To enhance marine travel and tourism via the Visakhapatnam port, an International Marine Cruise Terminal (IMCT) will be introduced in the city. The announcement of this terminal comes at a time when a Panamax cruise vessel has been launched at the port in Vizag. This vessel will ferry travellers from the Vizag port to various tourism destinations like Singapore and Sri Lanka. The Panamax vessel will have a capacity of ferrying over 2,000 to 2,500 passengers.
Speaking to Yo! Vizag, Visakhapatnam Port Trust Chief Engineer, Venu Prasad informed that recently, a Non-Objection Certificate (NOC) has been issued from the Eastern Naval Command (ENC) for the terminal. He added that other necessary requisites, apart from the environmental clearances have also been awarded. With the NOC from the ENC, this project will also be awarded environmental clearance in few days.
The Vizag port is the fourth in the country, after Cochin, Goa, and Chennai ports, to have the cruise terminal facility. Currently, the Vizag-Andaman passenger ship is seasonally operated at the port.
A Cruise Terminal Berth (CTB) with modern terminal infrastructure and facilities is being built within a 2,000 square meters area. It is being built at the outer harbour of the Visakhapatnam Port Trust at an estimated cost of Rs. 96.05 crore. Of the total amount Rs. 64.24 crore will be spent on the cruise berth and Rs. 31.81 crore will be spent on the terminal building. The Ministry of Tourism Government of India (GOI) will contribute Rs. 36 crore of the total project cost.
On the basis of a tender, a New Delhi based Creative Group, an architectural consultancy is entrusted with the design work. This cruise terminal facility in Vizag will include passenger gangways, entertainment, and recreation shopping facilities, and a customs and immigration terminal.
Mr. Prasad added that it will take over a year for the entire project to be completed. With several people using the sea route, it will be lucrative and fetching economically for the State government while boosting marine tourism in Vizag.