A total of 139 cruise ships carrying 1,62,660 passengers visited India in 2017-18 at six major ports namely, Mumbai Port, Mormugao Port, New Mangalore Port, Cochin Port, Chennai Port and Kolkata Port. These major ports of the country have been developed to attract cruise ships with dedicated terminals and other related infrastructure for berthing of cruise vessels and embarking and disembarking of cruise passengers. The Ministry of Shipping has brought out a Vision Document with a view to develop India as a cruise shipping destination. The document envisages to develop supporting infrastructure for cruise tourism at ports, to give special focus on developing the domestic cruise industry through policy supports, incentives and port infrastructure development. Separately, Ministry of Shipping & Ministry of Tourism has jointly appointed a consultant for ‘Preparation of Action Plan for Development of Cruise Tourism in India.
The cruise tourism operations augment local economic activities as business opportunities arise for supply for provisions, transport, hotels, bunkering, etc to cruise ships which generate direct and indirect employment and help in growth of local economy.