18 January 2019
Bhubaneswar: The Global Cruise Industry is growing immensely with more than 25 million passengers in 2017 and with over 95 plus ships on order today, the number of cruise passengers is projected to reach 40 million by 2025.
Odisha’s untapped cruise potential is enormous and can take advantage of the 5.5 billion cruise market which India is looking forward.
One of the major Cruise Liner, Silversea Cruises has included Odisha Ports in its Asian Expedition Itinerary. Silver Discoverer of the Silversea Cruises will be calling at Paradip Port during January and February 2019.
The first port of call is on the auspicious day of our 70th Republic Celebration , 26th January 2019 . The tourist will cover visit to the ancient Buddhist heritage site at Ratnagiri,Udayagiri and Lalitagiri of Jajpur District in Odisha.
These maiden calls will provide much required boost to the Cruise tourism in Odisha and in particular to upcoming ports like Gopalpur etc. In Odisha we have plenty of experiences to offer with our rich natural and cultural heritage.
It is time now when the International Cruise business is shifting focus to India we need to engage and enhance cruise passenger terminal facilities at existing ports with seamless immigration, custom services and tourist assistance facilities, consistent operating conditions along with the offering of local arts and crafts shopping at the sites, which can generate income and support to the local community. This will also encourage entrepreneurs to invest and enhance their business prospects.
The first cruise vessel from U.S.A came in the early 80’s followed by few other European cruise liners in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. However the continuity of the port of call could not be maintained as there was expansion work on the express highway and heavy traffic congestion of loading and unloading of trucks which had put inconvenience for the tourist movement from Paradip port.
In the 14 night Asia Expedition voyage, the luxury cruise Silver Discoverer, departing from Chennai, covers visit to the other ports such as, Vishakpatnam, Sundarbans, Mahehkhali Island, St. Martin Island (Bangladesh), Ngapali Beach, Rakhine State, Mawlamyine & Hpa An Port Yazar in Yangoon, Myanmar. Silversea's loyal followers of adventure travellers can now explore the remote archipelagos of the vast Asia aboard the sleek, 120-guest Silver Discoverer cruise ship. She's the perfect platform for viewing these untamed landscapes, with all ocean-view suites and plenty of deck space to have wonderful sighting.
The liner was very keen to include Gopalpur on sea port so that it can show case Asia’s largest brackish water Chilka Lake, and witness the migratory birds, Irawadi dolphins as well the Olive Ridley turtles during this period in Puri and Ganjam district. The Gopalpur port needs to come forward and welcome this new segment of business for a win - win situation.