Aegen Odyssey to sail into Goa on Nov 20

The first cruise vessel for the tourism season will be sailing into Goa on November 20 bringing in 341 foreign passengers, kick-starting cruise tourism in a big way for Goa.

While the vessel Aegen Odyssey will be the first for the season, it is also the first to anchor at MPT’s very new berth, an exclusive terminal for cruise ships.

Data available from the Tourism department indicates that as many as eight cruise vessels will be sailing into Goa between November 20 and December 12.

Aegen Odyssey will have on board passengers from UK, USA, New Zealand and Australia.

While charter tourists from UK are showing a dip in arrivals, the first cruise vessel has a big contingent of tourists from UK. The vessel also has 64 crew members on board.

MPT is setting up a facilitation centre at the cruise vessel berth to provide a single window system for speedy services on customs clearances, immigration and port clearances.

The tourism ministry is setting up an information centre to provide spot information to the arriving cruise tourists.

According to officials from MPT and Goa Tourism the cruise vessel Aegen Odyssey will anchor at MPT in the morning and will set sail for Cochin later in the evening.

The passengers on board will tour Goa in tourism buses.

A top source at MPT said that as many as 16 cruise vessels would be anchoring at the new cruise berth – an exclusive cruise berth facility and the first in the country.

“Earlier cruise vessels would anchor at berth 10 and 11 which were also used for berthing of cargo vessels,” said this source.

The new berthing facility can accommodate large vessels as it is 450 meters in length and has a direct approach to the city.

Of all the cruise vessels sailing into Goa, MPT states that Aida Diva, arriving on November 23, is the biggest. [H]