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Cruise vessel MV Karnika to discontinue operations

The owners of MV Karnika, a 14-deck large premium cruise vessel whose home port is Mumbai, have decided to discontinue its operations due to mounting debts and the uncertainties posed by COVID-19.

Operations have been at a standstill since creditors arrested the ship through an order of the Admiralty Court on March 17. The owners said they are not in a position to start operations as ports in the country have not given a specific date to resume cruise services owing to the pandemic.

No information has been made available if the operations of the passenger vessel, with a capacity to carry 2,014 passengers and 621 crew members, will be revived later.

MV Karnika is the first cruise vessel acquired by Jalesh Cruises Mauritius Ltd., majority owned by Subhash Chandra, the chairman of Essel Group, and his family. Mr. Chandra aimed to build a robust cruise tourism industry in India and invested in the project before the financial crisis hit his group. Despite having other investors, he took personal interest to develop this sector as he felt it had vast scope of employment generation.