Celebrity Cruises mulls domestic cruises in India
In midst of the government’s efforts on developing cruise tourism in India, Celebrity Cruises is planning to introduce domestic sailings in the India. Ratna Chadha, chief executive, Tirun Travel Marketing (the exclusive India representative of Celebrity Cruises) informed that the cruise company will start the procedure once the policies and SOPs are in place. Chadha is also part of the task force set up under the aegis of tourism and shipping ministries by the Government of India. “We will soon have a ship sailing on Indian waters only, in order to tap the domestic market. Once the policies and SOPs are in place, we will start the procedure,” said Chadha.
Celebrity Cruises also recently marked Celebrity Constellation as the first ship of the Celebrity Cruises’ fleet to sail from an Indian port. With five and seven night sailings, the cruise provides Indian travellers the opportunity to travel from/ to Mumbai and sail to ports across India and UAE. “This is the first time that our ship has come to India for a dedicated India sailing. We have segmented this cruise for a five-night sailing from Abu Dhabi to Mumbai and seven-night sailing from Mumbai to Abu Dhabi. We had tested the market and we received huge success and we expect continued response from the India market,” she added.
Commenting on the potential of cruise tourism in India, Chadha informed that the company will induct newer ships into its fleet. “Asia is growing as a cruise market. We are working to bring India on the cruise tourism map; and this is a very good opportunity for us as a service provider to have the ship docked in Mumbai and receive passengers from the city. The port facilities here are being upgraded to handle ships of this stature. There has to be a seamless experience for passengers at ports too; so we have to upgrade our ports and the taskforce is working on it,” she said.
The high demand from Indian cruise travellers has encouraged Celebrity Cruises to include various Indian ports in its itineraries. When asked about the current trends among Indian cruise travellers, she added, “From our 25 years of experience, we have found that Indians are now looking for more adventurous vacations. And a cruise fits in; it is a place where the destination comes to you. Cruises are good for family travel. We have also observed that more and more families and friends are now grouping together for a vacation. We find that multi-generational travel is growing, and this brand has something for everybody. It is a premium cruiseliner which means that the middle-age guests are more, but there’s enough offerings for every age group.”