By Steve Antao
Cruising Club India is a yacht rental and full-service event planning company based in Panjim. The firm specializes in planning and managing events on boat cruises and yachts in Goa. They offer luxury yachts on rent and also provide services like gourmet catering, top-rated entertainment and unique personalizations for any special occasion or private event.
The company started operations in the year 2021. They operate around 4-5 charters daily at the Mandovi River in Panjim, the Chapora River in Siolim, and at the bay at Dona Paula. In Panjim, there are more than 15 yachts and more than 15 Catamaran Cruises, while in the Chapora River, there are 2 houseboats and a couple of small boats. In Dona Paula, there are 4-5 sailboats. The company does not operate in the South due to the unavailability of yachts in South Goa.
At the helm of affairs of this unique enterprise are its founders Swapnil Shirodkar and Prem Sutar. Swapnil comes from an IT background and has been in the tourism business for 8 years, while his partner Prem has been in this industry for over 8 years.
Swapnil and Prem’s love for boats inspired them to start this venture as it was very natural for them. “The boating industry is a growing industry and when compared to the international boating industry, Goa lags far behind”, says Swapnil. “The only silver lining is that it is gradually growing in Goa. Goa is the perfect place to start this business and I and Prem wanted to be a part of the growth”, he adds.
The team at Cruising Club India consists of 5 people who handle tasks like maintenance of their website, sales and marketing, managing their charters, writing promotional content, and coordinating their events. They also have freelancers working for them on the side.
People book private yachts and boats with Cruising Club India to celebrate special occasions. Cruising Club India makes the arrangements for all the necessary things needed for the event as per the client’s requirement. They manage events on yachts for occasions like birthday parties, engagement parties, bachelor/ bachelorette parties, corporate events, and retirement parties to name a few.
For example, if a client wants to book a yacht for a birthday party, then as per the number of people for the event, Swapnil and his team suggest hiring a yacht. “Sometimes, even small groups book a big yacht with a capacity of 25 people. So for birthdays, they ask for decoration, music, food & drinks, a photographer etc. We take their requirements and make arrangements for them”, says Swapnil. “Satisfaction of the client is our topmost priority and we provide services as per the requirement of the client”, he adds.
Cruising Club India has a tie-up with Ritz Classic Restaurant in Panjim and Myles high bakehouse, Panjim to provide food & beverages for their events. They have an in-house event planner to plan events for their clients and they also collaborate with artists, entertainers, singers, photographers, dancers and more to provide entertainment at the events organized by them that would keep their guests entertained and happy.
The decoration on the boats is done solely by them. Until last year, they had a vendor doing the decoration for their events, but from this year, they have their in-house team to undertake the decoration for events organized by them. The decoration is provided depending on the theme of the event. Services like Live DJ Music, Duo/Trio/ Full Bands, One-Man Bands, Dance and Entertainment, Flowers and Decor, Drone Videography and Photography are also provided by them as add-on services.
Swapnil says that the response to his business so far has been a mixed bag. “While we are getting plenty of clients, many people are still not aware of our yacht business. Most of their clients are people from outside Goa. They include domestic tourists and people from the corporate sector. Most of the local Goans are not aware of the services they provide. Only a few people who stay close to the Mandovi River in Panjim are aware of their business. Many celebrities avail of their services, actress Sameera Reddy being one of their most recent celebrity clients. They also provide discounts to clients depending on the number of hours a client leases a yacht for. The longer the number of hours the yacht has been rented for, the higher would be the discount they offer.
Plans For The Future
Swapnil says that venturing into this business of yachts has been a huge learning experience for him and his partner Prem. Ever since they started Cruising Club India, they got to know about a lot of things that they were previously unaware of. They have learnt about certain missing aspects with scope for improvement. He says that in the next couple of years to come, Cruising Club India will not only focus on charters but will also start focusing on boat building, repairs, software solutions, maintenance and more. “We are just starting and we have lots of plans up our sleeves for the next 10 to 15 years”, he adds.
Cruising Club India also plans to provide technological solutions to their vendors to help them manage charter bookings. Their services won’t be limited to Goa alone as they plan on expanding to other states that have a growing boat industry. Swapnil says that Goa, being a growing industry for the boat business, is ripe with possibilities for expansion and people should invest in projects like these.
So what are you waiting for guys? Pick up that phone and call Cruising Club India today to book a luxury yacht to celebrate your next New ear party, bachelor party, or simply any other upcoming event of yours. And leave all your worries regarding the planning of the event to Cruising Club India who promise to organize an event you will remember for years together.
Make your bookings now!
Cruising Club India
Phone: +91 8793549236
Email: [email protected]