Indian Railways Junction


Team StratFront
Feb 16, 2019
Tripura, NE, India
IRCTC to launch India's first luxury cruise liner from September 18; check details

In a tie-up with Cordelia Cruises, a private company, it will begin the first cruise from September 18 for which bookings can be done on the IRCTC website IRCTC Tourism Official Website | Incredible India Travel & Tour Package.

SEPTEMBER 09, 2021 / 08:33 AM IST

The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) will start India's first indigenous cruise liner from September 18, the railway PSU said.

In a tie-up with Cordelia Cruises, a private company, it will begin the first cruise from September 18 for which bookings can be done on the IRCTC website

"IRCTC has joined hands and signed the agreement with Cordelia Cruises being operated by M/s Waterways Leisure Tourism Pvt. Ltd for promotion and marketing of the first indigenous luxury cruise in India. This is another incredible luxury travel offering under IRCTC's umbrella of tourism services to the public," the railway PSU said in a statement.

"Cordelia Cruises is India's premium cruise liner. It aspires to promote and drive the cruise culture in India through experiences that are stylish, luxurious, and most importantly, inherently Indian. It is a cruise liner for Indians catering to the way Indians love to holiday," it said.

IRCTC said guests onboard the ship will have an experience of sailing to some of the best Indian and international destinations like Goa, Diu, Lakshadweep, Kochi, and Sri Lanka.

Cordelia Cruises is starting its first journey from September 18 and in its first phase will sail through Indian destinations with its base at Mumbai, while later from May 2022 the cruise will be shifted to Chennai and set sail to destinations in Sri Lanka like Colombo, Galle, Trincomalee, and Jaffna.

Some of the popular tour itineraries of Cordelia Cruises are Mumbai-Goa-Mumbai, Mumbai-Diu-Mumbai, Mumbai-At sea-Mumbai, Kochi-Lakshadweep At sea Mumbai, Mumbai At sea Lakshadweep At sea Mumbai among others.

"While travelling on Cordelia Cruises, one can enjoy lot of recreational and leisure activities such as restaurants, swimming pool, bars, open cinemas, theatre, kids area, gymnasium," the statement said.

As per COVID-19 protocol, crew members are fully vaccinated and daily health checks for the crew members, hourly sanitisation of the facilities, air-filtration and social distancing norms would also be followed.

The number of guests will also be limited according to the official mandate by the government.

There is also a fully functional medical centre onboard the cruise equipped with all the required medical essential items.

Besides the luxury cruises in India, IRCTC is also in the process of signing agreements with all major international cruise liners and will provide their bookings on its web portal as soon as the COVID-19 situation normalises and the international cruises start their operations.

(With PTI inputs)

IRCTC To Launch India's First Luxury Cruise Liner From September 18; Check Details
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Dec 3, 2017

Centre pushes Railways to reform, merge RVNL & Ircon, Rail Tel & IRCTC​

The Cabinet Secretariat has asked the Ministry of Railways to act upon a series of recommendations including a merger of Rail Vikas Nigam Ltd into IRCON, of Rail Tel into IRCTC, and a takeover of Braithwaite & Co Ltd by RITES.

These proposals are part of a report on rationalisation of government bodies prepared by Sanjeev Sanyal, Principal Economic Advisor, Ministry of Finance, after studying the structure and distribution of Railways ministry.
The proposals are wide ranging, and not restricted to PSUs: bringing 94 schools run by Railways under the Kendriya Vidyalaya Sanghatan (KVS), upgrading 125 Railway Hospitals — most of them under-invested — through an institutional mechanism and opening these to the public at large. Wherever appropriate, it suggests a PPP (public-private partnership) model for schools and hospitals run by the Railways. This will help the organisation focus on its core competence of running and maintaining the railway service.

In a recent note sent to the Railways, the Cabinet Secretariat has asked Suneet Sharma, Chairman and CEO, Railway Board, to update it on the actions taken on the recommendations in the first week of every month.

When contacted, a senior Railway Ministry official told The Indian Express, the report had been handed over to them just a week ago. “It has now been sent to all key departments… all these require serious discussion with all members of the Railway Board,” said the official, who did not wish to be named.

On consolidation of PSUs, Sanyal’s report stated that both IRCON – a specialised infrastructure construction company, and RVNL which implements projects to create and augment rail infrastructure capacity on a fast-track basis, have similar business functions. Hence, it has said RVNL can be merged into IRCON.

Highlighting the overlaps between Rail Tel, a large telecom infra provider through optic fibre networks along railway tracks, IRCTC, a mini ratna, whose core activity is internet ticketing, and CRIS, an autonomous society to develop software for passenger ticketing, freight invoicing, passenger train operations, etc, the report recommended that CRIS be wound up after handing over its work to IRCTC, and then Rail Tel be merged into IRCTC.

The report called for setting up a new public sector enterprise to hold the three coach factories in Chennai, Kapurthala and Rae-Bareli, locomotive units in Chittaranjan, Varanasi and Patiala, and two rail wheel units in Yelahanka (Bengaluru) and Bela in Bihar. All the assets may be transferred to this CPSE, and employees deployed to the proposed enterprise in a phased manner.
Between Rail Land Development Authority (RLDA), a statutory organisation with complete powers of station development, land monetisation and contract management, and Indian Railway Stations Development Corporation Ltd, a joint venture between RLDA and IRCON, the Sanyal report said one should be identified as a sole functioning entity and given full responsibility.

The report also recommends that the Railways Board and the Ministry of Railways pull out of direct involvement in Indian Railway Welfare Organisation, a society set to provide housing to serving and retired employees. IRWO be treated as a privately run body. Both the board and the ministry must work at an arm’s length from IRWO, it said.

An officer, who did not wish to be identified, said many of these PSUs and bodies existed simply because they served as a parking space for officers who wished to be retained in a certain city or region. Another officer explained that in many of these societies, companies might have had an objective at some point of time, but their creation was also a result of departmentalism within the railways.
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Dec 3, 2017

Railways planning major restructuring​

The Indian Railways, the country’s largest employer and transporter, is heading for a major restructuring plan that could lead to the closure of major establishments, merger of decades-old organisations and private participation in running of its schools and hospitals.

The recommendations of the Principal Economic Adviser Sanjeev Sanyal for Rationalisation of Government Bodies and Proposal for the Ministry of Railways calls for winding up the Central Organisation for Railway Electrification (CORE), the Central Organisation for Modernisation Of Workshops (COFMOW), Centre for Railway Information Systems (CRIS) and Indian Railways Organisation for Alternative Fuel (already closed on September 7, 2021).

While senior railway officials were of the view that the recommendations would be taken up for further discussion, the closure of the IROAF has sent out a signal that the proposal could be implemented partly or wholly in due course of time. Last week, the Cabinet Secretariat, Rashtrapati Bhavan, wrote to the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Railway Board, calling for monthly reports to intimate the action taken on the rationalisation plan, official sources told The Hindu on Friday.

In what could be a major coming together of organisations working on the Information Technology platform, the panel recommended winding up of CRIS, an autonomous society that develops software capacity in the railways that includes passenger ticketing, freight invoicing, passenger train operations, management of train crew and management of fixed/rolling assets, and handing over all its work to the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC).

Going by the plan, RailTel, one of the largest telecom infrastructure providers in the country that focuses on modernising operations and safety systems through optic fibre networks that exist along railway tracks, would be merged with IRCTC. It has been proposed for the Rail India Technical and Economic Service (RITES) that exports rolling stock to take over Braithwaite & Co Ltd., (BCL) which turned sick in 1992, the sources said.

Among other recommendations were the merger of Rail Vikas Nigam Limited (RVNL), which implements projects relating to creation and augmentation of railway infrastructure, with the Indian Railway Construction Limited (IRCON), a specialised infrastructure construction organisation. The panel said both RVNL and IRCON had similar functions and hence could be merged.

Merger of schools​

The Principal Economic Adviser recommended merger of railway schools with Kendriya Vidyalayas or handing them over to the respective State Governments since “operating the railway schools takes up a large amount of time of the railway management whose core competence is in running and maintaining the railway service”.

Justifying the move, the proposal noted that of the 7.99 lakh children of railway employees in the 4-18 age group, less than 2% were enrolled in railway schools. As of 2019, of the total 33,212 students enrolled in 94 schools, only 15,399 were railway wards.

Factories under CPSE​

Another major reform recommended was to establish Central Public Sector Enterprises to bring eight production units under its fold. This would mean that the assets, infrastructure and employees of three coach factories — Integral Coach Factory, Chennai; Rail Coach Factory, Kapurthala; Modern Coach Factory, Rae-Bareli; three locomotive manufacturing units – Chittaranjan Locomotive Works, Chittaranjan; Diesel Locomotive Works, Varanasi; Diesel Loco Modernisation Works, Patiala and two Rail Wheel Units at Yelahanka (Bengaluru) and Bela (Bihar), would be transferred to the proposed CPSE.

Merger of Central Training Institutes with the National Rail and Transportation Institute after upgrading the latter into a Central University and an Institute of National Importance, roping in private participation for investments to enhance healthcare facilities open to all in the 125 railway hospitals and 586 health units/polyclinics was also proposed, the sources added.
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