Dubai, May 3 (UNI) The Dubai-Cochin passenger ship service is still on the horizon although a new launch date has not been fixed, according to a top official of Marco Shipping Company, the operator of the service.
The ship service was originally set for a February launch but fresh international regulations relating to onboard facilities forced the operators to reschedule the launch date.
While announcing the service last year, the operators had expressed confidence that the service would be launched by the end of December but delays in finalising arrangements at the arrival terminal in Cochin postponed the launch to February.
Mohammed Abdul Aziz Al Suweidi, Managing Director of Dubai-based Marco Shipping Company, was quoted in the ''Gulf Today'' as saying that no decision has been taken on the new launch date.
Expressing confidence that the service would be launched shortly, Suweidi said he would be meeting officials of Cochin Port Trust to decide on a new launch date.
"We have decided not to start immediately due to the monsoons in Kerala, which will last for about three months. I don't want to start the service and then discontinue it. It is better to start after everything is set," he said.
As per the initial announcement, the service was to be launched with one ship leaving Dubai for Cochin once in two weeks and there were plans to increase the frequency to once a week in the event of adequate passenger and cargo traffic.
The ship was expected to carry 700 to 800 passengers to Cochin and the duration was to be four to four-and-a-half days.
The ship service was to be operated along the lines of a cruise and baggage allowance of about 150 kilogrammes, an appealing fare and facilities like a cinema, a night club, computer access and so on would be available.
Marco Shipping Company had even hired an expert team of Keralite cooks to prepare meals on board the luxury passenger ferry prior to the postponement of the service.
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