Carrying 550 passengers and 400 crew members, the eighth cruise vessel and last of the current season, Nautica, called at New Mangalore Port on Monday.
The Marshall Islands-flagged ship arrived at the port at 8.30 a.m. and berthed alongside berth No. 4. It previously called at Cochin Port and it left from New Mangalore Port to Mormugao Port at 4.30 p.m.
The overall length of the ship is 180.05 meters with a carrying capacity of 30,277 Gross Tonnage & has a draft of six meters. The cruise passengers were given traditional welcome while disembarking from the ship.
Various arrangements were made for a pleasant experience of the cruise passengers such as medical screenings of passengers, multiple immigration and customs counters for swift movement, buses and taxis for passengers for touring various locations in and around Mangalore city.
The passengers availed benefits of a meditation centre set up by the Department of AYUSH inside the cruise lounge. Cloth and handicraft outlets were also kept open for the tourists. Tourists clicked photos in front of the selfie point set up by the Union Ministry of Tourism. The port had arranged Bharatanatyam and other cultural dance performances in the cruise lounge. A LED screen was installed displaying visual information about the port infrastructure and various tourist regions around. For the first time, an online feedback system through a tablet was introduced by the port.
The passengers visited various tourist destinations such as Achal Cashew Factory, Kudroli Gokarmatheshwara temple, St. Aloysius Chapel, local market, Pilikula artisan village, Thousand Pillars’ Basadi and Soans Farm, both in Moodbdiri. Souvenirs were given to them while they were embarking their ship, in reminiscence of their visit to Mangaluru.
Post pandemic, the cruise season reopened in November 2023 after a gap of three years. The eight ships which visited the port in this season had 3,602 passengers, a release from the port said.
However, the port on an average receives 25 ships in a year with an average passenger inflow of 27,000 approximately. For the coming cruise season, already 13 ships have confirmed their visit and the numbers are expected to increase as the cruise tourism industry is seeing steadfast growth in passenger registrations after the pandemic, the port said.