Middle East Cruise News

Jalesh Cruises may expand Dubai cruise season after acquisition of second ship

India’s first mainstream cruise line, Jalesh Cruises, will add a second ship to its fledgling fleet by October this year, according to Rajiv Duggal, Strategic Advisor, Jalesh Cruises, suggesting even more Dubai cruise itineraries may be on the horizon.

“We witnessed huge demand since Karnika sailed from Mumbai on April 17, 2019,” he told Economic Times India. “We are witnessing huge growth in bookings. In this calendar year we expect minimum 35-40 per cent growth in bookings from last year.”

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Karnika is the cruise line’s first ship, which it took delivery of in April in Singapore following a major refit. Karnika previously sailed as Pacific Jewel for P&O Australia.

While Duggal did not go into any detail about the second-hand vessels Jalesh Cruises was considering, he did say that it would have a crew of 900, like Karnika, suggesting a ship in the same size range.

Karnika is 68,000-gross tons and carries 2,014 passengers. She has multiple bars and restaurants, a spa, state-of-the-art fitness centre, retail promenade, two pools, and even a casino.

While the ship spends the summer season sailing from Mumbai to Goa on roundtrip cruises, she also spent a cruise season in Dubai sailing roundtrip in the Arabian Gulf on shorter cruises to Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Doha, Muscat or Sir Ban Yas Island.

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Her debut cruise season was a huge success, and the ship arrived recently for her second cruise season through the Middle East winter.

Dubai is a hugely popular cruise destination for Indian cruise tourists and it’s to be expected that Jalesh will expand its Middle East commitment once the new ship is commissioned.

“It is an honour and a privilege for us at Jalesh Cruises to bring India’s first premium ship Karnika to her second home, Dubai,” said Jurgen Bailom, President & CEO, Jalesh Cruises when the ship debuted in Dubai last year.

“Karnika is equipped with international level cruise amenities, she is a beautiful ship designed to enthrall both domestic and international guests with famed Indian hospitality,” he added. “Our ship will make it possible for both Indians living in Dubai and locals to experience a cruise vacation that will delight all those who sail aboard her.”

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