Dubai: Soon, expats and tourists could travel from Kerala to Dubai, and back, on a cruise ship, according to media reports.
Regional media agencies reported this week that a much-needed sea route for passengers travelling between Dubai and Kerala has been approved by the Indian central government.
Manorama reported that the route approved is a 4000-km one from Beypur in Kozhikode, via Kochi, to Dubai. The report said Sarbananda Sonowal, India's Union Shipping Minister, commented that the route had been approved by the central government during a parliament Q&A session.
Kerala Maritime Board Chairman NS Pillai said in September that NORKA (Department of Non Resident Keralite's Affairs) had been assigned to conduct feasibilty studies on possible passenger cruise ships that could fill the gap in travel options to the UAE from Kerala.
The need for such a route was attributed to the exorbitant rates that expats and tourists have to pay during peak seasons. A June 2023 report in Kerala said that on an affordable cruise route passengers may pay from Rs10,000 to Rs15000 per person (Dh440 to Dh660).
Mathrubhumi reported that NORKA Roota and Kerala Maritime Board would publish the tender for the project and companies could submit their proposals for vessels or the service.