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Good prospects for cruise tourism

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SMOOTH SAILING: Cruise liner Queen Victoria sails into the Kochi port.
SMOOTH SAILING: Cruise liner Queen Victoria sails into the Kochi port.

K.A. Martin

The new cruise season will see about 20 liners

Luxury liner from Egypt to inaugurate cruise season

KOCHI: Development of the tourism industry in the State is set to buck the continuing recession in the hospitality industry this season thanks to a new development that will help Kochi leave its footprint firmly on the global cruise tourism map.

The ensuing cruise season will see the arrival of a luxury liner that will begin some of its sails from here or end them here.

AIDA Cara, the luxury liner that is set to inaugurate the new season, is scheduled to call at the Kochi port in October. According to the schedule, the ship will set sail from port Sharm El-Sheikh in Egypt on October 12 and end its trip here on October 25. En route, the liner will call at Agaba in Jordan, Safaga in Egypt, Salalah in Oman, Mumbai, Marmagao and Mangalore.

Similarly, the AIDA Cara cruise is scheduled to start from Kochi on October 16 and sail 14 days to reach Laem Chabang in Thailand in the second week of November.

This new development augurs well for Kochi which has finalised plans for setting up a well-equipped cruise terminal to exclusively serve the increasing number of cruise liners.

The new cruise season will see about 20 cruise liners calling at the port. Eight cruise vessels had visited the port since April.

Kochi had capped the last cruise year with 11 luxury liners calling at the port in March. The vessels that called at port in March included Queen Mary II, Queen Victoria, Seven Seas Voyager, Arcadia, Silver Wind and Balmoral.

Such a large number cruise vessels, bringing about 12,000 passengers and 6,000 crew to Kochi, is an example of the confidence the cruise trip organisers have on Kochi, Port Trust sources said.

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