Boosting International Tourism: All You Need to Know About Visakhapatnam’s Rs 96-Crore Cruise Terminal Opening in November


The Vizag International Cruise Terminal has the capacity to accommodate 2,000 passenger cruise ships.

Services are set to commence in November 2023, with the arrival of a passenger vessel heading to Andaman.

The Rs 96 crore, Vizag International Cruise Terminal (VICT) is nearing completion in Andhra Pradesh.

The terminal is set to establish Visakhapatnam as a prominent destination on the international tourism map, drawing foreign tourists to the ‘city of destiny’.

Cruise services are set to commence from the VICT in November 2023, with the arrival of a passenger vessel heading to Andaman.

According to M Angamuthu, chairperson of the Visakhapatnam Port Authority (VPA), the objective is to attract international tourists and put Vishakapatnam on the global cruise tourism map.

The completion of VICT will play a significant role in achieving this goal.

Highlighting the potential of Visakhapatnam’s hinterland, Angamuthu mentioned the presence of beautiful coastlines, lush hills, ancient temples, and Buddhist sites. These attractions make the region a promising destination for tourists seeking diverse experiences.

Regarding the business model, VPA will charge each passenger $6, while the cruise companies will be required to pay $0.085 per gross registered tonnage (GRT).

The VICT, a collaboration between VPA and the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, has the capacity to accommodate 2,000 passenger cruise ships.

Plans are underway to make VICT a cruise port of call, in partnership with cruise lines and the Chennai Port or Puducherry government, according to Angamuthu.

The VPA is currently in contact with three cruise lines, namely Cordelia, Royal Caribbean, and MSC Cruises, as per The Hindu report.

In 2022, the VPA successfully handled approximately 15 voyages between Visakhapatnam-Puducherry-Chennai. During these voyages, a total of 8,645 passengers embarked and 13,814 passengers disembarked.

However, the authorities are cautiously optimistic about the future success of the cruise terminal.

The success of the cruise terminal will greatly depend on the tourism policy of the state government and its proactive approach to promoting tourism circuits in the surrounding areas.

Currently, the state government does not permit liquor and casinos onboard cruise liners, as confirmed by the owner of a major tour operating company.

Existing cruise packages available from India include routes such as Mumbai-High seas-Goa-Mumbai, Mumbai-Diu-Mumbai, Chennai-Trincomalee-Chennai, Mumbai to Venice, Mumbai to Male, Mumbai to Athens, Kolkata to Bangladesh, and Mumbai to Singapore.

In collaboration with cruise lines, the VPA has plans to expand its services to include destinations like Chennai, Colombo/Trincomalee, Singapore, and Bangladesh. Additionally, they are exploring the possibility of offering coastal cruises to Orissa and the Sunderbans.

Vizag International Cruise Terminal

To cater to the growing demand for cruise tourism, the existing dock in Visakhapatnam has undergone significant enhancements.

The dock has been extended, reinforced, and refurbished, resulting in a berth that spans approximately 180 m and features four mooring dolphins.

Artist’s impression of Vizag International Cruise Terminal. (Twitter)Location and layout of the terminal. (VPA)

With a depth of around 9.5 m, the upgraded dock can now accommodate cruise liner vessels with a size and capacity of approximately 1 lakh GRT.

This expansion opens up opportunities for larger ships to visit Visakhapatnam, further boosting the city’s tourism potential.

The total area of the facility is approximately 12,660 sqm, with the modern terminal building covering a built-up area of around 4,580 sqm.

According to A C Vikash, the superintending engineer (Civil) of VPA, the ground floor of the terminal building occupies a built-up area of approximately 3,074 sqm, while the first floor measures about 1,383 sqm.

Similar to airports, the building features separate entrances for arrivals and departures. It will also offer amenities such as cafeterias, spacious lounges, and duty-free shopping stores.

Customs and immigration officials will have their own designated area within the building, and security will be handled by the CISF.

The well-lit building, designed to resemble a ship, will feature modern facilities such as infrared temperature scanners, elevators, escalators, and ample parking space. The parking area will be able to accommodate at least seven buses, around 70 cars, and 40 two-wheelers.

VICT provides top-notch port facilities and efficient services for cruise ships. The Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways has issued guidelines on cruise tariffs, and VPA will consider offering discounts after further examination.