Panjim: Goa Tourism along and the Mormugao Port are upbeat as the luxury cruise boat tourism is picking up as the season progresses.
The Mormugao Port plays a leading role in sustainable development of high-end cruise tourism in the state of Goa. This season, in association with Goa Tourism, it has hosted eight cruise boats till date.
The first luxury cruise vessel ‘Aida Sol’ arrived at the Mormugao Port on 21st November 2014 carrying 2,203 passengers ushering in the new tourism season. Cruise vessels ‘Voyager’ and ‘Aida Aura’ followed simultaneously thereafter on 27th Nov 2014 bringing in 463 and 1,177 high-end tourists to Goa in a single day.
Berthing of the two luxury cruise vessels, one alongside the Breakwater Berth and the other at the Mole simultaneously on a single day demonstrated the Mormugao Port’s efficiency in handling the berthing operations smoothly and extending the required logistical support facilities at the berth to the local operators.
This was followed by arrival of three more luxury cruise vessels – ‘Azmara Quest’ ‘Seven Seas Voyager’ and ‘Nautica’ arriving at the port on three consecutive days 28th Nov 2014, 29th Nov 2014 and 30th Nov 2014 carrying 610, 672 and 592 passengers respectively. The month of November saw the highest number of luxury cruise vessels arriving at the port numbering six in all in a matter of just 10 days bringing in a total of 5717 high end tourists.
In the month of December 2014, the Port along with Goa Tourism played host to two voyages of luxury cruise vessel viz. ‘Aida Aura’ which arrived on 11th December 2014 and again on 25th December 2014 carrying a total of 2,200 passengers.
From the time of beginning of this tourism season, as on date the Mormugao Port has played host to eight luxury cruise vessels handling a total of 7917 passengers.
Most of the passengers have been foreign nationals from Germany, USA, Canada and Great Britain.
As the tourisms season progresses steadily, the Port and Goa Tourism are expecting a total of 25 cruise vessels to arrive at Mormugao. The current tourism season which extends till May 2015 is expected to witness a total of 30494 passengers indicating a phenomenal rise in the number of luxury tourist arrivals in the state during the year.
The highest number of cruise passengers numbering 3300 though will be brought in by the cruise vessel ‘Aida Prima’ when it arrives at the Port on 3rd May 2015.
In order to give the luxury cruise shipping a further boost in the State, the Mormugao Port is building a state-of-the-art cruise berth terminal at an estimated cost of 8.79 crore which will be ready by December 2015. It will be equipped with all State-of-the-art facilities as good as any international airport terminal. The new terminal will be spacious and house the Customs, Immigration Centre, baggage clearance centre, duty free shops, recreational facilities, lounge, cafeteria and electrical cars for the benefit of the visiting tourists.
Tourism Minister Shri Dilip Parulekar said, “Like air charters, Goa is getting a good response of tourist arrivals from luxury cruises and high-end tourists are arriving into Goa from the high seas.”
“We are looking forward to a successful season from luxury cruise vessel arrivals to Goa at MPT and Goa Tourism will give all the support required in this regards,” Shri Parulekar said.
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