Port Blair, Nov 07: The day was 7th of November, 2009, when the, first-ever, privately owned Catamaran passenger ferry, Makruzz, sailed onward from Port Blair, on her maiden voyage to Swaraj Dweep (previously Havelock). Upon her initiation, the state-of-the-art craft was dedicated to the tourism industry by the then Lt. Governor Bhopinder Singh, in the august gathering of the erstwhile Cincan and current Lt. Governor, Admiral DK Joshi and the then Chief Secretary Vivek Rae.
The scene was abuzz that a world class product, had made its way to the Andaman archipelago. Everyone envisaged that this would be a shot in the arm for the tourism industry, and would set superlative standards for the hospitality sector in the islands, and that she did. The travelers’ experience of the high seas was transformed, with panoramic views, plush interiors, the ‘fly by sea’ speed, seamless and reliable connectivity, that was unbeknownst before Makruzz.
Ten years hence, the success of Makruzz need not be narrated but is evident. It has added two more ships to its remarkable fleet, becoming the largest private ferry service provider in India – a matter of pride for all islanders. The destinations it connects, viz. Swaraj and Shaheed Dweep, have undergone a drastic transformation in the tourism landscape. Makruzz has ferried over 10 lakh happy travelers aboard its three ships, making it a vital tourism infrastructure, ranking at no. 4 among the top 10 enlisted attractions on Trip Advisor in Andamans. But most importantly, the coming of Makruzz gave birth to a flourishing sector which directly employs hundreds, and has far reaching positive impacts on the social and economic fabric of the islands.
Makruzz and the decade of its existence, truly epitomizes the continuous bid to achieve excellence in ferrying.