India’s first terminal dedicated for cruise ships on its east coast will be ready in Chennai this month, the shipping ministry said.
This will make it the fifth such cruise terminal in the country.
All four existing cruise terminals are located on India’s western coastline, targeting ships that come in from the Middle East and Europe. These are located at Mumbai, Mormugao, Mangalore and Kochi.
The Chennai terminal will target both ships coming from the West as well as those coming from the east.
Cruise terminals provide special facilities that are not available at regular docks that are mostly used for passenger or container offloading.
These include cleaner facilities and transportation arrangements to nearby hotspots.
India has also allowed foreign flag vessels carrying passengers to call at Indian ports for a period of 10 years with effect from 2009 without obtaining a license from Director General of Shipping. This has been further extended till 2024 recently.
Most Indian ports provide rebate of 25% in vessel related charges for coastal cruise ships, in addition to the 40% rebate for coastal vessels. Further, walk-in preferential berthing is given to homeport cruise without any extra charge.
Besides, all major ports in India offer a minimum rebate of 30% across the board on all vessel related charges such as port dues, pilotage and berth hire, for cruise ships.