Category Archives: Cruises

Cricketers Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, K.L. Rahul on Monarch Cruise

Monarch Cruise has enrolled two cricketers from India’s playing XI in its already start-studded line-up for its themed cruises. And the good news for the trade is that agents can now partake in these experiences. Somesh Jagga, CEO, Monarch Cruise, in an exclusive to TravTalk revealed that Bhuvaneshwar Kumar and K.L. Rahul from the current Indian team have now signed up with Monarch to sail will the travellers onboard. He says, “We take special care of our travel agents and PSAs and hold events where they can meet the celebrities we have onboard, which is something they cherish for life. We also give them exclusive signed merchandise and certificates that they can exhibit in their offices. Special lunch and dinner opportunities with celebrities are provided to high performing agents. Monarch is all about experience, not only for its customers, but for its travel agents as well.”

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Dubai tourism’s 6-city cruise roadshow in Delhi

Dubai Tourism conducted a cruise tourism roadshow in New Delhi on July 21, 2016. The 6-city roadshow aims at fostering a close working relationship with key members of the Indian travel fraternity. Speaking at the roadshow, Jamal Humaid Al Falasi, Director, Cruise Tourism, said, “This is our second roadshow in India. Last year we did the roadshow in three cities, but since we see a huge demand from India, this year we are doing it in six cities. This would allow us to have more passengers opting for cruises from Dubai. The number of cruise tourists to Dubai has increased substantially over the years. From 6904 tourists in 2001, we recorded 463,055 cruise tourists in 2015 and are aiming to 1 million by 2020. India’s ranking as a cruise source market for Dubai was 21 in 2013 and it came to 14 in 2015.” The participating cruise companies included MSC Cruises; Costa Cruises and Royal Caribbean Cruises represented by Tirun Travel Marketing in India. Carl Vaz, Director, Dubai Tourism–India, said, “This time we are travelling to six cities for the Dubai Cruise Tourism Roadshow—Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Delhi, Kolkata, Ahmedabad and Mumbai. We’ve been very fortunate in 2015 to have 1.6 million Indian overnight  visitors in Dubai, these include hotel and hotel apartments guests as well.”

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Indo-Bangla MoU to open shipping routes

Bangladesh is likely to allow India’s passenger and cruise vessels through its waterways helping the landlocked northeast to have better connectivity. Md. Shahriar Alam, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Bangladesh, reportedly announced that the two countries were planning to start a movement of passenger and cruise vessels on coastal shipping routes and a memorandum of understanding is to be signed between New Delhi and Dhaka for the same. The Indo-Bangla coastal shipping agreement has opened up new avenues of connectivity and trade facilitation. The declaration by Alam comes amid a spate of other initiatives over the past couple of years that have allowed India transit rights through Bangladesh for better connectivity between the Northeast and other parts of India. The Indo-Bangla MoU on the use of Chittagong and Mongla ports by India would further enhance connectivity not only bilaterally but also sub-regionally when Nepal and Bhutan become part of the Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal (BBIN) initiative. BBIN is a sub-regional architecture of countries in South Asia to formulate, implement and review quadrilateral agreements across areas such as water resources management, connectivity of power, transport and infrastructure. BBIN signed a Motor Vehicles Agreement last year. It enables vehicles to enter any of the four nations without the need for trans-shipment of goods from one country’s truck to another’s at the border. Under the system, cargo vehicles are tracked electronically; permits are issued online and sent electronically to all land ports. Source: Economic Times

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Cruise Club is PSA for Oceania and Regent Seven Seas Cruises

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (NCLH) has appointed Pune-based Cruise Club (Cruise Club Vacations) as PSA for its upper-premium and luxury brands, Oceania and Regent Seven Seas Cruises. Steve Odell, Senior Vice President and Managing Director Asia Pacific for NCLH said, “India is a significant growth market for the cruise industry and we are delighted to partner with an agent offering extensive insight into the local market. Cruise Club’s expertise are ideal for the Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises brands and we are looking forward to collaborating to create memorable voyages for discerning Indian travellers, beginning with the 2016-17season.” Tarique Hussain, co-founder, Cruise Club, added, “We’re excited to become the preferred partner in India for both Oceania Cruises, the upper-premium cruise line, and all-inclusive luxury brand Regent Seven Seas Cruises.”

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Costa Cruises stations ship in Mumbai

Costa Cruises is all set to sail from Mumbai starting December 2016 until March 2017. Nalini Gupta, Head, Costa Cruises India and MD, Lotus Destinations, said, “Costa cruise will be homeporting Costa neoClassica in Mumbai port from December 23, 2016 to March 18, 2017. During this period, we will be doing seven nights sailing from Mumbai to Maldives and seven nights return to Mumbai with interesting Indian ports enroute.” The move would finally put India on the cruising map. The seven day itinerary ex-Mumbai goes to Mangalore and then to Cochin, and finally to Maldives. The 7 day itinerary ex-Maldives takes guests to Colombo), Goa and finally Mumbai. The cruise liner that will be operating on this route can accommodate around 1800 people.

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‘Ovation Of The Seas’ calls at Cochin

Mega luxury cruise vessel ‘M.V.Ovation of the Seas’ called at the Cochin Port for a 2-day stop-over in its circuit of Dubai-Muscat-Kochi-Penang-Singapore. The vessel with 4000 passengers and 1649 crew was given a warm and colourful reception at the Cochin Port. ‘M.V.Ovation of the Seas’ is a brand new ship of the Royal Caribbean Lines which was floated out in April this year. It is 348 m long and is in the 2nd largest class of cruise vessel. 90 passengers from Dubai/ Muscat disembarked at Cochin Port and 80 passengers will embark from the Port. A brief plaque exchange ceremony was held to commemorate the inaugural call. G.Senthilvel, Chairman, Cochin Port, Dr. C. Unnikrishnan Nair, Traffic Manager, Cochin Port, Sethuraman, IPS, FRRO (Bureau of Immigration), M.M.Haseeja, Ministry of Shipping, Mohamed Farouk, Asst. Director General, Ministry of Tourism, Govt. of India, Thomas Korah, Joint Director, Kerala Tourism Department and other officials participated. Senior officials from Kerala Tourism and India Tourism were present to help the tourists for the local visits. Officials from the Ministry of Shipping and Ministry of Tourism, Government of India had specially come from New Delhi to welcome the cruise vessel as part of the Government of India’s measures to promote Cruise Tourism.

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Task Force to promote Cruise Tourism

With the objective of promoting Cruise Tourism in India, a Task Force on Cruise Tourism has been constituted by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India. The Task Force comprises members from the central ministries, state governments, various port trusts and private sector. As per the decisions taken by the Task Force on Cruise Tourism, Port Level Facilitation Committees have been set up by port authorities under the chairmanship of respective port trust chairman for coordinating logistic issues with all concerned agencies prior to the landing of cruise vessels. This information was given by Dr. Mahesh Sharma, Minister of State for Culture and Tourism (Independent Charge) and Minister of State for Civil Aviation in a written reply in Rajya Sabha. The maiden Maritime India Summit, 2016 (MIS-2016) was organised by the Ministry of Shipping in Mumbai from April 14 to 16, 2016. The objective of the Summit was to create awareness of the untapped potential of Indian maritime sector and showcase investment opportunities. The focus was on presenting India as an attractive investment destination and encourage potential investors for investing in the Indian Maritime Sector.

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TIRUN partners with Singapore Tourism Board

TIRUN, the exclusive India representative of Royal Caribbean Cruises, has signed a marketing partnership with the Singapore Tourism Board as the first recipient of the enhanced Cruise Development Fund that supports travel partners for cruise charters from Singapore. The association allows TIRUN to reach out to a larger consumer base looking to experience cruising in Southeast Asia. As a result it has introduced itineraries onboard its Voyager of the Seas sailing from Singapore that have been especially curated keeping Indian families in mind and range from three-night to eight-night sailings. Guests can cruise from Singapore to popular destinations such as Kuala Lumpur, Phuket, Bangkok, Hong Kong, Nha Trang in Vietnam, and more. They can enjoy iconic features onboard the cruise ship like the innovative ‘Flow Rider’ surf simulator, the onboard ice skating, rock climbing as well many other such activities, as they sail from one exotic South East Asian destination to another and take in the best of the resplendent culture of each port. Ratna Chadha, Chief Executive, TIRUN, said, “The semi- charter of the Voyager of the Seas is an endeavor on our part to offer Indian cruisers an opportunity to embark on a cruise with extreme facility. Sailing from Singapore is not only very easy but it’s also the most cost-effective alternative. The itineraries onboard the cruise ship have been designed to give cruisers a glimpse into the diversity and splendour of South East Asian culture while also offering them the added attraction of Indian food onboard. The sailing dates have also been strategically planned to coincide with summer vacations in India. It has been a fruitful collaboration with Singapore Tourism Board thanks to which we have managed to …

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‘Genting Dream’ to dock in Mumbai on Oct 29

Dream Cruises’ first ship, Genting Dream that was launched in India this January, will dock in Mumbai on October 29, 2016. Thatcher Brown, President, Dream Cruises, who was in Mumbai to make this announcement, said, “We will announce the price of the packages agents can start selling by February end. We will offer a really good value proposition to our trade partners and the commission structure will be similar to the one of Star Cruises. Itineraries will include two-, five- and seven-night cruises. As of now, we don’t have plans to make Mumbai a permanent stop for it.” The ship will be stationed out of China for regular sailings and will be priced higher than Star Cruises’ existing cruises. The new ships will have of 1,700 staterooms, 35 restaurants and bars, various entertainment areas, outdoor adventures, rejuvenation facilities and more. Her sister ship World Dream will sail in November 2017.

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MTDC, Mumbai Port Trust mull upgrade for cruise tourism

Maharashtra is in high level talks with the Chairman of the Mumbai Port Trust to upgrade the port for cruise terminal. Valsa Nair Singh, Principal Secretary Tourism & Cultural Affair, Government of Maharashtra, said, “We have had a series of meetings with some of the biggest cruise liners when we were at WTM London last year that led us to think in this direction. There is a high-powered committee set up by the Ministry of Shipping to promote cruise tourism. The Secretary of Tourism, Secretary of Shipping and the Chairman of the Mumbai Port Trust have had some meetings on that already. One of the areas which has been highlighted is the infrastructure in the port terminals. As per the requirement Cochin port trust has completed the infrastructure work on one of the best cruise terminals. Maharashtra now needs to have a cruise terminal separate from a normal port because one cruise liner brings in so much business to the destination. I have written to the Mumbai Port Trust chairman and discussed with him to step up our infrastructure in the Mumbai terminal. We will work out an upgradation plan for this and the MoT will fund it under the Swadesh Darshan scheme. The short term plan is to ensure easy immigration and customs with the current infrastructure.”

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