All aboard! Sailing from the UAE to India could soon be a reality, pending approvals. According to a report by Khaleej Times, a UAE-India passenger ship service initiative aims to provide Indian expats in the UAE with a cost-effective mode of travel to and from the South Indian state of Kerala.
Journeys on this proposed cruise will start from approx. AED 442 to help travellers dodge eye-watering airfare prices during peak season. Estimated prices range between AED 442 (Rs10,000) and AED 663 (Rs15,000) based on total travel time.
Which cities will the UAE-India passenger ship sail to?
Two destinations have been zeroed in for now – the scenic port cities of Kochi and Beypore in the Kozhikode (Calicut) district of Kerala. The Vizhinjam terminal in Kerala’s capital Thiruvananthapuram is a probable third stop. However, which UAE city the service will set off from is still unconfirmed.
If these routes are confirmed, this passenger ship service will effectively cover Kerala’s northern, central and southern coast, making it a convenient mode of transport for all Keralites.
How many days will the UAE-India passenger ship take to finish the journey?
The cruise liner is predicted to complete the journey between UAE and India in three days, ferrying up to 1,250 passengers at one time. What’s better? Instead of struggling to squeeze in your luggage within the 20-30kg limit set for air travel, passengers have a luggage allowance of 200kg on the ship! That’s the weight of a baby grand piano.
There will be food and entertainment on board
We’re not talking old-school barges that ferried the first of the Kerala Gulf Diaspora in the early sixties. This ship will be a luxurious affair with a variety of F&B options. Additionally, there are also ambitious plans for onboard entertainment to keep travellers amused during the three-day-long voyage.
Who’s behind this budget-friendly travel scheme?
This project is a collaboration between the Sharjah Indian Association, the Non-Resident Keralites Affairs (NORKA), and a private Indian shipping firm called Ananthapuri Shipping and Logistics Private Limited.
Delegates from government entities are meeting on September 24, 2023, to discuss the passenger ship service. If the project is green-lighted, trial runs could start as early as November and a full-fledged service could start in December. Right in time for the winter break.