Signalling the re-opening of the pandemic-hit tourism sector in Kerala for upcountry visitors, a luxury cruise from Mumbai with 1,200 travellers on board is reaching Kochi on September 22.
The luxury liner MV Empress, owned by Cordelia Cruises, will anchor at Cochin Port, Willingdon Island, at 5 am.
Around 800 guests on the ship, hailing from various states, will disembark at Kochi to explore a slice of the rich culture and history of the port city, in an on-shore tour adhering to Covid-19 protocols.
The tourists will be taken to Mattancherry and Fort Kochi, touching several points of historical importance for which the area is famed. A boat ride on the backwaters will unfold the mesmerising beauty of the ‘Queen of Arabian Sea’ before the visitors.
Kerala Tourism Minister P A Mohamed Riyas said, “The arrival of domestic tourists marks a promising start to the full-scale resumption of Kerala Tourism, overcoming the pandemic-induced crisis. This trend is set to gain pace in the coming days. “
“Kerala is a safe and secure place for the lock-down weary vacationers to come as we have put in place an efficient and meticulous bio-bubble model to create protective layers of inoculated service providers to receive and host tourists,” the Minister added.
Dr Venu V, Additional Chief Secretary, Tourism, said, “Tourism sector in Kerala is fast reconfiguring itself from the disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. All destinations across the state are getting ready to receive guests. We are looking forward to a busy season ahead.”
V R Krishna Teja, Director, Tourism, said, tourism activities in Kerala is regaining its full pace. The recently announced visitor and stakeholder friendly Caravan Tourism policy will expedite the process.
The cruise ship will leave for Kadamat, the Lakshadweep, in the afternoon . Voyager Kerala is the tour agent of the Kochi sight-seeing of the trip.