Subhash Chandra's Essel Group launches first cruise liner 'Karnika'

Karnika by Jalesh Cruises sailed 2,000 passengers and boasted ample public spaces, lounges, bars and balcony staterooms on its maiden voyage on April 17 from Mumbai to Goa

by Priyaankaa Mathur
Published - Apr 22, 2019 8:41 AM Updated: Apr 22, 2019 8:41 AM
Karnika by Jalesh Cruises

It was indeed a historical moment to see five Indian achievers who brought international fame to the country, come together to launch India's very own first cruise ship 'Karnika' by Jalesh Cruises on the Indian waters on the occasion of its official naming ceremony held on April 19, celebrating the 'India first' campaign.

The eminent personalities included Milkha Singh, first Indian athlete to win gold at Common Wealth Games (1958), Sushmita Sen, the first Indian Miss Universe (1994), Mahesh Bhupathi first Indian to win Grand Slam Tournament (1997) and Mary Kom, the first Indian woman boxer to win Asian Games (2014) and the chief guest on the occasion Dr Subhash Chandra, Chairman Zee & Essel Group, the first Indian to launch a private satellite TV channel (1992) were the first ones to achieve pinnacle in their fields thereby making India proud on the world stage.

Present on the occasion were Punit Goenka,MD & CEO, ZEEL; Amit Goenka, CEO, International Broadcast Business & Z5 Global and Shreyasi Punit Goenka, who took on the mantle as the godmother of the ship and showered blessings of good luck, success and safety on the magnificent vessel as part of the naming ceremony, which is a maritime practice considered a good luck charm for the captain, crew and passengers sailing the ship.

Addressing the occasion Milkha Singh talked about him being a self-made athelete who believes, "With will power and determination anything can be achieved." Singh related his own story to the vision of Chandra who dreamt to have India's first cruise ship, that has come into reality.

Sen, shared her thoughts, "People forget what is your name, where you have come from but not the feeling that you have created in their hearts and to be the first pioneer from your country is that feeling. I feel deeply honoured to be standing with such pioneers. India was known for its travel and hospitality but did not have its own luxury cruise liner, tonight with this launch, it will live in the pages of history!"

"Being the first to represent India is always going to be special for everyone here and also the launch of this great ship," added Bhupati.

Chandra reminiscing the launch of the first private channel Zee, said, " It's always a challenge to be a pioneer as people told me that your channel won't last long and today that's a history."

Jalesh Cruises, India's first premium cruise caters to both the domestic and international cruise business christened its first Indian cruise vessel 'Karnika' named after the celestial nymph (Apsara Karnika) an Indian mythological character known for her beauty and alluring charms, who according to the legend of 'Samudra Manthan' emerged when Gods and demons churned the ocean for Amrit (nector) to reward those engaged in hard labour. The name is also inspired by the 'Manikarnika' ghat the first and oldest Indian ghat in the ancient city of India, Varanasi.

Jurgen Bailom, President & CEO Jalesh Cruises said, "Karnika has been curated to entertain and indulge both domestic and international guests in the true Indian style to experience Indian culture food and hospitality with a high level of customisation that touches sensibilities of the Indian people. The ship also offers features for senior and differently abled passengers to enjoy the journey on the cruise."

"Karnika will spend April and much of May cruising roundtrip from Mumbai to Goa on 2 and 3-night cruises. Throughout May, June, September and December, Karnika will homeport in Abu Dhabi, 4-night cruises from the UAE capital to Muscat and back," added Bailom.

Equipped with modern technology the 70,285-gross ton state of the art vessel, offers 24x7 wi-fi access and is an ideal venue for corporate parties as well as family celebrations. Variety of exotic Indian as well as international cuisine display high standards of hospitality on board with three fine dining restaurants offering Indian cuisine at waterfront and Thai, Korean, Taiwanese, Japanese cuisines at the Chopstix, along with a variety of delicacies ranging from barbeque, street food, grills, patisserie to frozen desserts.

Carrying 2,000 passengers and boasting ample public spaces, lounges, bars and balcony staterooms, on its maiden voyage on April 17 the ship sailed from Mumbai to Goa. Jalesh Cruise is India's first multi destination cruise line that offers on board best of adventure activities, entertainment shows like Broadway's dance and music performances, movie screenings. The cruise also offers land based excursions at different ports for the passengers.

A special postal stamp of Rs 5 featuring Jalesh was released on the occasion by the Governor of the Indian Postal Department.

The ceremony saw performances by Bollywood singer Aakriti Kakkar who masterfully rendered the track 'Never Enough' that was followed by a special stand-up gig by Papa CJ. The after party on the top saw performances by Bally Sagoo and several artists.

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