|Cruise Ship for Lakshadweep
Mangalore, November 6:
In a breakthrough tourism project, the first direct cruise from Mangalore
has begun its much awaited journey towards Lakshadweep on Saturday morning.
the very first weekend cruise voyage Lakshadweep was begun by MV Minicoy
from the New Mangalore port, carrying 140 passengers, who included men,
women and children. They were of different age groups. There was eagerness
and excitement written on their faces.
The regular tour package
has been promoted by the Lakshadweep Island Tourism Authority. The charges
are Rs 5,000 per head. The voyage takes about 14 hours. The ship that sailed
off today is expected to reach Kadmatt island around 10 am on Sunday, November
7. On its return journey it will reach Mangalore on Monday.
As the rains have receded
and sea is calm, the cruise is expected to get popular, especially, in
view of the coming holiday season.
There were around 120
passengers including 40 tourists on board the vessel which left Mangalore
City Old Port at 10:15 am.
However the tour will
be of a very short period. The cruise will be returning back to Mangalore
on Monday November 8. Lakshadweep is nearly 14 hours away from Mangalore.
Sailing down to Lakshadweep
from Mangalorean shores rather than going as far as Kochi was a long cherished
dream of the people of the city.
The Lakshadweep Development
Corporation is operating the shipping services.
According to Rasheed
Bolar, Lakshadweep tourism co-ordinator in Mangalore, the direct tourist
cruise connection between Lakshadweep and Mangalore has not only reduced
the time duration of voyage but also reduced the cost. “The total package
cost of this trip is Rs 5,130 where as via Kochi it will be Rs 11,000”
“The package includes
transportation, food, accommodation and adventure water sports etc. Sunday
will be fully packed with water sports including snorkeling, kayaking,
underwater marine wealth observation through glass bottomed boats etc”,
However Addition Deputy
Commissioner of Dakshina Kannada has clarified the organisers have not
contacted the district administration and it will not be responsible for
anything pertaining to the voyage.