Wholesale entertainment in mid-sea with an add-on facility to see popular tourist locales in Visakha region will soon become a reality with the Visakhapatnam Port Trust on the verge of finalising bids for construction of the State’s first international cruise terminal here.
Domestic and foreign tourists can not only have fun and frolic in the luxury cruise liner but also undertake conducted tours to enjoy the nature and see historic places in the region. They can see the City of Destiny known for its golden beaches and lush-green hillocks all around the Eastern Ghats, coffee gardens at Araku and Anantagiri, million-year-old Borra Caves and the 17th century Dutch township of Bheemili.
The special attraction for tourists will be Buddhist sites spread all over Visakhapatnam, Vizianagaram and Srikakulam districts and the famed Hope Island and Coringa wildlife sanctuary at Kakinada and Eiffel Tower replica at Yanam, close to Kakinada, which falls under Puducherry, and famous Simhachalam and Annavaram temples in the region.
“We are on verge of finalising tenders. A terminal of international standards will be constructed. We are setting 18-month deadline to complete it,” Visakhapatnam Port Trust Chairman M.T. Krishna Babu told The Hindu.
The project will cost ₹80 crore for which the Ministry of Tourism will give a grant of ₹40 crore. “We will spend the remaining amount,” Mr. Krishna Babu said.
Various studies for the project were conducted by the Indian Institute of Technology-Madras and Central Water and Power Research Station-Pune. All the reports were favourable for construction of the terminal, he said.
The project will come perpendicularly between the channel berth and Vedanta General Cargo Berth. It will have an overall length of 300 metres to accommodate cruise liners with a capacity to carry 1,500 passengers, a swimming pool, dance floors, sports and games, wellness centres and other forms of entertainment and multi-cuisine restaurants with 24×7 services.
An international cruise liner Silver Discoverer, which was brought by Silversea Cruises to Visakhapatnam early this year with 100 tourists from the United States, the United Kingdom and other countries had a good experience during its brief halt in the city.