Though Mumbai is surrounded by sea on three sides, there has been no opportunity for' Mumbaikars and Indians to board luxury cruise lines for International cruises. For the first time, as a result of various initiatives launched by the Ministry of Shipping, Government of India, Government of Maharashtra and Mumbai Port Trust, the countrymen will get the opportunity to take International Luxury Cruises from the Mumbai Port fulfilling a long awaited aspiration of making Mumbai the "Gateway to International Cruise in India". Hitherto, flying to other countries to take international cruises, was the only option to the Indians.
Starting with the Cruise Ship. 'Genting Dream', a 18 deck-luxury due in Mumbai on 29.10.2016, boarding above 2000 passengers, many more Luxury Cruises shall be available for the Indians to cruise from the Mumbai Port.
Cruise Tourism contributes handsomely to the local economy but the economic impact due to the 'Home Porting' of Cruise Ship has tremendous multiplier effect. Another' International Cruise Ship 'Costa Neo Clasica', making Mumbai a 'Home Port' for over 3 months making seven International Calls.
This has been possible due to various steps taken by the Mumbai Port Trust to attract Cruise Ships. Mumbai Port Trust has opted to give Certainty of Berth and priority to Cruise ships over the cargo ships though revenue to Mumbai Port Trust from Cruise Ship is less attractive than Cargo Ships. Mumbai Port Trust has further provided discount of 40% in the applicable charges to the Cruise Ships. Further Mumbai Port Trust has done away with 'ousting' charge on cruise ships. Implementation of process simplification in the form of Standard Operating Procedure (S.O.P.) has also been initiated, phase-wise. These all measures have already begun to show results as in the' year (2016-17), 59 cruise ships have confirmed their arrivals to Mumbai Port as against 37 in the previous year.
In addition, construction of a modern Cruise Terminal is being planned at an estimated cost of Rs. 130 crore. We hope to complete the New Cruise Terminal Building which will increase the floor space from 3000 sq. mtrs. presently being used, to approx. 30,000 sq. mtrs. complete with all international level facilities like separate arrivals, departures, retail, duty free shops, restaurants, hotels etc. Besides, during the off-cruise days and season, the local citizenry will have access to this terminal for recreation and entertainment etc.
Mumbai Port is focusing on this segment targeting to receive near 100 Cruise Ships in a couple of years.