Dubai has welcomed India’s first premium cruise liner, ‘Karnika’ by Jalesh Cruises, to Mina Rashid as it homeports in Dubai for the season.
Karnika is Jalesh Cruises’s first liner to homeport in the region.
The vessel will begin operating regular GCC itineraries from June to mid-September 2019, aiming to cater to both residents and visitors in Dubai.
It will offer two itineraries a week with Dubai as the home port – the Friday itinerary is set to cover Abu Dhabi and Bahrain while the Monday itinerary will include Muscat and Khasab.
Weighing 70,285 gross tonnes, Karnika made its maiden voyage from Mumbai to Goa in April and has since made 15 trips around India. The ship set off on its first international cruise from Mumbai to Dubai in May and will port in the emirate until mid-September.
The ship offers Broadway shows, Burlesque performances, music and dance nights, movie screenings and adventure activities. While in port, the cruise offers many different land-based excursions in different locations.
Jurgen Bailom, president and CEO, Jalesh Cruises, said: “Karnika is equipped with international level cruise amenities. A beautiful ship designed to enthrall both domestic and international guests with Indian hospitality, our ship will make it possible for both Indians living in Dubai and locals to experience a cruise vacation.”
Dubai has been focussing heavily on boosting its cruise tourism industry, with a goal to welcome one million cruise tourists in the 2020/ 21 season.
The Hamdan Bin Mohammed Cruise Terminal – the biggest cruise terminal in the world in term of size and handling capacity – received more than 2.3 million tourists since its inauguration in 2014 and up to till end of 2018.
In 2018, the terminal received 632,700 visitors and welcomed 120 ships.
According to Dubai Tourism, the number of cruise tourists arriving in the emirate is expected to reach 725,000 in the 2018/19 season.
Looking ahead, the emirate is also hoping to serve as the homeport for 10 of the world’s leading international cruise lines.