CHENNAI: To make Chennai Port a popular cruise destination, efforts are being taken to develop a Cruise Facilitation Centre of international standards.
The efforts under the initiative ‘Mission Resurge’ seem to be making some headway, as on Thursday, two cruise vessels berthed at the port on a single day - creating history. The vessels were Aegean Odyssey which set sail from Galle, Sri Lanka, en route to Port Blair, and the Nippon Maru, a tourist vessel, a part of a cross-cultural ship World Youth Programme.
It is noteworthy to mention that the Shipping Ministry chose to develop cruise terminals in Goa and Kochi on the west coast while the ports on the east coast were left out.
This despite Chennai Port handling passenger service for the past 50 years. It was finally included in the list recently.
Meanwhile, it is not just the passenger- handling that has been on the rise in the port owing to Mission Resurge.
Another stride forward, thanks to the initiative came when the Chennai Port surpassed its record in container-handling a few days ago.
This was on Tuesday when the vessel MV Maersk Sebrok berthed at its first container terminal CCTPL operated by DPWorld.
The terminal handled 6,508 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units), the highest so far by a single vessel.
This surpasses the feat of handling 6,229 TEUs achieved by the second container terminal CITPL operated by PSA when the vessel MV HS Everest called on last weekend.