Cordelia Cruises, a popular Indian cruise operator, has announced its plans to expand its itinerary by including important ports in West Asia starting from June 2024. Jurgen Bailom, the President and CEO of Waterways Leisure Tourism Pvt. Ltd., the parent company of Cordelia Cruises, revealed this exciting development during an interaction. Bailom stated that after successfully launching international sailings from Chennai to three coasts in Sri Lanka last month, the company aims to explore the coasts of Oman, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the entire Gulf region, Qatar, and Bahrain from Mumbai.
Waterways Leisure Tourism Pvt. Ltd., a subsidiary of the Dream Hotel Group, owns Cordelia Cruises. The cruise operator, which primarily caters to the Indian market, is now planning to offer a wider range of options for Indian travelers. In addition to the existing five-night package to Sri Lanka, Cordelia Cruises will introduce three, four, five, and seven-night packages for voyages from Mumbai to West Asia. The cost of these packages is expected to range from approximately ₹11,000 to ₹13,000 per person per day.
Mr. Bailom emphasized that the decision to venture into international routes, starting with Sri Lanka this year and West Asia in 2024, aligns with their long-term vision and commitment to promote India’s maritime tourism industry. He further highlighted the increasing number of Indian tourists choosing Cordelia Cruises since its launch. Since September 2021, over 400,000 individuals have traveled with the company, including 130,000 travelers on the West coast circuit and 70,000 on the East coast circuit each year.
Expressing optimism about the tourism potential from India and Southeast Asia, Mr. Bailom noted that global travel figures have surpassed pre-pandemic levels. Recognizing this growth potential, Cordelia Cruises plans to acquire 2-3 vessels larger than its current flagship, Cordelia, in the near future. Each vessel is estimated to cost around ₹500 crore, which will be funded through internal accruals.
When asked about the possibility of establishing its own cruise terminal, Bailom emphasized the current need for developing proper infrastructure and increasing awareness. Cordelia Cruises currently operates on the East Coast (Chennai-Sri Lanka) from July to September and on the West Coast (Mumbai, Goa, Kochi, and Lakshadweep) from October to June, taking monsoon conditions into account.
Bailom highlighted that India possesses the world’s third-largest coastline, offering tremendous opportunities for the cruise industry. Looking ahead, Cordelia Cruises envisions the possibility of visiting other ports such as Kolkata, Port Blair, Diu, New Mangaluru, and Porbandar, provided that infrastructure permits.
In conclusion, Bailom reaffirmed the company’s commitment to delivering a consistent and exceptional cruising experience, expressing their intention to continue operations in the years to come and beyond.