Good News of the Day: India’s First International Cruise Sails to Sri Lanka

Before sailing back to Chennai, the MV Empress will stop at Hanbantota, Trincomalee, and Kankesanturei in Sri Lanka.

India launched its first international cruise ship on Monday from Sri Lanka to Chennai. Over the course of its five-day journey, the MV Empress, which is carrying 750 people, will stop at three ports across the island nation.

Port Ministry on the launch

Sarbananda Sonowal, the Union Minister of Ports, Shipping, and Waterways and Ayush, said, according to an official statement, “With our rich heritage & culture around our coastal region, the potential of cruise tourism in India is immense. The launch makes affordable and easy access to world-class cruise services a reality, allowing passengers to experience and savour opulent facilities, entertainment, and magnificent views.”

Important facts about the cruise

  1. Hambantota, Trincomalee, and Kankesanturei are the three ports that the MV Empress will stop at before sailing back to Chennai.
  2. There are tour packages for two nights, three nights, four nights, and five nights, with prices ranging from 86,383 yen (for two people for three nights) to 86,798 yen (for four people for five nights).
  3. Despite being illegal in India, casino games are available to passengers aboard the cruise ship. The operators, according to NDTV, claim that it can only be broadcast on foreign waters.
  4. The International Cruise Terminal in Chennai began the MV Empress service at a cost of Rs. 17.21 crores. During the inaugural Incredible India International Cruise Conference in 2022, an agreement was reached between Chennai Port and M/S Waterways Leisure Tourism Pvt Ltd.
  5. The number of cruise ships is anticipated to increase from 208 in 2023 to 500 in 2030 and 1100 in 2047, prompting the authorities to construct three additional international cruise ports by 2024. There are also proposals to investigate further ferry lines through Myanmar, Thailand, Sri Lanka, India, and Sri Lanka.

Number of passengers on rise

According to the government, there will likely be a rise in the number of people using cruise services from 9.5 lakhs in 2030 to 45 lakhs in 2047. As a result, it is also trying to launch Gujarat Pilgrimage trips, Cultural and Scenic trips, Ayurveda Wellness Tours, and Heritage Tourism.

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