Kochi: In a boost to the tourism sector in Kerala which is limping back to normalcy from the pandemic, a luxury cruise from Mumbai with 1,200 travellers has docked at the Cochin port on Wednesday.
The luxury liner 'MV Empress,' owned by Cordelia Cruises, was anchored at Cochin Port, near Willingdon Island, at 5 am.
“Around 800 guests on the ship, hailing from various states, will disembark at Kochi to explore a slice of the rich culture and history of the port city, in an on-shore tour adhering to COVID-19 protocols," the Tourism department said in a release.
The tourists will be taken to Mattancherry and Fort Kochi regions of the city. They will also be taken on a boat ride on the backwaters which will unfold the mesmerising beauty of the 'Queen of Arabian Sea'.
Kerala Tourism Minister P A Mohamed Riyas said the arrival of domestic tourists marks a promising start to the full-scale resumption of Kerala Tourism, overcoming the pandemic-induced crisis.
"This trend is set to gain pace in the coming days. Kerala is a safe and secure place for the lock-down weary vacationers to come as we have put in place an efficient and meticulous bio-bubble model to create protective layers of inoculated service providers to receive and host tourists," Minister said.
Tourism Secretary Venu V said all destinations across the state are getting ready to receive guests and the tourism sector in Kerala is fast reconfiguring itself from the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The cruise ship will leave for Kadamat, the Lakshadweep, in the afternoon. Voyager Kerala is the tour agent of the Kochi sight-seeing of the trip.