590 Americans on Cruise Liner NAUTICA of Oceania Cruises get a Traditional Welcome at NMPT
Mangaluru: This morning, Tuesday 7 February 2023, Lia Travels, under the guidance of Ms Eulalia D’Souza, for Oceania Cruises took pride in being the ground handling agents, with nearly 25 team members, including a bunch of staff from the office. The cruise ship passengers aboard the Cruise Liner NAUTICA of Oceania Cruises, totalling around 590, were predominantly American Seniors hailing from various cities in the USA and were making the best use of their Social Security Dollar money enjoying the cruise tour. Apart from the 590 passengers, there were around 450 ship crew members.
On their arrival at the New Mangalore Port Trust (NMPT) premises, the cruise passengers were accorded a traditional welcome accompanied by the Tulunadu Chende troupe, which made the Americans click a few photo shoots of something that they never witnessed in the US, and the Chende team were more excited that they put some extra energy in banging the Chende to the maximum. It was a kind gesture from the NMPT officials and the department of Karnataka Government Tourism. “Wow, that’s awesome and loud,” said a few passengers, holding their palms on their ears! After the necessary procedures at the NMPT authorities, as many as 400 passengers opted for local sightseeing tours, while others travelled to Karkala and Moodbidri Jain Temples etc. with a stop for lunch at the Soans Pineapple Farm in Moodbidri.
A dozen buses took the cruise passengers around Mangaluru City, making visits to the Achal cashew factory in Baikampady Industrial Area; St. Aloysius College Chapel/ Kudroli Gokarnanatha temple, the historic 103-year-old mansion “Belmont House’ of the Peres Family at Balmatta/Collectors Gate junction, where the Americans enjoyed the beauty of the house with the roof made of Mangaluru made tiles. After enjoying the ancestral Catholic home, the next stop was a Catholic family-run department/liquor store existing for 143 years now named ‘Vintage Store’- M Pais & Sons, managed by the third generation family member of the Pais Dynasty, Keith Pais, who was overwhelmed to have American clients at his business, who did buy few of their favourite booze. While Budweiser, Jagermeister, Jack Daniels, Corona etc looked familiar to them, they learned more about Old Monk Rum, Kingfisher, Sula wines and a few other ‘Make in India’ products from Keith and gifted his Angrezi friends with desk calendars, key chains etc.
The tourists also took a stroll along the vegetable market, Grocery Stores, State Bank area, and MCC Bank, among other places, and clicked a few snaps for memory’s sake. Few did take the Tuk Tuk tour (in the newly introduced Eco-friendly Mahindra auto-rickshaws) within the city area. While many of the passengers aboard the nearly 10 KSRTC Airavat buses were treated to Kudla delicacies at a popular Mangalorean restaurant, “Madhuvan Village’ in Yeyyadi, while others were guests at a couple of Mangalorean Catholic families, including a D’souza family in Bejai where the “Steak, Burger and French fries lovers’ were treated with home-cooked meal comprising of-Fish without bones with fewer spices; Chicken Sukka- boneless careful about the Salt n spice; Mutton (Bannur) stew: boneless without corn flour/ added coconut milk/ green chilli; Vegetable Pulao; Neer Dosa/ lunch buns; carrot halwa, etc- a generous treat of the D’souza’s.
No doubt, the Guests enjoyed the warm hospitality and kind gesture of all involved in Promoting tourism in this beautiful coastal city of Mangaluru, always known for its friendly people with awesome hospitality. it is observed that New Mangalore Port Authority along with Local Tour Operators are trying their best to attract more Cruise Liners to this beautiful city of Mangaluru, and they are all doing one heckuva job, and the young and energetic tour guides helping Ms Eula and Lia Travels, are doing a marvellous job entertaining and taking good care of the foreigners.
Oceania Nautica’s current cruise is 32 days, one-way commencing on 18 January 2023 from Cape Town-South Africa and ending on 18 February 2023 in Laem Chabang, Bangkok, Thailand. Prices start from USD 11099 (double occupancy rates). Nautica departed from Cape Town, South Africa,19 Jan Mossel Bay, South Africa; 21 Jan-Durban, South Africa; 22 Jan-Richards Bay, South Africa; 23 Jan- Maputo, Mozambique; 26 Jan- Mamoudzou, Grande-Terre Island, Mayotte; 27 Jan- Nosy Be Island, Madagascar 29 Jan-Mahe Island Seychelles, Victoria; 02 Feb-Male, Kaafu Atoll, Maldives; 05 Feb- Mumbai, India; 06 Feb- Margao, Goa, India; 07 Feb- Mangaluru, India; 08 Feb-Cochin, Kochi, India; 12 Feb- Phuket, Thailand; 13 Feb- Pulau Penang Island, Georgetown, Malaysia Penang; 14 Feb- Klang, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; 15 Feb -Singapore; 17 Feb- Koh Samui Island, Thailand; and 18 Feb- Laem Chabang, Bangkok, Thailand.
Nautica attracts mostly North American passengers, with a handful of Brits. On most cruises, passengers fit into the mature traveller category with a majority falling into the 65 to 75 age range, which was seen on today’s ship. They are typically well-travelled and keen on Nautica’s varied destinations. There were only a couple of youngsters on the cruise, and the ship doesn’t cater to — or encourage — children. They are all engaged travellers — the sort who turn out for lectures and want to understand the cultures they’re visiting. Given Oceania’s culinary reputation, they’re usually foodies, as well, and that was seen here in Mangaluru during lunchtime.
The Macintosh couple from Florida speaking to Team Mangalorean said, ” Namaskara! We always wanted to visit India, since we have many Indian friends back home. We love this coastal town since we also live close to the sea in Florida and the weather here is similar to Florida weather. Loved the Mangalorean cuisine of the D’souza family, and the friendship and hospitality here are unbelievable. Great little town, loved it-can’t stay longer, have to leave here by 4 pm to Cochin”. Yours Truly also met the Smith couple in their 70s from Downtown Chicago, and after I introduced myself having been in Chicago suburbs for nearly 24 years, they were happy to meet an Indian American in Mangaluru and expressed their views saying, “Great Town, loved the culture and diversity. Found people are friendly and extend fine hospitality. Happy to be here”. On a lighter side of the vein, I said “Guess you both are enjoying your hard-earned Social security money”- and the reply with laughter was ” You got that right, Buddy!”.
NMPT INTRODUCES CULTURAL PROGRAMMES FOR CRUISE PASSENGERS ARRIVING AT THE PORT DOCK:
To encourage luxury cruise tourism, the union and the state Tourism department, along with the New Mangalore Port Authority are planning to hold cultural programmes for passengers if any ship docks overnight at the port. After a two-and-a-half-year hiatus due to the pandemic, the coastal city’s luxury cruise tourism industry reopened 3-4 months ago. Currently, most of the cruise ships arrive at Mangaluru port during the dawn and sail to another destination at dusk. However, recently the MS The World, which is a private residential cruise ship, stayed at Mangaluru port for three nights. In 2019, the same cruise ship stayed just for a night. “To support cruise tourism, we are planning to hold cultural programmes that showcase our local traditions. The events are possible only if the cruise stays back for the night in our port,” said Manikya, the Dakshina Kannada tourism department deputy director.
Usually, when a luxury cruise ship calls on Mangaluru port, the local authorised tour operators who handle the cruise conduct cultural events onboard. However, for the first time, the cultural programme was conducted after setting up a huge stage right outside the port and next to the cruise ship, M S World. There were dolls kunitha and folklore cultural shows, also a Bharatanatyam performance by well-known artists. Yakshagana and Tiger Dance were arranged for the passengers who arrived from various parts of the globe.
The NMPA’s Chairman, Venkata Ramana Akkaraju said that the initiative is being taken to boost cruise tourism. “When we offer good hospitality and facilities to our guests, there are good chances they will come back again and stay for more days. Our hospitality here spreads from mouth to mouth to other guests. This will help our local economy as well as the tourism sector.” He also added that there are efforts to popularize domestic cruise tourism as well. “I have held talks with those who organize domestic cruise tours to sail to Mangaluru port. They will be given facilities at a reasonable or free cost,” he said. Cruise tour operators, including Ms Eulalia D’Souza, shared that cruise guests were happy to witness the cultural shows that were exclusively curated for them.
Thank you Alfi & Violet for a lovely coverage. We are grateful to you for your support to us in publishing our efforts to promote our beautiful city as a Tourism Destination. Our gratitude goes to our Team Members who work hard and meticulously, to ensure Mangalore receives a good tour report from the guests and the ship. A big Thank you to New Mangalore Port Authorities, Port agents – J. M. Baxi & Co, Immigration, Customs & CISF whose support is valuable and appreciable to ensure these large movements have a smooth sailing.
Thank you everyone who has worked as a team Mangalore for successful day.
Thank you Team Mangalorean.com for your efforts to cover this day’s activities and publishing it.!!
Congrats Eula. your sinsire efforts will soon put Mangalore in the tourist map
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