminal

A top-level delegation led by Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister of Shipping, Road Transport & Highways and Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Govt of India, gathered inside Mumbai Port to lay the foundation stone for the new international cruise terminal. Mumbai Port Trust (MPT) proposes to handle 80 per cent of the cruise passengers that will arrive at the port once the terminal is complete. Sanjay Bhatia, Chairman, MPT, said, “As per our consultant’s report, we have the potential to bring in 30 lakh passengers. Based on that projection, we have prepared a second SOP on a national level. We have also recently exempted cruise passengers from e-visa and this is in line with our efforts to make immigration process for international tourists easier and faster. With the new terminal, the area of cruise terminal will be 4.15 lakh sq feet, almost 10 times bigger than what we have today.” Bhatia added that the new terminal will have all the facilities of the domestic airport. Also present at the ceremony were Devendra Fadnavis, Chief Minister, Maharashtra and Jaykumar Rawal, Minister of Tourism, Government of India.

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Mumbai Port to spend Rs 51 crore to revamp Sassoon Dock

Mumbai’s Sassoon Dock will soon become a tourist attraction once the upgradation project initiated by the Mumbai Port Trust is complete. Sharing details of this is Sanjay Bhatia, Chairman, Mumbai Port Trust, who says, “Sassoon Dock is getting a complete revamp. We are doing this in four phases. The first phase is just complete. The area that is known to be dirty is getting some sort of a status and upgrade. We are going to spend Rs 51 crore altogether on the revamping of Sassoon Dock.” Tenders have been invited and the work is expected to start in about three or four months, Bhatia said. “This is being done along with the state government and Sagarmala Project. Meanwhile, work has already started at the international cruise terminal whose foundation stone will be laid by the CM and the Shipping Minister on January 11. This will take about two years to get completed. Currently, the demolition work of two godowns is underway after which the construction work shall begin.”  

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