If you’ve dreamt of sailing with your favourite cricketer or Bollywood celebrity then there is a tailor-made cruise waiting for you to hop on board. You can hit the nets with Brett Lee, soothe your soul listening to Rahat Fateh Ali Khan or catch up with Vir Das who will tickle your funny bone.
Monarch Cruise, which is set to embark on a 26-day sail on March 5, 2017, will offer travellers an array of experiences around the theme ‘Bollywood and Cricket’, including an offshore event in Mumbai with Sachin Tendulkar, said Somesh Jagga, CEO, Monarch Cruise.Good response from US
“Bollywood and cricket resonate well with Indians and we are witnessing good response especially from Indians in the US and Australia. We are targeting the mass premium market in India,” Shane Hodges, Chairman, Monarch Cruise, told reporters. It is also in active talks with corporates.
Travellers can choose from 7-day, 13-day and 26-day itineraries for the cruise which will travel to Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Sri Lanka and India. Ticket prices start upwards of ₹80,000. There are a total of 800 cabins across 8 suites on offer and the ship can host 4,400 passengers.
The celebrity line-up includes Graeme Smith, Jacques Kallis, Kumar Sangakkara, Shane Lee, Shane Warne, Neha Kakkar, Badshah, Papa CJ, chefs Sanjeev Kapoor, Vineet Bhatia, among others.
Travellers can enjoy masterclass with chefs, pool-side parties, cricket sessions, stand-up comedy events, among others. “The cruise industry is clocking 15 per cent growth a year. Indians, too, are going overseas for cruises. We have identified an appetite among Indians and expect to be sold out by April end,” Jagga said. While it will run this cruise alone in 2017, “we are aiming to increase it to 4 cruises a year in 2018 with different themes”.
While the preparations for this have been underway for the past one year, there is still almost a year before the sail starts. “Dealing with port authorities has been a challenge and the infrastructure is not up to the mark if you compare it with countries such as Singapore. The Mumbai port does not have the capacity to deal with a huge number of passengers. We are still working on smoothening things in this area,” Jagga said.