The much-awaited Mumbai to Goa cruise line, which is said to be the country’s first ever luxury cruise line, will start from Oct. 1, India’s Union Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari said.
“The first cruise line will set sail from Mumbai on Oct. 1 to Goa,” Gadkari told reporters at the Jawaharlal Nehru Port in Mumbai. The cruise was earlier expected to start in August.
The ship will have a capacity to carry 500 people and the journey will be completed in 15 hours, the minister said. The vessel is not likely to halt at any place along the route, and it is scheduled to depart at 5 pm on alternate days from both the destinations.
There would be seven categories of bookings for the cruise, the Times of India reported. The minimum fare, including all meals, will be Rs 7,500 per passenger, it said. Fares for the other categories have not been finalized yet.
The on-board facilities include multiple restaurants, 24-hour coffee shops, bars, a lounge and discotheque, an infinity pool, spa and conference facilities, according to Conde Nast Traveller. The ship will have 104 staterooms/cabins across different categories, and has been designed to be environment-friendly, with minimum use of plastic, the report added.
It cleared its sea trials in May, and is ready to sail now.
The ship has been named Angriya. It was built in 1997 and registered as Ogasawara Maru in Japan. It was later renamed Ogasa in the Pacific Islands.
The ministry is also investing Rs 1,000 crore to build a cruise terminal on the east coastline of the Mumbai Port area. It also plans to open a terminal along the eastern water front of the city at the investment of Rs 1,000 crore to increase the number of cruise liners from 80 to 900 over the next five years. Two new floating restaurants are also going to open up in Mumbai, PTI reported, citing an earlier statement by Gadkari.
The ministry had earlier asked all ports to set up cruise terminal, and said that it would provide an additional Rs 800 crore to buy boats.
Earlier this year, Sanjay Bhatia, the chairman of the Mumbai Port Trust, said that the new cruise terminal being planned in Mumbai will make the city at par with Miami in the United States, a beach town known as a party destination. “Our aim is to make this place in Mumbai comparable with Miami” NDTV had quoted him as saying.
The Indian government is aiming at attracting five million cruise tourists to the country by 2040, Union Minister of State for Tourism KJ Alphons said last month during the inauguration of a new international cruise terminal at the Ernakulam Wharf of Cochin Port in Kerala.