As no companies evinced interest in the first tender, Cochin Port Trust decided to re-tender work for the proposed cruise terminal. The new tender is due to be invited this month.
The new terminal with 2,285m2 area will be coming up on the 2 acres of land close to Ernakulam Wharf. Cochin Port already boasts a cruise passenger facilitation centre called Samudrika at BTP berth, where statutory clearances like Customs & Immigration for cruise guests are given under single roof. The planned new facility is in addition to this.
The Port Trust had to initiate another cruise terminal project as port's existing facility can't accommodate ships with overall length more than 240 m. At the new terminal, liners having the overall length up to 420 m will be handled. The new terminal will feature all modern facilities to ensure smooth handling of passengers.
Kochi is among the preferred port of call for voyages linking South Asia and the Middle East. In 2016-2017 the port had 46 ships call against 33 in 2015-2016. In 2017, 23 ships visited and another 10 are due to arrive before March 31.
Cochin Port is among the 7 ports selected for e-Visa issuance. Passengers who arrive by cruise ships can apply online for the visa and it will be issued by the time they arrive, according to A V Ramana, deputy chairman, Cochin Port Trust.
The Port Trust also started using e-landing card for shore trips of cruise passengers. Under the new system, passengers can apply online for landing permission and a bar-coded e-Landing card will be issued onboard.