Jalesh Cruises, which suspended its cruise operations along with the rest of the global cruise industry when the coronavirus outbreak became a worldwide pandemic, has announced that it will resume services in November.
The announcement comes after the Indian government announced that it would allow cruise ships to sail to and from Indian ports again from October 1st.
India went into a national lockdown in March, along with much of the rest of the world, suspending cruise operations at around the same time as the UAE and South Africa. Now, India has given the green light for Jalesh Cruises to resume.
Jalesh is one of two homegrown cruise line in India, the second, Angriya Cruises, has not yet indicated when it will return to service.
As part of its revamped health and safety protocols to protect passengers, the cruise line said it will be offering all passengers free rapid COVID-19 and all other flu related testing at the time of embarkation.
Passengers will receive their test results in 15 minutes and will then be allowed to board.
The first cruise aboard Karnika, the former Pacific Jewel of P&O Australia, is due to set sail on November 6th from Mumbai.
“The announcement by the Indian Government to permit sailing by cruise companies comes as a fresh breath of air to all of us. We have been waiting to set sail with passengers and we eagerly await November,” said Jurgen Bailom, President and CEO, Jalesh Cruises.
“The health and safety of our passengers and our crew has been and will always be our priority. I would like to reassure our valued guests that they would not find a safer and cleaner ship than Karnika,” he added.
“We eagerly wait to welcome guests onboard the Karnika with open arms and promise them an experience that will wipe away the gloom of the last few months. Our guests will return home invigorated, refreshed and all charged up after their voyage,” he said.
Karnika was thoroughly refurbished following its purchase from P&O Australia and has been given an international yet distinctly Indian flare. The ship has nine bars, three restaurants and a pool deck food court serving everything from hot clay tandoor and Jain dishes to dedicated vegetarian stations and Far Eastern kadhai.