Tourists line up to book cabins on ‘Empress’ cruise ship

 Saturday, May 14, 2022 


Going on a cruise is usually at the top of every vacationer’s bucket list, and the news of a luxury liner that will sail from Vizag to Chennai next month has made holiday-goers in the city sit up and take notice.

Tour and travel operators in the city are reporting a steady rise in bookings and enquiries for a trip aboard ‘Empress’, to be operated by Cordelia Cruises.

The ship will make three round trips between Vizag and Chennai, and will depart from the Visakhapatnam Port on June 8, 15, and 22. The ship will carry up to 1,800 passengers.

The cruise will depart from the city on Day 1 and will reach Puducherry on the third day, where tourists will be disembarked and taken for sightseeing till evening. At 7 p.m., they will return to the ship which will resume sailing towards Chennai and reach there the next morning.

In the return direction, the two-nights cruise ship will depart from Chennai on Day 1 and will spend Day 2 at sea. It will arrive in Visakhapatnam on the third day.

The cruise tours are meant for family outings as there will be separate play areas for children, swimming pools, food and entertainment. There is a misconception that they are not suitable for families as there are casinos and bars aboard the ship.
That is not so.

The tour package is inclusive of food charges, and tourists will have to pay only if they order international cuisine, says Raja Ramesh Balla, CEO of Aakasa Veedhilo, a tour operator from the city.

 ‘Boost to tourism’

K. Vijay Mohan of Holiday World, who is also president of Tours and Travels Association of Andhra (TTAA) says that they have just started taking bookings three days ago and have already booked 200 cabins.

A total of 500 cabins have been booked by their association members so far. Each cabin can accommodate 2/3/4 passengers based on its size.

The cruise liner, scheduled to leave Chennai on June 20 and from Vizag to Chennai on June 22, has already been chartered, says the TTAA president.

P. Muralikrishna, MD of Travel IQ says that they have got 270 bookings and many more enquiries are coming in. Tourism has opened up after nearly two years and travel lovers are raring to go.

They are getting calls from tour operators in Chennai to arrange cabs for local sight-seeing in Vizag for their guests. The cruise liner will spur the growth of tourism in Vizag.

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