SuperStar Libra, the newest addition to the Star Cruises fleet in Asia arrived in Mumbai on 25 September 2005 amidst a colourful…
SuperStar Libra, the newest addition to the Star Cruises fleet in Asia arrived in Mumbai on 25 September 2005 amidst a colourful fanfare of music and excitement. About 300 guests and media representatives witnessed a special Hindu blessing and welcome ceremony at the pier followed by the auspicious lighting of lamps ceremony at the Galaxy of the Stars show lounge onboard SuperStar Libra.
The ship had just completed a three-week dry-dock exercise in Singapore to prepare her for the homeporting in India and to cater to the needs of the passenger mix.
The 42,000-gross tonne vessel arrived at 7.00am from Colombo with more than 400 passengers after a ten-day relocation cruise departing Singapore on 14th September calling at Port Klang in Malaysia, Phuket in Thailand, Chennai and Colombo. From the time that SuperStar Libra left Singapore till her arrival in Mumbai, a total of 1,690 passengers have cruised on her.
The arrival was witnessed by a host of Government and State dignitaries, port authorities, members of the media and the travel trade. Among the notable guests were Chief Guest, Mrs Rani Jadhav, Chairperson of the Mumbai Port Trust and Guest of Honour, Mr TG Renge Patil, Member of Parliament. Also present was Mr Amitabh Kant, Joint Secretary of the Department of Tourism, Ministry of Tourism & Culture, Government of India.
Guest of Honour, Mr TG Renge Patil, performed the ribbon cutting ceremony to officially declare SuperStar Libra`s arrival to Mumbai.
Star Cruises` significant and historical foray into the Indian continent by basing a ship there for the first time has been eagerly awaited amidst the growing awareness and popularity of the Star Cruises brand In India over recent years.
The regular itineraries being offered in India will not only provide a new holiday option for the Indian domestic market but also present another exciting holiday option for the international fly-cruise market.
Star Cruises is a pioneer in the introduction and development of cruising in the Asia-Pacific region offering a range of products, itineraries and innovative concepts that have appealed to a rapidly growing leisure cruise market.
Vacationers from India ranks in the top three of our passenger mix and the arrival of SuperStar Libra in India is part of the ongoing expansion to cater to the growing demand for cruise holidays in the region, said Mr. Chong Chee-Tut, Star Cruises` Chief Operating Officer.
We have received extremely encouraging response to SuperStar Libra`s itineraries and this trend is set to continue as we intensify our sales and marketing efforts coupled with the support from our travel partners, relevant agencies and authorities in ensuring that our guests enjoy the best possible cruise experience, he added.
The Ministry of Tourism of India has been supportive in our coordination and planning for the homeporting of a ship in India. In her message to Star Cruises in conjunction with the arrival of SuperStar Libra, Mrs Renuka Chowdhury, Minister of State for Tourism (Independent Charge) Government of India said:
I am happy to learn that Star Cruises, a leading Cruise Line in Asia-Pacific, is launching their cruise in Indian waters on 25th September 2005. I am confident that this will lead to further increase in tourism in India. I compliment Star Cruises for this initiative. I wish all success for this launch as well as future operations of Star Cruises.
There were many new lessons and issues that Star Cruises and the relevant authorities had to overcome before her arrival into India as this is a path-finding step for the cruise industry in the country, added Mr Chong at the welcome ceremony.
The positioning of a ship in India reaffirms Star Cruises` commitment to play a part in supporting and complementing the ongoing efforts by the Government to stimulate the growth of both domestic and international tourism by focusing on the fastest growing sector in the tourism industry. Together with the support and cooperation of all relevant authorities and bodies, we believe that the objective of developing India into a regional cruise hub in the longer term would soon be a reality, said Mr Chong.
Mumbai, India`s busiest port will now be home to the latest addition to the Star Cruises fleet. From here, SuperStar Libra will offer scheduled cruise itineraries to places like Goa, Lakshadweep and Kochi along India`s west coast in addition to one-night weekend get-away cruises.
SuperStar Libra departed in the evening on a one-night maiden voyage, the first of a number of one-night cruises to introduce and showcase the ship in Mumbai. From 2nd October till April 2006, SuperStar Libra will commence regular 4-night destination cruises to Kadmat (Lakshadweep) and Goa, 2-night cruises to Goa and 1-night weekend getaway cruises. Four special cruises have also been planned to Kochi and Goa on 25th December 2005, 20th January, 12th and 26th February 2006.
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