India Rolls-out SOPs for Cruise and Ferry Services
The Government of India has formulated new guidelines in the form of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to handle cruise vessels and cruise passengers in November, 2017.
The salient features of these SOPs inter alia includes submission of documents/data electronically, seamless entry and exit process with access control and RFID for vehicles and persons and simplified Port Health Organization Clearance Procedure.
It further provides for e-Landing card for shore excursion, doing away with face to face checks except at the first port of entry and last port of exit and allowing carrying of valid photo I-card for Indian cruise passenger on domestic leg instead of the passport.
The five major ports i.e Mumbai Port, Mormugao Port, New Mangalore Port, Cochin Port and Chennai Port receive cruise ships as per the plan/programme of various cruise companies as a port of call.
Ferry services are run from Mumbai Port (Gateway of India) to Mandwa & Elephanta, and from Ferry Wharf to Mora, Revas & Karanja.
A cruise passenger facilitation centre has been completed at Chennai Port on 31st July, 2017. An international Cruise terminal is under construction at Mumbai Port. A domestic cruise terminal has also been developed at Mumbai Port. It is proposed to construct another cruise terminal facility in the Ernakulum Wharf of Cochin Port.