Cruise Services to Begin from VICT in Visakhapatnam in November 2023

The Visakhapatnam International Cruise Terminal will begin operations in November
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Cruise services are set to begin from the Visakhapatnam International Cruise Terminal (VICT) in November 2023. The aim is to attract international tourists and put Visakhapatnam on the global cruise tourism map. The completion of VICT will play a crucial role in achieving this goal. The chairman of the Visakhapatnam Port Authority (VPA), M Angamuthu, highlighted the region’s potential, including its beautiful coastlines, lush hills, ancient temples, and Buddhist sites, making it a promising destination for tourists seeking diverse experiences.

In terms of the business model, the VPA charges each passenger $6, while the cruise lines have to pay $0.085 per gross tonnage (GRT). The VICT, a collaboration between the VPA and the Government of India’s Department of Tourism, will have the capacity to accommodate 2,000 passenger cruise ships. Plans are also underway to make VICT a cruise port of call in cooperation with cruise lines and the Port of Chennai or the Government of Puducherry. The VPA is currently in contact with three cruise lines – Cordelia, Royal Caribbean, and MSC Cruises.

The success of the cruise terminal will largely depend on the state government’s tourism policy and its proactive approach to promoting tourist tours to the surrounding areas. It is worth noting that the state government currently does not allow liquor and casinos on board cruise ships. Existing cruise packages from India include routes like Mumbai-High Seas-Goa-Mumbai, Mumbai-Diu-Mumbai, Chennai-Trincomalee-Chennai, Mumbai-Venice, and Mumbai-Malé, among others. The VPA plans to expand its services to destinations such as Chennai, Colombo/Trincomalee, Singapore, and Bangladesh, in collaboration with cruise lines. They are also exploring the possibility of offering coastal cruises to Orissa and the Sunderbans.

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