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Shipping Minister Sonowal Flags Off Domestic Sailing of Costa Serena

  • November 3, 2023
  • 2 min read
Shipping Minister Sonowal Flags Off Domestic Sailing of Costa Serena

A giant step towards achieving the goal of 5 million cruise passengers in India by 2047

Union Minister of Ports, Shipping & Waterways and AYUSH Sarbananda Sonowal flagged off the maiden voyage of the vessel Costa Serena, the first International Cruise Liner in India from Mumbai today.

Speaking at the occasion, Sonowal said, “The launch of Costa Cruises’ domestic sailings in India thus is a momentous occasion that signifies the dawn of a new era in cruising and tourism.”

The launch of Costa Cruises’ domestic sailings has been made possible by a series of initiatives taken by the government to promote and revitalize the cruise tourism industry in India. These measures include guaranteed berths to cruise ships, removal of Ousting charges, Concessional uniform single rate for all Major ports, Volume discounts in cruise tariff up to 30% for domestic cruise ships, waiver of cabotage for foreign cruise vessels, Uniform SOPs for Customs, Immigrations, CISF, Ports, upgradation and modernization of cruise terminals with enhance passenger facilities, etc.

One of the most significant steps in this journey taken recently was the conditional IGST exemption to foreign flag foreign going vessel when it converts to coastal run, which substantially reduced the financial burden on foreign cruise operators.

As a result of these initiatives, from 102 Cruise ship Calls and 84,000 Passengers handled in 2013-14, the tally went up to 227 calls and 4.72 lakh passengers during 2022-23 representing an increase of 223% in cruise calls and 461% in cruise passengers in the last 9 years. River cruise tourism has also seen a 180% rise in operations during the last 9 years.

Over a period of the last 9 years Sagarmala Programme has completed 11 Projects worth Rs.267 crores promoting coastal & cruise tourism and Island Development. Some of these projects include Cruise Passenger Facilitation Centre at Chennai, Construction of International Cruise Terminal at Cochin and development of Cruise Berthing and Cruise Passenger facilities at Mormugao Port.

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