Logistics

India's first cruise ship to visit Chennai on June 8

Our Bureau Chennai | Updated on May 20, 2011 Published on May 20, 2011

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India has joined the global cruise line club with the country's first cruise ship, AMET Majesty, registered in Chennai with an Indian flag. The ship will make her maiden visit to the Indian shores on June 8 in Chennai and sail off to high seas the next day.

India has joined the global cruise line club with the country's first cruise ship, AMET Majesty, registered in Chennai with an Indian flag. The ship will make her maiden visit to the Indian shores on June 8 in Chennai and sail off to high seas the next day.

The Chennai-based AMET Shipping Pvt Ltd of the AMET Group, which is in to maritime training, has invested Rs 100 crore in procuring the 35-year-old cruise vessel Arberia from a Greek owner.

The ship was first operated by the Star Cruise, said Mr P. Bharathi, CEO and Managing Director, AMET Cruises, a division of AMET.

The funding to buy the ship came from the group's internal resources, from banks and few Singapore-based individual investors, said Dr J. Ramachandran, Chairman, AMET Shipping India without the break-up.

AMET Majesty will operate regular service covering India and Sri Lanka. It will offer locations in Asia such as Anadaman, Phuket, Mumbai, Goa, Lashdweep, Kochi, Colombo and Maldives for the tourists.

To begin with the service will include short trips to high seas in Chennai (one night) and long triples covering international destinations such as Triconamalleee in Sri Lanka, he said.

The company is hoping to get support for its cruise service from the large number of Indian tourists who otherwise travel to Singapore to go on a cruise there. It is said that nearly 80,000 Indian go on cruises annually, he said.

Cruise terminals

Mr Bharathi said the company was in talk with the ports of Chennai, Kochi, Mormugao and Mumbai for berthing the ship in these places. Three cruise terminals are being planned at Mormugao, Mumbai and Kochi at a cost of Rs 480 crore.

The Mumbai Port Trust plans to spend Rs 150 crore to create a new cruise terminal near the Gateway of India and the Kochi Port Trust will spend Rs 150 crore in an international cruise terminal. The Chennai Port Trust has already in place a cruise terminal.

Capt Bhardwaj, Vice-Chancellor, AMET University, told newspersons that the ship was certified to carry 1,000 passengers on international voyage by the Government of India.

The Directorate General of Shipping has approved the ship in principle to train 90 nautical cadets and 120 engineering cadets for a period of six months of their required pose-sea training mandatory to appear for the competency examination conducted by them.

These cadets can now be trained in the group's own vessel, he said.

The proposed cruise routes are: Chennai-Andaman-Phuket-Chennai; Chennai-Vizag-Chennai; Chennai-Trincomalle-Karaikal-Chennai; Mumbai-Lakshadweep-Mumbai; Kochi-Lakshadweep-Kochi; Kochi-Maldives-Colombo-Kochi.

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Published on May 20, 2011
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