For the first time, a luxury cruise ship will embark on a voyage from the Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT) with nearly 2,000 passengers on board on Saturday.
Genting Dream, an 18-deck luxury cruise ship of German make, will sail to Colombo and then proceed to Singapore, said MbPT officials.
Another international cruise ship, Costa Neo Clasica, also plans to make Mumbai a home port for more than three months after which it will sail to seven international destinations.
MbPT officials say even though Mumbai has been host to several cruise ships, this is the first time that a cruise ship will start its journey from the city.
The MbPT has taken up a host of measures to promote cruise tourism in India.
Sanjay Bhatia, chairman, MbPT, said, “We have reserved one berth, especially for cruise ships. We have also provided a 40% discount on the applicable charges to cruise ships.”
“The procedures for immigration among other aspects have been simplified by putting standard operating procedures in place,” added Bhatia.
Thanks to the procedural simplification, 59 cruise ships have already confirmed their arrival to the MbPT as against 37 which did so last year.
MbPT expects to clock a revenue of Rs30 crore to Rs35 crore per annum only from cruise tourism, said officials.