India’s first international cruise sails from Chennai, reaches Sri Lanka

By a Correspondent

India’s first international cruise was flagged off from Chennai to Sri Lanka. The MV Empress, with 750 passengers on a 5-day sea cruise, will cross three ports.

“With our rich heritage & culture around our coastal region, the potential of cruise tourism in India is immense,” said Sarbananda Sonowal, the Union Minister of Ports, Shipping & Waterways and Ayush. The Minister also said that the launch of the cruise is affordable and offers best-in-class services.

Here are some interesting facts about MV Express:

1) Ports: The cruise will visit three ports in Sri Lanka, namely Hambantota, Trincomalee and Kankesanturai.

2) Package: The cruise packages are available for two nights, three nights, four nights, and five nights.

3) Price: The price of tour packages begins at INR 86,383 (for two people for three nights).

4) Launch: The cruise was launched from Chennai’s International Cruise Terminal built at a cost of INR 17.21 crores.

5) Guests can play casino games on board but only in international waters.

The main aim of the government is to develop Chennai as a cruise tourism hub. By 2024, the government plans to build three new international cruise ports with additional ferry routes through India, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Myanmar.