CHENNAI: Who said luxury cruise voyages are the preserve of the rich in far-off western ports off Mumbai and Goa. In just a few hundred dollars or less than the price of a business class air ticket to New Delhi, anyone can experience the pomp and comfort of the cruises so far only enjoyed by the rich very much from Chennai, thanks to the State Tourism Department which has got Cordelia Cruises to launch its luxury cruise services from the state capital.
The intention of the department did not go in vain as the cruise from here saw veshti and saree clad Tamil speaking seemingly middle-class men and women of Tamilnadu ‘decorate’ the deck of the cruise anchored in Chennai Port on Saturday.
Chief Minister M K Stalin, accompanied by officials of the government, on Sunday flagged off the service, which is available in two-day, three-day and five-day packages at a price range of Rs 25,000 to Rs 96,000 per person.
To begin with, services would be available from Chennai to Vizag via Puducherry. Like in all cruises, the Cordelia Cruise would offer casino and entertainment overload on board during the voyage from Chennai to the high sea and back to Chennai before anchoring briefly at Vizag and Pondy ports.
According to informed official sources, the department is confident that the cruise service will draw more traction once when the economy hit Sri Lanka bounces back attracting tourists towards the Island nation strategically located close to the capital Chennai.
Chief Minister M K Stalin was offered a brief tour of the ship by its captain before the former flagged off the voyage. Going by the details posted on its official website, a two-day journey ticket from Chennai to Vizag would cost Rs 26,118 for an adult on decks 3 - 4 in an interior standard cabin, while a suite on decks 7, 8, and 9 would cost Rs 95,110 for the journey commencing on June 8. Ocean view and mini-suite category cabins are also available for different price ranges.