Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Launch of Mumbai Chapter of Costa Cruise, Mumbai-Maldives

For a long time now, cruise has been on my mind. There have been many occassions when I have made plans, but it has not materialised. Mainly because I have to make a trip to someplace in Europe, Asia or America to take a cruise to exotic destinations. So, my happiness knew no bounds when I heard about this Costa Classica that will begin their cruise from my home town Mumbai. It is a brilliant idea mainly because the cost of travelling is slashed, no more travelling to another place to board the ship, nor any hassle of passport and Visa, its just pack my bags and I am on the go.

I was invited for the launch of ‘First time cruising between Mumbai and Maldives’ at Lotus Room in Trident Hotel. I was eager to learn about their services. Cruising is like a floating city with new view every day without any hassle of packing and unpacking at every port.

Like every other cruise, there is lots of entertainment on board like casino, theatre, disco, ballroom, etc. This classic cruise ship has a total of 654 cabins (with a capacity of 1700 passengers) including sea view cabins and suites with private balconies. It also has jogging track, pools, jacuzzis, library and shopping centre.

Not to forget the food, there will be Indian cuisine, vegetarian and Jain food in addition to their Italian regional menus, a choice of dishes representing different regions of Italy reflecting their culinary heritage.

Cruise of one week will start from Mumbai, pass through enchanting destinations within India such as Goa, Cochin, Colombo and Maldives at the price as low as 42K. Costa neoClassica will perform a series of weekly sailing from 16th December2016 – 18th March 2017.

Sanjay Bhatia, Chairman of Mumbai port, plans to make Mumbai port of International standard with latest technology and sound security. He spoke about opening the eastern front of Mumbai that will change the coastal line of the city.

Valsa Nair Singh, the Principal Secretary Tourism of Maharastra looked positive towards the future tourism where people could come back with happy memories. “This is the perfect mode of ‘Me’ time where you can unwind and just enjoy the cruise” he said.

Nalini Gupta, Costa Cruise India Head, was sure that it would attract lots of corporates, Bollywood clan, religious groups, senior citizens, etc. “We are conducting regular training and workshops for the travel agents to educate them on the product. Cruising is the future and we offer great value for money. We are targeting customers across the board, with kids go free policy,” said Gupta.

 India is one of our strategically strong markets for Costa Asia. With a large population base of 1.3 billion and economic growth, we are confident that India will become a key source for cruising.  We have charted out an interesting itinerary for the Mumbai-Male route. This will be a home-port sailing for three months, providing unique experience of nature and culture, along with a customize holidays.” Said Kelvin Wong, Vice President Commercial Costa Cruise Asia,

This idea has appealed me so much that I am looking to contacting my closed circle of friends to accompany me for this trip.

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The name "Bombay" was derived from 'Bom Bahia' (The Good Bay),

.... a name given by Portuguese sailor Francis Almeida, in 1508 ....“Bounce back Mumbai” .....as it is called by the locals, it is a city that has been through a lot in the recent past – floods, bomb blasts, riots – and come out stronger each time.

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