Kochi: Seats on the first sea-going luxury cruise liner in the state 'Nefertiti' are in high demand with summer vacation setting in even as the Kerala Shipping and Inland Navigation Corporation (KSINC) is planning to set up a modern boat terminal near the Fine Arts Hall for operating the 200-seat capacity vessel.
"We plan to set up a boat terminal for operating 'Nefertiti' from the heart of the city," said a senior KSINC official. "Currently we're operating from the wharf of the Port Trust which is usually allotted for big ships."
Since no land is available, the KSINC intends to set up a large floating terminal in the Kochi backwaters in front of Fine Arts Hall at an estimated cost of Rs 5 crore.
"It will have a 'Take-a-Break' centre besides a toilet complex. The main benefit is that passengers can easily make it to the boarding destination since it's at the heart of the city," the official said.
The terminal can be also used in future for its city service operations, a project put on the backburner as of now.
Meanwhile, 'Nefertiti' is operating average 12 exclusive trips a month with a single sea-voyage of eight hours netting Rs 4.5 lakh.
"The demand has further gone up with the start of the summer vacation. We've already intimated Port Trust of 11 trips in the first half of the months. There are a lot of enquiries, too," the official said.
The KSINC has also started ticket-based booking for specific voyages, the dates of which will be announced in advance.
"We'll conduct such voyages in weekends or on holidays. The commuters, especially individuals, can make use of the online booking facility," he said.
So far only group bookings were promoted.
The cruise liner boasts of world-class facilities including a lounge bar, auditorium, banquet hall, 100-seat 3D theatre, restaurant, sun deck and children's play area among others.
'Nefertiti', named after an Egyptian queen and wife of Pharaoh Akhenaten during the 14th century B.C, means beautiful companion....