Louis Cruises India, a subsidiary of the Louis Cruises has launched its operations in India with Kochi as its homeport. Louis Cruises is the cruise arm of Louis Group, a leading European tourism organization based in the Mediterranean with a 74-year-old history, 20 four and five star hotels in Greece and Cyprus and a fleet of 12 cruise ships.
The launch of Louis Cruises India forms part of Louis Cruises’ strategy for further expanding its international operations by entering and developing new markets. With cruising being a fairly new form of holidaying in the Indian market, Louis Cruises India aims to further promote the benefits and beauties of cruising in comfort and style to some of the region’s most enticing destinations at a great value for money. Louis Cruises India will operate three-day and one-day cruises out of the port of Kochi from December 2009 to May 2010 on board MV Aquamarine
MV Aquamarine currently operates 3 and 4day cruises out of Piraeus and upon completion of her cruise program in the Aegean she will sail for Kochi which will be her homeport for the winter season. MV Aquamarine carries 1,200 passengers and boasts all the comforts and amenities to cater for the needs and hospitality of her Indian passengers. She will be operating itineraries on the Kochi €“ Maldives €“ Kochi route and the Kochi €“ Colombo €“ Kochi route, in addition to a one-night high seas sailing itinerary.
The launch of Louis Cruises India was announced today during a ceremony whereby a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between Louis Cruises and Kerala Tourism, the official tourism authority of the region, with the common goal to market and promote cruise tourism out of Kochi. The official signing by Mr. M Sivasankar, Director of Kerala Tourism and Mr. Oneil Khosa, Managing Director of Louis Cruises India took place in the presence of Mr. Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, Minister for Home, Vigilance and Tourism in Trivandrum, India. The MOU is a big step towards promoting cruise tourism, a relatively new concept in India, to a burgeoning domestic market. The exclusive arrangement will enable both organizations to further promote and introduce cruising to the Indian market.
In his address during the ceremony, Minister Balakrishnan stated: “The increasing number of international cruise lines calling at Kochi is an indication that the port is emerging as a major destination in the region. Kochi was a natural choice for Louis Cruises India, not just because it boasts all the characteristics and potential of an emerging cruise hub but also because of the positive approach of the State government towards tourism. Nearly 60,000 travellers are expected to embark on their voyage from Kochi. This would bring real economic benefit to the State in addition to generating new jobs for the local community”, the Minister concluded.
“Exotic voyages from Kochi, is an exciting product to offer the Indian market, which is craving for new experiences. Louis Cruises India is the only company that will be offering cruises from Kochi targeted at the Indian market,” said Dr Venu V, Secretary, Kerala Tourism. Speaking at the same ceremony, Mr. M Sivasankar, Director, Kerala Tourism underlined that “This new initiative will add on to the Kerala experience in a big way. It will help tour operators to offer even more attractive holiday options by adding the cruises to the packages they sell”.