Jalesh Cruises, India’s first premium cruise company catering to the Indian domestic and international cruise business, christened its cruise liner ‘Karnika’ in an official naming ceremony in Mumbai on Friday, April 19. Shreyasi Punit Goenka took on the mantle of the 'Godmother of the Ship' and showered blessings of good luck, success and safety on the magnificent liner.
A special postal stamp of ₹5 was also released on the occasion to commemorate the historic occasion on Indian waters. The National Flag was hoisted and the National Anthem was sung on board the ship.
Karnika marked the occasion while celebrating the achievements of five Indians who are credited to bring international fame to the country by being the first ones to achieve pinnacle in their fields. The personalities included, Milkha Singh, first Indian Athlete to win a Gold at Commonwealth Games (1958), Subhash Chandra, Chairman, Zee & Essel Group, the first Indian to launch a private satellite TV channel (1992), Sushmita Sen, the first Indian Miss Universe (1994), Mahesh Bhupati, first Indian to win Grand Slam Tournament (1997) and Mary Kom, the first Indian woman boxer to win Asian Games (2014).
Chandra was the chief guest of the occasion. Punit Goenka, MD & CEO, Zee Limited, and Amit Goenka, CEO, International Broadcast Business& Z5 Global were also present on the occasion.
Karnika has been named after a celestial nymph, who according to legend emerged when gods and demons churned the ocean for Amrit, the elixir for life. Apsara Karnika, a celestial maiden stood for exquisite beauty and alluring charm for carrying treasures and pleasures to reward and indulge those engaged in hard labour. The name also reflects a true Indian identity drawing inspiration from the first Indian ghat - Manikarnika in Varanasi, which is considered as one of the oldest Indian city.
The christening ceremony began with a group of priests chanting hymns as the head priest broke the traditional coconut. This was followed by the age-old maritime ritual of the Godmother naming the ship by stating, “I name this ship Karnika. May God bless her, her officers, her staff, her crew and all who sail on her.” The traditional cracking of a champagne bottle on the bow of the ship followed the blessing.
The naming ceremony is a maritime practice and is considered a good luck charm for the captain, crew and passengers sailing the ship.
Jurgen Bailom, President & CEO, Jalesh Cruises, said, “Jalesh Cruises is immensely proud to give India its first premium ship Karnika, which has been curated to indulge and entertain you in the true Indian style. She is a beautiful ship designed to enthrall both domestic and international guests with the famed Indian hospitality. Our ship will make it possible for Indians to experience cruise vacations closer home with high level of customisation that touches the sensibilities of people here.”
The naming ceremony saw an electrifying performance by singer Aakriti Kakkar who sang “Never Enough”, the electric track from the musical drama ‘The Greatest Showman’ for the audience and a special act by stand-up comedian Papa CJ. An after-party was held on board with performances by several artists and celebrity DJ Bally Sagoo.