The first international cruise from Chennai to Sri Lanka, symbolizes a noteworthy milestone in India’s maritime industry and tourism. India’s vast coastline and a deep-rooted history and cultural traditions make it a captivating destination for cruise passengers. Sh. Sarbanada Sonowol flagged off India’s first international cruise vessel, “MV Empress”, on June 5 , 2023, from Chennai to Sri Lanka in Chennai, marking the onset of international cruise tourism. It is created with a considerable cost of 17.21 crores.
It is expected that MV Empress will boost the local economy and will increase the flow of tourists from India and abroad. It spans over 2,880 square meters, with its spacious interior and proficient services and the ability to accommodate approximately 3,000 passengers, it aims to cater to the needs of more people through a budget-friendly approach to immerse themselves in leisurely vacations at sea without straining their finances.
This path breaking step in the maritime sector promises to attract an influx of tourists from all around the globe thereby increasing revenue from tourism and contributing to the local economy via accommodation, dining, shopping, and sightseeing. The expansion of the international cruise sector in India will generate employment opportunities in diverse sectors as there will be increased demand for professionals to cater to the requirements of the cruise industry as well as lead to the development of infrastructure to facilitate bigger cruise vessels and offer enhanced amenities for passengers by constructing and modernizing the cruise terminals, upgrading port facilities, and enhancing connectivity between ports and tourist destinations.
The diverse cultural and historical heritage and scenic landscape offer immense potential for the development of cruise itineraries in India. The success of India’s first international cruise can pave the way for the development of cruise tourism circuits within the country. Developing dedicated cruise circuits that cover popular destinations along the Indian coastline will attract both domestic and international cruise tourists, allowing them to delve into the kaleidoscopic cultural fabric and picturesque landscapes of India.
In conclusion, India has the potential to develop itself as a popular destination with its diverse cultural heritage, historical sites, and scenic coastal regions for creating captivating cruise itineraries. The launch of India’s first international cruise will reshape the country’s cruise tourism sector leading to economic growth.