The International Cruise Terminal at Visakhapatnam Port, now officially open effective September 4, is poised to become a pivotal gateway for both domestic and international cruise tourism along India’s eastern coast.
According to the Ministry of Tourism statement, this world-class facility promises to deliver a unique experience for tourists while driving economic growth and benefiting local communities.
This project was initiated in response to a proposal from the Ministry of Ports, Shipping, and Waterways. The Ministry of Tourism extended its approval and partial funding for the development of the Cruise-Cum Cargo Terminal at the channel berth in the outer harbor of Visakhapatnam Port by the Visakhapatnam Port Trust (VPT). This support was granted under the Scheme of Assistance to Central Agencies for Tourism Infrastructure Development during the financial year 2018-19.
Spanning an area of 4,580.46 sq. meters, the Cruise Terminal Building comprises both the ground floor and first floor. It is equipped with essential facilities, including lounges, customs, immigration, quarantine counters, baggage handling facilities, scanning, concourse, restaurant, entertainment, shopping, health, business exhibitions, money exchange outlets, CCTV coverage, and ample parking space.
Key features of the Cruise Terminal include a 180-meter-long berth, four mooring dolphins (two on each side) extending the total length to 300 meters, and a terminal building covering 2,000 sq. meters, complete with all essential amenities. It also boasts adequate parking space for seven buses, 70 cars, and 40 two-wheelers, along with road connectivity for easy access.
The International Cruise Terminal will operate as a Cruise Terminal from November to March, serving passengers from around the world. During the remaining months, from April to October, the berth will be utilised for Coastal Cargo operations.
The total approved project cost, as provided by Visakhapatnam Port Trust (VPT), amounted to INR 77 crores. Of this, the Ministry of Tourism committed 50 percent of funding, equivalent to INR 38.50 crores, with the remaining expenditure being covered by VPT from their internal resources.Notably, out of the approved Ministry of Tourism funding, a sum of INR 29.91 crores, constituting 77.6 percent of the approved funding, has already been released and fully utilised by Visakhapatnam Port Trust.
This project also underscores India’s commitment to fostering tourism growth, infrastructure development, and environmental consciousness. It also shows the collaborative efforts between the Ministry of Tourism and the Ministry of Ports, Shipping, and Waterways, making a significant contribution to India’s tourism potential and economic prosperity.
The inauguration ceremony was steered by Minister of Tourism (State), Shripad Naik; Minister of Ministry of Ports, Shipping, and Waterways, Sarbananda Sonowal; VPA chairperson, Dr. M. Angamuthu, IAS, along with several other officials.