Having steered more than 60 ships in his career, Sequeira said he is excited to hit Mumbai waters on Saturday with his merchant vessel, MV Angriya — owned by Angriya Sea Eagles Private Limited — which is going to be the first cruise from Mumbai with a carrying capacity of 400 passengers.
Captain Irwin Sequeira, who has more than 15 years of experience in sailing, and his crew are all set for the launch of the first cruiseliner of India. Having steered more than 60 ships in his career, Sequeira said he is excited to hit Mumbai waters on Saturday with his merchant vessel, MV Angriya — owned by Angriya Sea Eagles Private Limited — which is going to be the first cruise from Mumbai with a carrying capacity of 400 passengers.
“We are launching the ship at a time when the weather is good. Though, as per the weather report, we may face short storms on the way, but overall it appears to be neat,” said Sequeira, a resident of Bandra.
On Saturday, Union Minister for Transport, Shipping and Highways Nitin Gadkariwill launch the first cruiseliner. The commercial launch of the ship will start from October 24. The cruise will sail from Purple Gate of Princess Docks in Mumbai and dock at Mormugao in south Goa within 16 hours.
As many as 67 crew members from hospitality and sailing departments of the private carrier will be on board. On the bridge (captain’s cabin) of the cruise, four cabin officers of different ranks will assist the captain with the navigation. Built in 1996, Sequeira said MV Angriya sails with the most recent technology.
“Considering this is my first passenger cruiseliner in India, evacuation of passengers during emergencies could be a major challenge. Before it sails, all precautionary measures will be in. We will be sailing slower at 32 km per hour so that passengers aboard can enjoy their trip,” he said.
Captain Nitin Dhond, sailor-owner, Angriya, said: “On the second day since we opened the bookings for the cruise, we received as many as 100 queries about the details of the cruise. We are expecting more than 60 per cent occupancy in its initial rides. During the weekends, it will see more passenger occupancy.”
Leena Prabhu, executive vice-chariman, Angriya, said: “We want to popularise it in the corporate sector. If someone wants to host a corporate conference, private party or a wedding, we will make suitable arrangements for it.”
Delayed by almost a year, Angriya cruise will be the first step to popularise water transport in Mumbai. Sanjay Bhatia, chairman, Mumbai Port Trust, said: “More private players have shown interest in launching cruises from Mumbai. After this, we will launch a passenger ship to Goa in April 2019 with carrying capacity of up to 2,000 passengers. We will also be exploring other routes to Kochi, Goa and Chennai.”
The cruise, which has six decks and 104 cabins, can ferry 399 passengers at a time. Price of one-way ticket will range between Rs 7,000 and Rs 12,000. The cruise will run four times a week, except during monsoons.
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