Using Mumbai as a home port, a cruise liner service will be started by a Chennai-based company Newport Maritime by next year. Newport Maritime, founded by Sivakumar Elayathamby Sinnarajah, a person of Sri Lankan origin and a US citizen, plans to invest $400 million over five years to run the service with two used luxury cruise ships.
The firm has sought concessions and incentives from the Union government for the operations and for launching the service. The Union Shipping Ministry is evaluating the proposal but a decision on granting incentives to the cruise ship operator rests with other government departments.
The company plans to operate under the brand name Royal Asian Cruise Line, offering tourists a seven-night itinerary on the Mumbai-Goa-Maldives-Colombo-Mumbai route between October and April and an 11-night itinerary to Dubai from May to September.