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Cordelia Cruises: Manifesting 120-days Asian cruise itineraries in coming years

India-based Cordelia Cruises officially completed one year of operations today (September 18th inaugural sailing from Mumbai). In 12 months, Cordelia Cruises has managed to organise 104 sailings, welcoming over 1,00,000 guests with over 300 entertainment shows onboard and touching 7 different ports with two home ports. Moving ahead, the brand aspires to be a global brand with an Indian heart, said Jurgen Bailom, President & CEO, Cordelia Cruises.

From inducting a second ship into the fleet in early 2023 to adding longer itineraries of 4,5 and 7 nights and working towards the ultimate plan of offering 120-days long partial world cruise itinerary; Cordelia Cruises aspires to break many world records and bring India on the global cruise map.

Speaking to Indian Cruise Connosseiurs about the one-year milestone, Bailom said, “India is ready for cruise tourism and we, as a brand, will continue to implement whatever the Indian customer needs. I’m thankful to each and every guest of Cordelia who sailed with us and showed confidence in our brand, to every team member who helped us achieve our targets before time and to all our trade partners to help us promote our brand among the Indian consumers. We are a brand built on passion & dedication and we will continue to do better by taking feedback from our customers & partners and adapting to market travel trends.”

During the virtual conversation, Bailom informed that the company is also working to roll out a loyalty programme by 2024 to encourage guests to return to Cordelia for longer cruise itineraries. “We are aiming to receive 30 – 40 per cent repeat guests by next year and with the loyalty programme, the guests will see the added value which in turn will help us achieve our repeat guest ratio target. Moreover, we also want to acknowledge the confidence of our repeat customers through the loyalty programme,” added Bailom.

Speaking about the long-term vision, Bailom said, “We still have many ports and destinations which can be included in Cordelia Cruises itineraries. You will soon see places like Kolkata, Gujarat and Lakshwadeep (more stops and longer itineraries) in the coming times. And internationally, we have opportunities in Maldives, Sri Lanka, Mauritius and many other locations. In fact, I’ve already jotted down a 120-days itinerary which covers destinations like Mauritius, Madagascar, Maldives, India, China, Singapore, Thailand and major South East Asian countries. The only thing is implementation which takes a long time as it involves many stakeholders and decision-makers. But I would love to see this plan coming into action. I want to make Cordelia Cruises a global cruise company with Indian hospitality and services. Additionally, we want to grow in a sustainable way by creating more job opportunities and being environmentally conscious as much as we can.”

To our surprise, Cordelia Cruises in India receive over 60% of bookings directly to its call centre and the rest comes from travel trade partners. Now, globally, especially in matured cruise markets like US and Europe, 80% of the bookings are done via travel trade partners. India was late to wake up to cruise tourism as a segment but surprisingly, it is moving faster than expected acting mature with different booking cultures. Speaking on the same, Bailom said. “The world is watching us and observing the Indian cruise market very closely. Post-pandemic, booking patterns and travel trends have changed completely. Every cruise market in the world is different and we are adapting as per the market requirement.”

The Empress – which is currently homeported in Chennai doing the monsoon sailings will be back in Mumbai homeport by end of this month and will be doing special sailings for Navratri, Diwali and New Year. It was on September 11, 2021, that the Empress – their first ship under the Cordelia Cruises brand reached India, the first sailing with passengers was from Goa to Mumbai on September 16th while the inaugural sailing was on September 18, 2022.