Kochi: Kochi is set to get a major fillip as a cruise destination even as the Cochin Port Trust readies its new international cruise terminal for opening by late next year, with Europe’s leading cruising company Costa Cruises announcing its 3-4 nights cruise sailings from Mumbai to Kochi to Maldives.
Last fiscal, nearly four dozen cruise ships carried foreigners to Kochi giving a major boost to the tourism sector, especially turnaround tourism where passengers from cruise liners are transferred to flights and vice-versa. The opening of the new cruise terminal which is under tender process now will be a milestone in the expansion of this sector.
The three nights Kochi-Maldives and four nights Mumbai Kochi services of Costa Cruises will be launched in November this year. The Mumbai-Kochi service is via Mangalore. The services are aimed at tapping a virgin market of holiday-makers from the state wishing to go on short cruises.
The cruising market in India has come a long way from only a select group cruising to far-away locations to today a much wider audience holidaying on ships cruising directly from India, according to Nalini Gupta, managing director of Lotus Destinations.