1,62,660 cruise passengers visited India in 2017-18: KJ Alphons

During the year 2017-18, a total of 1,62,660 cruise passengers and 139 cruise ships visited India at six major ports namely Mumbai Port, Chennai Port, Cochin Port, Kolkata Port, New Mangalore Port and Mormugao Port. The government has taken multiple steps to increase the flow of cruise tourists in the country. The Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for cruise vessels have been revised and operationalised w.e.f. November 2017 for uniform, redefined processes to be observed by all major ports. Immigration counters have been set up at five major ports visited by cruise ships. The facility of e-visa has been extended to five sea ports namely Mumbai, Goa, New Mangalore, Cochin and Chennai.
Cruise tourists arriving with e-visa have been exempted from the requirement of biometric enrolment for a period of three years to facilitate expeditious immigration clearance. The port charges have been reduced and all major ports now charge a uniform single rate of $0.35 per Gross Registered Tonnage (GRT) for first 12 hours of stay w.e.f November 3, 2017 and will remain in force for a period of three years. The ports do not levy any priority/ousting/shifting charges for berthing the cruise vessel. Walk-in berthing/preferential berthing to homeport cruise without any extra charge is now available.