Mega Luxury Cruise Vessel “M.V.Ovation of the Seas” called at the Cochin Port for stop-over in its circuit of Dubai-Muscat-Kochi-Penang-Singapore. The vessel with 4000 passengers and 1649 crew was given a warm and colourful reception at the Cochin Port in ethnic style with flowers, sindhoor and chendamelam.
“M.V.Ovation of the Seas” is a brand new ship of the Royal Caribbean Lines which was floated out in April this year. It is 348 m long and is in the 2nd largest class of cruise vessel. 90 passengers from Dubai/ Muscat disembarked at Cochin Port and 80 passengers will embark from the Port.
A brief plaque exchange ceremony was held to commemorate the inaugural call. Shri G.Senthilvel, Chairman, Cochin Port, Dr. C.Unnikrishnan Nair, Traffic Manager, Cochin Port, Shri Sethuraman, IPS, FRRO (Bureau of Immigration), Shri M.M.Haseeja, Ministry of Shipping, Shri Mohamed Farouk, Asst. Director General, Ministry of Tourism, Govt. of India, Shri Thomas Korah, Joint Director, Kerala Tourism Department and other officials participated. Senior officials from Kerala Tourism and India Tourism were present to help the tourists for the local visits. Officials from the Ministry of Shipping and Ministry of Tourism, Government of India had specially come from New Delhi to welcome the cruise vessel as part of the Government of India’s measures to promote Cruise Tourism. It may be noted that a new Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for Cruise Shipping was notified by the Ministry of Tourism during the Maritime India Summit held during April, 2016. The Port had arranged pre-paid taxis and auto rickshaws for the tourists. The state police in large numbers regulated the safe passage of the tourists to the city.
The Port facilitated setting up of 30 stalls displaying and selling ethnic items including exquisite coir carpets, paintings, metal ware and cotton goods from Erode which caught the fancy of the tourists immensely. A special stall was dedicated for selling products by Tribal Welfare Department. The tourists visited various parts of Cochin and about 500 tourists went to Alleppey for the House Boat ride. The vessel is casting.