Kochi: Tourists arriving in Kochi can now enjoy luxury houseboat rides in the city instead of travelling to places like Kumarakom.
They can also opt for sea cruise in new catamaran-type fiberglass boat Michelle or a sail in speed boats.
Kochi-based Empire Greenix Ventures Pvt Ltd has launched the service in association with the District Tourism Promotion Council (DTPC) and the Kerala Shipping and Inland Navigation Corporation (KSINC)on Thursday.
“We’ve started trials with one houseboat and will deploy another 50 soon,” said Saritha Babu, director, of Greenix Ventures. “Customers can opt for day and night stay trip, day trip, half-day trip or four-hour trip. The round route trip will cover Willingdon Island, Fort Kochi, Vypeen, Bolgatty, Ramanthuruth, Mulavukad, Kadamakudi and Vaduthala. A halt will be provided at an island near Kadamakudi where tourists can indulge in fishing and other leisure activities.”
The luxury fiberglass boat ‘Michelle’, owned by the KSINC will be operated for sea-cruise and a pact in this regard has been signed.
“The 120-seater boat having a separate AC cabin was lying idle in the Kochi shore since it was brought here from a private yard in Goa. It will be deployed for sea tour and will go upto 15 nautical miles off the coast,” KSINC sources said.
“The boats will operate from a new cruise boat terminal at northern end of Marine Drive,” said DTPC secretary S. Vijayakumar. “We’ve leased out the same to the agency for three years with a fee of Rs 2 lakh per month.”
Tourism minister Kadakampally Surendran inaugurated the cruise boat terminal in the presence of KSINC managing director Prasanth Nair. “The state government is committed to extending full co-operation to investors in the tourism sector,” he said....