Category Archives: Cruises

220,900 Indians cruised in 2018, registering a growth of 28.1%: CLIA

The Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) has released its 2018 Asia Cruise Industry Ocean Source Market Report, which says that the number of cruise passengers from India has gone up by a solid 28.1 per cent. Peter Kollar, Head of International Training & Development, CLIA, says, “While actual figures of Indian cruise passengers have risen over the past three years, the scale at which this has occurred has been a little askew mainly due to a low base point – in 2017, a total of 172,400 cruise passengers came from India, while in a report released this week commissioned by CLIA, new consolidated figures show that 220,900 Indians cruised in 2018, up a very strong 28.1 per cent.” The report offers an in-depth look at the growth, demographics and trends of the top source markets in Asia, including India. Asia is the third-largest cruise region after North America and Europe. CLIA’s report on the India market states that 80 per cent of Indians cruise in Asia (up 4.7 per cent), with a considerable fly-cruise market out of Singapore. Further afield, 8.4 per cent are sailing in Europe, while nine per cent are cruising to the Americas with the strong allure of Alaska, Caribbean and South America. One of the remarkable figures for India over the past few years is the average age of these passengers. Overall, India boasts one of the youngest markets in the world, with the average age of an ocean cruise passenger being 37 years old. This figure is one that the local industry is well-placed to capitalise on as it allows time for continued exposure of cruising to the Indian public and grow awareness, and is …

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Mazda Travel partners with APT to bring their Canada & Alaska programs to India

Mazda Travel has partnered with APT to offer their Canada & Alaska tour and cruise programs exclusively to Indian travel agents. Mernoz Shastri, Director, Mazda Travel, says, “We are well-known as the India GSA for the Rocky Mountaineer. It was only logical that we partner with APT who have over 90 years history as Australia’s largest and most successful tour operator. Their award-winning Canada and Alaska tours make Mazda Travel a one-stop shop for Indian agents wanting to offer their clients the trip of a lifetime to this beautiful part of the world.” APT offers unique inclusions in their fully-inclusive programs that include ‘Freedom of Choice’ dining where guests are free to choose when, where and who they dine with from multi-choice menus in a variety of restaurants. ‘Freedom of Choice’ sightseeing allows them to select the activity that best suits their interest from a comprehensive range of options, along with guaranteed view rooms at Fairmont hotels and Resorts, luxurious Wi-Fi equipped coaches and the best tour directors in the business.   Another feature of the APT range is the inclusion of a seven-night Inside Passage Cruise on Holland America Line or Princess Cruise ships. Craig James, Sales Manager, APT, says, “We always have the cruise at the end of your land tour, it’s a highlight amongst many great experiences and it is wonderful to enjoy the land tour but still have the spectacular cruise to look forward to.” APT tours have no hidden extra costs or optional excursions.  All tipping, round-trip airport transfers, porterage, port charges and more are all included in the commissionable price.   Explaining why Mazda Travel chose to partner with APT, Shastri says, “I spend …

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Ark Travels sets target of 100,000 cruise pax from India on Dream Cruises

Ark Travels has set its target of touching the 100,000-passenger mark by 2020 end. Ark Travels concluded 2018 with 58,000 pax on Dream Cruises. This was announced by Kishan Biyani, Managing Director, Ark Travels at the recently-concluded fourth edition of ‘Big Bang Nautical Fiesta’. It is the biggest cruising event organised by Ark Travels which was held this year from March 3-6, 2019 on-board Genting Dream for the first time ex-Singapore. Organised in alliance with Genting Cruise Lines’ Dream Cruises, Ark Travels promoted the three-night sailing from Singapore (Marina Bay Cruise Centre) to destinations line Penang and Langkawi and hosted 400 travel agents from across India. Biyani adds, “The Big Bang Nautical Fiesta cruising event was planned to educate our travel agents by giving them the first-hand experience while on the cruise ship. The event was to highlight how different experiences like Neon Party, Live Band Performance, Gala Nights can be created to attract different segments of travellers like FITs, MICE and Weddings groups. With all the education program and guided ship tour conducted on board the vessel we are more than sure that this FAM trip will help our travel community to further understand the nitty-gritties of selling cruise vacations to the Indian travellers. Cruise tourism in India is undergoing a phenomenal change with minimum of 15 per cent growth year-on-year. Going forward we aim to reach the golden mark of 100,000 passengers by 2020 end. New cruise ships and itineraries coming in Asia Pacific sectors like Explorer Dream by Genting Cruise Lines will create further opportunities for the trade. Our aim is to host 500+ travel agents on Explorer Dream in 2021 with Alaskan itineraries.” Naresh Rawal, Vice-President, …

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India, Bangladesh to start cruise service through Sunderbans from March 29: MEA

India and Bangladesh will start a cruise service from Friday that would take passengers through the Sunderbans to Dhaka, a senior MEA official said. Addressing a conference on Multipolarism in Asia: Issues and Challenges, Vikram Doraiswami, Joint Secretary at the External Affairs Ministry, said the move is aimed to strengthen inland waterway routes between the two countries. “We have inland waterway routes with the signing of a protocol on the use of a certain set of rivers. We are now going to start cruise services between India and Bangladesh from Friday. Essentially what will happen here is people would have the option to travel through the Sunderbans on a luxury vessels up to Dhaka and back with border formalities being done at the crossing points in both countries,” he said. He said other than road and rail, India and Bangladesh also have a very strong power connectivity. “We have started the movement of goods using the inland waterways, so goods from India can go in the cheapest possible form up to Narayanganj and Dhaka. Bangladesh was the site of largest visa operation with 14-lakh visas given to Indians to Bangladesh. About 2.6 million (26 lakh) Bangladeshi nationals visited India last year. The quality of connectivity is what stands in the way and need to be worked on,” he added. Source: PTI

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Jalesh Cruises takes delivery of its first cruise vessel

Jalesh Cruises first premiere cruise line catering to the Indian domestic and international cruise business, received its first ship, Karnika, the erstwhile Pacific Jewel from P&O Australia, in Singapore recently. The vessel, which is the first in the fleet of the multi-destination cruise line Jalesh Cruises, will reach Mumbai on April 17. Keeping with tradition, the 2,000 passenger ship, which weighs 70,285 tons, will go through its naming ceremony at a gala event in Mumbai on April 19. Mr. Jurgen Bailom, President & CEO, Zen Cruises, said, “Today marks an important day for the Indian cruise tourism industry with the acceptance of Jalesh Cruises first ship. We are going to offer a memorable vacation to passengers on board with exotic culinary experiences, international hospitality and best of entertainment shows at high seas. With Karnika, we mark the beginning of memorable cruise holidays that will bring joy and delight to the Indian and global community.” Karnika will dry dock in Singapore at Sembcorp Marine Admiralty Yard over the next few weeks for a extensive refurbishment exercise to customize the ship to suit Indians travelers. It will then proceed from Singapore to Colombo via Kochi, New Mangalore, Goa and finally arrive in Mumbai on April 17. The cruise liner will be sailing initially between Mumbai and Goa for first few weeks till May, 2019 before proceeding to the Middle East where it will remain till mid-September. The cruise liner will be exploring the huge coastal length of India and giving the customer to enjoy and savor the same. Between May, 2019 and September, 2019, cruise passengers will have a choice of itineraries between Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Doha, Dubai, Muscat and Sir Ban …

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‘Avalon is Globus’ fastest-growing brand in India’: Globus CEO

The Globus family of brands is witnessing huge growth for its Avalon Waterways brand for river cruising from the India market. “Avalon Waterways is our fastest-growing brand in the Indian market,” claimed Scott Nisbet, President and CEO, Globus family of brands. He was in India recently who visited Bengaluru and Mumbai to meet and thank the company’s trade partners for another great year. “The numbers are still relatively small but it has massive potential in India. When we ask our past travellers if they are interested in river cruising, 61 per cent of them said yes. We see this as a very good sign and we have developed a number of river cruises that are shorter – not the seven or 14-night cruises but three, four and five-nights which is perfect for those who just want a taste of what a river cruise is like and maybe add something around it to make it a part of a bigger trip. This will be our focus for 2019 and 2020,” Nisbet said.  

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Avalon Waterways launches river cruise on the Ganges

Avalon Waterways, one of the brands under the Globus family of brands, has launched its new river cruise on the Ganges. Scott Nisbet, President and CEO, Globus family of brands, announced this in Mumbai on his visit to India to meet the travel trade partners. He said, “We started a new river cruise on the Ganges early this week. It is our new Avalon Waterways product and a seven-day cruise, round-trip to Kolkata that goes up north to the little towns. It is a fascinating trip and guests can add to that and turn it into a 13-day, 15-day, and even an 18-day cruise by including the Golden Triangle or Varanasi. So these extensions would not be a river cruise, they would be a tour. We are primarily focusing that on Western markets like US, Canada, Australia and the UK but it is also a great option for Indians as well. It’s a 54-passenger luxury ship, all-inclusive which means all meals, drinks and all excursions. It is also perfect for a small incentive group. We have taken a number of sailing, 75 per cent sold already, agents can start selling now.”  

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TIRUN announces arrival of two Royal Caribbean International’s ships to India

TIRUN Travel Marketing, the exclusive India representative of Royal Caribbean International has announced that the cruise line is bringing two of its most exciting ships, ‘Spectrum of the Seas’ and ‘Explorer of the Seas’ to the Indian shores. The two ships are scheduled to come to India in 2019, offering Indian guests an incredible chance to sail to/from their home country to some idyllic locations across Asia. Spectrum of the Seas is the first of the quantum ultra class of ships and is the largest ship (1,139 feet-long) ever to sail to/from India, having a capacity of accommodating 5,622 guests. Guests can opt for the 5-night Dubai to Mumbai cruise from May 4 to 9, or the 9-night Mumbai to Singapore cruise from May 9 to 18 onboard Spectrum. Through these sailings, guests can enjoy the beauty of Asia’s most stunning ports of call including Dubai, Muscat in Oman, Cochin, Penang in Malaysia and Singapore. Explorer of The Seas, one of the most popular ship in Royal Caribbean International’s fleet, will also offer a world of experiences in itself. Travellers can opt for the first segment of the cruise, a 5-night itinerary beginning from Singapore and reaching Cochin (India) on April 18 via Penang, Malaysia. In the second segment, the cruise willv sail from Cochin (India) to Dubai via Mumbai (India). Speaking on Royal Caribbean’s top-of-the-line ships sailing to India, Varun Chadha, Chief Operating Officer, TIRUN Travel Marketing said, “India is a growth market for cruising and we are thrilled that Spectrum and Explorer will offer Indian cruise enthusiasts easy access to experience the marvels of Royal Caribbean’s services, amenities and many on-board adventures. We are sure that these itineraries …

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139 cruise ships carrying over 1.6 lakh passengers visited India in 2017-18: Alphons

A total of 139 cruise ships carrying 1,62,660 passengers visited India in 2017-18 at six major ports namely, Mumbai Port, Mormugao Port, New Mangalore Port, Cochin Port, Chennai Port and Kolkata Port. These major ports of the country have been developed to attract cruise ships with dedicated terminals and other related infrastructure for berthing of cruise vessels and embarking and disembarking of cruise passengers. The Ministry of Shipping has brought out a Vision Document with a view to develop India as a cruise shipping destination. The document envisages to develop supporting infrastructure for cruise tourism at ports, to give special focus on developing the domestic cruise industry through policy supports, incentives and port infrastructure development. Separately, Ministry of Shipping & Ministry of Tourism has jointly appointed a consultant for ‘Preparation of Action Plan for Development of Cruise Tourism in India. The cruise tourism operations augment local economic activities as business opportunities arise for supply for provisions, transport, hotels, bunkering, etc to cruise ships which generate direct and indirect employment and help in growth of local economy.

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Zen Cruises to start cruises under Jalesh brand from April 2019

Zen Cruises will launch India’s premium cruise line called ‘Jalesh’ on April 17, 2019 in Mumbai with the purchase of its first ship, the Pacific Jewel – a 70,285-ton, 1,900 passenger ship from P&O Australia. Jurgen Bailom, President & CEO, Zen Cruises, says, “She is a beautiful vessel and looks gorgeous. She will be refurbished by March 2019 and and will be christened on April 19, 2019. We are already taking bookings for sailings from Singapore and more guests will join from Colombo after which she will sail up to Mumbai. We already have a loadfactor of 50 per cent. Each sailing can hold up to 1,900 guests. We have so far sold over 50,000 cabins already.” The company has already started taking bookings for this ship directly via Zen’s website as well as through its sales business partners that have been appointed. “We have already started working with several sales business partners and many more will be added. We want to make it a level-playing field and anyone can become our partner. There are many cruise veterans in the business and we have given pre-allocations. We plan to sell approximately 100,000 cabins in 2019 and are very happy with the results so far. The cruise market in India is so big that there is space for many more cruise lines,” Bailom adds.

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