Posted on 16-Aug-2018 by Administrator
After experiencing skyrocketing growth in the last year, the cruising industry has, finally, turned its eyes towards India. And why wouldn’t they? India not only offers a lucrative market of customers yearning to enjoy luxury cruises close to home, it also has a massive coastline stretching over 5,000 kilometres, lined with ports teeming with attractions. And not just within the country, India’s proximity to other Asian ports like Abu Dhabi, Hong Kong, Male, Singapore, Colombo and Bangkok makes it a desirable market to offer international cruises. Starting this winter, three major cruise ships are going to be operating from India, for the first time ever! The shift seems to be on the lines of the increasing travel and interest that Indian tourists in particular have shown towards cruising. Costa Cruises, after two successful seasons in the last two years, is back for its third season, only this time, it’s grander than ever. So here lies all the information you need to know about having a global cruising experience, right from home.
Costa Cruises have an impressive line-up of cruise sailings aboard the Costa neoRiveria starting this winter that range from week long cruises to Maldives from Mumbai, 4 night cruises Mumbai to Cochin, 3 night cruises from Kochi to Male, and week- long cruises from Mumbai to Male. The New Year cruise from 29th December onwards from Male is a seven night cruise where you’ll cruise to Colombo, then traversing from the Bay of Bengal into the Arabian Sea exploring the beauty of Goa, and finally landing at Mumbai.
Celebrity Cruises has deployed its luxurious ship, Celebrity Constellation to operate 6 and 8 day cruises between Abu Dhabi and Mumbai and Kochi in December. There are 4 sailings in December covering the ports of Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Cochin and Mumbai, all the while enthralling passengers with a range of shopping, dining and entertainment options on the ship.
Ring in the New Year onboard MSC Cruises, MSC Lirica, with 2 sailings over Christmas and New Year period - the first being an 8 night cruise from Dubai to Mumbai departing on 22nd December and visiting the ports of Abu Dhabi, Muscat, Mangalore, Goa and ending in Mumbai. Celebrate New Years on the high seas on the return 6 nights cruise from Mumbai to Dubai commencing on 30th December.
World class cruises aren’t just offering cruises from Indian shores, they are leaving no stone unturned to lure Indian passengers to experience life onboard their magnificent ships. The cruiseliners serve Indian meals onboard catering to the Indian palate - Costa Cruises is even offering a special Jain menu!
Apart from ocean cruises, you can take a river cruises on the mighty rivers of Ganges and Brahmaputra. Kolkata based Vivada Cruises offers luxurious inland water cruises to the Sunderbans and the lower Ganges. The world’s largest delta, Sunderban is like a piece of nature left untouched by time, with its impenetrable mangrove forests, where you get to see its somnambulant crocodiles, spotted deer, trees that seem to have been there since the beginning of time, and if you’re particularly lucky, its very pride, the white Bengal Tiger.
The river Hoogly (the lower Ganges) on the other hand, stands as a witness to the marvellous heritage of Eastern India. Visit the effervescent sights of Kolkata, Dakshineswar, Belur, Chandennagar, Kalna, Mayapur, Nabadwip and Murshidabad as well as Chandannagore with its relic of the old colonial French architecture, leaving an imprint of Europe on the eastern shores of India.
The Vivada Cruises also offers combination cruises so that you can discover the richness of the Sunderbans and the glory of West Bengal, all in one trip, not to mention special cruises during festive seasons of Durga Puja, Jagadharti, Christmas and the New Year. If you do get an opportunity, taking this cruise during the festival of Durga Puja is a chance that you shouldn’t miss. The scale of joy, passion and sheer scarlet opulence with which it’s celebrated is simply unparalleled.
The other inland cruise is offered by the Assam Bengal Navigation, with cruises sailing on the mighty Brahmaputra. Atypical of long-distance river cruising, these cruises will let you explore nature and country life, with wildlife viewing (both by jeep and elephant back), visits to the famed tea gardens, rides on cycle rickshaws and barbeques on deserted river islands, with the rippling, soothing waters of the Brahmaputra as constant company. The cruise will take you across the towns of Dibrugarh, Sivasagar, Majuli Island, Jorhat, Kaziranga, Tezpur, Guwhati , Sualkuchi and Hajo.
India is rapidly and alarmingly drawing the eyes of the world towards itself, the cruising industry being no exception. We now have three major global cruises actively pursuing Indian travellers, and there has never been a better time to make the most of it. Our peninsula, located perfectly with a blessed coastline is perfect to make your winter take an unforgettable turn with a unforgettable holiday experience. Starting this winter, the eyes are the world are on India, grab it, to ring in a truly Happy New Year, because happiness indeed, is not far from home now!