History in the making at Vizag. Prepares to receive one of the biggest cruise ships.
In June, Cordelia Cruise is presenting a limited-time ‘entertainment on the high seas’ for fun-loving folks travelling from Visakhapatnam to Chennai and Puducherry. Due to the loss of tourists from Mumbai to Sri Lanka, the firm has partnered with the Visakhapatnam Port Authority (VPA) and has already finalised discussions on the cruise liner’s berthing. The lowest package for three nights per person, including meals, with three nights sailing will cost Rs 28,594.
Beverages, spa services, and internet access, as well as casino access, will be extra. Swimming pools will be available on the ship. The cruise liner’s travel agent told Bizz Buzz on Monday that it will be able to carry 2,000 people. Cordelia Cruise has announced that the ship will depart Visakhapatnam on June 8, 15, and 22 through its operator Leisure Time Holidays. Bookings have only recently begun.
According to the Cordelia package, the cruise ship will leave at 8 p.m. on day one and arrive at 7 a.m. on day three, allowing travellers to spend around 12 hours in the Union Territory, including a scuba diving shore excursion. It has dynamic tariffs and will charge Rs 48,582 for two adults in an interior standard room, Rs 60,393 for an ocean view standard room, Rs 1.06 lakh for a mini suite room, and Rs 1.89 lakh for a suite room. All meals at the food court and the Starlight Restaurant are included in the fare.
Despite the great potential for cruise tourism, regular service to Visakhapatnam, often known as the City of Destiny, has yet to begin. Senior VPA officials, on the other hand, confirmed Cordelia Cruise’s authorization.
Under the Sagarmala project, VPA is building an International Marine Cruise Terminal, which will be operational by next year. The project is estimated to cost Rs 103 crore. There will be a passenger lounge, a duty-free shop, an immigration kiosk with a souvenir shop, a cafetaria, waiting rooms, and enough parking.
Those who have occasionally operated cruise tourism to Visakhapatnam have exuded confidence in the city’s great potential, which includes temples, Buddhist sites, tribal and beach locales, and the tribal village of Lambasingi, which has the potential to provide a Kashmir experience due to its freezing temperatures during the winter.
During the recently concluded Bizz Buzz Business Conclave, APTDC Chairman A Varaprasad Reddy said Visakhapatnam has the potential to become a worldwide tourist hub and explained how the State Government was promoting the city as a destination for local and foreign tourists.
In 2019, the Silver Discoverer, a seven-star cruise ship, transported roughly 100 Americans and Europeans to Visakhapatnam. Tourists at the time thought Visakhapatnam had a lot of potential if cruise service was available on a regular basis. Currently, the Shipping Corporation of India operates a passenger ship twice a month, primarily to transfer employees from North Andhra Pradesh and South Odisha to Port Blair via its agents. Visakhapatnam and Port Blair are approximately 1,200 kilometres apart.
In 2011, AMET of Chennai ran a night cruise on an experimental basis, costing Rs 6,000 each participant. Malindo Air had discussed offering offshore gambling on high seas between Visakhapatnam and Kuala Lumpur with Malaysia-based conglomerate Genting Group’s Cruises to Nowhere before withdrawing its trip from the city to Bangkok via Colombo.