New Delhi: At a time when the national debates are being dominated by the GDP growth and economic slowdown, planning luxury, cruise vacations may come across as paradoxical, but that’s not the case, according to the industry insiders. More and more Indian travellers are getting attracted to cruise vacations. About 50 per cent growth has been recorded in this sector.

Cruise tourism is one of the fastest developing areas in Indian tourism. While for wanderlust travellers, cruises are a one-of-a-kind experience, for the economy, it’s a great boost. Reports suggest that the total cruise callings on Chennai, Cochin, Mumbai, Mangalore and Mormugao were 138 ships carrying 1.76 lakh passengers in 2017-18. The number increased to 285 callings in 2019 and is projected to rise to 593.

Doesn’t this look like your next vacation destination?

Single ship, multiple destinations

A cruise vacation can be a one-stop-shop for various experiences. You can visit multiple destinations. At the same time, every day you can wake up in the lap of the seas, soaking in the pleasures. So, it’s not only the destination, the journey, too, is equally enviable.

A view to die for

India’s breathtaking coastline

India has a total coastline of 7516.6 km. Out of this, the mainland coastline consists of 6,100 km and island coastline consists of 1197 km. These are still untapped as for cruise vacations, people used to head abroad before. India’s first full-fledged international cruise terminal is coming up at Ernakulam in 2020.

Unexplored destinations near home

Not as costly as it sounds

Though cruise packages sound expensive, Indian cruises are making affordable packages. Jalesh Cruise offers deals starting from Rs 13,360.

Cruises in India have virgin destinations on their platter. For example, not many travellers have explored Ganpatikule. But it might replace Goa in your bucket list if you are up for discovering the serenity of a white sand beach of Maharashtra. it also offers water sports between November and May. Mumbai Port Trust is transforming itself into a cruise port. It will house Costa Victoria, the largest foreign cruise vessel with a capacity of 2,400 passengers. It will sail from Mumbai to the Maldives till February end.

Since this is the season for cruise vacations, here are some famous cruises:

Angriya: First luxury cruise from Mumbai to Goa

Nefertiti: An Egyptian-themed vessel from Kochi to Kozhikode.

MV Harshavardhana: Non-luxury cruises to Andaman from Kolkata, Vizag and Chennai.

MV Mahabaahu: To explore Assan by river cruise.

Jalesh: India’s first multi-destination cruise line with destinations like Mumbai, Mormugao, Diu, Ganpatipule.

Most of these cruises come with an array of in-house entertainment, wellness, relaxation options. So, what are you waiting for?