While the Empress is docking, tourism is preparing for a comeback | Kochi news

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Kochi: When the MV Empress, a luxury cruise ship from Mumbai, called Kochi on Wednesday morning, Manzoori from Gujarat and 11 other relatives were the first to disembark. The group of 12 went on a houseboat trip to Alappuzha before MV Empress set off for Lakshadweep with around 1,200 of them.
The tourism department had not arranged a houseboat trip for the passengers as the ship would leave for Lakshadweep at 4 p.m. “But Manzoori and his team insisted that a houseboat trip be organized for them. They were so intrigued by the houseboat cruise, ”said Sanjeev Kumar of Voyages Kerala, the agency that organized the tour.
In order to explore the possibilities of a future connection to the cruise service in the Mumbai-Kochi-Lakshadweep sector, representatives of several travel agencies were also present on the ship’s maiden voyage. Cordelia, the operator of MV Empress, plans to operate twice a month in this sector for the next 12 months. “It was a very pleasant trip. Food and other facilities, including the casino on the ship, meet international standards, ”said Melvin, an official with Osaka Travels, Angamaly.
Of the 300 travelers who disembarked in Kochi, 127 passengers went ashore for a few hours of sightseeing. Others drove to various destinations on their own, ending the cruise in Kochi.
The State Tourism Department welcomed the guests with a performance by Velakali dancers and women in traditional Kerala Kasavu saris to welcome them. The port of Cochin sported a festive look as Velakali performers with sword and shield swayed in two rows with graceful force. The guests were welcomed by Kerala Tourism Director K Radhakrishnan and Deputy Director TG Abhilash, as well as senior officials from the Port of Cochin.

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