Category Archives: Cruises

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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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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