Asia’s biggest cruise liner docks in Goa

Panaji, May 24 (IANS) One of the world’s biggest cruise liners, Royal Caribbean International’s Mariner of the Seas, Friday arrived at Mormugao port in Goa, which has plans of promoting the state as a destination for lucrative ocean cruise market.

En route from Dubai, the vessel was received by Deputy Chief Minister Francisco D’Souza at Goa’s only major port.

Speaking to the media here, Captain Rajesh Saigal, senior general manager of J.M. Baxi and Company, which manages the logistics of this cruise in India, said: “There are 2,947 passengers from different countries and about 1,197 crew members with 1,500 cabins in this 311-metre long ship.”

Tourism minister Dilip Parulekar, who has been agruing for broadbasing Goa’s tourism profile, said that efforts were being made to ensure that more cruise vessels dock at Goa.

“We welcome this cruise and we will work on bringing-in more cruises and tourists in Goa,” Parulekar said.

The swanky Mariner of the Seas is the largest cruise ship home-porting in Asia and is en route to Singapore from Dubai. It is expected to dock at Kochi May 26 followed by Penang and Port Klang, both in Malaysia.

The ship offers cruisers the renowned Voyager Class activities and entertainment such as the ice-skating rink, a boulevard of shops and cafes, a full-sized sports court, in-line skating track, rock-climbing wall and mini-golf course.

In addition, there is a three-tier theatre, theme bars and lounges as well as a mezzanine split level nightclub.

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