MV Boudicca , the Bahamas-based luxury cruise liner, berthed at the Kochi port on Sunday morning, signalling the beginning of cruise season in Kerala.
The luxury liner was built in 1973 and belongs to Fred Olsen Cruise Lines, a UK-based Norwegian-owned cruise shipping line. The ship, with 506 tourists and 389 crew members on board, reached the Kochi port around 6.30 a.m., said a press release.
The cruise ship, which began its journey from Abu Dhabi on October 4, docked at the Mumbai port prior to its arrival in Goa where it berthed for a night. From Goa, it sailed to the Kochi port. Officials of the Tourism Department were present at the cruise berth terminal to give a warm ceremonial welcome to the ship.
“The arrival of the first cruise ship marks the beginning of cruise season in Kerala. It will provide a boost to the State’s efforts to attract more foreign and domestic tourists after the recent floods. It also sends out a message to tourists from far and wide that Kerala’s waters are absolutely safe,” said Rani George, Secretary, Department of Tourism.
“Tourist inflow has already started, and the arrival of the first cruise vessel will give a good start for the season. We are expecting the arrival of more cruise ships in the coming days,” said Tourism Director P. Bala Kiran.
The tourists will visit various destinations in the State, including Fort Kochi, Mattancherry, and Alappuzha, before leaving for Vizhinjam on Monday by 7 p.m. The ship will leave for Colombo from Vizhinjam, the press release added.
Chartered flight: Earlier, the season’s second chartered flight to Kerala, carrying 59 tourists from France, arrived at the Cochin International Airport on Saturday. A ceremonial reception was accorded to the French tourists. The first chartered flight of the season arrived here last month, carrying 60 tourists from Australia, according to a release here. The French tourists will visit various destinations in the State before leaving for Sri Lanka on Monday.