Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) have been framed by the shipping
ministry in June last year for handling cruise vessels and passengers in the
major ports. These SOPs have been framed
in consultation with the concerned stakeholders and contain simplified
procedures to be observed by the multiple agencies involved in handling of
cruise passengers and ship like Port authorities, customs, immigration,
security(CISF), State government, ship agents, cruise lines, tour operators,
Port Health Officers(PHO). The idea is introduce a single window swift
clearance of international tourists, the moment they arrive in sea ports.
major ports of Mumbai Port, Mormugao Port, New Mangalore Port, Cochin Port and
Chennai Port will receive cruise ships in a big way as per the plan/programme
of various cruise companies as a port of call.
During December 2016 to March 2017, cruise ship Costa Neoclassica made
Mumbai port its home port for operating a cruise service from Mumbai-New
Mangalore-Cochin-Male – Colombo-Goa-Mumbai for seven voyages. Ferry services are run from Mumbai Port
(Gateway of India) to Mandwa & Elephanta, and from Ferry Wharf to Mora,
Revas & Karanja.
Cruise terminals have been constructed in Mumbai, Mormugao, New
Mangalore, Cochin and Chennai Ports. It is proposed to construct another cruise
terminal facility in the Ernakulum wharf of Cochin Port to cater to the cruise
passengers with modern amenities at an estimated cost of Rs.25.72 crores.
The Ministry of Tourism has
sanctioned Rs.21.41 crores for this project.
Against this, the first instalment of Rs.10.33 crores has been approved
out of which Rs.4.33 crores has been released by the Ministry of Tourism. The
project consists of construction of an international cruise terminal building
of approximate area of 2253 sq mts.
information was given by Minister of State for Shipping and Road Transport and Highways
Pon. Radhakrishnan in a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha on 3