Category Archives: Cruises

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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Cruise tourists with e-visa exempted from biometric enrolment

In order to promote cruise tourism in the country, the Ministry of Home Affairs has, on request of the Ministry of Shipping, exempted cruise tourists arriving with e-visa from the requirement of biometric enrolment for a period of three years i.e. till December 31, 2020. This will make immigration clearance of such passengers faster, leaving them with more time to spend on shore.  The shipping ministry has been working towards simplifying the immigration clearance procedure and providing passengers a customer-friendly and hassle-free logistics process at Indian ports. E-visa has been in the place in five major ports of Mumbai, Mormugao, New Mangalore, Cochin and Chennai. Till now biometrics of passengers were required at port of first arrival for immigration clearance. However, with the existing facilities at the cruise terminals at these ports, the immigration procedure was taking more than the internationally accepted norm of clearing immigration for all cruise passengers in a maximum of 90 minutes. This is especially significant because, as per the schedule of arrivals of cruise ships for the current cruise season 2017-18 and 2019-20, many of the cruise ships coming to India are mega ships with 2000-4000 passengers on board. Most of these cruise passengers are expected to arrive on E-Visa, and biometric enrolment of all these passengers would slow down immigration clearance. Hence the need for the exemption.

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Mumbai Port Trust to build Rs 300-crore worth projects by June

The Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT) is planning to open up a slew of citizen-focused facilities being built at a cost of up to Rs 300 crore over the next six months, a senior official has said. “Many projects are in different stages of development and nearing completion. Works of around Rs 250-300 crore will be opened before the onset of the monsoon,” said Sanjay Bhatia, Chairman, MbPT. The port remains one of the biggest land owners in the cramped megapolis and is undertaking a slew of projects aimed at benefiting the citizens and also the travel, tourism and hospitality sectors. The projects to be completed include starting the ropax ship, which ferries both passengers and motor vehicles, from Mumbai to Mandwa for which a separate jetty and break water is being built, a ferry service connecting south Mumbai with Belapur in the satellite city of Navi Mumbai and beautification of the waterfront at Princess Dock. Bhatia said a domestic cruise terminal with restaurants will also be inaugurated, which is slated to handle a cruise service between the financial capital and Goa that will be starting soon. The projects to be inaugurated also include water taxis on the eastern waterfront, two floating restaurants at Gateway of India and one at Marine Drive, he said, adding that for deepening the tourism potential, a ferry service to the Kanhoji Angre island at Khanderi will also be started. The port is planning an event for the Rs 3090-crore International Cruise Terminal on January 11. It will take up to 18 months to complete the project that is aimed at upping the calls by global cruises to the country. MbPT is also working on starting …

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Azamara Club Cruises acquires Azamara Pursuit to expand fleet

Azamara Club Cruises has entered into an agreement to purchase the Azamara Pursuit, a ship that will complement the brand’s proposition further by taking travellers to destinations hitherto unexperienced. Come March 2018, TIRUN Travel Marketing, the exclusive India representative of Azamara Club Cruises will provide Indian travellers the opportunity to enjoy the most uniquely-curated destination experiences in the sister ship of Azamara Journey and Azamara Quest. Commenting on the acquisition, Ratna Chadha, Chief Executive, TIRUN Travel Marketing, said, “Azamara Pursuit will further add to the brand’s value as a cruise line that guarantees the best of aesthetics, experience and extravagance to travellers, bringing its guests the experience of a boutique hotel at sea. We are pleased to extend the opportunity to our guests to travel to destinations as exciting as Uruguay, Buenos Aires, Belfast, Akureyri and many more on this ship.” The Azamara Pursuit will be covering a total of 61 destinations, out of which 15 destinations have not been visited yet by any of Azamara’s ships. The ship will be travelling across all the seven continents, allowing travellers to experience an assortment of geographies and cultures.

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