Luxury Cruise Tourism to Resume- First Cruise Ship to Dock at New Mangalore Port Trust (NMPT) on 28 November 2022
Mangaluru: Luxury cruise tourism, which came to a standstill due to the pandemic in February 2020, will resume in November 2022. According to cruise tourism stakeholders, the first cruise ship is scheduled to call on the New Mangalore Port Trust Port on 28 November 2022.
Meanwhile, there are a lot of queries from luxury cruises, and they are yet to confirm their arrival dates. Usually, Cruise tourism in the coastal district begins in November and goes on till March or April. In a span of six months, nearly 30 plus cruise ships call at the port, bringing thousands of foreigners to the coastal districts, thereby contributing revenue to the local economy. It should be noted that the cruise industry was hit badly by Covid-19 and it was a big blow to the local revenue. The good news for the travel agents who organize these cruise tours is that cruise tourism will resume positively after a gap of two years.
The Costa Victoria cruise was the last vessel that sailed to NMPT on 20 February 2020. The next cruise vessel, MSC Lirica was denied entry by NMPT as the world was witnessing the first surge of Covid-19 cases. It is learnt that in 2019-2020, 12 cruise ships were cancelled. In 2021–22, 22 cruise vessels had booked but never sailed due to the pandemic. This year, so far, there are confirmed bookings for nearly eight cruise vessels, and the numbers are likely to go up in the coming days, it is learnt.
Some of those who benefit from cruise tourism are rental taxis and buses, local guides, students (as guides), caterers, local tourist attractions and others. The small cruises have close to 200–250 passengers, whereas bigger vessels have more than 2,000 passengers. All those who come to Mangaluru move around to different tourist places and visit malls and eateries. While most of them travel in buses, others prefer cabs with guides. This generates huge revenue for the locals.
Around three travel and tourism firms handle ground tours for the luxury cruises that call on Mangaluru. NMPT extends facilities for the smooth handling of cruise vessels. Some of them include priority berthing on arrival; concessional port charges; berthing facilities that can accommodate cruise vessels up to 311-metre length overall; a full-fledged cruise lounge; immigration facilities and medical facilities.
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