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Anish Mehta, 43, a chartered accountant by profession with a delegation of members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India Dubai Chapter on board Karnika. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Groups of cruise aficionados have set foot inside India’s premier cruise liner ‘Karnika’ by Jalesh Cruises. The holiday makers decided to make use of the long Eid-ul-Fitr weekend to experience it in the best way possible.

Dr Swati Shah, a homeopath doctor based in Dubai, was one who of a group of 21 people on board the 244 meter long cruise liner weighing a massive gross tonnage of 69,845.

Karnika, operated by Jalesh Cruises, calls Mumbai, India, its home port. It is the first Indian cruise liner to make a stop in the region, marking a significant milestone for both the Indian domestic and international cruise industry.

Dr Shah, her family and friends took the four-night, five-day tour from Dubai to Muscat to Kasab and back to Dubai.

The cruise operates two routes - Dubai-Muscat-Kasab-Dubai and Dubai-Abu Dhabi-Bahrain-Dubai. 

Eid rates for the cruise were around Dh3,200 per person for a mini suite, Dh2,500 per person for a balcony, Dh2,300 for an ocean view per person and Dh2,100 for an interior room. However everyone that Gulf News spoke to said they were able to avail discounts on these rates.

Oman visa was provided on board for zero cost.

“There were tourist attractions on the stops during the voyage,” said Dr Shah who booked an ocean view room in the cruise liner for Dh1,600 per person. The rates include food and entertainment and everything else on board, as well as any sight-seeing on board.

Activities and entertainment

A number of activities inside the cruise keeps the voyagers engaged. On Karnika you can choose your dining from an array of restaurants from light to gourmet food. Those with a fascination for Indian cuisine can find myriad offerings of the food on board the cruise. As for entertainment – from plays, magic shows, live music concert, Las Vegas shows among others, there is plenty to look forward to.

“The Las Vegas style shows in particular were fabulous,” Dr Shah.

Meanwhile Anish Mehta, 43, a chartered accountant by profession took a delegation of more than 300 members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India Dubai Chapter for a study trip in Karnika. “We did some learning sessions – the topics were motivation and leadership.”

“It was the best way to spend Eid holidays. The group wanted to do the study chapter in the cruise. But what is also important is that we did along with our families. It was a great way for all our families to spend quality time with each other. The children had several options to explore activities and were busy in interactive and creative activities.”

Romen and Urvashi Shah said: “It was fabulous trip! Everything was planned, you don't have to think of literary, food, entertainment, kids, shows, fitness!!

Everything inclusive 

Rajiv and Meena Shishodia said: "Karnika by Jalesh Cruises was a wonderful family experience. Also with close friends around, it was a fun riot. Getting great choices in authentic Indian food was a luxury. Very supportive staff and very well planned out entertainment sessions. All in all very worthwhile experience and highly recommended.