Cruise ships have started berthing at Kochi Port as
as holiday season has begun in western countries.
Recently, around 2,800 tourists and 1,250 crew members arrived on board Celebrity Solstice, a mega cruise liner. Another cruise liner Aida Diva also called at the port.
It is learnt that cruise ship companies look for ports which have a good international airport in the vicinity. They also look for efficient Customs and Immigration clearance systems and the availability of good supplies – food and other commodities, at turnaround ports.
Another crucial factor is the availability of prominent tourist locales in the hinterland. Much bigger and busier ports are at best excursion ports, where these massive vessels berth for a few hours from morning to evening, sources associated with hosting the vessels said.
Reports suggest that cruise passengers and the captains of ships generally give a good feedback about Kochi. The advantage of turnaround vessels is that they bring in double the number of passengers who can be accommodated in them – those disembarking it and others who embark it afresh. This in turn provides an added fillip to stakeholders in the tourism and travel trade of the region.
Apart from regular flights, four chartered ones brought tourists from Munich, Frankfurt and Dusseldorf. All of them are Germans.