This Austrian entrepreneur plans to make holidays memorable

The popularity of cruises in India has increased significantly with the introduction of more cruise lines covering exotic destinations around the world. The sea cruise tourism industry is growing rapidly and is expected to exceed the revenue potential of 35,000 Cr to create over 2,50,000 jobs.

Union Shipping and Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari also expressed his views on cruise tourism and mentioned that this sector will be a game-changer for domestic and international travellers. More and more companies have started investing in cruise tourism as it provides a memorable and indelible tourist experience.

In 2018, CEO and Chairman of Waterways Leisure Tourism Pvt Ltd., Jurgen Bailom, brought the first-of-its-kind indigenous cruise, Cordelia Cruises, to India, intending to present a world-class vacation experience in a country filled with exciting dreams and a strong vision to achieve them. Here is an exclusive conversation with Jurgen Bailom, where he spoke with The Logical Indian and shared his insightful experiences from getting started working in this industry so far.

Your journey from start to now?

I am of Austrian descent and grew up in Austria. At 19, I left after my military service. Then I did a hotel management program and worked in some of the most prestigious hotels: starting in London, then in other parts of the world.

In 1989 I joined Royal Caribbean Cruises, when my journey with the cruise began. As is the norm, I started at the bottom at Royal Caribbean and worked my way up to the top. The adventure, military-style discipline, hospitality, technical intelligence and complete surrender to the majestic ocean enchanted me from the start.

In 2018, the first cruise I worked on was purchased and brought to India by me, and that was when my dream of introducing cruising to India and Indians came true.

I have to admit, it was nothing short of an achievement; delivering a world-class vacation experience to a country filled with exciting dreams. Today, I am with Cordelia Cruises: I accomplish these and create many more.

What do you think is the main motivation for your growth?

I am an adrenaline professional by nature and I live by the pleasure of making things happen: whatever it takes! We cease to exist when we are in a state of inertia, and I believe in this idea.

Keep going, keep growing has been my motto. When you are in the mighty ocean, it teaches you so much; adventure, confidence, instinct, abandonment, uncertainties: an endless list. If you settle for this, it will motivate you to live better, do better, and keep sailing.

What is the most important learning on your career path?

My learning is simple, work hard in silence and let your success make noise, and yes, you can only be successful when you become humble. I still remember when, how, and how much I started with, and I’m truly humbled and grateful for where I am today.

My most important learning is that no two days are the same, and yes, that’s perfectly fine. We navigate the waters, and he is our most eminent teacher of the cyclical nature of being.

Your perception of the luxury cruise scenario in India?

Indian luxury cruising is new but rapidly evolving; slowly but definitely! Indians were far from familiar with cruising, especially locally. The thickness of the pandemic itself has been a very disheartening time. I am also delighted and touched by the response we have received since our launch.

Families come in large numbers, weddings and major events are held on board, and guests make lasting memories with the food, entertainment and destinations offered by Cordelia Cruises. We plan to launch another ship soon.

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