The Karnika
The Karnika is now heading for the scrap yard. Launched with much fanfare, it has become a victim of the pandemic that upended the cruise industry worldwide. Image Credit: Gulf News Archive

Dubai: The Karnika,  cruise ship owned by now bankrupt Jalesh Cruises, has been sold for scrapping in Alang, India, according to reports. This comes just weeks after the Indian cruise line announced that it is permanently suspending operations due to rising debts and a delay in the reopening of cruise ports in its home country.

The ship is located off Mumbai and has been “practically abandoned” by Jalesh Cruises after the pandemic erased global travel demand, the Cruise & Harbor News first reported. UK-based NKD Maritime purchased the vessel for $5 million. “We can confirm that we were awarded the cruise vessel Karnika from the Court Marshall in Mumbai,” a spokesperson for NKD Maritime said.

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Karnika, which was launched last year by Jalesh, became the first Indian cruise ship to make a stop in the Gulf region, marking a significant milestone for both the Indian domestic and international cruise industry.

Gulf News could not immediately reach out to Jalesh to independently verify the authenticity of the report. A cruise industry source, who is aware of the move, said she had still not received official confirmation from the Mumbai-based cruise line.