CHENNAI: The Chennai Port will soon emerge as a destination for cruise vessels with the inauguration of Rs 17.24-crore modernised international cruise terminal at the port on Friday. The cruise terminal is likely to be inaugurated by Union Minister of State for Tourism K J Alphons and Union Minister of State for Shipping Pon Radhakrishnan.
Built in an area of 2,880 square metres, the terminal will have first floor, a mezzanine and ground floor. It will have four state-of-the-art escalators provided for embarking and disembarking cruise passengers. It will also have 10 immigration counters for immigration clearance besides 10 more in the pipeline.
There is also a high-end security system, such as baggage scanners, hand-held metal detectors, metal door frame detectors, which ensures safety and security of passengers.
The entire terminal will be under surveillance as CCTV cameras have been provided in the first and ground floor. Besides, a cafeteria is proposed at the mezzanine.
The terminal will have three-seater airport chairs with a capacity of 168 passengers at first floor and 132 passengers at ground floor. Similarly, 250-kw solar power panel has been provided at the rooftop under renewable energy sources.
Currently, the port has regular passenger service with Port Blair in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. However, international cruise liners also drop anchor at Chennai and the opening up of a separate state-of-the art terminal would boost cruise tourism.
The Chennai port, on an average, receives less than 10 cruise vessels a year. The cruise terminal at the port will be the first on the east coast in the country. All other four cruise terminals are on the west coast - Mumbai, Mormugao, Mangalore and Kochi.