India’s first cruise service opens on Mumbai-Goa route

By: |
Mumbai | May 24, 2018 5:06 AM

The most premium travel experience by far between Mumbai and Goa was launched on Wednesday evening.

cruis, shipTo be sure, the premium pricing for the cruise is for an array of services associated with a luxury cruise vessel.

The most premium travel experience by far between Mumbai and Goa was launched on Wednesday evening. At a price point starting at Rs 7,000, Angriya — the first domestic cruise vessel service —started from the new domestic cruise terminal in Mumbai on a test run at 5 pm on Wednesday and is expected to arrive in Goa on Thursday morning.

In comparison, for other modes of transport, tickets for the premium category of multi-axle, Volvo, semi-sleeper and sleeper buses, tickets are priced approximately in a range between Rs 1,000-and Rs 2,500. Most flight tickets are available in a range between Rs 3,000-7,000 during the off-season while the premium train service — Tejas — which was launched in October 2016, is priced at Rs 2,600.

To be sure, the premium pricing for the cruise is for an array of services associated with a luxury cruise vessel. For Rs 7,000, on offer are two meals and a brunch, the use of a swimming pool located on the open deck, and a view of the Konkan coastline. On hand are the ship’s staff and the sailor-owner of the ship, Captain Nitin Dhond, to educate and inform guests of the region’s storied past. A lounge that is attached to one of the restaurants can double up for wedding receptions as well as for conferences and off-shore meetings for corporate customers.

There are seven categories of rooms but Siddharth Newalkar, director, Sea Eagle Cruises, says the pricing is yet to be fixed for all of these. He told FE, “We will evaluate the demand once we start marketing the cruise, based on which we will firm up our price points. However, the base price will be over Rs 7,000.” He added that the time taken for the cruise as well as the cruise schedule would also be fixed once the test run was complete.

Clearly, the cruise is targeted at the leisure travel market, keeping both domestic and foreign tourists in mind. According to the Goa tourism department, the state remains a popular cruising destination with foreign cruise ships including Goa on their itineraries. On an average, the state has been receiving between 15-20 cruise vessels every year. Charter flights to Goa have also been increasing over the years. The state registered 988 charter flight arrivals, carrying 2.3 lakh passengers in FY17. For FY18, the state had already received 808 flights carrying 2.2 lakh passengers till the first week of March. Overall tourist arrivals recorded a 23% year-on-year rise in 2017 in both domestic and foreign tourists to 63 lakh tourists.

Angriya is owned by a special purpose vehicle — Angriya Sea Eagle Private Limited — a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sea Eagle Cruises.

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