Saturday, September 17, 2011

Amet cruises package rates, ex-Kochi

June 2014 update: Looks like Amet has shut shop. They don't seem to be operational in Chennai or Cochin. Reasons not known, but probably because of poor patronage.

-----------------Original post --------------------------
For past few weeks I’ve been noticing extensive ads by AMET Cruises. There’re not many cruises operating from Indian shores and cruise holidays are very uncommon for Indian middle class families. Just out of curiosity, I was keen to check out AMET Cruises prices, to determine if it is affordable.

AMET MAJESTY cruise advertisements never mentioned rates/costs anywhere, so calling the numbers given in the ad was only option to figure out how much these cruises cost. I called one of those numbers, spoke to a rep and collected some details. Sharing those details below, for the benefit of other internet users who might be searching for cost of a cruise holiday from India.
 
I am not advocating/promoting the cruise. This post only intends to provide basic information and save you some phone call expense. Information below is as obtained from the AMET official, at the time of our conversation. Prices and other information are subject to change w.r.t time.

AMET Cruises currently operates from Kochi (Cochin) in Kerala only. Amet is likely to commence operations from Chennai port from Feb 2012 onwards.

How much AMET MAJESTRY cruise packages cost?
I was told AMET has a flat per night rate card.  There’re various types of rooms and rate varies w.r.t same. The cheapest room costs Rs 6500 per person per night and most expensive one costs Rs 13000 per person per night. Hence for a 2 day cruise, for 2 people, your cost will be ranging from 6400*2*2=26k to 52k, depending on type of room you select and subject to availability. Taxes included

Type of rooms available in AMET Majesty:
Inside state room: Cheapest one, Rs 6500 per person per night- No ocean view
Outside state room: Has a small window with ocean view
Ocean room: Slightly more spacious and has bigger window with ocean view, costs about INR 95000 per person per night
Premium inside : No ocean view, but larger room with premium interiors
Junior Suite:
Spa Attached Cabin: Has a spa space within cabin

Children from 5-15 years pay 50% of adult charges
Children below 5 years pay Rs 1500 port charges

For group booking: 30+  people, 10% discount

AMET MAJESTY PACKAGES, ex-Cochin

From Kochi, AMET Cruises has following packages

Package One: Kochi-Maldives-Kochi: 4 nights: INR 26k to 52k per person (for 4 nights, depending on type of room)
Departure every Tuesday and return on Saturday. Only 1 day at the Maldives island, local travel costs extra. For Indian passport holders visa on arrival.

Kochi- High seas- Go deep into Arabian sea in Kochi and come back (One night)
Every Saturday evening to Sunday morning. I wish the departure was couple of hours earlier, so that ship reaches high sea before sun sets. If ship is leaving by 6 or 7pm, the sun would have set by then.

Kochi-Lakshadweep-Kochi: 2 nights
Departure Sunday, Return on Tuesday

Note: All packages will start from October. Bookings open, travel to Cochin at your own expense.

Possible Negative factors:
The above schedule appears very tight and I wonder when will AMET get to do maintenance activities on the ship. The ship will leave on Tuesday to Maldives, return on Saturday, go back to high sea on Saturday, return on Sunday, leave for Lakshadweep on Sunday and return by Tuesday, leave again to Maldives. I hope few hours of gap between the trips is adequate for maintenance activities.

There were couple of comments on internet that the ship is 35 years old. If true, hope it is still sea worthy and has necessary clearances and safety approvals.

At about 26k per person, Kochi-Maldives cruise is nearly twice as expensive compared to air travel. (In cheapest mode of cruise, without sea view). If exploring Maldives is your primary objective, makes more sense to fly.

Cruise to Srilanka (Colomba) from Tuticorin had commenced about 2 months ago, but is said to have lukewarm response. 2 reasons: Cruise fares are almost same as Chennai-Colombo or Kochin-Colombo flight charges, if you consider expense of reaching Tuticorin from your city. Second being time factor- unless you’re keen on experiencing sea travel, time and effort spent on this is not worth it.

AMET's 6.5k per night is twice what Tuticorin-Colombo ferry costs. Hope there's some value add for this price difference (may be better cabin, services etc)

Swimming pool picture, below, looks like an oversize bathtub. Not sure how practical it will be.


Images from AMET website: http://ametcruises.com/contact.htm (Update: Website is inactive now)
 
Despite cost and convenience factors, one should experience cruise once. Let me see when the time comes right for me. If the concept picks up in India may be more and more operators will come in and cost will come down.

17 comments:

Deguide said...

I would strongly recommend a trip to Andaman Isle which would cost hardly 1/4th the rate quoted per pax for those who would like to experience 3 days sailing, i have tried damania shipping from Mumbai to Goa overnight and trip to barren isle, the only live volcano overnight. These are better trips. Your conclusion that trip by air is better to maldives is absolutely right.

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Umesh sir: Thanks for the info on Damania shipping.

Sankara Subramanian C said...

if you are interested in taking a cruise, i would recommend taking the lakshadweep tourism cruise (refer my blog for details). This is much cheaper, very well organized and provides an ideal vacation.

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Sure. Thanks for the info

Anonymous said...

Check this out 3 day cruises starting from $179 (Rs 8500/person for 3 days)

Leo said...

Dear Srinidhi, Nice information & you're right the tour is expensive. If youhaven't toured on a cruise and looking for a good one, please try Egypt Cruise. It is cheaper and covers many places at affordable price. Last year I and my wife took the tour from Bahrain. The whole tour including air ticket from Bahrain to Cairo + two nights cruise cost us 1,80,000 INR. If you need further info please email me BR - Sethu

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Thanks for the Info Leo, but 1.8L is on the upper side for most of middle class travellers

Shanthini said...

Very useful tips!

Anonymous said...

Way too pricey, especially considering that AMET (Academy of Marine Education and Training) is a training establishment that has picked up an old ship (AMET Majesty was built in 1975, here are details: http://tinyurl.com/7u7d298). It is likely that at least some of the crew are trainee cadets.

Me and my wife took a Cochin-High Seas-Cochin cruise on MV Ultramarine, a professional cruise ship with mostly Greek crew. It was a total of about Rs. 11,000 for both of us combined for a lower deck ocean-facing cabin. It was a good experience.

In comparison, AMET Cruise seems to be unrealistically priced.

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Thanks Shanthini and Anon

Anonymous said...

Amet cruises is now available in Chennai.. more details soon

srs said...

Thnks srinidhi for your valuable information
regds
senthil

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Senthil, you're welcome

Venki said...

HI everyone...

Great news, that India's first cruise line AMET CRUISES, is back into operations from 15th AUG 2012 out of Cochin.
For more informations:
travelnetworksolutions@gmail.com
or +91 77086 89698

Anonymous said...

strongly recommend against amet cruises, the package is way too highly priced and i heard that the service was not at all worth the price, highly disorganised.

puneetschdv said...

hello leo can you e mail me the experience of your cairo trip please puneetschdv@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

Could you give some more detail on AMET Cruise on-board experience. I am gathering information on it so have a couple of questions to ask.

LinkWithin