Middle East Cruise News

Karnika makes historic Indian arrival ahead of Jalesh’s debut UAE season

The cruise ship Karnika, newly delivered to Jalesh Cruises following a major refurbishment in Singapore, has docked in Goa, becoming the first Indian-owned mainstream cruise ship ever to do so.

She spent her first night in port and will depart Monday evening on a special one-off overnight roundtrip cruise from Mormugao Port with 1,000 passengers on-board, before repositioning to Mumbai.

Karnika arrived at night off the coast of Goa

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From April 19th, Karnika will begin her maiden cruise season under Jalesh Cruises ownership. Previously operated as the Pacific Jewel for P&O Australia, the 1990-built Karnika is the first mainstream cruise ship ever purchased specifically for the Indian source market.

Before she embarks on her Indian cruise season (and her Abu Dhabi roundtrip season in September), the ship will be ‘christened’ with a naming ceremony at the International Passenger Terminal at Mumbai Port, the first such event of its kind in India for a cruise vessels, according to The Hindu.

The Connexions Lounge aboard Karnika

“A naming ceremony is considered an auspicious tradition for a new vessel, without which no captain or crew would stay on the ship for long as it is considered to bring bad luck. The tradition bestows the vessel with good luck for her future sojourns,” said Jurgen Bailom, President & CEO, Jalesh Cruises.

Bailom has spent the past twelve months developing the on-board cruise product, which includes unique entertainment, itineraries and shore excursion programmes, all specifically catered to the Indian market.

The casino aboard Karnika

Germany-based Bernhard Schulte Cruise Services, meanwhile, will be responsible for all aspects of the ship’s technical management from crewing and maintenance to operations. In addition to Jalesh Cruises, BSCS also handles the technical management of Phoenix Reisen’s fleet.

The forward-facing observation lounge aboard Karnika

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“We are very proud and excited to welcome this fine vessel into BSCS’ management, and being part of the first dedicated, domestic cruise operation on the Indian sub-continent and the Middle East,” said Les Royle, Managing Director, BSCS.

The Apollo Group will run Karnika’s onboard operations, including food and beverage, housekeeping, guest services, payroll, public health, vendor management and revenue collection.

“Jalesh Cruises has partnered with global experts from the cruise, entertainment, port and marine industry to bring closer to home the grandeur and lavishness experienced by Indians on-board foreign cruise ships,” says Bailom.

“With their vast knowledge of serving the global cruise industry, our strategic partners will offer quality services to domestic passengers, both in terms of innovation and experience,” he added.

The Apollo Group includes clients such as Oceania, Regent Seven Seas, and Marella Cruises in its portfolio, reflecting the premium cruise experience that Jalesh Cruises is seeking to offer on-board.

Jalesh Cruises has not yet revealed who the godmother of the ship will be.

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