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A 70% increase in cruise holidays and marine vacations is one of the unique trends highlighted in Thomas Cook India & SOTC’s India Holiday Report 2023. Thomas Cook (India) Limited and its Group Company, SOTC Travel, have introduced a wide variety of Cruise Holidays to take use of this huge potential, including short cruise getaways/weekends, river cruises, Polar cruises (Arctic/Antarctic), round-the-world cruises, and more.

The Companies want to focus on a variety of market areas, including leisure, corporate, B-leisure, and MICE. Starting at INR 22,000.00* for a 2-night trip and going up to almost INR 11 Lakhs* on a 14-day Antarctica ice-breaker cruise, Thomas Cook & SOTC’s Cruise Holidays provide alternatives from value, premium, and uber luxury!(based on a twin-share cabin, per person)

Consumer data from Thomas Cook and SOTC show a huge divergence in Indian consumer habits. Although senior persons make up the majority of the cruise market worldwide, Young India’s Gen Z, millennials, and young working professionals are showing a great desire for cruises (over 80% vs. pre pandemic). The attractiveness for this younger demographic has grown as a result of a number of factors, including an expanded selection of sailings in South/S.E. Asia and the Middle East, a variety of high-adrenaline activities offered onboard, low price points, and simple access to financial models.

After the epidemic, domestic sailings have quickly recovered. Thomas Cook & SOTC are now the top sellers of India cruises (Cordelia), with over 8,000 passengers having made reservations.

India also offers a huge possibility due to the diversity of its riverscapes. Unique river cruise + land packages have been crafted by the companies, including Antara cruises (departing from Kolkata) and Ganga river cruises like the MV Ganga Vilas, which explore extraordinary passages from Varanasi to the North East. Backwater cruises in Kerala are also very popular since they provide a relaxing or leisurely experience amidst nature.

The Indian government wants to establish India as a major cruise hub with cutting-edge river and ocean cruise infrastructure. This is anticipated to accelerate the segment’s growth.

The Indian market has been rapidly increasing its demand for international cruises. Thomas Cook and SOTC were the first to offer a free 3-night luxury European cruise experience (Barcelona, Savona, and Marseille) on certain European itineraries in order to meet this demand; over 1500 guests have already made summer reservations.

Short-haul options offered by the companies include Costa Toscana cruises (departing in December) to the UAE, Oman, and Doha; Resorts World Cruises and Royal Caribbean Cruises (Singapore; Hong Kong); and mid- to long-haul destinations onboard Royal Caribbean Cruises and Norwegian Cruises in Europe (Greece, Italy, Croatia, Spain, Portugal, The Canary Islands, and Scandinavia’s fjords). The Norwegian Cruise Line’s Alaskan and Mexican Revieria sailings are examples of cruises to the Americas.

According to research from Thomas Cook & SOTC, there is a growing demand among consumers for premium and ultra-luxury cruises, such as the ice-breaker sailings on PONANT in Antarctica, which provide an unparalleled polar expedition experience, and opulent river cruises like Avalon Waterways.

For networking events, CXO meetings, milestone celebrations, and reward/recognition incentive programmes, the India Corporate MICE sector is a significant demand generator for cruises. With a strong backlog for the coming year, Thomas Cook & SOTC have successfully organised a variety of MICE movements involving anything from 50 to over 600 corporate travellers.

An end-to-end online cruise booking tool has been released as part of the Companies’ Digital First strategy, giving customers the option to choose from a variety of voyages, staterooms, and deals with real-time availability.

“At Thomas Cook India, we are bullish on the cruise opportunity and are witnessing a strong 60% YoY surge in demand,” said Rajeev Kale, President & Country Head – Holidays, MICE, Visa, Thomas Cook (India) Limited. The hunger we are seeing across customer sectors, including young Gen Z/millennials in India, couples, multigenerational families, and corporate MICE, is significant. Luxury experiences and higher-level accommodations, such as suites and cabins with ocean views, are becoming more popular. We are excited to welcome our customers onboard and have a variety of products in our sizable cruise holidays inventory to meet every consumer desire and budget.


“Cruise Holidays offer Indians a perfect all-inclusive holiday — onboard an opulent floating hotel,” stated Daniel D’souza, President & Country Head – Holidays, SOTC Travel Limited. Our comprehensive selection of cruise experiences, including entertainment and fun activities, a variety of cuisines, wellness and spa services, shopping, and visiting new and exotic places, are all included in our extensive portfolio of cruise holidays. In addition to metros and mini-metros, regional India’s tier 2-3 marketplaces are showing considerable growth right now. Our forward pipeline demonstrates the significant potential for Cruise Holidays, and with the help of our numerous partnerships, we hope to launch some thrilling new sailings in the near future.

Source- Travel biz


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SFTC, also known as Starfish Travel Corporation is an IATA company, certified with ISO and registered with Goverment of India.



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