Creating Waves: Cruise To Connect Kerala And Dubai Soon

The proposal to launch the Beypore (Kozhikode)–Kochi–Dubai cruise ship service has been given a green signal. The vessel aims to accommodate up to 1,250 travellers, cutting travel time to approximately three days
Creating Waves: Cruise To Connect Kerala And Dubai Soon

It is no secret that India is eyeing cruise tourism and making all efforts to position itself as a prime destination among cruise liners. The most recent advancement has been the green signal given to the proposal to launch the Beypore (Kozhikode)–Kochi–Dubai cruise ship service. Recognising the demand from expatriate passengers, the central government has given the nod for this 4000-km route, offering an affordable alternative with breathtaking sea views.

Dubai Marina skyline
Dubai Marina skylineCreative Family on Shutterstock

Expected to start before December's school break, the route promises convenience at one-third of typical airfare. Passengers can carry up to 200 kg of luggage at significantly reduced costs, with one-way tickets priced around INR 10,000 (Dh 442)–15,000 (Dh 663). Collaborating with cargo companies, the vessel aims to accommodate up to 1,250 travellers, cutting travel time to approximately three days.

YA Rahim, President of the Indian Association Sharjah, highlighted the initiative's aim to curb exorbitant airline charges for Indian expats in the UAE. The service initially targets Kochi and Beypore, with plans to extend to Vizhinjam in the pipeline.

In the broader context, these developments align with the government's overarching goal of establishing India as a preferred destination for cruise tourism on the global stage.

A Look at Cruise Tourism Initiatives

In a bid to position India as a global hub for cruise tourism, the Ministry of Tourism has formulated a National Strategy for Cruise Tourism. Union Tourism Minister G. Kishan Reddy shared this information during the Monsoon Parliament Session, highlighting the government's robust efforts to boost cruise tourism in the country.

This strategic move aligns with India's recent endeavours in the cruise industry, exemplified by Prime Minister Modi's flagging off the "World's Longest River Cruise on January" 13, 2023. The cruise embarked on a historic journey from Varanasi on NW-1 (River Ganga) to Dibrugarh on NW-2 (River Brahmaputra), traversing approximately 3200 km via Bangladesh. The successful completion of this monumental cruise on February 28, 2023, at Dibrugarh, Assam, marks a significant milestone in India's cruise tourism landscape.

Most remarkably, in a bid to foster sustainable growth in cruise tourism, the Indian Ministry of Tourism has crafted a comprehensive national strategy. This roadmap aims to position India as a top-tier destination for a spectrum of cruise experiences - spanning coastal, ocean, and river cruises. The strategy, outlined under the sub-brand "Incredible Cruises in India," targets the amplification of India's allure as a cruise tourism hotspot.

Under this blueprint, the Ministry plans to collaborate with port authorities and state governments to create international year-round cruise terminals tailored to accommodate large and mega sea cruises. Additionally, the strategy champions the development of river cruise tourism, spotlighting heritage sites, religious locales, and wildlife sanctuaries.

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