Indian Union minister for port, shipping, water ways Sarbananda Sonowal on Monday flagged off India’s first cruise ship to Sri Lanka from Chennai Port, Times of India reported.
The luxury cruise ship named Cordelia Empress will reach Sri Lanka’s Hambantota Port on June 7.
From there, it will sail to Trincomalee and dock there for a day before sailing back to Chennai on June 9.
The ship features a luxury shopping area, pubs, a swimming pool, a food court, a casino, a play area, spas, theatres and others.
Addressing a gathering on the ship, the minister said, “It’s the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to promote cruise tourism in our country. The initiatives taken by the Chennai Port Authority and the Tamil Nadu government’s tourism department are praiseworthy.”
He said the Union government has started building international cruise terminals in Mumbai at Rs 5,000 crore. “It will be ready soon,” he said.
Cordelia CEO Jurgen Bailom said the ship would carry 50,000 passengers from India to Sri Lanka in the next four months.
The cruise line will offer 3-night, 4-night, and 5-night cruise options to Sri Lanka from Chennai.