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Costa Serena to home port in Mumbai, sailings to start from Nov 4

Costa Cruises is set to home port it’s Costa Serena starting November 4 from Mumbai, and set to add a new destination, Lakshadweep to it’s route network commemorating its 75th year of operations. The ship will be sailing from Mumbai to the high seas, Goa and Lakshadweep.

Sarbandana Sonowal, Union Minister of Ports, Shipping and Waterways along with Roberto Alberti, Senior Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer, Costa Cruises; Francesco Raffa, Director Asia Region & Growth Markets, Costa Cruises; Alessandro De Masi, Consul General of Italy in Mumbai;  Nalini Gupta, Lotus Aero Enterprises, GSA of Costa Cruises, and other senior officials made this announcement at an event in Mumbai today.

Sonowal said, “India has successfully launched the world’s longest river cruise, originating from Benaras and traversing through 27 river fronts, and reaching Dibrugarh in Assam through Bangladesh. This voyage had 32 Swiss nationals landing at 50 airports from India. For the second season, we are seeing interest from a lot of European tourists. This clearly shows the kind of opportunity India has for coastal, ocean and river cruising. With Costa sailing from Mumbai, it will only further strengthen the bilateral relationship between India and Italy. The current infrastructure we have built is state-of-the-art, and technologically advanced with seamless immigration procedure. We are further improving on the necessary clearances to further ease cruise travel. ”

Assuring complete support from the Government of India, Sonowal said, “We are offering complete support to cruise liners to home port their ships at Indian ports. We are ready to support further development of our port infrastructure to accommodate large cruise ships. It is a moment of pride for us that when the Mumbai Port completes 150 years, we have Costa coming back to offer domestic cruising options to Indian travellers.”

He urged Costa Cruises to explore year-round sailings from India, depending on the weather conditions, and explore the East coast of India for opportunities.

Costa Serena has a capacity to accommodate 3780 passengers across it’s 14 decks, and offers 10 restaurants. For domestic sailings, passengers require their Aadhar Card to board the ship. Sailings will start from November 4 and operate until January 1.

Alberti 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 strongly committed in offering our Indian guests a unique holiday experience onboard Costa Serena, and we are truly looking forward to starting our operations in November. Costa Serena will be the largest cruise ship to operate domestic itineraries in India. We are hopeful of reaching pre-pandemic passenger numbers from India with this sailing.”

Gupta is happy that after a lull of three years Costa is back to the Indian shores. “I am hopeful that the 2023 sailing will see larger interest from the Indian market since the appetite for cruising has only grown.”

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