Many rich urbanites are marrying in the middle of the sea. Yes, cruise lines top the list of opulent wedding venue options. The trend has picked up since last year, according to business insiders.
Several cruise lines offer wedding packages, keeping Indian wedding rituals in mind.
Nalini Gupta, head, Costa Cruises India, says two factors work in favour of cruise weddings—novelty and convenience.
“A ship is like a floating five-star hotel. Besides the unconventionality of the idea, the fact that all facilities are available at one place attracts many,” she says.
What gets guests excited is the cruise, a first for many. Another advantage is that all guests are at one place and not wandering off, which is the case at land weddings.
“We have conducted two lavish weddings for an industrialist family and another for a Marwari family from North India. This November will be our fourth season of organising cruise weddings. We are getting enquiries from southern cities including Bengaluru, Chennai and Kochi,” says Nalini. A cruise ship provides different venues for different ceremonies—the hosts can plan ‘haldi’ in the lounge, ‘pheras’ on the open deck, and so on.
If the guests want to go partying after the ceremonies, everything is in place, and there’s no worry about going back home late at night.
“A lot of things are carried to a wedding, and so a ship comes as a huge advantage for Indian weddings,” observes Nalini.
Unlike land weddings, the guest list is intimate and limited to 250 people.
J P Yaduvanshi is the founder of MyShaadiWale Wedding, which has organised three cruise weddings for NRIs so far in Mumbai and Singapore.
The fourth, he says, will be one of the biggest cruise weddings ever.
It is slated for September between Dubai and Mumbai. They also have another wedding in December for a couple from Bengaluru.
For Indians, cruise weddings provide an opportunity to explore different destinations without worrying about the mode of transport.
“There are many cruise liners available, like the Royal Caribbean, Jalesh and Princess Cruise, with different setups and pricing. The average cost of a cruise wedding with 100 people, for two nights and three days, is Rs 90 lakh to Rs one crore,” says Yaduvanshi.
Rajeev Kale, president and country head - holiday, MICE, Visa, Thomas Cook (India), says, “Cruises are not limited just to wedding events. They are also being considered for bachelor and bachelorette parties and honeymoons.“
It’s the ease of managing all events on-board a ship that appeals to today’s couples, he told Metrolife.
Popular wedding cruises
Costa Cruises: Dubai to Singapore, Mumbai to Cochin, and Cochin to the Maldives.
MyShaadiWale: Goa to Mumbai, Dubai to Mumbai, Singapore to Malaysia and the Maldives to India.
Most rituals are do-able and cruises offer special cuisine arrangements and provide permission for ceremonies that involve lighting of a sacred fire, like ‘havan’.
Here is something that gives you an idea of how much a cruise wedding costs.
- Costa Cruises offers a three-night Mumbai-Cochin wedding package for 100 guests for 38 lakh (approx).
- It includes accommodation, port taxes, on-board service charges, unlimited beverages, five meals a day (breakfast, late riser, lunch, high tea, dinner, with Indian and Jain food), entertainment with Broadway-style shows, themed parties and games. It excludes spa, casino and shopping, room service, transfers and shore excursions,