R. Vimal Kumar
With 64 tourists and 53 crew members on board The tourists will board the vessel back at Chennai on February 8
Tuticorin: Giving a fillip to tourism in the region, m.v. Le Levant, a French luxury cruise liner, arrived with 64 tourists (59 Americans, one German, three Britons and an Indian) and 53 crew members onboard, at Tuticorin port on Monday.
Designed for elite group of discerning cruise travellers, the 100-metre long vessel was equipped with 45 cabins over five decks and it has a shallow draught of 3.5 metres, allowing her to move close to the shore and sail through inland waterways.
Red carpet welcome
The Tuticorin Port Trust officials gave a red carpet welcome to the tourists at the berth.
The entire visitors then embarked upon a sightseeing trip to historic and ancient places in Madurai in luxury coaches, en route to Chennai.
"The tourists will board the vessel back at Chennai on February 8 and the voyage will continue to Visakhapattinam and Paradip, before culminating the trip at Kolkatta on February 14", L. Deepak Mark, Assistant Manager, GAC Shipping Limited, vessel agents of Le Levant, told The Hindu.
Of the 64 tourists arrived here, 53 had boarded the ship when it touched the Indian coast at Mumbai on January 29, after it had sailed in from Muscat.
The vessel, captained by Remy Jenevaz, then called on ports like Mormugoa (Goa), Mangalore (Karnataka) and Vizhinjam (Kerala), before reaching Tuticorin.
The tourists were taken for pleasure trips at these towns, which gave them a glimpse of culture and traditions prevailing in the country for decades.