Kerala-Dubai cruise at a fraction of airfare on the horizon

One can carry three times as much luggage as on an airplane on a cruise. Kerrick/iStock

Of late, Malayalis are taking baby steps into the world of cruise travel and are not reluctant to give even luxury cruises a try. Cruise lovers would be excited to know that the Central government has given the green signal for the Beypore-Kochi-Dubai cruise service. The Union government granted permission after considering the consistent demands from non-resident Indian passengers. Union Shipping Minister Sarbananda Sonowal announced that the initial steps to float the tender for launching the cruise ship service have been initiated. The Union Minister made this statement in response to a recent question by Ernakulam MP Hibi Eden.

Skyrocketing flight fare
If the cruise ship starts its service from Kerala to Dubai, it will benefit expatriates the most. Non-resident Keralites often fly home and return paying exorbitant airfares. However, for only a third of the cost of an air ticket, a cruise ship can transport passengers to Dubai. Moreover, one can carry three times as much luggage as on an airplane. The matter was also discussed at the meetings of the Shipping Corporation of India, NoRKA-Roots, and the Kerala Maritime Board.

1,250-passenger capacity for ship
A fully equipped ship will be deployed for the service on the Kochi-Dubai route. A vessel that was constructed in Kochi for another State has now been earmarked for the Kerala-Gulf service. Many expatriates have been severely affected by skyrocketing airfares during holidays and other seasons. The cruise service will provide a solution to this problem when it starts operating. The service is being launched in collaboration with cargo companies, making it possible to purchase a one-way ticket for just Rs 10,000. Several years ago, a ship service was initiated from the UAE to Kerala. However, it did not last long. Expatriates are looking at the new ship service with great anticipation.  

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