Azamara Club Cruises, one of the sophisticated and upmarket cruises lines, is all set to sail from Chennai on December 9, 2014 for 13 night Spice Route – II Voyage across the Bay of Bengal passing through Andaman Islands, Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore. The cruise line has more plans to touch the Indian shores in 2015 to tap the Indian cruise travellers.
Speaking exclusively to Financial Express Online, Ratna Chadha, chief executive, TIRUN Travel Marketing, said, “The Spice Route Voyage offers a truly immersive experience of the rich sights and sounds of the Indian sub-continent to international travellers. It also provides an opportunity for the Indian guests onboard to experience Azamara style of cruising through their unparalleled service and destination immersion programmes that showcase the region in all its splendour. Azamara Club Cruises will offer two Spice Route sailings in 2015 onboard the Azamara Quest- 16 night sailing from Singapore to Dubai on March 21, 2015 and 15 night Spices, Teas and Rubber Tree voyage from Dubai to Singapore on November 3, 2015. In addition to other Asian ports, the ship will touch Indian shores and visit Kochi, Goa and Mumbai. These itineraries are for international guests who wish to explore India.”
“For the next couple of years, while the Azamara Cruise ships will touch Indian shores namely the ports of Mumbai, Chennai, Kochi, Murmagao during its several Asian voyages, she will offer a 13 night Spice Route II sailing from Chennai to Singapore on November 17, 2016,”she added.
Recently, Azmara Cruise Club had set its sail from Mumbai to Chennai on November 26, 2014. The 13 night Spice Route Voyage on Azamara Quest started from Mumbai and will cruise through Goa, Kochi, Maldives, Colombo, Galle and Chennai.
Speaking about the Indian cruise market, Chadda said, “The luxury market for any product/service is niche and this very much applies to cruising also. The luxury traveller is seeking new vacation experiences and Azamara Club Cruises is the perfect fit. The Indian luxury market has always been in existence and with the world becoming a global village their exposure is at par with that of their western counterparts. Therefore, they aspire for the same experience and have the wherewith all to fulfill the same.”
According to her there are also some myths associated with cruise tourism in India which has to be busted. “There are some myths associated with cruise tourism with some of them being that it is the prerogative of the rich, or that a cruise ship is constricting and one might get bored. Though mindsets are slowly changing now, with cruising becoming a ‘leisure choice’ with many, we need to continue to enlighten the traveller about cruising and educate them that on board a cruise ship, there are so many activities and for all ages right from toddlers to the older generation.”
Azamara’s 2015 voyages programme will comprise 52 voyages, ranging from five- to 18-night itineraries. Catering to up-market travellers, Azamara Journey and Azamara Quest will visit a total of 203 ports in 62 countries. As part of the new 2015 programme, Azamara will make 16 maiden port calls among an expansive collection of culture-rich metropolises, colonial towns, beaches and unsurpassed natural preserves in South America, the West Indies, Europe, the Far East and– for the first time– Australia. On every Azamara voyage, guests can take advantage of longer stays and more overnights in port so they can partake of night touring and join in the authentic nightlife of a destination. Guests also can experience the AzAmazing Evenings, an inclusive night tour on each voyage that provides guests with an exclusive slice of a destination’s authentic culture and character, and a wide variety of Azamara Land Discoveries shore excursions.