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Thursday, 14 February, 2019, 15 : 13 PM [IST]

‘We are monitoring policies being made to increase cruise tourism in India’

With MSC Lirica making a port of call in Indian waters, Disha Shah Ghosh spoke to Kunal Sampat, General Manager – India, MSC Cruises, on their plans for India that has become a favourite market for global cruise lines.
Q What made MSC Cruises decide to include India for Lirica’s voyage?
India has been on MSC Cruises’ expansion plans since a long time. MSC Cruises is making an investment of USD 12 billion to introduce 12 new technological advanced ships and triple the capacity by 2026. With such a huge expansion plan, we must expand our regions of sailings as well. Hence, we are trying different port of calls in various countries to see that the best itinerary can be provided to our esteemed guests during their voyage.

Q Any plans to make India as a permanent fixture for MSC Lirica?
India is a beautiful country waiting to be explored through the sea route by quite a few nationalities. We have had sailings touching India ports along with UAE and Oman, and have had sailings towards the East. The planning team is working on the best itinerary and, we are looking at the best ship which can be deployed in this region. These are the 2 main factors which are being considered to ensure that our guests are being offered a delightful experience during their journey.

Q What kind of commitment is MSC Cruises looking at making in India?
We are still monitoring the policies being made to increase cruise tourism in India. 2019 being an election year, we have to see what new economic reforms will be coming into effect before taking any decision.

During its India calling, MSC Lirica carried 2,181 passengers with crew strength of 730. Also, travel agents were given an exclusive tour of the ship to help them understand its varied offerings and services.

About MSC Lirica

  • Gross Tonnage: 65.591 tons
  • Number of passengers: 1.984
  • Crew members: About 721
  • Numbers of cabins: 992, incl. 4 for guests with disabilities
  • Lenght/Beam/Height: 274,9 m / 32 m / 54 m
  • Maximum speed: 21,70 knotsd
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