Category Archives: Cruises

In 2018, Singapore saw 27% rise in cruise passengers from India compared to 2017

Singapore welcomed a record 160,000 cruise passengers from India in 2018 (a 27% increase over 2017), establishing India as the top source market for cruise visitors, revealed GB Srithar, Regional Director, India, Middle East & South Asia, International Group, Singapore Tourism Board. He added, “This was possible only with the strong and relentless support from partner-friends like you, making Singapore a must-visit cruise holiday destination and hub.” Talking about the Cruise Tourism Performance in 2018, Srithar said, “2018 was a good year for Singapore’s tourism sector. Singapore welcomed 1.44 million visitors from India to Singapore in 2018 (a 13% increase over 2017’s visitor-ship). Specifically, for cruise, total passenger throughput was at a high of 1.87 million (a 35% increase from 2017). The higher passenger throughput was due to the year-round deployment of Genting Dream and extended sailings from Royal Caribbean’s Mariner of the Seas and Voyager of the Seas.”

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Singapore Cruise Forum educates agents on evolution of cruise market in India

The Singapore Cruise Forum, held at The Le Meridien, New Delhi, saw major players from the travel trade coming under one roof to discuss and explore the cruise market in India and trends around the same. GB Srithar, Regional Director, India, Middle East & South Asia, International Group, Singapore Tourism Board, addresses the gathering and mentions the key highlights related to this industry. He says, “The Cruise Forum today sets out to achieve two objectives. First, for the cruise and travel trade partners here to gain insights from the thought-leadership presentations, and secondly, to exchange views during the panel discussions and engage in meaningful conversations and networking with like-minded individuals for us to grow cruise holiday-makers in India and continue entrenching Singapore as a major cruise destination and hub.” 

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Singapore’s forum in Delhi today to explore new avenues for cruise tourism

Continuing its focus on developing the cruising market in India, Singapore Tourism Board (STB) will organise another edition of its Singapore Cruise Forum on 12 September, today, in New Delhi. The theme of this year’s forum will be ‘Growing Cruise Connections – Achieving Together’ and will be an event involving thought leaders and cruise professionals.

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Singapore to tap India’s outbound cruise potential: STB Cruise Forum

Singapore Tourism Board (STB) has announced that it will organise another edition of its Singapore Cruise Forum on 12 September 2019 in New Delhi. STB wants to continue tapping India’s outbound potential particularly when it involves cruising. GB Srithar, Regional Director (India, Middle East & South Asia), Singapore Tourism Board, says “We partner with stakeholders in the cruise industry to secure a vibrant pipeline of cruise ships and new cruise offerings in Singapore and tie that in with Singapore’s strong suite of leisure offerings to create attractive pre and post cruise-stay experiences in Singapore.”

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Travstarz educates agents about their cruise products

Travstarz Cruises, the cruise division of Travstarz Global Group, along with Dream Cruises organised a product presentation for travel agents and tour operators in New Delhi. Attended by around 150 agents, the presentation was followed by a networking cocktail and dinner. Pankaj Nagpal, MD and CEO, TravStarz Global Group, said that after starting their cruise division in November 2018, they have seen a great demand for cruise products and since they are the PSAs for Dream Cruises, they wanted to update the members about different products in their portfolio. He insisted that the last season for cruises was quite good and they are hoping to increase it further going forward.

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STB to organise Singapore Cruise Forum in Delhi on 12 September

Continuing its focus on developing the cruising market in India, Singapore Tourism Board (STB) has announced that it will organise another edition of its Singapore Cruise Forum on 12 September 2019 in New Delhi. Explaining the idea behind this, GB Srithar, Regional Director (India, Middle East & South Asia), Singapore Tourism Board, says, “We began actively positioning Singapore as a major cruise holiday destination and a cruise hub from 2014-2015 onwards. We have conducted cruise forums in the past, with cruise professionals to provide thought leadership, discussions and networking with cruise lines and intermediaries – in 2017, in Mumbai and in Singapore last year. We are now bringing it back to India.” The theme of this year’s forum will be ‘Growing Cruise Connections – Achieving Together’ and will be an event involving thought leaders and cruise professionals. “We plan to do two to three panel discussions bringing in professionals from the industry including cruise lines and travel agent intermediaries and people who are looking at this cruise industry from a strategic perspective, including CLIA (Cruising Lines International Association). We hope to initiate a dialogue within the industry and expand the mind space about cruising as a holiday option,” Srithar adds.  

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306 destinations in Asia will receive cruise ships in 2019, India to see growth: CLIA

306 different destinations in Asia will receive cruise ships in 2019, which is an increase from the 288 destinations in 2018, according to 2019 Asia Cruise Deployment and Capacity Report by Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), which details Asia’s planned cruise activity in 2019. Many of the destinations – especially India, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong and South Korea – will see growth. Ships in Asia increasingly call at more places, increasing the range of choice for passengers.  The report adds that 2019 will see a total of 1,917 sailings and generate capacity for 4.02 million passengers to cruise in Asia. This year’s total passenger capacity has been reduced by 5.7% year-on-year after several years of rapid expansion. The decline was mainly due to the reduction of short cruise itinerary options from mainland China. Nevertheless, 2019 will still see 79 ships from 39 cruise brands sailing in Asia, a similar level to last year. Port calls to Asia will remain steady this year with 7,154 calls. Asia will also see a slight rise in passenger destination days. The 13 million passenger destination days forecast in 2019 will translate to more potential onshore visits from cruise passengers, creating a stronger tourism impact for the destinations across the region. Joel Katz, Managing Director for CLIA, Australasia & Asia, says, “The popularity of cruising in Asia is expected to grow further over coming years as cruise lines deploy new, larger vessels that have been purpose-built for Asian consumers. The coming generation of ships will replace older ships previously based in Asia, and when coupled with new cruise infrastructure in several Asian destinations are expected to fuel strong interest among travellers. The result …

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MSC celebrates its 20 millionth cruiser

MSC Cruises, the Swiss-based privately-owned cruise line, celebrated a key milestone by welcoming its 20 millionth cruiser on board the Miami-based MSC Seaside since it started operating purpose-built cruise ships in 2003. Gianni Onorato, MSC Cruises’ CEO, said, “Reaching our 20 millionth cruiser is truly a milestone achievement for MSC Cruises, and a representation of how far we’ve come while building a global brand that serves guests from over 170 nationalities across five continents. With our capacity set to triple by 2027, we will continue to raise the bar in two main areas, on board and ashore, offering our guests a unique experience each time they sail with us. MSC Seaside is the perfect example of this: she is one of the most innovative ships at sea in terms of design as well as onboard experience. She also features the latest and some of the most innovative environmental technology at sea.”

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Griffon to launch B2B portal for real-time cruise inventory

 Vivek Jain, Managing Director, Griffon, a cruise specialist in India, has revealed that it is currently working on developing a portal dedicated to the travel agents. He says, “We plan to launch this portal by Diwali time around October 2019. It will be a B2B website which will have real-time inventory of two to three cruise companies that we promote in India. This will allow agents to log in and get real-time availability of inventory, get real-time rates and even make bookings on time limits. So they will be able to get full information with regards to the availability of these cruise liners. It will also have all the ship information, as well as excursion details which they can use to explain to their clients exactly what to expect on the ships.”   Jain however refused to name the ships that have come onboard for this and added that these names will be revealed at the time of launch. Griffon handle sales and marketing activities in India for various international cruise companies including Pullmantur Cruises, Celestyal Cruises and Oceania Cruises.    

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Passenger-cum-cargo ferry service to launch between Kochi and Male

India and the Maldives have decided to launch a passenger-cum-cargo ferry service between Kerala’s Kochi and Male, the capital of Maldives, via Kulhudhuffushi atoll in a bid to strengthen connectivity between the two countries and boost tourism. On his recent state-visit visit to Maldives, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Maldivian President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih have asked officials to expeditiously work towards starting the regular passenger-cum-cargo ferry service between the two countries. A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the two sides for the establishment of passenger and cargo services by sea. The distance between Kochi and Male is about 700 kms, and between Kochi and Kulhudhuffushi atoll is 500 kms. Addressing the Maldivian Parliament, PM Modi said, “I am particularly happy that we have agreed upon a ferry service between the two countries.”

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