Sailing Into the Future: India’s Cruise Tourism Takes the Seas by Storm

December 24, 2023: India’s aspirations in the realm of cruise tourism have reached new heights, with the recent approval for the Beypore (Kozhikode)–Kochi–Dubai cruise ship service. The green signal from the central government for this 4000-km route not only caters to the demand from expatriate passengers but also positions India as a prime destination among cruise liners.

Set to commence before December’s school break, this route offers an affordable alternative with breathtaking sea views, promising convenience at one-third of typical airfare. Passengers can carry up to 200 kg of luggage at significantly reduced costs, with one-way tickets priced around INR 10,000 (Dh 442)–15,000 (Dh 663). Collaborating with cargo companies, the vessel aims to accommodate up to 1,250 travelers, cutting travel time to approximately three days.

YA Rahim, President of the Indian Association Sharjah, emphasized the initiative’s goal to alleviate the burden of exorbitant airline charges for Indian expats in the UAE. Initially targeting Kochi and Beypore, the service has plans to extend to Vizhinjam in the pipeline.

In the broader context, these developments align with the government’s overarching goal of establishing India as a preferred destination for cruise tourism on the global stage.


Looking at Cruise Tourism Initiatives

The Ministry of Tourism has formulated a National Strategy for Cruise Tourism to position India as a global hub. Union Tourism Minister G. Kishan Reddy shared this during the Monsoon Parliament Session, underlining the government’s robust efforts to boost cruise tourism in the country.

In line with these efforts, Prime Minister Modi flagged off the “World’s Longest River Cruise on January” 13, 2023, a historic journey from Varanasi to Dibrugarh, covering approximately 3200 km via Bangladesh. The successful completion of this monumental cruise on February 28, 2023, at Dibrugarh, Assam, marks a significant milestone in India’s cruise tourism landscape.

To foster sustainable growth, the Ministry has crafted a comprehensive national strategy, “Incredible Cruises in India,” targeting coastal, ocean, and river cruises. Plans include international year-round cruise terminals and the development of river cruise tourism, showcasing heritage sites, religious locales, and wildlife sanctuaries. India is sailing into the future, making waves in the cruise tourism sector with a strategic vision for an incredible journey on its waters.