It has not been an easy run for the Golden Chariot. The luxury train incurred huge losses in the three years following its launch. The recession may have had a part to play in deterring tourists from traveling in luxury trains. Since then, the Golden Chariot had gone into revamp mode. This November, the luxury train will be relaunched with modified schedules and itineraries.
The authorities are expecting around 50 percent occupancy from November onwards. That sounds like good news for a train that has been plagued by low occupancy. The revamp ensures that tourists get more options. And one of the new changes is that the seven-day “Pride of South” tour is being relaunched as a 14-day package. The soft launch takes place in September, with the train leaving for the tour every Monday.
As in the earlier system, passengers will be required to spend a minimum of three nights on board the luxury train, but can thereafter hop out at any of the stations to which the train runs. For the Golden Chariot’s Bangalore to Goa trip, the train passes through several important stations including Chennai, Mamallapuram, Puducherry, Tanjavur, Madurai, Kanyakumari, Kovalam and Allepey.
The authorities are hopeful that the Golden Chariot in its new avatar will attract both Indian and foreign tourists. And this time around, the target audience is not confined to only the big cities.
Passengers can choose from a triple occupant cabin, a double cabin and a single cabin. While a domestic traveler would pay Rs 12,000, Rs 15,000 and Rs 20,000 per night at these respective cabins, a foreign tourist would have to shell out $400, $495 and $685 for the same. Other deals include the Southern Splendour tour and the one-night stay for Rs 8,000 inclusive of breakfast and dinner.