Govt formulates SOPs for cruise and ferry services

The Government has formulated new guidelines in the form of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to handle cruise vessels and cruise passengers. The salient features of these SOPs inter alia includes submission of documents/data electronically, seamless entry and exit process with access control and RFID for vehicles and persons and simplified Port Health Organisation Clearance Procedure. It further provides for e-landing card for shore excursion, doing away with face to face checks except at the first port of entry and last port of exit and allowing carrying of valid photo I-card for Indian cruise passenger on domestic leg instead of the passport.
The five major ports – Mumbai Port, Mormugao Port, New Mangalore Port, Cochin Port and Chennai Port receive cruise ships as per the programme of various cruise companies as a port of call. Ferry services are run from Mumbai Port (Gateway of India) to Mandwa & Elephanta, and from Ferry Wharf to Mora, Revas and Karanja.
An international cruise terminal is under construction at Mumbai Port at an estimated cost of Rs 300 crores. The Ministry of Tourism has sanctioned an amount of Rs 12.50 crores for this project out of which Rs. 5 cores have already been released.