Dubai has welcomed India’s first premium cruise liner, ‘Karnika’ by Jalesh Cruises, to Mina Rashid as it homeports in Dubai for the season.
Christened in an official naming ceremony in Mumbai, India last month, Karnika is Jalesh Cruises’ first liner to homeport in the region, marking a significant milestone for both the Indian domestic and international cruise industry. In celebration of this significant occasion, a traditional ‘Plaques and Keys Exchange’ ceremony was hosted on board in the presence of the ship’s captain and key industry stakeholders from the Dubai Cruise Committee.
The vessel will commence the operation of regular Arabian Gulf itineraries from June to mid-September 2019, entertaining both residents and visitors of Dubai. Cruise aficionados can choose from two itineraries a week with Dubai as the home port; the Friday itinerary is set to cover Abu Dhabi and Bahrain while the Monday itinerary will include Muscat and Khasab.
"Proving its position as the Middle East’s leading cruise destination, the Karnika’s arrival highlights the value proposition Mina Rashid offers to luxury cruise lines globally. Our world-class quality services have exhibited Mina Rashid to be the preferred tourist destination observing a 172 percent increase in visitors between 2014 and 2018," Mohammed Abdul Aziz Al Mannai, CEO of P&O Marinas and Mina Rashid CEO, commented.
For his part, Jamal Alfalasi, Director of Dubai Cruise Tourism, noted, "Our support for Jalesh Cruises further cements the enduring bond that exists between India and the Emirate, underpinning our continued commitment to Dubai’s top performing source market which brought in more than 564,836 visitors during Q1 of 2019."
In turn, Jurgen Bailom, President and CEO of Jalesh Cruises, stated, "It is an honour and a privilege for us at Jalesh Cruises to bring India’s first premium ship Karnika to her second home, Dubai. Karnika is equipped with international level cruise amenities."
Weighing 70,285 gross tonnes, Jalesh Cruises’ Karnika ship sailed its maiden voyage from Mumbai to Goa in April and has since made 15 trips around India. The ship set off on its first international cruise from Mumbai to Dubai in May and will port in the Emirate until mid-September.