The government of Bangladesh has taken initiatives to build international standard cruise vessels with the aim to launch them within 2 years.
Construction works of 3 cruise ships have already begun at a drydock of Karnafuly Ship Builders Ltd, on the Karnaphuli River's bank, in Chittagong. Each of these ships will costs at least Tk77 crore (USD 9 million), taking the project cost to a total of Tk231 crore (USD 27 million), officials revealed.
State Minister for Shipping Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury said they expected to launch these ships by 2023.
“It will not only expand the country's tourism industry but also will play a special role in the economy.
“Each of these vessels will have all modern entertainment facilities so that a tourist can spend up to 15 days on a cruise comfortably. Moreover, such cruises exist only in Europe, not even in India. These ships will be able to travel to India, Sri Lanka and the Maldives.”
Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Corporation Chairman Syed Tajul Islam said that according to the contract signed with Karnafuly Ship Builders Ltd, the newbuilds will be delivered by June 2023.
"Then the International Association of Classification Societies will verify the vessels’ classification before we launch them."
Islam added they were "thinking of signing contracts with major private companies such as Sheraton, Pan Pacific Sonargaon, and InterContinental in order to offer world-class cruises to tourists."
Each cruise ship will feature 150 passenger cabins and 50 crew cabins. Every cabin will be with an attached bathroom. There will also be 20 presidential suites for guests.
Each vessel will boast all the modern facilities, such as a 3D cinema hall, 2 swimming pools, food court, bar, cafe, poolside cafe, laundry, helipad, open space, parlor, and kids corner. The helipad will allow onboard authorities to airlift any traveler to nearby hospitals in case they get sick during a voyage. The movie theatres will accommodate up to 60 guests and can also be used as conference rooms or for get-togethers.
The first-ever luxury cruise ship of Bangladesh, MV Bay One, operates on Cox's Bazar-Saint Martin route and was launched in December last year. In September 2020, Karnafuly Ship Builders imported the cruise ship, built by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, from Japan.