As Cordelia cruises is all decked up with new itineraries and a renewed focus on safety, comfort and convenience, Jurgen Bailom, CEO & President for Waterways Leisure Tourism talks to Travel Turtle and shares the unparalleled services the guests should look forward to.
Cruise is one of the worst affected industries from the pandemic globally, and revenues from the industry have seen a tremendous drop. What is your viewpoint on the revival of the industry (wrt global market)?
We want to thank the Government and the Shipping ministry for reducing the port tariff rates as well as tariff rates for Cruise vessels. This reduction has helped Indians to make cruising affordable to them. Since international travel is still restricted to various parts of the world, domestic tourism is on the rise and with Cruise Ships being a safe environment for the guests the response to the bookings has been phenomenal so far. We have booked lots of charters for MICE, weddings, parties for the coming months, also with the wedding season starting from November we are getting lots of queries.
The cruise industry just like the rest of the travel industry came to a complete halt in 2020. But cruises are now set to sail as all the cruise liners have developed stringent hygiene concepts that will ensure that everything will run smoothly onboard. Throughout its history, the cruise industry has responded to the vacation desires of its guests and embraced innovation to develop new destinations, new ship designs, new and diverse onboard amenities, facilities and services, plus wide-ranging shoreside activities. Sanitisers have been used on cruise ships for more than 30 years. Cruise lines have also offered their guests new cruise themes and voyage lengths to meet the changing vacation patterns of today’s travellers. Globally, the cruise industry has been one of the most successful hospitality sectors, with a huge employable workforce and is set for a revival.
- Since the second wave led to the cancellation of your initial sailing plans, how prepared are you to handle such situations in the near future? How are things looking for the sector and Cordelia cruises for 2021 and beyond?
At Cordelia, as we set to resume sailing operations from this month, we will be taking utmost precaution, with our itineraries focusing on safety, comfort, and convenience. We will take all standard health and safety protocols implemented onboard and at the ports. Cordelia is working closely with the government and health authorities in India for the implementation of their COVID-19 protection. We will ensure staggered entry, social distancing, and the pre-booked slots at dining and entertainment areas further ensuring the safety of our travellers. Cordelia promises all its guests an experience par excellence while sailing to some of the best Indian and international destinations like Goa, Diu, Lakshadweep, Kochi, and Sri Lanka.
- How well do you see these sailings clicking with the first-time cruisers?
Certainly, Being India’s first multinational cruise line with the best of everything, Cordelia is set to offer a host of amenities, Food options, entertainment, giving a whole new experience and dimension to cruising, that will leave guests, especially first-timers satisfied and eager for more. At the cruise ship, and keeping the situation in mind we will be offering multiple entertainment options, Casino, Rock Climbing etc.
- People have been starved of travel and also wellness during the lockdown period. What experiences do you have onboard for the travellers?
The pandemic halted travel, where people were restricted and confined to their homes for months. As a result, a lot of people have taken to domestic tourism and travel to drivable destinations. Nature trips have also picked up. At one point, travellers gave priority to destinations based on sightseeing, today, however, travellers are looking at secluded and safe stays, where they can relax, and be at peace. A cruise ship offers comfort, luxury, and most importantly a safe environment.
- What are you most looking forward to about getting back on board?
We are excited to commence our operations this month and look forward to welcoming our guests to an environment that offers safety and comfort. The safety of our crew and guests is of top priority, and we are doing everything to ensure that safety standards are met. As an experience provider, we want to make a difference, and create an unforgettable cruise experience for all our travellers.