Kochi: Just six months after starting their services from Kochi, the Chennai based Amet Cruises is all set to close its operations here because of poor patronage. Amet Majesty, the vessel which the company was using for its services from Kochi, will sail on May 27, 2012 for a trip to Lakshadweep and then head for its base in Chennai. Amet Majesty started its services in October 2011 and was operating Kochi – Maldives (four nights), Kochi – Lakshadweep (two nights) and one weekend services.
Though Kochi is a must destination for leading cruises worldwide, this is the second time that the place has failed as a cruising base. In December 2009, Louis Cruises, the Cyprus based cruise line has started its service and terminated them in January 2010 citing high port charges.
According to a report in the New Indian Express, sources in the port management and shipping industry revealed that Amet’s Kochi services were not a success financially. A top official of the Cochin Port Trust (CPT) was quoted as saying that there were not enough passengers. As part of its efforts to support cruise tourism, the CPT was providing 50 percent concession for the vessel on different port-related charges. Amet Majesty has been lying idle at the port for the past two months.
However, according to the company authorities, they are terminating the services as the season in Kochi is over and they are shifting it to Chennai. Though the liner has a carrying capacity of 1,000, the company had made it clear at the time of its launch that it would be carrying only 600.
Kerala Biz News