Archive for September, 2009

New cruise venture taps Indian market opportunity

The growing Indian tourism sector has proven an opportunity for new venture Louis Cruises India.  The subsidiary of Louis Cruises was officially launched in India on the 19th of September 2009.  MV Aquamarine, a 1,200 passenger capacity cruise vessel will cruise from its homeport in Kochi (colonial name Cochin).  The vibrant city situated on the south-west coast of the Indian peninsula is located in the scenic and prosperous state of Kerala, hailed as "God's Own Country."

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Kochi currently receives 6 million domestic and .5 million internationational tourists annually with a 15% growth rate.  Its proximity to the equator, the sea and the mountains provide a moderate equatorial climate.  Its historic blend of Arab, British, Chinese, Dutch and Portuguese influences provide a rich cultural setting.

According to Mr. Oneil Khosa, CEO & MD of Louis Cruises India "exotic voyages to Maldives and Colombo are generating a large interest."  The product offering will be a fusion between Western and Indian themes - in entertainment,  food and service.  As a part of the launch, Kerala Tourism has signed an exclusive deal with Louis Cruises India wherein both parties will engage in joint marketing efforts for promoting Louis Cruises India. These include an inaugural sailing in Mumbai (Bombay) with media guests and Bollywood tie-ins.

Aquamarine will be conducting Kochi-Maldives-Kochi and Kochi-Colombo-Kochi cruises with overnight stays at both the destinations. The cruises have been specially designed to allow guests the flexibility for either 3-night or a 7-night cruises.

mv_aquamarine_off_patmos

Mr. Khosa previously served DVB Bank as a cruise industry focused financier. DVB Bank has been active in the cruise industry M & A activities apart from conventional asset lending. Before joining DVB, Mr. Khosa was employed as a First Officer with Royal Caribbean Cruises Lines.


Cruise ticket prices increase 14% from early 2009 lows

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Travel agents report an average increase of 14% in cruise ticket prices during June, July and August of 2009 compared to April 2009, according to the quarterly Cruise Pulse survey. Pricing, while still below the same period the year prior, indicates stabilization in the cruise market.

There is also evidence of stronger pricing for cruises booked for 2010 departures, driven by interest in the new ship builds, more favorable demand in the European market and re-surging interest with luxury cruise lines.

Data was gathered August 25 to September 8, 2009 from 349 travel agents from around the world.  Margin of error +/- 5.2%.

Read the full report here.