‘While we eagerly wait to begin sailing in November, the shipping ministry’s announcement to reduce berthing charges to promote tourism increases our optimism and confidence that our industry will get back on its feet in no time’, says Jurgen Bailom, chairman, India Cruise Lines Association (INCLA).
‘We would like to express our gratitude and thank the government and the union minister of state of shipping, Mansukh Mandaviya for introducing this measure and assisting us during these trying times,’ Bailom added.
Bailom expressed gratitude for the initiative ‘which no other country has implemented so far by such a margin’ and said ‘global travel restrictions and changing consumer preference will provide the impetus to domestic tourism.’
Ratna Chadha, vice president, INCLA, said the measure may ‘need to be extended to create a positive impact in the long term, both for the economy and employment’.
There has been an increase in the number of calls made by cruise ships in India from 128 in 2015-16 to 593 in 2019-20.
Revised port charges
Port charges for cruise ships are revised from USD 0.35 per gt to USD 0.085 per gt and there will be a fixed rate for ships’ first 12 hours stay. For a period exceeding 12 hours, the fixed charges on cruise ships will be equal to the Berth Hire Charges payable as per Schedule of Rates (SOR), with a 40% discount applicable. Except for a USD 5 ‘head tax’, India’s ports will not charge any additional rates for berth hire, port dues, pilotage, passenger fee, etc.
Cruise ships making 1-50 calls per year will gain a 10% rebate; those calling 51-100 times per year and above 100 times per year will receive a 20% and 30% rebate, respectively.
‘This will not only help make cruising more affordable for Indians but also make India look a lot more attractive to International cruise companies in terms of home-porting ships in India for itineraries covering Indian ports with neighbouring countries’, comments Nalini Gupta, vice president, INCLA.