The coronavirus crisis claims a sixth cruise line

Oct 12, 2020

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Add Jalesh Cruises to the list of cruise companies shutting down for good due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The India-based, one-ship cruise operator won’t be emerging from a months-long, coronavirus-caused halt to departures, according to multiple news outlets in India.

Mumbai-based Mumbai Live reports that creditors have had the line’s one ship, the 1,590-passenger Karnika, arrested in Mumbai through India’s Admiralty Court.

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A skeleton crew that has been on the ship since it halted departures early this year has posted on Twitter in recent days that they have been left without a resupply of food or fuel, and they say they haven’t been paid in months.

A spokesperson for Jalesh Cruises did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Points Guy.

Jalesh Cruises started up in 2019 to offer cruises from India, billing itself as the first premium cruise line in the region. The line’s one vessel, Karnika, is a former Princess Cruises ship that also has sailed for Australia’s P&O Cruises and several other lines.

Related: Why your favourite cruise line probably isn’t going out of business

First unveiled in 1990, the 11-deck-high vessel originally operated as the Crown Princess. It operated in the Princess Cruises fleet for 12 years before transferring to German line A’Rosa Cruises and then German line AIDA Cruises. It also sailed for Ocean Village before ending up in recent years at P&O Cruises Australia.

At P&O Cruises Australia, it was known as the Pacific Jewel.

Jalesh Cruises is the first Asia-based cruise line to permanently shut down during the coronavirus pandemic.

Five other cruise lines — four in Europe and one in the U.S. — have announced in recent months that they are going out of business or filing for the equivalent of bankruptcy due to financial troubles related to the coronavirus outbreak. Like Jalesh Cruises, most are very small lines. But the list includes Cruise & Maritime Voyages, the second-largest cruise brand in the UK.

Jalesh Cruises reportedly has been in financial trouble for at least several months.

India’s Economic Times said the cruise line this week had appealed to Indian authorities for help providing for the crew that remains on board the Karnika.

“We would like to reassure the crew and their families that we have not forgotten about them, hence, have put the right wheels in motion (for aid),” the news outlet quoted the company as saying in a statement. “We have asked for urgent indulgence with the relevant authorities and are waiting for their feedback.”

The Mumbai Mirror reported earlier this week that the crew had been surviving for a week on cornflakes for breakfast, paani-puri for lunch and burgers for dinner as food supplies on the ship ran low.

Jalesh Cruises offered voyages out of Indian ports such as Mumbai and Goa to destinations in India and also Sri Lanka. It also offered sailings in the Middle East.

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Featured image courtesy of Jalesh Cruises

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