(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) With an array of exclusive food and beverage outlets, and an indoor luxury spa, India's first premium cruise liner Karnika has made her debut in the region. With her first international trip from Mumbai to Dubai, 'Karnika' by Jalesh Cruises has been berthed at Mina Rashid as her homeport in Dubai for the season.
Khaleej Times was taken on a behind-the-scenes tour of the cruise line, where members of the media got a sneak peek into Karnika's varied hospitality offers.
Weighing 70,285 gross tonnes, she was built for Sitmar Cruises by Fincantieri in Monfalcone, Italy, and launched in 1989.
"The cruise liner sailed her maiden voyage from Mumbai to Goa in April, and has since made 15 trips around India. The ship set off on its first international cruise from Mumbai to Dubai in May and will port in the emirate until mid-September," said Jasem Zaiton, the global cruise solutions commercial manager for Inchscape Shipping Services, the shipping agent for Karnika in the UAE.
Services on board
According to Joginder Singh Chauhan, the activities manager of the cruise liner, passengers can enjoy a selection of cuisines, entertainment, as well as a variety of adventure and relaxation options, especially for families.
Chauhan explained: "There are 14 decks on board and the ship does not have a 13th deck or floor in shipping terminology. The passenger cabins are decks 10 and 11. On deck 14, we have a fitness centre, health spa and salon, a giant viewing screen and a discotheque."
He added: "The 12th deck is a food court, which provides a speciality station for Jain food and international grill, a restaurant for Pan Asian cuisine called Chopstix and a Caf." Karnika is also the only cruise liner that has a tandoor and sheesha bar on board.
The ship also offers Broadway shows, burlesque performances, music and dance nights, movie screenings and adventure activities keeping guests entertained at sea.
Additionally, while in port, the cruise offers many different land-based excursions in different locations for passengers looking to explore the surrounding areas.
Nearly 700 crew work on board the ship, and it can carry a total of 1,700 passengers. However, the ship can cater to 2,000 passengers per itinerary.
"The vessel will commence the operation of regular Arabian Gulf itineraries from June to mid-September 2019," added Zaiton. Cruise aficionados can choose from two itineraries a week with Dubai as the home port; the Friday itinerary is set to cover Abu Dhabi and Bahrain while the Monday itinerary will include Muscat and Khasab.
Jalesh Cruises 2019 itineraries can been found on its website www.jaleshcruises.com
Originally from India, Dhanusha Gokulan has been working as a journalist for 10 years. She has a keen interest in writing about issues that plague the common person, and will never turn down a human interest story. She completed her Bachelor in Arts in Journalism, Economics, and English Literature from Mangalore University in 2008. In her spare time, she dabbles with some singing/songwriting, loves travelling, and Audible is her favourite mobile application. Tweet at her @wordjunkie88