Six months after floatel Art Deck Bar that had 15 people in it capsized off Bandra, the southern coast of Mumbai is set to get two new floating restaurants. On Saturday, the Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari, will inaugurate the floatels.
Queensline Sea YAH and Queensline Neverland will cruise from the Gateway of India on Monday and as safety precaution, each guest will be given a QR code to trace the location during the journey.
There will be 500 life jackets and 15 rafts on each ship and two marine staff members will be posted in the pontoon boat shuttle services that would be made available.
“We would follow a dedicated path while sailing and an automatic identification system (AIS) would continuously track the movement of our ship. Additional systems and floats would be present on the ship,” said Captain Naresh Kalra from KNK ship management company, which is handling the safety arrangements for the Queensline cruises.
A joint venture with the Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT), the floatel service is part of the development plan of the new Eastern Water Front. While the cruises would be docked at the Gateway of India and the Domestic Cruise Terminal, they would travel till Marine Drive, Elephanta Island and Kanheri island. Each floatel can accommodate 470 people and will serve international cuisine for a cover charge of Rs 2,000 per person.
“Our bookings for the cruise service will open on Monday morning. Party arrangements and functions can also be hosted on the ship. We would be offering entertainment activities onboard that include grape stomping, live bands, and visits by international chefs. Affordability and international cuisine would attract many visitors,” said Shripriya Dalmia Thirani, the owner of the cruise service.
While the floatels would be open between 12 pm and midnight, Thirani said the timings could be extended in December. The floatels will not operate during the monsoons.
Last month, a boat, MRM-1, carrying journalists and political leaders had capsized near Prong’s Lighthouse. According to the safety guidelines of the MbPT, Queensline is expected to have two security cabins, pontoon boat arrangements to ferry visitors to the cruise from the jetty and jetty supervisors. Thirani said all arrangements are in place.
The cruises will dock at jetty 5 at the Gateway of India, which is currently operated by the Royal Bombay Yacht Club (RBYC). In a recent meeting held with the stakeholders of the floatels, the club members had expressed concern over congestion at jetty 5.
“There are five jetties at the Gateway of India and the port trust is managing traffic nicely.They know how much traffic can be accommodated. As the slipway at gate 5 is insufficient, we are bringing gangway and pontoons for better boarding,” Thirani said.
She added that a certain percentage of the revenue incurred from each of the ships would be shared with the port trust. On Saturday, Gadkari will also inaugurate the new Eastern Water Front and launch the invitation of tenders for the Mumbai-Elephanta ropeway.
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