Kochi: Three years after starting international cruise operations from the country, Italy-based Costa Cruises is all set to tap growing South Indian market, mainly Kochi.
“Costa Cruises has seen immense growth in Indian passenger numbers coming from South India which include the key cities, and also some remote areas of Kerala,” said Nalini Gupta, Managing Director, Lotus Destinations, Representative of Costa Cruises in India.
“Cruising is an innovative way to increase the number of tourists in Kochi. This has been made possible with the support of the Cochin Port Trust and Key officials from the ministry..,” she said.
Two luxury cruise liners of the company – Costa Luminosa and Costa Venezia – on Friday simultaneously docked in Cochin Port, the first time ever that two ships of the same cruise company docked at the same port on the same day.
While Costa Luminosa, on a 109 nights world cruise itinerary, carris 2,000 tourists, Costa Venezia has 2,670 tourists on board. This is one of the major arrivals in this year’s tourist season which is drawing to a close in a few week’s time.
“The Indian cruise market is growing at a rapid pace now. We’ll be bringing more ships to Kochi. We’ve plans to roll out a cruise liner specifically designed and build for the India market in future,” said Tihomir Muzic, Captain of Costa Venezia, the cruise liner aimed at China and South East Asia market.
The ship will be embarking 100 Indian passengers on an eight nights itinerary from Kochi to Singapore via Colombo, Langkawi and Port Klang.
Earlier, the company’s Costa neoRiviera was homeported in Kochi from December to March 2019, catering to 7,000 Indian guests in the three-night Kochi-Maldives itinerary.
Taking into consideration the growing demand from Indian guests, Costa neoRiviera will be replaced by a larger vessel Costa Victoria next November. The latter will have a guest capacity of 2,300 as against 1,500 of neoRiviera.
“Costa Victoria, which has 14 decks, three swimming pools, ten bars, five restaurants, a sprawling Casino, a theatre, a disco and a Ballroom, will make its inaugural call in Kochi on November 13,” Gupta said.
The starting price for the 3 Nights Kochi to Maldives will be Rs 26, 800 per person (all inclusive for Inside Cabin excluding 5% GST).