Kochi, Mar 26 : Kochi played host to the U.K's luxury cruise 'Queen Victoria' on Wednesday, giving a fitting welcome to the majestic ship.
'Queen Victoria', which is on a maiden world cruise, landed in Kochi early this morning, and true to its name, received a royal welcome at the port city.
This is the 40th cruise vessel to call at Kochi Port since April 2007, and two more cruise vessels expected to land in Kochi in April.
Passengers were accorded a warm welcome on their arrival in Kochi, by folk artistes who entertained with traditional music.
"We had a fantastic welcome here this morning. Beautiful, lovely," said Belleo, a tourist.
The 90,000 tonne palace on water which was inaugurated by the Duchess of York Camilla, is the latest in the line from the British shipping company Cunard, replacing the popular 'Queen Elizabeth 2'.
With a capacity to accommodate over 2, 000 passengers, the 'Queen Victoria' has been christened a 'floating palace' by its passengers.
"We are the happiest people in the world and we are celebrating in a lovely country. We have just got off a floating palace!" said Bob Bridao, another tourist, who was on his honeymoon.
The luxury cruise offers an interesting blend of the old world charm of ocean travel with modern facilities like theatre, live orchestra and a second largest floating library.
With an in-house museum and a card room, the ship offers a variety of amusement options for its passengers.
Replete with bars and lounges, the ship provides the ultimate onboard luxury experience.
The ship will leave for Mumbai this evening, where it will be docked for a fortnight.
On the conclusion of its maiden cruise, the 'Queen Victoria' will embark on another cruise to the Baltics and Scandinavia in May and will sail into the Mediterranean in August this year. By Juhan Samuel