« Back to articlePrint this article

World Cup magic for $30,000

January 22, 2007 11:42 IST

If you have $30,000 (around Rs 13.5 lakh) to spare, you could enjoy the best of cricket and calypso in a cruise to the Caribbean islands this April.

Vancouver-based Uniglobe Travels has tied up with luxury liner Silver Seas to offer well-heeled people from India and Pakistan as well as non-resident Indians an eleven day cruise to the West Indies, coinciding with the crucial cricket World Cup matches in which India and Pakistan will battle it out with their rivals.

In the last few years, Indians have emerged as big global tourists, willing to spend money on luxury destinations. Overseas cricket matches too have become a big draw - a "Dada Army" has sprung up to rival the Barmy Army.

Silver Wind, which sets sail in April from San Juan in Puerto Rico, has all the trappings of a luxury liner. For this cruise, there will be Indian food prepared by Taj hotels. There will be international cricketers on board to share their insights with you on matches. All told, there are 148 suites on offer.

The bad news is that several of these suites are gone. "Fifty per cent of the suites have already been booked. We have not gone for advertising the product. Instead, our approach has been to market it directly to top CEOs, bankers, professionals and industrialists," said Ritika Modi, Uniglobe's South Asia president. There is no room for film stars on board Silver Seas, she added.

However, you do not get to see either the semi-finals or the final matches even after paying the steep bill.

The package also does not include the return airfare to Peurto Rico from were the cruise starts and the tickets to the matches.

Modi said Uniglobe could arrange these as well. But you will have to fork out $4500 (over Rs 200,000) for business class tickets to fly to your destination and another $600 (around Rs 26,000) for every match that you see.

In contrast, cruises from Australia which are for 19 days and include tickets to the matches as well as the finals are being offered at tariffs ranging from Australian dollar $8,990 ( Rs 313,000 ) to $15,500 (Rs 540,000).

More than a dozen cruises are expected to make their way to the Caribbean islands for the World Cup.
Surajeet Das Gupta in New Delhi
Source: source image