Category Archives: Cruises

Hurtigruten appoints Cruise Professionals as GSA for India and Sri Lanka

Hurtigruten has appointed Cruise Professionals as its exclusive GSA for India and Sri Lanka. The Norwegian cruise company aims to grow revenue opportunities and establish wider distribution in these two markets. By enhancing their commitment in India and Sri Lanka, the management of both companies aims to make Hurtigruten a major exploration cruise brand in India with significant growth in the years ahead. Recognising the need for a concentrated brand and product development strategy to service India and Sri Lanka, William Harber, Hurtigruten’s President for China & Asia-Pacific, says, “Our partnership with Cruise Professionals will enable the rapid expansion of our exploration cruising and coastal Norway products. This association leverages Cruise Professionals’ expertise in managing distribution.  Their operating model and strengths in sales and marketing will deepen current relationships and create future trade arrangements across India and Sri Lanka.” Nishith Saxena, Founder & Director of Cruise Professionals says, “Hurtigruten and Cruise Professionals association has come at a time when a large section of Indian travellers are seeking a different experience that goes beyond the normal cruising options. We shall make Hurtigruten easy for the travel agent to sell and deliver a complete solution for adventurous travellers by educating the trade about these unique voyages offered to some of the world’s most breathtaking destinations.”

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InterGlobe Air Transport & APT enter pact

InterGlobe Air Transport (IGAT) has been appointed as the exclusive sales agency in India for luxury cruise and tour operator APT. IGAT shall be responsible for promoting and selling APT’s eligible products in the country, the development of  sales channels and the marketing of APT products through promotions, roadshows and product presentations. IGAT will promote three main APT products in India: APT River Cruising programs in Europe, Vietnam & Cambodia; APT Small Ships cruise program; and APT Land Touring program (various destinations). Commenting on the partnership, Ajay Bhatnagar, Business Head, InterGlobe Air Transport, said, “We at InterGlobe are delighted to be associated with APT River Cruises headquartered in Australia and operates some of the world’s leading luxury tour operations. We are confident of support from our trade partners who will find the offerings very compelling for their discerning clients. The programs will be rolled out with an aim to ensure availability of products to summer vacation travellers in India.” Damian Borg, Channel Strategy Manager, APT said, “APT is excited to have found an ideal partner in the Indian market who can introduce our products to a new group of travellers.” Award winning tour and cruise operator APT takes guests on breath-taking journeys to dream destinations on every continent. At every opportunity, APT endeavours to delight its customers by providing amazing travel experiences and excellent customer service.

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TIRUN announces Celebrity Constellation maiden voyage to Mumbai

TIRUN has announced the arrival of Celebrity Cruises’ millennium class ship, Celebrity Constellation, in Mumbai, for the first time. The Millennium-class cruise ship docked in the city yesterday as part of its existing Asia sailings. A plaque and key ceremony was conducted on-board, to welcome Constellation. Speaking on the arrival of Constellation, Ratna Chadha, Chief Executive, TIRUN said, “TIRUN is continually striving to make cruises accessible to Indian travellers. We are, therefore, delighted to introduce the marvels that Celebrity Constellation holds to our domestic cruise enthusiasts. The fact that the ship will dock in Mumbai also underlines India’s emerging position as an ideal cruise destination. Indian families can look forward to receiving celebrity treatment for the entire duration of the cruise, aboard the deluxe ship.” The 66 newly-furnished staterooms, including spa-inspired Aqua Class accommodations, have been designed to revitalize cruisers. The Celebrity Suites take indulgence to a new level with the addition of private verandas. Concierge Class guests can enjoy priority check-in services custom blended bath amenities, sparkling wine, fresh fruit and much more.

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ARK, NCLH to reach out to niche sub-agents

Mumbai based ARK Travels has strengthened its ties with Norwegian Cruise Lines Holdings (NCLH). As a Preferred Sales Agent (PSA) for Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCL) over the last many years, ARK Travels will now promote and sell upper premium and ultra-luxury segments in the Indian market. Kishan Biyani, Managing Director, ARK Travels, says, “We are all geared to welcome the upcoming holiday season, we anticipate a 15 per cent increase in inquiries for NCLH products as compared to last year. NCLH group’s fleet of 20 cruise ships along with our existing cruise and resort products will further cement our position in the luxury cruise and holiday segment in India.” Starting this holiday season, the 20-year old travel firm will leverage its pan-India network of 300-plus travel agents to sell NCL Holdings Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises targeting the upper premium and ultra-luxury clientele. The newly christened initiatives by both will see jointly planned roadshows and presentation, familiarisation trips for sub-agents, marketing collaterals and joint meetings to attract corporate clients from India. The announcement came on the heels of ARK Travels throwing a cocktail and networking dinner to appreciate NCL Holdings along with sub-agents of ARK Travels in Mumbai. Felix Chan, Vice President Sales, NCLH said, “ARK Travels is already our top agent for NCL in India. Put it simply, I want ARK Travels to be our top agent for Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises as well. ARK Travels needs to focus on the upper premium and ultra-luxury segments in India in order to sell Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises effectively.  We need to work with ARK Travel together to reach out to a niche …

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Royal Caribbean’s capacity to increase by 30% in 2017 with 64 sailings

TIRUN announced the longest-ever Singapore cruising home porting season in Asia on Royal Caribbean International cruise line’s Ovation of the Seas, Mariner of the Seas, and Voyager of the Seas. This deployment by Royal Caribbean will run for nine months till next June 2017 with 64 sailings and is expected to take 200,000 guests to ports in Southeast Asia. The sailings will increase Royal Caribbean’s capacity in 2017 in the region by 30 per cent over 2016. Ratna Chadha, Chief Executive Officer, TIRUN, said, “After an immensely successful semi-chartered cruise to Singapore by Voyager of the Seas, it is great news for Indian cruise enthusiasts that Singapore is now going to witness the longest-ever home porting by three of Royal Caribbean’s most magnificent ships. This means more options, more itineraries and more choice along with well-curated Indian delicacies and experiences onboard for vacationers. In addition, attractions such as themed cruises will enhance the propensity of Indian travel-lovers to consider cruise holidays as the ideal way to quench their thirst for exotic vacations with unbridled luxury.”

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Costa Luminosa docks at Mumbai

Costa Cruises, together with the Consulate General of Italy in Mumbai, welcomed guests onboard the Costa Luminosa, for an evening of celebration of Italian hospitality and entertainment.  The Costa Luminosa, which is sailing around the world in 98 days, is currently docked at the Mumbai port as part of its itinerary. The event saw the launch of Festa Italiana 2016 in Mumbai and celebrated the upcoming home porting of the Costa neoClassica in Mumbai from December 2016. Costa neoClassica will be the very first large cruise ship that cruises between Mumbai and the Maldives. Indians can embark on a cruise liner from Mumbai and travel to destinations within India such as Goa and Cochin as well as Maldives and Colombo. Costa neoClassica will perform a series of weekly sailings from Dec 16, 2016 – March 18, 2017. Speaking about the launch, Buhdy Bok, President of Costa Group Asia said, “We are delighted to bring cruising to Indians at their doorstep. For many travellers, the holiday often starts after some sort of a long journey. Now like never before, Indians will have the opportunity to start holidaying — right from their door-step — from India’s largest metropolis, Mumbai.”

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SuperStar Gemini to charge gratuity fee from Oct 30

Star Cruises has announced that SuperStar Gemini will impose a Gratuity Fee on cruise passengers (including Genting Rewards members) for all Singapore departures, commencing from October 30, 2016. The Gratuity Fee of SGD 17 per person per night for all cabin categories (Inside Stateroom, Ocean view Stateroom, Ocean view Stateroom with Balcony) and SGD 21 per person per night (Suite Cabins) are applicable. Infants (below two years) will enjoy exclusive Gratuity Fee waiver. The Gratuity Fee will be automatically captured in the individual guests’ cabin keycard upon SuperStar Gemini cruise check-in and boarding. They can make the Gratuity Fee payment at the Reception Counter (Deck 7) onboard prior to cruise disembarkation on the last cruise day. The Gratuity Fee prepaid option is not available. Agents are requested to note that Onboard Credits (OBCR) cannot be used to offset the Gratuity Fee. Genting Rewards Members can utilise their accumulated Genting Points (GP) to offset the Gratuity Fee. Guests entitled to free cruise cabin redemption with Star Cruises Sponsorship Vouchers and Gift Letters are required to bear the applicable port charges and Gratuity Fee.

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Genting Dream makes its way to China via India

Genting Hong Kong announced the official river conveyance of Genting Dream, the newest ship for the Dream Cruises line, that began on Sunday, September 18 in Papenburg, Germany. After Genting Dream’s official handover ceremony from Meyer Werft to Dream Cruises scheduled for October 12, the ship will begin her epic ocean voyage that will take her from Germany to Gibraltar, through the Mediterranean Sea and the Suez Canal, across the Indian Ocean with visits to India, Singapore, Vietnam and Hong Kong before ending at her new homeport in Guangzhou, China on November 13. The river conveyance marks the official start of Genting Dream’s journey from her birthplace at the Meyer Werft shipyard to her first home in Guangzhou, China where she will begin service on November 13, 2016.

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Ark Travels offers Sri Lanka, Singapore packages on Dream Cruises

Ark Travels has finalised packages to sell Colombo and Singapore cruise packages from Mumbai starting October 29, 2016, on Genting Hong Kong’s Dream Cruises. The itineraries planned on Dream Cruises, the first-ever Asian luxury cruise line which caters specifically to the large and rapidly growing high-end market in Asia, will take travellers from Mumbai on high-seas to Colombo and Singapore. The travel company at present is focusing on selling two-night itinerary (Mumbai-Colombo, one way) on Dream Cruise. Besides, Ark Travels is also promoting six-nights (Mumbai-Colombo-Singapore, one way) and four-nights (Colombo-Singapore, one way) itinerary. Anju Tandon, CEO, Ark Travels, says, “Apart from this, we have also been focusing on charter cruises. We recently did a two-charter cruise from August 10-12, 2016 (two-nights for Singapore – Port Klang – Singapore) and August 14-17, 2016 (three-nights for Singapore-Penang-Port Klang-Singapore). We will continue to focus on selling charter cruises next year as well. With respect to the forthcoming travel season, the cruise travel company will be selling other Star Cruises brands like Superstar Gemini (ex-Singapore), Superstar Libra (ex-Penang) and Superstar Virgo (ex-Nansha) till March 2017.”

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