This is also the first time that a cruise liner will be making trips to Oman as well as go around in the region outside the winter cruise season, boosting tourism industry in the lean summer months.
Run by Jailesh Cruises, Karnika called at PSQ with 1,043 passengers. A formal reception programme for the ship was organised by the crew and attended by officials from the Ministry of Tourism. The cruise will be making 16 port visits to Khasab and 17 to PSQ this year.
Backed by the Indian conglomerate Essel Group, Karnika began sailing in April from Mumbai as its homeport.
During its launch in Mumbai last month, Subhash Chandra, chairman, Essel Group, said that this was a pioneering effort which is likely to transform the cruise industry in India in the next decade. “I hope the cruise industry will be another big sector, like the TV industry that we pioneered with the launch of Zee TV in 1992. Today TV industry in India employs 50,00,000 with more than 500 channels in operation. In the next ten years, we hope to see cruise industry grow manifold and employ a similar number of people.”
Abdullah bin Saif al Saadi, head of cruise tourism, Ministry of Tourism, said that the visit of the Indian cruise ship Karnika is part of the efforts to develop the cruise tourism sector and attract cruise liners throughout the year. “Karnika’s visit represents a significant importance in increasing the movement of tourists and visitors to Oman’s ports throughout the year.”
Speaking at the launch in Mumbai, Jurgen Bailom, president and CEO, Zen Cruises, said, “Zen Cruises is pioneering cruise holidays for Indian passengers in both domestic and international waters. Our premiere brand Jalesh Cruises believes in upholding the spirit, culture and values of ‘Incredible India’ by contributing to the growth of tourism and allied businesses.”
Zen Cruises is the exclusive ticket sales agent on behalf of Jailesh Cruises.