The Indian start-up cruise line Cordelia Cruises has sent its cruise ship Empress into Dubai Drydocks for a refit and renovation ahead of her maiden cruise from Dubai in September.
The ship entered Dubai Drydocks on August 23rd for conversion from Empress of the Seas into Empress for the Indian cruise line.
Empress was purchased from Royal Caribbean last year and has been in lay-up in Port Rashid during the pandemic, which shut down the global cruise industry for much of 2020.
This marks the second time Dubai Drydocks has done refit and renovation work on a cruise ship. In 2018, AIDA Cruises sent its ship AIDAstella into dry dock in Dubai for an overhaul that saw a new ice-cream bar added to the ship.
The Dubai Drydocks shipyard is located adjacent to Port Rashid, home to the Dubai Cruise Terminal, making it a convenient option for cruise line’s to undertake such projects between cruise seasons.
At the time, Dubai Drydocks told Cruise Arabia & Africa they’d be looking to do more such projects in the future.
“Our location right next to the cruise terminal at Port Rashid is a huge advantage,” said Lakshmi Janarthanan, commercial director, Dubai Yard at Dubai Drydocks World. “We expect to see more of this in the years to come as Dubai grows as a cruise tourist destination.”
Cordelia Cruises has set September 2nd, 2021 as its launch date, when Empress will sail her first revenue-generating voyage for the cruise line from Dubai.
The 4-day cruise to Mumbai will make a port call in Muscat on the first day of the cruise, before spending two days at sea while cruising for the coast of India. She’ll arrive in Mumbai on September 6th and will then commence a summer season of 2-, 3-, 4-, 5- and 7-night roundtrip cruises from Mumbai.
Cordelia Cruises is yet to reveal details about the changes they’ll be making to the ship, but have said she’ll feature several dining options, such as oriental, continental, Mughlai and Indian street food.
The ship will also have five different bars, a casino, nightclub and theatre where production shows will be staged nightly.
Up top, there are several swimming pools, a rock-climbing wall, and a “dedicated area for educational and fun activities for kids of all age groups.”