‘We expect to be sold out by Sept’

Starting November 2023 until January 2024, Costa Serena will offer 23 sailings visiting Mumbai, Cochin, Goa and, for the first time ever, Lakshadweep islands! Sailing right in the middle of holiday and festive seasons, Vasundhara Gupta, Business Development and Marketing Head, Lotus Aero Enterprises, expects 100 per cent bookings by Sept.

Hazel Jain

Costa Serena will offer a new cruise program exclusively dedicated to India, beginning November 2023 till January 2024. It will offer a total of 23 sailings with itineraries of two to five days, visiting Mumbai, Cochin, Goa and, for the first time ever, the Lakshadweep islands. The program was launched in Mumbai in the presence of

Nalini Gupta, MD, Lotus Aero Enterprises, GSA Costa Cruise India; and Sarbananda Sonowal, Union Minister of Ports, Shipping & Waterways. These sailings are targeted at families and couples, weddings as well as groups and corporate incentive travel.

Vasundhara Gupta, Business Development and Marketing Head, Lotus Aero Enterprises (GSA for Costa Cruises), says, “This is the largest cruise ship to do domestic itineraries in India. It is a relaunch of sorts, as this is the first cruise liners to come to India in 2016. Initially, Costa had home-ported a ship from Mumbai to Maldives. But what we are doing differently now is that while we had it earlier as Mumbai to

Maldives for about four years, our last itinerary from Mumbai to Maldives to Mumbai was in March 2020, this year we are newly launching pure domestic itineraries, making it very easy for any guests from India to go on a cruise holiday.”

One could see the ship sailing for longer periods in the future. Gupta adds, “Right now it’s only for two months, but we want to look at a much longer duration in the coming years. We have a combination of two nights, three and five nights. During Diwali, we have something special, where we will stay overnight in Goa. We will be for the first time ever be one of the biggest international cruise lines to have itineraries going into Lakshadweep. These will be on a five-night route on Mumbai-Kochi-Lakshadweep-Mumbai. We are hoping that by September we are sold out! The sailings are during the festive and holiday months, so we are very hopeful.”

The ship chosen by the Italian company for India is the Costa Serena, which, after itineraries from Thailand, South Korea and Taiwan, will extend its deployment in Asia. There are a total of 23 new sailings in India from 4 November 2023 to 1 January 2024, designed in collaboration with Costa’s GSA in India, Lotus Aero Enterprises.

Speaking at the occasion, Roberto Alberti, Senior Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer of Costa Cruises, said, “We have a strong and lasting bond with this wonderful country: we have already sailed our ships in India in the past, and many of our onboard colleagues are from India. We select and recruit them through dedicated training schools based right in the country. We are committed to offering our Indian guests a unique holiday experience onboard Costa Serena, which will be the largest cruise ship to operate domestic itineraries in India.”

About Costa Serena

It is an Italian-flagged ship that entered service in 2007 and weighs 114,000 gross tonnes with a capacity of up to 3,780 guests. The ship has a total of 1,500 cabins, 505 of which have private balconies, and 14 passenger decks. It features a wellness centre and gym with a sea view, a beauty salon, a theatre, restaurants serving Indian and international cuisine, bars, four swimming pools, shopping area, and a kids’ club for children and teenagers. It will add a local touch, particularly in terms of food and entertainment customised to the tastes of Indian guests.





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