All You Need to Know About First International Cruise from India to Sri Lanka

Visiting Sri Lanka is one of the greatest tours that everyone wishes to visit once in life, especially Indians. And, you no longer need to travel abroad to board a ship that takes you to Sri Lanka as India has launched an international cruise vessel MV Express to take passengers on a journey from Chennai to Sri Lanka recently. With the rich heritage & culture around our coastal region, the potential of cruise tourism in India is immense, and this international cruise will further boost tourism, generate employment and strengthen the country’s economy. The cruise would not only facilitate greater movement between India and Sri Lanka, but is also expected to let more people experience sea-based tours in the near future. So, are you eager to know more about this cruise tour? then go through this blog to find out all the interesting things about first international cruise to Sri Lanka here.


India has launched its first-ever international cruise named MV Express from Chennai to Sri Lanka. Operated by Cordelia Cruises, this maiden voyage was flagged off by Union Minister of Ports, Shipping and Waterways Sarbananda Sonowal on 5th June 2023 from Chennai. The occasion also marked the launch of an international cruise terminal at the Chennai Port, which has been set up with a cost of INR 17.21 crore. It is the outcome of an agreement struck between Chennai Port and M/S Waterways Leisure Tourism Pvt Ltd during the first Incredible India International Cruise Conference in 2022. Spread over 2,880 sq. m, the cruise can host around 3,000 passengers.

Exclusive Features

The international cruise ship from India to Sri Lanka offers various accommodation choices, including Interior Staterooms, Oceanview Staterooms, Suites, Mini-Suites, and the premium Chairman’s Suite. The cruise also provides innumerable amenities like world-class restaurants and bars, a swimming pool, a fitness center, and spa treatments along with relaxing massages. The cruise offers entertainment options like the disco, Live DJ, Balle Balle, Magician’s Cut, a theatre show and chef shows along with various outdoor sports that will keep you entertained. While casino games are prohibited in India, guests on the cruise ship will only be played on international seas. There is also a specified area for the kids and a squok club making it perfect for a family vacation. 

Package Options

This international cruise will offer regular services on this route, providing tourists with a 5-night cruise package with variable pricing. All these Sri Lanka tour packages include a stay, meals, and activities. The price of the depends on the type of room you want. All the rooms can accommodate a maximum of 4 people. The Interior Staterooms are budget-friendly, and have everything you need to make your journey and stay onboard truly special. Ocean View Staterooms have a private and cozy cabin that allows you to grasp the views of the limitless sea. Mini-Suite provides you with an uber-luxurious vacation with a spacious balcony offering classic sea views while the Suite on this Cordelia Cruise can give you optimum privacy and great convenience when you relax with the provision of modern facilities and equipment. If you want a luxurious cruise vacation, then book your stay in the Chairman’s suite which allows you to enjoy refreshing drinks from the private bar while admiring the breathtaking views of the ocean from your balcony. Prices are as of May 2023 and change depending on the date of travel.

Interior Stateroom          :  INR 63, 578

Ocean View Stateroom  : INR 74,618

Mini Suite                       : INR 84,660

Suite                               : INR 3, 54, 410

Chairman’s Suite            : INR 547,800

Exciting Destinations

The MV Empress, carrying 750 passengers, will take tourists to stunning destinations in India and Sri Lanka’s East Coast during its five-day cruise. The itinerary includes three ports on the island country –  Hambantota, Trincomalee, and Jaffna, among the top places to visit in Sri Lanka. During your cruise tour, tourists will have the opportunity to explore the wildlife at Yala or Udawalawe National Park, as well as visit a turtle hatchery farm in Hambantota. Additionally, they can enjoy walking through the Galle Dutch Fort and hiking to the Diyaluma Waterfall. In Trincomalee, travelers will engage in various water sports activities whale watching, dolphin watching, and snorkelling at Pigeon Island, while in Jaffna, tourists can indulge in a peaceful beach retreat and explore the sacred temples and shrines of Sri Lanka.

Exquisite Cuisine

On board the cruise, passengers will have access to world-class restaurants and bars offering international and Indian cuisines. The MV Empress has an all-day dining food court and three specialty restaurants. From Pan-Asian cuisines to global grills and Indian street food to tandoor specialties, the restaurants offer an exquisite menu prepared by famous chefs keeping in mind the tastes and preferences of Indian travelers. Dining will definitely be one of the main highlights of this cruise tour. For those who prefer vegetarian or Jain food, there is also an exquisite spread to cater to their needs. There are also bars and lounges that offer fine selection of cocktails & spirits.

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