Egyptian queen 'Nefertiti' all set to enchant Kochi

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Kerala's first cruise vessel 'Nefertiti' to start service from December 16. The Kerala Shipping And Inland Navigation Corporation's (KSINC) luxury boat was manufactured in Goa and is now waiting in Bolgatty to be flagged off. Canara Bank has made a group booking for the first trip on 16th. About half a dozen group bookings are already made. The luxury cruise service will indeed be an attraction for the coming New Year. It can carry 200 passengers and has various most modern facilities inside for the guests.

Apart from the usual water ride, KSINC focus on making the ship a perfect platform to host wedding and birthday parties, corporate meetings, product lounge etc, providing the guests a unique experience. The theme of the ship is Egyptian as the name indicates. Nefertiti is the name of an Egyptian Queen. The theme is reflected in its design and decor too. The total cost of the ship is Rs 16.42 crore.

The 48.5 m long and 15.5 m wide ship is built in 3 stories. The lowest floor has a banquet hall that can accommodate 200 people, a 3-D mini theatre for 30 people and a playing area for kids which is equipped with electronic gaming facilities. Two balconies are built for enjoying the sea view.

On the next floor, an AC Restaurant for 70 people and a bar lounge is arranged. The roofless top floor is set for organising standing parties.

Although the ship is permitted to travel up to 20 nautical miles (38 km), the international sea boundary lies within 12 (22.8km) nautical miles, hence the voyage is restricted within those limits. But at a distance of 11-12 km, the shore disappears. Abad Plaza will cater the food and the guests will be entertained by Kalabhavan Binu with dance, music and magic shows.

The packages

The charges for group booking start from 4.5 lakh onwards. Up to 125 people can be included in group booking and an amount of 1000 Rs will be charged for each extra person. The maximum number is 200 at a time for the which the charge comes to 5.25 lakhs including food and entertainment and extra for alcohol. A cruise is for 5 hours and there is a provision to extend it to 8 hours by paying 20,000 per extra hour. And whether to cruise during the morning or evening can be decided by the person who books.

Tagging it as 'an asset for the tourism industry,' managing director KSINC, Muhammad Hanish says, "Nefertiti will definitely turn out to be an asset for the tourism industry in Kerala. There are many options for lake trips, however the sea recreational services and provisions to hold parties and meetings in the ambience of sea are hardly available for us. KSINC has given life to such an opportunity for the cruising enthusiasts. Group bookings are available right now. Cruising for individuals and for small groups will also be starting soon."

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