Category Archives: Cruises

Griffon to launch B2B portal for real-time cruise inventory

 Vivek Jain, Managing Director, Griffon, a cruise specialist in India, has revealed that it is currently working on developing a portal dedicated to the travel agents. He says, “We plan to launch this portal by Diwali time around October 2019. It will be a B2B website which will have real-time inventory of two to three cruise companies that we promote in India. This will allow agents to log in and get real-time availability of inventory, get real-time rates and even make bookings on time limits. So they will be able to get full information with regards to the availability of these cruise liners. It will also have all the ship information, as well as excursion details which they can use to explain to their clients exactly what to expect on the ships.”   Jain however refused to name the ships that have come onboard for this and added that these names will be revealed at the time of launch. Griffon handle sales and marketing activities in India for various international cruise companies including Pullmantur Cruises, Celestyal Cruises and Oceania Cruises.    

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Passenger-cum-cargo ferry service to launch between Kochi and Male

India and the Maldives have decided to launch a passenger-cum-cargo ferry service between Kerala’s Kochi and Male, the capital of Maldives, via Kulhudhuffushi atoll in a bid to strengthen connectivity between the two countries and boost tourism. On his recent state-visit visit to Maldives, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Maldivian President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih have asked officials to expeditiously work towards starting the regular passenger-cum-cargo ferry service between the two countries. A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the two sides for the establishment of passenger and cargo services by sea. The distance between Kochi and Male is about 700 kms, and between Kochi and Kulhudhuffushi atoll is 500 kms. Addressing the Maldivian Parliament, PM Modi said, “I am particularly happy that we have agreed upon a ferry service between the two countries.”

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Globus family of brands supports The Ocean Cleanup, to eliminate single-use plastics by 2020

The Globus family of brands has announced its plans to increase sustainability efforts and reduce waste while also contributing to The Ocean Cleanup: A non-profit organisation focused on ridding the world’s oceans of plastics. As part of its increased sustainability efforts, the Globus family of brands – comprised of Globus, Cosmos, Monograms and Avalon Waterways – is asking travellers to choose e-documents over printed travel itineraries, prior to their vacations. When they choose the eco-friendly option–eliminating paper and plastic use and waste – the Globus family will donate funds to The Ocean Cleanup to aid in their unprecedented efforts to clean-up the world’s oceans. Over five trillion pieces of plastic currently litter the ocean. If left to circulate, the plastic will impact our ecosystems, health and economies. The Ocean Cleanup has developed advanced technologies to eliminate plastics in our oceans. The non-profit organization has plans to cleanup 50 percent (50%) of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in five (5) years. “It’s never been more important for companies to take a role in cleaning up our planet while also reducing and recycling waste,” said Scott Nisbet, chief executive officer and president of the Globus family of brands. “Now, we’re asking our travelers to join us by favoring electronic travel documents over paper ones. When they do, our planet benefits.” In addition to encouraging travelers to get involved with the Globus family’s efforts to support The Ocean Cleanup, Avalon Waterways – the company’s award-winning river cruise operator – is increasing efforts to offer cruisers sustainable, responsible river cruising. As part of these efforts, Avalon Waterways’ fleet of Suite Ships: – Use LED light bulbs, consuming 90 percent (90%) less energy than incandescent …

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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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