Jalesh Cruises, India’s first premium cruise catering to the Indian domestic and international cruise business, christened ‘Karnika’ in an official naming ceremony in Mumbai recently. Shreyasi Punit Goenka took on the mantle of the Godmother of the ship and showered blessings of good luck, success and safety on the magnificent liner.
A special postal stamp of ₹5 was also released on the occasion to commemorate the historic occasion on Indian waters. The National Flag was hoisted and the National Anthem was sung onboard the ship.
Karnika marked the occasion while celebrating the achievements of five Indians who are credited to bring international fame to the country by being the first ones to achieve pinnacle in their fields. The personalities included, Milkha Singh, first Indian Athlete to win a Gold at Commonwealth Games (1958), Subhash Chandra, Chairman, ZEE & Essel Group, the first Indian to launch a private satellite TV channel (1992), Actor Sushmita Sen, the first Indian Miss Universe (1994), Mahesh Bhupati, first Indian to win Grand Slam Tournament (1997) and Mary Kom, the first Indian woman boxer to win Asian Games (2014).
The 70,285 ton ship sailed on its maiden voyage from Mumbai to Goa on April 17. Karnika will undertake 15 sailings for Mumbai-Goa-Mumbai and Mumbai-High Seas-Mumbai between April and mid-May 2019. The ship will undertake its first international sail from Mumbai to Dubai on May 24, 2019 where it will port until mid-September 2019 before coming back to Mumbai.
On board the ship, passengers will have a variety of cuisines, entertainment, adventure and relaxation to choose from. Additionally, the cruise offers land based excursions at different ports for passengers.
Jurgen Bailom, President & CEO, Jalesh Cruises said, “Jalesh Cruises is immensely proud to give India its first premium ship Karnika, which has been curated to indulge and entertain you in the true Indian style. She is a beautiful ship designed to enthrall both domestic and international guests with the famed Indian hospitality. Our ship will make it possible for Indians to experience cruise vacations closer home with high level of customisation that touches the sensibilities of people here.”
Karnika has been named after a celestial nymph, who according to legend emerged when gods and demons churned the ocean for Amrit, the elixir for life. Apsara Karnika, a celestial maiden stood for exquisite beauty and alluring charm for carrying treasures and pleasures to reward and indulge those engaged in hard labour. The name also reflects a true Indian identity drawing inspiration from the first Indian ghat - Manikarnika in Varanasi, which is considered as one of the oldest Indian city.
The christening ceremony began with a group of priests chanting hymns as the head priest broke the traditional coconut. This was followed by the age-old maritime ritual of the Godmother naming the ship by stating, “I name this ship Karnika. May God bless her, her officers, her staff, her crew and all who sail on her.” The traditional cracking of a champagne bottle on the bow of the ship followed the blessing.
The ship has three fine dining restaurants, which includes Indian cuisine at Waterfront and Chef’s Table and Thai, Malay, Korean, Mongolian, Taiwanese and Japanese cuisines at Chopstix. The ship also hosts nine different buffet and food stations offering a variety of delicacies ranging from street food, barbeque, international grill to patisserie and frozen desserts. The ship also has dedicated cuisine for Jain passengers.