It has been months that the news of cruise vessel reception facility launch has been making rounds. But nothing seemed working though. Now it is time for civilians to enjoy. The reception facility being set up by the Cochin Port Trust will be finally ready for operation by June this year.
According to the port authorities, around 70 per cent of the entire work on the facility has been accomplished and the project will be finally ready next month. Tourists visiting in the next season can easily land at the new facility. The port authorities responsible for the project confirmed this.
Previously, the Cochin Port Trust had conveyed a mammoth venture to create a voyage terminal-cum-tourist arcade. But, bearing in mind the enormous cost involved, the port administration later decided to refurbish the existing facility near BTP berth to transform it into a full-fledged cruise terminal. This facility was constructed almost 3 years ago in collaboration with the India stopover of the Volvo Ocean Race at the Cochin port.
About 1,500-sq. ft. space is available and 3,600 sq. ft. will be developed to provide for passenger facilities during the initial phase. The left over space would be assigned to private get-togethers for business commitments. The terminal is being established conjointly by the Union Ministry of Tourism and the Department of Tourism, Kerala.
The Union Government has allocated a sum of ` 7 crore for the venture. Previously, a viability report and business plan for the anticipated cruise terminal venture was confirmed in March 2008 and a transaction mentor was employed in June 2008. The ` 375-crore terminal will include an elite berth with a dockside dimension of 220 metres and an available waft of 10 metres. An imitation of a traditional Kerala township, a supermarket run mall-cum-office tower and a luxury hotel were the other important features which were to be integrated in the world-class vessel reception facility. The expected passenger capacity was 350,000 per year.