Mangaluru

New Mangaluru Port facilitates heli-tourism for international tourists

NMPT has in all 24 confirmed bookings of cruise vessels this season and some more were expected.

NMPT has in all 24 confirmed bookings of cruise vessels this season and some more were expected.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

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Aida Vita, a Panama Flag vessel called on NMP with over 1,154 guests on Monday morning marking the beginning of the cruise season at Mangaluru.

With the beginning of this year's cruise season on November 4, the New Mangalore Port Trust (NMPT) also began country's first port-based heli-tourism initiative.

Aida Vita, a Panama Flag vessel called on NMP with over 1,154 guests on Monday morning marking the beginning of the cruise season at Mangaluru. Around 400 guests disembarked for sightseeing, said Port Chairman A.V. Ramana.

While the Port had been facilitating transport services — autorickshaw, taxi and buses — for the guests, this year NMP has allowed heli-tourism from the Port premises. New Delhi-based Chipsan Aviation Pvt., Ltd., has deployed a six-seater helicopter to ferry tourists to places like Bekal Fort near Kasargod in neighbouring Kerala, Sringeri Sharada Peetam, Chikkamagaluru and other attractions.

“Givern the present road conditions and the distance to these places, heli-tourism was the best option for international tourists to get a glimpse of Karnataka. Any aviation company with DGCA certification can provide the service and NMPT would facilitate their operation. For the next cruise vessel calling on November 12, there were 16 confirmed bookings,” Mr. Ramana told reporters here.

Government of India has taken a conscious decision to encourage tourism and the Ministry of Shipping has actively been participating in this rather social responsibility initiative, Mr. Ramana said. “NMPT is prepared to receive as many cruise vessels as possible in furtherance of this initiative,” he said adding construction of a separate entry and exit for cruise vessel guests was in full swing.

Col. (Retd.) Ravindra Basapa Dolli, who is the captain of the helicopter, said Chipsan did not have any confirmed booking for Monday; but wanted to showcase the availability of heli-tourism to guests. The situation would improve further, he said.

Mr. Ramana said NMPT has in all 24 confirmed bookings of cruise vessels this season and some more were expected. Aida Vita, sailing from Goa on Sunday, would leave for Kochi on Monday night from where it would sail to Maldives, Mr. Ramana said.

Traffic Manager Y.R. Belagal and others were present.

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Printable version | Dec 12, 2019 9:31:09 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Mangalore/new-mangaluru-port-facilitates-heli-tourism-for-international-tourists/article29879184.ece

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