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All you need to know about Cordelia Cruises

With the global cruise liners commencing sailings on international waters, Mumbai-based Cordelia Cruises is upbeat about its maiden voyage on September 16, 2021. Claimed to be India’s first luxury cruise liner, Cordelia Cruises’ first ship ‘Empress’ is currently in Dubai at Port Rashid in drydock. The ship is expected to reach India by September 9th and go on its first cruise sailing on September 16th which is a charter cruise named ‘Celebfie’. The maiden voyage is on September 18th from Mumbai to Goa.

Waterways Leisure Tourism Private Limited forayed into the Indian cruise industry under the maiden brand, Cordelia Cruises, and is affiliated with the Dream Hotel Group which is a hotel and brand management company with more than 30 years of experience in managing properties around the world.

The Empress is a 48,563 tonnage ship with 9 passenger decks (11 decks in total), 796 cabins, and has a capacity of 2000 passengers and 680 crew members. Talking about cabins and suites, the ship will feature 329 Inside Cabins, 69 Balcony Cabins, 425 Oceanview Cabins, and 6 Balcony Suites. The largest accommodation will be the Royal Suite (590 ft2 / 55 m2, with a terrace, sized 290 ft2 / 27 m2).

The ship is also providing cruise insurance to all the passengers which is included in the final cost of the cruise package. Currently, the brand is in touch with over 6,000 travel agents in India and is working closely with over 20 channel partners including IRCTC, Online Travel Agents (OTA) like and travel companies like OneAbove, Destination Masters, Travel Boutique Online, And Everywhere Global, and many more.

Health protocols and SOPs for crew and passengers
Firstly, all the crew onboard Empress is double vaccinated and will be wearing masks (except during the entertainment shows) at all times in public spaces. On the other hand, all the passengers will be required to carry a negative RT-PCR test copy despite being double vaccinated or not vaccinated at all. Passengers will have to wear masks in public spaces on the ship except in restaurants, bars and pool area. According to Jurgen Bailom, CEO & President, Waterways Leisure Tourism, the company is working closely with government bodies and port authorities to ensure all health precautions are in place for the safety of passengers and crew.

Speaking about the same, he said, “Apart from following all the SOPs (Standard OPerating Procdeudres) by government and port authorities, we are also working closely with our channel partners and local travel companies which will organize land excursions for our passengers at different ports. To avoid crowding of passengers in one place on the ship, we have set up the cruise floor in such a manner that we will have a balanced traffic flow of passengers across the ship at any given point in time. With all the health and safety protocols in place, we are sure our guests will have a safe and memorable cruise holiday onboard Cordelia.

In short, Cordelia Cruises will be implementing all the standard protocols for its crew members and guests. This includes:
● Crew members are fully vaccinated
● Daily health checks for the crew members
● Hourly sanitization of the facilities
● Air-filtration and Social Distancing norms
● Number of guests limited as per the official mandate by the government.
● Special services team in charge of the safety and health of senior citizens and children
● Pre-requisite of tests and vaccination before boarding for guests being worked out apart from comprehensive pre-travel checks
● Well-spaced waiting areas, sanitization stations
● Contactless and online facilities for check-in, boarding, etc.
● QR code enabled digital menus in restaurants and bars.
● Fully functional medical centre onboard the cruise equipped with all the required medical essentials
● Equipped to handle medical emergencies, if required.

A cruise liner by Indians for Indians: global vision, local thinking
According to Bailom, Cordelia Cruises is a proud Indian cruise liner and promises an international cruising experience with Indian hospitality, cuisine and entertainment. Given that food is arguably one of the most important aspects of hospitality, Cordelia has partnered with the Apollo Group for its food and drink offerings. With immense variety, the food aboard Cordelia includes a plethora of cuisines and flavours catering to wide-ranging palates and tastes. There will be dining options like an in-house oriental restaurant (dishes from Japan to Thailand), Mughlai cuisine (dishes from the medieval Indo-Persian Mughal Empire), Indian street foods, several food stations (tandoor, grills, pizzas, pasta and Jain cuisine), in addition to various desserts (confectionery and sweets).

True to its name, Cordelia aspires to promote and drive the cruise culture in India through experiences that are stylish, luxurious, and most importantly, inherently Indian. Cordelia is a cruise liner for Indians catering to the way Indians love to holiday. We intend to bring in the best of cuisine to our guests on Empress. You will have the best ‘masala chai’ to start your mornings and our iconic ‘Empress Dal’ which will be the finest ‘Dal Makhani’ at sea. We understand that Indian travellers are big-time foodies and we will make sure that they enjoy the best of cuisine on their cruise holidays with us,” said Bailom.

In terms of entertainment and leisure activities, the ship will feature a fitness center, sauna, Jacuzzis, rock climbing wall, and two pools. The company has partnered with Wizcraft International Entertainment for all its production shows which will be created and showcased by a team of 110 crew members.

In terms of events, the ship has already booked close to 14 weddings and multiple charters. Talking about the ship being an ideal destination for Indian weddings, Bailom said, “While many international cruise ships don’t allow fire onboard for Indian weddings’ ‘pheras’; the Empress will permit the auspicious celebrations along with following all safety norms and regulations. Moreover, we are working closely with a few wedding planners and experts to further enhance our offerings and make cruise weddings more accessible with flexible products and unique offerings.”