Louis Cruises has announced the early completion of its operations out of the port of Cochin in India for the 2009/2010 season. The 1,200-passenger Aquamarine will be operating its final one-day cruise from Cochin on Jan. 16 and will return to Europe two days later. The Aquamarine sailed her first cruise from Kochi on Dec. 2, targeting the Indian passenger market.
Louis said in a prepared statement that it decided to curtail its Indian operations this year in order to provide ample space and time to address operational and infrastructure hindrances that have surfaced during the company’s start-up in the region. Such issues include excessive port charges, subpar port infrastructure and uncoordinated embarkation procedures. Furthermore the agreed joint-promotion of Cochin as a cruise hub in the region has experienced delays in implementation and has therefore hindered the overall marketing effort.
All of the above have adversely affected the quality of the overall cruise experience thus leading Louis to take the decision to shorten its first India season. Nevertheless, the experience of Louis Cruises so far has shown that there is potential for the development of India’s cruise market, the cruise line said. Given these positive indications, the company looks forward to further developing demand with a view to returning to the region in October 2010, it said, provided that the aforementioned impediments are resolved.