India's first ever passenger cruise ship service was launched in Mumbai on Wednesday evening. The cruise ship named Angriya, which departed on trial from the Mumbai port's newly constructed domestic terminal, reached Goa on Thursday morning. The premium cruise service is a joint venture between Mumbai Port Trust and Angriya Sea Eagle Pvt Ltd. The cruise ship Angriya has been named after first Maratha Navy Admiral (Sarkhel) Kanhoji Angre and the great Angria bank coral reef near Vijaydurg, Maharashtra.
Pricing and service
For those looking forward to go on a cruise journey from Mumbai to Goa on Angriya, the price for this premium sailing service starts at Rs 7,000, which in comparison to other modes of transportation, including air travel and train, is expensive. The company looks to target people willing to spend extra bucks for their luxurious cruise sailing.
For a Volvo bus service between Mumbai to Goa, one has to pay around Rs 1,000-Rs 2,500, while if you travel by air, most airlines charge around Rs 3,500-Rs 7,000. Even the ticket price for most premium train service Tejas costs Rs 2,600 only.
What you get for Rs 7,000?
Apart from the obvious joyful ride experience through the Mumbai-Goa coastline, the company will bear the cost of your two meals and a brunch. Within this, you can take a dive into the swimming pool on its vessel deck while also enjoying scenic beauty of the Konkan coastline. The ship's staff, apart from providing assistance on necessary services, will also guide you about the historical relevance of the region.
Interior and room services
The vessel deck of Angriya has eight different types of restaurants, and round-the-clock coffee shops, recreation room, lounge, and swimming pool. On board the ship, you can also gain some insight about interesting nautical trivia. If cruise wedding is on your wish list, one of the restaurants on the ship can be expanded to organise wedding parties or corporate meetings. The ship can accommodate around 350 passengers.
So how expensive are the rooms? The company says prices for different category rooms are yet to be decided: "We will evaluate the demand once we start marketing the cruise, based on which we will firm up our price points. However, the base price will be over Rs 7,000," Siddharth Newalkar, director, Sea Eagle Cruises, told Financial Express.
Though the cruise is being run on trail basis so far, it will depart from the Mumbai port at 5pm and reach Goa at 9am the next day. The cruise will return to the Mumbai port on alternate days.
Govt plans big cruise tourism boost
Goa, being a prominent tourist destination in India, is already a famous cruise destination. The state has seen 23 per cent rise in the tourist footfall in 2017 alone. The cruise tourism is evolving at a faster pace in Mumbai too. The government, in its plan to boost cruise tourism in India, has floated proposals to link Mumbai with other tourist places of the country as well as parts of Southeast Asia. The cruise tourism segment would also play a major role in providing employment to thousands of youths, suggest experts.
The government has also asked private operators to come forward and take the benefit of this booming industry. Union Minister Nitin Gadkari, who handles water resource portfolios, had earlier said that every year India receives 80 cruise (liners) but the government plans to raise the number to 950 cruise liners in next five years.