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Former Royal Caribbean Ship Empress of the Seas Sold to Indian Startup

Empress of the Seas

Royal Caribbean International’s Empress of the Seas may be heading to a new cruise line based in India, according to a press release from Cordelia Cruises which said it had bought the ship.

Of note, the news statement quotes Jurgen Bailom, president and CEO of Cordelia Cruises. Bailom was most recently the head of Jalesh Cruises, overseeing an aggressive cruise line launch in India.

Bailom said in the press release: “It gives me immense pleasure to inform you that Waterways Leisure Tourism Pvt Ltd. that recently acquired over the Jalesh Cruises brand, has decided to further capitalize the immense potential of cruising by entering in the Indian market with the Empress of the Seas, that belonged to the global giant Royal Caribbean International until recently. With an individual capacity of 2,000 passengers, she has sailed many coastlines and high seas in her glorious past. I look forward to your support in continuing the legacy of Jalesh Cruises in upholding the spirit, culture, and value of “Incredible India” and being the evangelist of Joy by curating memorable cruise holidays that delight customers.”

Another company executive, Gunjan Khanna Sr., was quoted on LinkedIn mentioning the new cruise line was also in discussions to buy a second ship.

If Cordella has indeed acquired the 1990-built Empress, Royal Caribbean has been able to sell the ship into a non-competing market in a key strategic move. 

Jalesh Cruises shut down operations earlier this year, with its one ship, the Karnika sold for scrap.

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