Tourism Boost: First-Of-its-Kind Cruise Service Between Surat And Diu Launched

by Arun Kumar Das - Apr 1, 2021 05:58 AM
Tourism Boost: First-Of-its-Kind Cruise Service Between Surat And Diu LaunchedCruise service from Hazira Port to Diu launched.
Snapshot
  • The cruise has the capacity of 300 passengers and has 16 cabins, and will sail two round trips in a week.

Despite Covid-19 pandemic, Indian ports have registered 450 cruise calls, said Shipping and Waterways Minister Mansukh Mandaviya while flagging off the first-of-its-kind cruise service from Hazira Port of Surat to Diu through video conferencing.

One side voyage time of the cruise service is approximately 13 to 14 hours. This cruise has the capacity of 300 passengers and has 16 cabins, and will sail two round trips in a week.

Mandaviya said that the development of cruise tourism is the prime focus of the government of India under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The cruise has gaming lounge, VIP lounge, deck entertainment and other modern amenities. One side journey will cost Rs 900 plus taxes (per head).

"I feel very happy to announce that before 2014, there were 139 cruise calls at Indian ports but today we have 450 cruise calls in the country despite the pandemic. There has been a steady growth in the number of tourists travelling by cruise services since 2014. The number before 2014 was 1 lakh and the number of tourists in 2019-20 was 4.5 lakh," added Mandaviya.

Developing waterways is one of the focus areas of the government as it wants to promote water transportation in the country.

Mandaviya reiterated that Indian coastline has a huge potential for the cruise tourism industry and six international cruise terminals are being planned on both the west coast (Mumbai, Goa, Kochi) and east coast (Visakhapattanam, Kolkata, Chennai) of India.

Mandaviya expressed optimism about the development of ferry, RoRo and ROPAX services between South Gujarat and Saurashtra region and said that water transportation is the new future of transportation with state-of-the-art ferry terminals and modern facilities in the cruise services.

The success of the ferry service has opened the gates for many more routes of water transportation in Gujarat and all over India, said the minister.

In November 2020, Prime Minister Modi inaugurated ‘Hazira-Ghogha’ RoPAX service and within four months, 1 lakh passengers and thousands of vehicles utilised the ferry service to save journey time and the cost to travel from Hazira (Surat) to Ghogha (Bhavanagar).

Arun Kumar Das is a senior journalist covering railways. He can be contacted at akdas2005@gmail.com.


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