Middle East Cruise News

Indian cruise line Cordelia Cruises set to return to the Middle East in 2024

Cordelia Cruises will return to Dubai next year with a series of cruises to the Middle East planned for its single cruise ship Empress.

Empress, the former Empress of the Seas of Royal Caribbean, will offer a series of roundtrip cruises from Mumbai in India to a variety of ports in the Arabian Gulf.

From June, 2024, Empress will sail several grand voyages from India to destinations like Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sir Bani Yas Island, Oman, Bahrain, and Qatar in the Middle East.

Empress of Cordelia Cruises

The announcement came as Empress returned to India’s east coast following a hugely successful cruise season out of Chennai sailing roundtrip to Sri Lanka.

Between now and June next year, Empress will sail roundtrip from Mumbai on shorter 4-night voyages to Kochi Lakshadweep, and Goa.

“We are immensely proud of Cordelia Cruises’ journey and the success of our Sri Lanka sailings,” said Jurgen Bailom, President & CEO of Waterways Leisure Tourism, the parent company of Cordelia Cruises.

“As we return to the vibrant city of Mumbai, we are not just sailing back to our roots, but we are also setting sail towards an exciting future,” he added. “With a deep commitment to showcasing the beauty of India’s coastline, we aspire to make India a global leader in cruise tourism.”

Bailom has previously stated his intention of establishing India as a major cruise source market, and has led the emergence of Cordelia as a major domestic cruise brand, India’s first mainstream homegrown cruise line.

Empress of Cordelia Cruises in Dubai

Cordelia was also the first Indian cruise brand to set sail internationally when it began cruising to Sri Lanka this year, and has positioned itself as a direct competitor to Costa Cruises, the Italian cruise giant that homeports annually in Mumbai.

The cruise line has carried more than 400,000 passengers since it was launched in September, 2021, and has plans to leverage India’s 7,500 kilometre coastline and turn the country into a global cruise destination and home market.

The upcoming 4-night itineraries from Mumbai, to Kochi Lakshadweep, and Goa will include celebrations of Navratri and Diwali on board the Empress in a unique maritime setting with luxurious amenities and cultural experiences.

Then, in 2024 it will introduce Indian passengers to the opulence and cultural richness of the Middle East, further enhancing Cordelia Cruises’ reputation as a global cruise line.

These itineraries will mark Cordelia Cruises’ return to the region, as Empress underwent refit and refurbishment in Dubai following her acquisition from Royal Caribbean back in 2020.

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