In a major effort to cater more to the growing Indian cruise market, several cruise lines homeporting in the Arabian Gulf out of Dubai have announced new Mumbai to Mumbai getaway cruises.
Royal Caribbean, Costa Cruises, MSC and Celebrity Cruises all plan to offer shorter, more affordable cruises from Mumbai for Indian cruise passengers.
The cruises will visit ports such as Mumbai, Goa and Kochi and will be less than a week in length, with three-night options with prices starting at US $390 (Rs 26,800).
The cruises will set off from Mumbai and visit Mangalore, Kochi and Maldives, while longer cruises will make their way back via Colombo and Goa.
Costa Cruises are already based out of Mumbai in 2019 with Costa neoRiviera, while she is due to be replaced in the following cruise season with the much larger Costa Victoria.
For MSC Cruises and Celebrity Cruises, the shorter Mumbai to Mumbai cruises will be offered aboard their Dubai-based cruise ships MSC Lirica and Celebrity Constellation.
Lirica and Constellation will both be cruising roundtrip to India from Dubai in the coming cruise season. These two-week cruise itineraries will be available for purchase in shorter legs by Indian cruise guests who only want to sail the Indian-centric part of the trip.
The cruise packages comes with all-inclusive meals and entertainment and special dietary options to suit various South Asian cruise passengers. Celebrity Cruises for example offers Halal meal options, while Costa Cruises serves special vegetarian and Jain meals on its Mumbai cruise itineraries.
Ratna Chadha, CEO of Tirun Travel Marketing, representatives for Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises in India, says that Indian tourists are more likely to try out cruise holidays if they can embark in their home country.
“The kind of economical cruises offered by these cruise lines have a good chance of capturing the increasing customer base,” she says.
The move comes amid strong growth in the number of Indian tourists going on cruise holidays.
In the Dubai cruise market, India has become one of the largest source markets for roundtrip Dubai cruises, and this is expected to be boosted further with the introduction of Dubai to India roundtrip cruises by MSC and Celebrity.
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