India Receives First International Cruise Vessel Viking Mars, After Two Years
International cruise vessels are reportedly returning to ports in India after two years, per Business Standard reports.
Viking Mars — a vessel operated by Switzerland-based Viking — will be the first to dock at Mumbai port on 13 November. It is en route to Thailand. Per sources, 28 cruise liners will transit via Mumbai, Mormugao (Goa), and Cochin from November through May.
During transit stopovers, individuals come ashore to participate in pre-booked activities as the vessel stocks up on freshwater supplies, offloads wastes and changes crew members.
India can attract more international cruise operators as China stays closed, explains Ratna Chadha, the chair of TIRUN Travel Marketing.
Vishakhapatnam’s cruise terminal is expected to be ready by next year (April), but the international terminal of Mumbai port will be commissioned only by 2024 (July). Besides tariff rationalization and improved infrastructure at these ports, the taxes levied on the cruise business must be considered to make India a favoured destination for the operators, mention industry experts.
In FY20, ports in India tackled 149 vessel transits and 226,329 individuals, with Cochin and Mumbai handling the majority of traffic, followed by the New Mangalore, Chennai, and Mormugao ports, the report highlights.