Mumbai: Europe’s number 1 cruising company, Costa Cruises announced its shorter, 3 & 4 nights sailings in Indian waters from November 2017 onwards.
Last year, Costa Cruises was the first ever cruise liner to offer cruises directly from Mumbai to Maldives.
This year, Costa Cruises is introducing shorter 3 & 4 nights sailing options specifically for the Indian market. Indians can now choose to cruise on a 4 nights itinerary from Mumbai to Cochin (via Mangalore) or a 3 nights itinerary from Cochin to Maldives. This is in addition to the 7 nights Mumbai to Maldives & 7 nights Maldives to Mumbai options available.
The Italian cruise liner will be homeporting in Mumbai a month earlier than last year and will perform a series of weekly sailings from November 2017 to March 2018.
Speaking about the launch, Mr. Buhdy Bok, President of Carnival Asia said, “We are delighted to increase our capacity in this region, by offering 3 & 4 nights short cruises dedicated to the Indian market. Guests based in India can now embark or disembark right at their door-step for short cruises, giving our guests a rich and immersive experience in Italian culture – from hospitality, to cuisine, and art, a distinct experience for a new way of travel.
” Mr. Sanjay Bhatia, Chairman of Mumbai Port Trust said, “The timing is right for cruise liners to come to India as the Government is taking proactive steps for utilising our vast coastline. I would like to thank the cruise companies that have taken the initiative to start sailings from Mumbai and have shown their confidence in the Indian Government and India market. We are looking forward to many more ships coming to India and Mumbai port, going forwards. They can count on Mumbai Port’s efficient managerial, organizational and planning support and assistance at all times. Our objective is to exceed the expectations of the cruise liners and the cruisers, both domestic and International. Come, cruise from Mumbai and feel India!”
Ms. Nalini Gupta, Managing Director, Lotus Destinations (Representative of Costa Cruises in India) said, “Costa Cruises expanding its sailing offerings to include shorter sailings of 3 & 4 nights from Mumbai and Cochin specifically for the Indian market confirms its strong interest in India. The cruising market in India has come a long way from only a select group cruising in far-away locations to today a much wider audience holidaying on ships cruising directly from India”.
“I sincerely thank Mr. Gadkari & Mr. Bhatia for all their efforts in making this happen”, she added.
Since Costa announced the launch of cruising from Mumbai last year, they have seen interest and bookings from a wide variety of travel groups, which includes families, senior citizens, honeymooners and experiential holiday agencies. There has also been a lot of interest from corporates, who are looking set to book the first few sailings out of Mumbai. The built-in infrastructure on the ship makes it particularly easy for corporates to hold large events in one location.
Theme-based bookings seem to be a trend, with groups who are keen to experience a special kind of holiday. For example, there is a cycle-themed sailing that is currently being promoted on this route.
Costa Cruises has deployed its ship, Costa neoClassica that is part of the neo collection on the India itinerary. This classic cruise ship has a total of 654 cabins, including sea view cabins and suites with private balconies. Fully-equipped with a Casino, Theatre, Disco, Ballroom, Grand Bar, it aims to provide plenty in entertainment. The wellness centre is spread across 1,300 sq. m with a gym, treatment rooms, sauna and steam room. It also has an outdoor jogging track, 4 Jacuzzis and 2 swimming pools. For those who would like to go shopping, the cruise ship has a huge duty free shopping centre, and also offers a wide selection of books in the library for those who love to unwind with a book. Enhancing the cruising experience further is the gastronomy: the food & wine on offer is based on Italian regional menus with a choice of dishes representing different regions of Italy and proudly reflecting the country’s rich and unrivaled culinary heritage. In addition to this vast range, guests can also take advantage of tasty vegetarian and vegan dishes.
On board Costa neoClassica, guests will also have the chance to taste the real original Neapolitan pizza at Pizzeria “Pummid’oro”: thanks to an agreement with the Università delle Scienze Gastronomiche di Pollenzo, Costa Cruises offers pizza prepared using only sourdough and selected ingredients such as San Marzano DOP tomato.
In addition, cruisers will be able to enjoy a variety of Indian cuisine and the restaurants onboard are fully equipped to cater to special diet requirements of Indian, travellers, which includes Jain food.