Cruise Tourism in Trivandrum – A Pilot Study on
Potential and Prospects
Sl. No. Topic Page No.
1 Introduction 3
2 Chapter 1: Literature Review 5
3 Section 1: Evolution 5
4 Section 2: Concepts 8
5 Section 3: Global Scenario and Market Review 21
6 Section 4: Indian Scenario 30
7 Chapter 2: Kerala Scenario 38
8 Chapter 4: Expert Survey and Analysis 43
9 Chapter 5: Conclusion 52
10 Section 1: Summary of Key Learnings 52
11 Section 2: Strategic Analysis 56
12 Section 3: Product Design and Analysis 59
13 Section 4: Potential Benefits of Cruise Tourism 62
14 Section 5: Development of Cruise Infrastructure 67
15 Section 6: Development Plan 71
16 Bibliography 72
16 Appendix 1 73
17 Appendix 2 77
The Cruise Tourism industry has become one of the most exciting facets of the
global Tourism Sector with total revenues of over $ 20 billion and accounting for
about 20 million passengers in 2008. It is expected to reach a figure of $ 50
billion by 2015, according to industry sources.
The Cruise industry combines the traditional offerings of travel and hospitality in
one product by offering luxury accommodation and entertainment as well as the
opportunity to explore new destinations. Cruise ships range is size from small,
private yachts to 220,000 ton behemoths which are travelling resorts capable of
accommodating several thousand passengers at a time. The duration of cruises
also range from a minimum of typically two days to months
The cruise industry is primarily concentrated in and around North America with
the Caribbean being the most popular destination. Americans account for more
than 70% of cruise travellers worldwide. Other popular circuits include Alaska,
North Europe, the Mediterranean and the Trans-Atlantic routes. An increasing
number of cruises are going round the world or on long cruises spanning oceans.
Cruise ports have sprung up all over the world. Generally, these are major trade
ports which happen to be located in tourist hot-spots. Miami has become the de-
facto capital of world cruise tourism. Caribbean ports, San Diego, Stockholm,
Marseille, Barcelona, Venice, Canaveral, Los Angeles, Singapore and Hong
Kong are among the most popular cruiser ports worldwide. So far, cruise tourism
has been confined mostly to affluent markets of the developed nations. The more
popular cruise ports have dedicated cruise terminals while others handle cruise
ships at general berths with make-shift arrangements.
India was a late entrant to the cruise industry. Till a few years ago, a few Indian
ports – mostly along the West Coast – got random visits from cruise ships which
were passing by. Today, the ports of Mumbai, Cochin and Goa receive around a
100 visits each year from cruise ships, some of which have made India a regular
destination. Now, the Government of India has drawn up plans to create cruise
hubs in ports like Mumbai, Murmagoa, New Mangalore, Cochin and Tuticorin.
Trivandrum is the tourism hub of Kerala, which in itself is one of the most popular
tourist destinations in India. Trivandrum accounted for nearly 30% of foreign
tourist arrivals in Kerala in 2007-08, translating to about 150,000 tourists, as well
as around 15% of domestic tourists. Its unique combination of world-class
beaches, ayurvedic wellness treatments, cultural and architectural heritage,
backwaters and ecological destinations has made it a top choice among all
segments of tourists. But what makes Trivandrum a unique proposition for cruise
tourism in the region is its strategic location on the tip of the Indian peninsula.
The international shipping channels approach as close as ten nautical miles to
the coast of Trivandrum making it the best choice for cruise vessels to make port
in India, with the minimum deviation from their course across the Arabian Sea or
Indian Ocean. The upcoming deep-water port at Vizhinjam on the outskirts of
Trivandrum city and the presence of the Trivandrum International Airport also
promote the attractiveness of the city as a premier multi-modal cruise destination.
In addition to the traditional sort of cruises, the potential for medium-duration trips
on the backwaters of Kerala also needs to be explored further. While current
backwater activity essentially consists of nearly static excursions on lakes like
Vembanad and Ashtamudi, there exists the potential for medium duration trips
along the backwater and canal system which runs from south of Kerala till the
north. Trivandrum is the Southern terminus of this one-of-kind network, most of
which has been incorporated in the National Waterway III.
The broad objective of this study is ”A Pilot Study on Potential and Prospects of
Cruise Tourism in Trivandrum”. The specific objectives are
To make an assessment of the cruise tourism industry
To examine the marine and inland cruise tourism business in Kerala
To explore the potential and prospects for developing cruise tourism in
Scope of Study
The development of the cruise tourism sector in Trivandrum will be a major
addition to the growth of Kerala into a premier global tourism destination. It will
help to improve the contribution of the sector to Kerala's economy along with
other new initiatives like eco-tourism and responsible tourism. This study aims to
provide a first step in that direction.
This study will focus on Trivandrum, in Kerala and the surrounding areas with the
view of identifying the potential for developing cruise tourism and its related
This study will make use of primary and secondary data. The primary data will be
collected mainly through Delphi technique. The secondary data will be from
various sources such as books, journals and internet.
Chapter 1 - Literature Review
Section 1: The Evolution of the Cruise Industry
The Cruise Industry has become so diversified and complex, that finding a
simplistic definition for it is difficult. However studies and guides of the industry by
the Cruise Lines International Association (1992, 2006), Hockmann (1993) and
Ward (1996) define a cruise on sea as a trip on a ship which has been
purposefully styled as a floating leisure environment.
However, when we look back at the history of the industry, it beomes evident that
its evolution was a spin-off of other trades. In fact, the earliest ocean-going
vessels were not primarily concerned with passengers, but rather with the cargo
that they could carry as this was more profitable and cargo could be packed in
more tightly, making it a more profitable and efficient proposition, especially on
the small, sailing ships which sailed the seas through most of maritime history.
(Lydia Boyd, Duke University,2008)
The Black Ball Line in New York, in 1818, was the first shipping company to offer
regularly scheduled service from the United States to England and to be
concerned with the comfort of their passengers. By the 1830s steamships were
introduced and dominated the transatlantic market of passenger and mail
transport, due to their speed and ever-increasing size. The market was
dominated by English companies, led by the British and North American Royal
Mail Steam Packet (later the Cunard Line). On July 4, 1840, Britannia , the first
ship under the Cunard name, left Liverpool with a cow on board to supply fresh
milk to the passengers on the 14-day transatlantic crossing. The advent of
pleasure cruises is linked to the year 1844, and a new industry began.
During the 1850s and 1860s there was a dramatic improvement in the quality of
the voyage for passengers. Ships began to cater solely to passengers, rather
than to cargo or mail contracts, and added luxuries like electric lights, more deck
space, and entertainment. In 1867, Mark Twain was a passenger on the first
cruise originating in America, documenting his adventures of the six month trip in
the book Innocents Abroad. The endorsement by the British Medical Journal of
sea voyages for curative purposes in the 1880s further encouraged the public to
take leisurely pleasure cruises as well as transatlantic travel. Ships also began to
carry immigrants to the United States in "steerage" class. In steerage,
passengers were responsible for providing their own food and slept in whatever
space was available in the hold. Progressively, different classes emerged aboard
the larger liners.
By the early 20th century the concept of the superliner was developed and
Germany led the market in the development of these massive and ornate floating
hotels. The design of these liners attempted to minimize the discomfort of ocean
travel, masking the fact of being at sea and the extremes in weather as much as
possible through elegant accomodations and planned activites. The Mauritania
and the Lusitania, both owned by the Cunard Line of England, started the
tradition of dressing for dinner and advertised the romance of the voyage. Speed
was still the deciding factor in the design of these ships and transportation
continued to be the primary benefit derived from the liners. The There was no
space for large public rooms, and passengers were required to share the dining
tables. The White Star Line, owned by American financier J.P. Morgan,
introduced the most luxurious passenger ships ever seen in the Olympic
(complete with swimming pool and tennis court) and Titanic. Space and
passenger comfort now took precedence over speed in the design of these
ships-resulting in larger, more stable liners. The sinking of the Titanic on its
maiden voyage in 1912 devastated the White Star Line. In 1934, Cunard bought
out White Star.
World War I interrupted the buidling of new cruise ships, and many older liners
were used as troop transports. German superliners were given to both Great
Britain and the United States as reparations at the end of the war. The years
between 1920 and 1940 were considered the most glamorous years for
transatlantic passenger ships. The height of the transatlantic speed competition,
for the coveted Blue Riband, was a feature of this period when the speed of the
liners was a prestige issue not just for their owners or passengers but for
countries as well.(Wikipedia, 2009) These ships catered to the rich and famous
who were seen enjoying luxurious settings on numerous newsreels viewed by
the general public. American tourists interested in visiting Europe replaced
immigrant passengers. Advertisements promoted the fashion of ocean travel,
featuring the elegant food and on-board activities.
Cruise liners again were converted into troop carriers in World War II, and all
transatlantic cruising ceased until after the war. European lines then reaped the
benefits of transporting refugees to America and Canada, and business travelers
and tourists to Europe. The lack of American ocean liners at this time, and thus
the loss of profits, spurred the U.S. government to subsidize the building of cruise
liners. In addition to the luxurious amenities, ships were designed according to
specifications for possible conversion into troop carriers. Increasing air travel and
the first non-stop flight to Europe in 1958, however, marked the ending of
transatlantic business for ocean liners. Passenger ships were sold and lines went
bankrupt from the lack of business.
The 1960s witnessed the beginnings of the modern cruise industry. Cruise ship
companies concentrated on vacation trips in the Caribbean, and created a "fun
ship" image which attracted many passengers who would have never had the
opportunity to travel on the superliners of the 1930s and 1940s. However,
converted liners were not ideal for cruise operations as their design favoured
speed over all else. They tended to have powerful engines and little space for the
new amenities which passengers were demanding if cruise ships were to
emulated resorts.(Wigand Ritter and Christian Schaffer, 1998) The engines were
unneccessarily powerful and hence often uneconomical for the more leisurely
cruise trips. There were relatively few outside cabins and the accomodation was
usually segmented into many classes. Thus, there was a demand for dedicated
These were slower than the liners, but were purpose designed and built more to
be floating resorts than anything else. These ships have lavish accomodations,
maximise the number of outside cabins, expansive interior common spaces,
extensive deck area and luxurious amenities. They are modelled on international
hotel-chains in their design, quality and amenities. While there are ships of
capacities from a few dozen to several thousand passengers, the trend has
predominantly been towards bigger ships, which now carry the vast majority of
cruise passengers. Extensive entertainment facilities, including water theme
parks and theaters, are available on most large cruise ships and the itineraries
are extensive to ensure that cruisers get as much variety as possible.
The growth in the size and popularity of cruise vessels has been mirrored by the
development of major cruise ports. Miami being the most successful of these,
cruise ports have gone from being occasional ports of call for ships to being well
laid out home ports for dozens of giant ships. Whereas old warehouses and other
existing facilities were initially used to handle cruise ships, today state-of-art
purpose designed and built cruise terminals have been developed at many major
ports. The latest trend is to combine hotels, retail and other facilities with cruise
The contribution of the Cruise Industry to the global economy has been steadily
rising, with total revenues of over $ 20 billion and accounting for about 20
million passengers in 2008. It is expected to reach a figure of $ 50 billion by
2015, according to industry sources.(Cruise Lines International Association,
Evolution of Cruise Ship sizes – 1970 – 2010
Source: BEA International
Section 2: Concepts of the Cruise Tourism Industry
2.1 Core Concepts
A cruise ship or cruise liner is a passenger ship used for pleasure voyages,
where the voyage itself and the ship's amenities are part of the experience.
Cruising has become a major part of the tourism industry, with millions of
passengers each year.
Cruising is a unique tourism product, a blend of the 5A’s: attractions, activities,
access, accommodation, amenities. The words "luxury" and "pampering" are
found in all cruise brochures, and every cruise line proudly highlights these five
aspects to market its product. Cruising is now well established as one of the most
service-intensive sectors in the world, with ever more incredible state-of-the-art
vessels being built each year. ‘Pampered in luxury" accurately describes the
Cruise ships operate mostly on routes that return passengers to their originating
port. In contrast, dedicated transport oriented ocean liners do "line voyages" and
typically transport passengers from one point to another, rather than on round
trips. Some liners also engage in longer trips which may not lead back to the
same port for many months.
Traditionally, an ocean liner for the transoceanic trade will be built to a higher
standard than a typical cruise ship, including stronger plating to withstand ocean
voyages, most commonly crossing the North Atlantic.
River cruise ships are smaller than ocean-going cruise ships, typically holding
90-240 passengers (though there are ships that take only 5 passengers, and
others can carry 1,000 passengers). Due to their smaller size and low draft, river
cruise ships can go where ocean cruise ships cannot, and sometimes to where
no other transport is practical: rivers are an excellent way to reach some
attractions, for example in Russia and China.
2.1Types of Cruises
2.1.1 Contemporary Cruises
These are the most popular and recognized type of cruises, which serve the
most popular segment, the mass market or first class cruisers. These cruise
lines typically have resort-style facilities with heavy emphasis on shipboard
activities. Most of these lines have both shorter itineraries that are closer to home
and longer ones that may require international travel. These cruises tend to have
newer and larger cruise ships with lots of amenities including lavish show rooms,
extensive spa facilities, expansive children's programs, televisions and in-room
movies in all cabins, double/queen beds, etc. They often have something for
everybody - all age groups. These cruises are typically the best for families and
kids of all ages.
2.1.2 World Cruises
Large ships traveling the world over definitely have their appeal. In every port,
spectators line up dockside to marvel at these giant ships. Big ships also have
the distinction of being out to sea for longer periods of time, circumnavigating the
globe. They take passengers to places most others can only dream about, and
do it in high style. Large cruise lines often reposition their ships according to
seasons or to entice different clientele. For example, several cruise lines send
ships up to Alaska in the summer, then reposition them to the Caribbean in the
winter months. Most schedule a longer cruise trip through the Panama Canal and
along the South America coastline to the Mexican Riviera, with stops that include
ports in Costa Rica, Belize, Cozumel and Cancun. Heading east from the
Panama Canal, a cruise ship might make stops in Aruba, Trinidad, or Barbados.
Other ships leave Alaska and cruise to the Hawaiian Islands and then to Asia
before swinging back around to the Caribbean. Another characteristic of large
cruise lines is that duties aboard big ships are more specific.
2.1.3 River and Barge Cruises
More and more people are considering river and barge cruises as an alternative
to oceangoing trips, or extending their cruise experience to include these unique
waterway vessels. Passengers find this form of cruising to have a more informal,
intimate atmosphere, especially since some of the smaller river barges limit their
cruises to a dozen passengers or so. This arm of the cruise industry has seen
tremendous growth in the last decade. Some of these destinations include the
Nile, Amazon, Volga, Yangtze, Mississippi, Columbia, Danube, and Rhine rivers.
The longest waterway in Europe is the newly opened Rhine-Main-Danube, which
connects fourteen countries from Rotterdam on the North Sea to Sulina and
Izmail on the Black Sea, offering passengers and crew incredible, ever-changing
scenery most oceangoing cruises would be hard-pressed to match.
Barges, which cruise primarily through European canals from April through
November, are even smaller than their river counterparts. They serve mainly as
first-class water hotels. Passengers go ashore on their own during the day,
returning at night for a gourmet dinner. Despite their sometimes ungainly
appearances, barges are highly sophisticated and beautifully outfitted with
custom-built furniture, rich fabrics, and crystal service ware. Because of their
popularity with North American passengers, European river and barge cruise
companies have been known to employ English-speaking crews to handle a
variety of duties.
During river cruises the countryside is usually in view, so they are especially
relaxing—and interesting—to those who prefer land nearby. River cruises usually
last from 7 to 15 days, although some can last 3 weeks or longer. Some river
ships resemble 5-star hotels, with sun decks, dining rooms, lounges, fitness
facilities, swimming pools, casinos and other entertainment. Accommodation,
meals onboard, entertainment and special events (holidays, festivals, contests,
concerts, etc.) are usually included in the cruise price, while bar expenses,
sauna, massage, laundry and cleaning, and phone calls are not.
Most cruises have a variety of onboard and onshore activities. The latter include
guided tours to historic and cultural sites, visiting local attractions, museums and
galleries, and other points of interest. Guides give a running commentary while
A river cruise is very different from an ocean cruise. For a start, you are in almost
constant sight of land and stops are far more frequent than they are at sea. The
vessels are like small, friendly, floating inns, whereas ocean-going ships tend to
be bigger, flashier, busier and livelier, the crew practised in the art of moving up
to 4,000 people from one port to another and getting them on and off the ship. In
contrast, when your river cruise vessel docks you simply walk up the gangway
and into the town or city—in many cases the dock is located right at the heart of
things. Despite these differences, however, most people who enjoy ocean
cruising and the relaxing rhythm of life afloat are attracted to river cruises as
Popular river cruises include trips along the Nile, the Mississippi, the Yangtze,
the Mekong, the Danube, the Rhine, the Seine, or the Volga. There are several
dozen river cruise companies each with 1 to 21 ships.
2.1.4 Destination / Expedition Cruises
Destination and expedition cruises are selected, just as river cruises, based on
the destination to be visited. Travellers are attracted by the unique, out-of-the-
way, remote or exotic ports of call. These cruises offer the stimulation of
exploring new territories while in the company of like-minded travellers. The ships
most used for destination and expedition cruises are yacht-style ships, river ships
and private yachts.
2.1.5 Sailing and Yacht Cruises
Yachts and sailing ships generally have smaller crews If it is an open-water
sailboat, the entire crew will likely need to know how to sail and be expected to
work the riggings and lines. On such a boat, a deckhand might also serve
breakfast, clean cabins, and lead tours ashore.
Because of their ability to travel to remote, secluded areas, many smaller ships
have found an appropriate niche for the environmentally aware '90s market:
"eco-touring." Eco-tour itineraries typically involve some kind of nature and
ecology-oriented cruises to primitive wilderness areas. Tours of the Northwest
Passage along the British Columbia coast, Alaska, and numerous areas in the
South Pacific and South America have become very popular. These cruises are
a far cry from the luxury cruises featuring 1,200-foot ships with ballrooms and
2.1.6 Day Cruises
Day cruises are typically a cruise experience of 15 hours or less. Passengers
choose this method of cruising, as a day's outing or combined with a longer
vacation. These cruises may be geared to gambling, whale watching, dinner, etc.
The ships most used for day cruises are cruise ships, steamboats, ferries, river
ships, and private yachts.
2.2 Cruise lines
Cruise ships are operated by cruise lines, which typically own and operate one or
more ships. Some of the biggest lines include Carnival Cruises, Royal Caribbean
International and Cunard. Cruise lines often also operate cruise terminal facilities.
Lines vary in size, from those which own single vessels to the majors who own
dozens of ships. They also vary in the types of cruises they offer and the
segments of customers that they target.Despite this bewildering variety, cruise
lines can broadly be classified as :
2.2.1 Mainstream cruise lines: are the ones most often associated with
modern cruising. They offer the advantage of something for everyone and nearly
every available sports facility imaginable like ice;skating rinks,bowling alleys,golf
courses etc. The mainstream lines have two basic ship sizes – large cruise
ships and megaships in their fleets. These vessels have plentiful outdoor deck
spaces,and many have a wraparound outdoor promenade deck that allows you
to stroll or jog the ship’s perimeter.
While they are replete with resort style innovations, they still feature cruise ship
classics-afternoon tea,complimentary room service,and lavis pampering. The
smallest ships carry 1000 passengers or fewer .whle the largest carry 3000
passengers and are filled with diversions.
These ships tend to be big and boxy. Picture windows are standard equipment
and cabins in the top categories have private verandas. From their casinos to
discos, everything is bigger and more extravagent than on other ships.
2.2.2 Premium cruise lines: They have a lot in common wth the main stream
cruise lines, but offer a little more of everthing. The atmosphere is more refined,
surroundings less raucous, and service more polished and attentive.
Ships tend to be newer midsize to larger vessels that carry fewer passengers
than mainstream ships and have a more spacious feel. Decor is more
glamourous and subtle. State rooms range from inside cabins with or without
balconies to suites with numerous amenities, including butlers on some lines.
Although premium lines usually have as many extra charges as mainstream lines
,the overall quality of what you receive is higher. Producton shows are more
sophisticated than on mainstream lines.
2.2.3 Luxury cruise lines: Comprising only 5% of the market, the exclusive
luxury cruise lines, such as Crystal, Cunard, Seabourn, Sea Dream, Silver Seas
and so on offer high staff to guest ratios for personal service, superior cuisine in
a single open seating, and highly a inclusive product with few onboard charges.
These small and midsize ships offer much more space per passenger as
compared to the earlier two types. Lines differ in what they emphasize on, with
some touting luxurious accommodations and entertainment and others focusing
on exotic destinations and onboard enrichment. With intimate sizes,the small
luxury ships visit some of the most uncommon destinations.
2.3 Key Cruising Terms (Glossary of Cruising Terminology, 2008)
One way cruise: they begin at a point and end at a different point..they allow you
to visit a wider variety of ports and travel farther from your port of embarkation.
Loop cruise: they begin and end at the same point and often visit ports in
relatively close proximity to one another.
Cruise costs:cruise fares vary considerably by itinerary and season,as well as
the category of accomodatons selected.publised rates are higher for the most
unique and desirable itinerares and cruises during peak seasons.
Air/Sea: A comprehensive package that combines both the cruise itself and air
transportation to and from the cruise's ports of embarkation and debarkation.
Air/Sea programs are usually add-ons available at extra cost.
Air City: The city chosen by you to serve as the origination and termination point
for your flights to and from the cruise.
Baggage Allowance: The amount of baggage, generally consisting of the
passenger's personal effects, permitted by the cruise line free of charge.
Berth: There are two definitions: the dock or pier where you embark or debark
from the ship; the bed in which you sleep onboard the ship.
Cabin: it's the passenger’s personal space onboard. they may be inside
cabins,outside cabins,balcony cabins and suites
Debark/debarkation: To exit, or the process of exiting the ship. The term
"disembark" is also used
Embark/embarkation: To enter, or the process of entering or boarding the ship.
Fare Market Value (FMV): The Fare Market Value, or “FMV,” represents the
estimated, fair market price (including port charges) for a specific cruise
departure. This dollar amount is derived by analyzing the price history and
seasonality patterns of this and other competitive cruise ships sailing similar
Frequent Cruiser Program: All major cruise lines have them - membership
clubs for their frequent cruisers. In most cases, eligibility begins with your second
cruise with the same cruise line. Advantages may include membership pins,
cruise discounts, specially-selected cruises, onboard amenities, private cocktail
parties, early notification of new itineraries and newsletters or e-mails.
Homeport: A port of embarkation/debarkation where the ship is based for a long
perod of time.The current trend is towards the increased use of Homeports in
Itinerary: A ship's schedule of port stops and days at sea. Most cruise itineraries
vary from 3 to 12 days. The 7-day itinerary remains the industry standard though
the trend is towards shorter cruises. Seven-day cruises generally include 3-5 port
stops and 2-4 days cruising at sea.
Panamax: The Panama Canal permits ships no wider than approximately 110
feet - any wider and the ship just won't fit. Ships that squeak under that maximum
are often referred to as "Panamax" ships.
Per Diem: The per person, per day cost of a cruise.
Port Charges: A charge levied of cruise lines by local government authorities.
This charge is pass
Port-of-Call: A country, island or territory, or population center a cruise ship
visitsed on to the cruise passenger.
Shore Excursions: Shoreside tours operated by independent tour companies
specifically for cruise passengers. An extra charge is usually applied to the
passenger’s shipboard account.
Tender (or Launch): A smaller vessel used to move passengers to and from the
ship and shore when the ship is at anchor. Some cruise ports, due either to
limited docking facilities or harbor depths, require ships to anchor offshore,
necessitating the use of tenders to transport passengers ashore. Passengers
with certain disabilities may be restricted in their use of tenders.
Theme Cruise: Any cruise that offers or suggests a specific onboard "theme"
such as sports or 70's disco music. Other themes include history, cooking, arts &
crafts, or even lunar eclipses or comet watching.
Transatlantic: A cruise that crosses the Atlantic Ocean.
2.4 Associated concepts of Cruise Tourism
2.4.1 Onboard entertainment
In the early days of cruise travel,shipoard entertainment consisted of a little more
than poetry readings and passenger talent shows.(The Complete Guide to
European Cruises, Fodor's, 2008) It's very dfferent today. These days, cruises
include two or more original production shows, one may be a Las Vegas style
extravaganza and other a best-of-Broadway show. Other shows highlight the
talents of singers, dancers, comedians ,acrobats etc. Real treats are the folkloric
shows or other entertainment events arranged to take place when cruise ships
are in port. It’s an excellent way to get a glimpse of the cultural history of the
performing arts of the local communities. Most ships also have movie nghts, or
in-cabin movies. Enrichment programs have also become a popular pastime at
sea. Speakers can include destination oriented historians, authors, radio and
television personalities etc. Ship lounges, nightclubs and casinos form a major
part of onboard entertainment.
2.4.2 Sports and fitness
Onboard sports facilities might include a basketball court, volley ball or tennis
courts. Most of the larger ships even offer innovative and unexpected features
like rock climbing walls,bungee trampolines, surfing pools, jogging tracks and so
on. At least one swimming pool will be present.
Shipboard fitness centres have become ever more elaborate, offering state-of-
the-art machines,treadmills,weight machines, multi-gyms etc. and have trained
instructors on board to offer assistance and guidance.
2.4.3 Spas and Wellness Centers
With all the usual pampering and service in luxurious surroundings, simply being
on a cruise can be a stress reducing experience. Spas ave become among the
most popular shipboard facilities which offers facial treatments,
manicures,pedicures, massages, sensual body treatments etc In fact, one of the
most popular benefits cruisers have come to expect is to improve their wellness.
Historically, cruises have been recommended as healthy travel and tourism
options, but modern cruise ships take this to a new extreme with the most moden
facilities including saunas, hydro-treatment pools and so on. In fact, some lines
have made USPs out of on-board wellness treatments.
2.4.4 Audience Participation
In order to give the entertainment a creative angle and a more exciting feel there
are some activities that are designed to encourage Audience Participation.
(Cruise Tourism Potential & Strategy Study, CRISIL, 2005) Some of these
participatory activities may be:
Guest talent Shows
Parties like '50s and '60s Night, Masquerade Ball, Toga Party and Pirate
Wine testing and classes
Casino and card game lessons
Latin dance schools that teach Cha-cha, rumba, merengue, waltz, two-
step, tango, swing, foxtrot, jitterbug, line dancing, country, caribbean, hula,
cha-cha slide and '70s Disco.
Tournaments like Ping-pong, floating golf green, billiards, shuffleboard, ring toss,
basketball, miniature-golf etc are organized specially on long cruises to bring
Reading being one of the favourite indulgences on the cruise, cruise ships are
stocked with an impressive and wide range of subjects which are available
starting from topics like travel, art, biography, fiction, non-fiction, science fiction,
beauty, health and many more.
2.4.7 Other Activities and Facilities
A list of some more activities in addition to the above include:
Sun soaking in the Solarium, which is basically a room, built largely of
glass to afford exposure to the sun. There are also sunbeds which is a
device emitting radiation(usually UVA, but recently also UVB) used for
cosmetic reasons (to induce an artificial tanning) but also for medical
Casinos, with games like Poker slots or blackjack. Some cruises also offer
casino classes. Casinos are becoming an important component of ships
world-wide, especially since they are not available on-shore in many
Dance floors, wine bars, night clubs/lounges for pub-goers. There are
theme pubs with live bands and shows.
2.5 Key Characteristics of cruising
While there are a wide variety of cruise types, most of them share several
common characteristic features:
Cruising is intensively service-oriented. Most ships provide a 24-hour
Room service. New ships are adding 24-hour pizzerias. Other facilities
include casino, pool, jacuzzi, sauna, gym, on-board lectures, card rooms,
an unending variety of organized games and contests, supervised
children's activities and entertainment including Broadway and Las Vegas-
style shows, lounges, nightclubs, movies, dancing and more. Cruise ships
are more like mini cities providing most of what such a city has to offer.
Cruise ships are destinations in themselves, with features and
amenities comparable or superior to land-based resorts. This can be
particularly attractive in destinations that lack high quality hotels or
Modern cruise ships have state-of-the-art telecommunications
equipment, including incabin ship-to-shore phones. Yet they enable the
passenger to feel secluded and "out of time." You have the illusion of
getting away from it all.
Cruising is remarkably affordable. Contemporary cruises are often
available at a price that is generally lower than a comparable land-based
vacation with many of the costs included in the fare including food, some
entertainment and excursions.
Cruising offers multiple destinations, without the hassles of packing
and unpacking. Itineraries include visits to three or more ports of call
(depending on length of cruise).
2.6 Niche cruise tourism markets
While the bulk of cruise tourists fall into the main categories enumerated earlier,
several major niche categories have evolved to cater to different requirements
among a diverse market. These include:
2.6.1 Cruises for the Family
This segment targets the youngest end of the market. Since families look for
moderately priced holidays, most operators offer such packages with interesting
complementary activities. Fifty per cent discounts for the under 12s and free
flights for children under 2 years of age are a common feature of such packages.
Special offers are available during the school holiday season. Of the major cruise
operators, Carnival carries the most children and is the Number One family
cruise line. Though it has entered the market late in 1998, Disney is also one of
the most popular cruise line amongst this segment.
2.6.2 The Senior Citizen Segment
This is the largest growing niche with senior citizens having considerable
purchasing power and a great affinity with the product. A study done by Travel
and Tourism Analyst in 1996 shows that 10% of the senior citizen segment in the
European Union used cruise as mode of transport for international trips. Certain
cruise lines like the British tour operator – Saga and Swan Hellenic cater to this
class exclusively. Some cruise lines like Fred & Olsen, P&O also offer cruises
with no flights involved.
2.6.3 The Conferences and Incentives Segment
With the increasing combination of business with leisure, cruise ships are wooing
the business segment with well equipped with state-of-the-art features that can
house all delegates within a closed space facilitating the holding of conferences
and seminars with an element of novelty thrown in. Most
large ships have 700 to 800 capacity assembly, the largest hall being one with a
capacity of 1,350 in Royal Caribbean International’s ‘Voyageur of the Seas’.
Cunard estimates that 15% of its business is from incentives and conferences.
Cruises organized by large companies are also widely approved of in Japan.
Such cruises are generally short in duration.
2.6.4 Theme Cruises
Themes are built by offering new itineraries or by adding specialized products.
The best example of such types of cruise is the Disney Cruise. Thus, Carnival
has the Paradise ship exclusively for nonsmokers, HAL offers a Caribbean cruise
with a screening of films from the forties, there are cruises dedicated to wine
tasting and such other exotic themes added to exotic locales.
2.6.5 Adventure Cruises
Expedition cruises have a modest, though not insignificant, demand. Most
companies that operate this market do not belong to the big groups. Some
notable cruise operators in this category are The World Cruise Company and
Abercrombie & Kent with ships like Explorer, Clipper, Marine Expeditions and
Quark Expeditions with the total fleet being 63 ships and around 5,500 berths.
There are also other liners like the Swan Hellenic and Orient Lines with a strong
2.6.6 River & Canal Cruises
Canal & River cruises form a niche element of the cruise sector, arising from the
fact that most cruise ships take by and large coastal routes, whereas all of the
destination’s charm can hardly be explored within the constraint of a one-day
stop at a port of call. Cruise ships take coastal routes because the rivers and
canals cannot accommodate large cruise ships, however, it would be possible to
enable interested passengers to explore the charms of the destination through a
flotilla of specially designed river ships and cruise barges. As a niche of cruising,
river and canal voyages are an increasingly popular option, particularly for
travellers who enjoy the comforts and variety of cruising, but want to see more of
the heartland. The boom in river cruises started from Europe, which has exotic
destinations connected by rivers and far from coastal areas. Today, the
European river-cruise industry is in a major expansion mode. Nearly every corner
of the continent has navigable rivers and a selection of ships, which continue to
grow increasingly comfortable and luxurious. Viking River Cruise's is recognised
as the world's largest river cruise line.
River/canal cruise ships, are essentially smaller versions of cruise ships, rarely
holding more than 200-plus passengers, and generally carrying less. The
river/canal barges are even smaller, carrying between six and fifty passengers.
The entertainment on broad is also much simpler. Beyond mealtimes,
entertainment onboard may be limited to shuffle-board or book-reading. River
cruise ships do not provide a range of experiences as happens aboard a large
ship. These ships carry no casinos and offer little in the way of evening
River cruises range from a couple of hours cruising along a city’s shoreline for a
romantic dinner to a full blown week or month-long cruise experience in some of
the world’s most exotic locations. There are dining or party river cruise boats that
sail for a few hours. These offer fine dining, professional entertainment, music
and dancing while cruising up and down the city’s waterways. They often cater
to romantic occasions, large parties and business dinners and itineraries that are
normally offered could be dinner cruise, lunch cruise, Christmas cruise, New
Year eve, conference & meetings, floating restaurant and cruises targeted to
specific events. Also, many of them offer special holiday packages. On the other
hand, there are long river cruises that cover theme-based destinations like rural
exploration or pilgrimage destinations on holy rivers. For example, the Columbia
River Cruise plies on the Columbia River running through seven states of the US,
offering magnificent views of river while allowing the passenger to visit national
parks, cities, and towns en-route. Some river cruises also offer adventuresome
activities such as kayaking and white water rafting.
2.7 Cruise Tourism Ports
2.7.1 Types of Cruise Ports
With respect to cruise ships, Ports may act as a ‘Port of Call’ or as a ‘Home Port’.
As a Port of Call the port would act as the transit and receiving ports to national
and international ships that touch several destinations as part of their cruise
circuit. Travellers who disembark at the port visit destinations either close at hand
or may sometimes even fly to distant destinations. At times travellers who
disembark at a particular port may embark the ship at some other port closer to
the destination they have chosen to visit.
As a Home Port or Hub Port, the port would act as the base for a cruise ship,
which would take passengers around a cruise circuit and then come back to the
homeport to berth. Travellers would either ‘fly in’ or ‘drive in’ to the homeports to
take their cruise.
2.7.2 Roles the Ports Play
Whether as a post of call or as a home port, ports play a vitally significant role in
cruise tourism to understand which it would be necessary to appreciate different
aspects of this role which may be set forth as follows:(Cruise Tourism Potential &
Strategy Study, CRISIL, 2005)
Infrastructure Role: Ports provide the sea based and land based core
infrastructure for ships to arrive and berth comfortably and safely. They
are to ships what airports are to aircrafts and, accordingly, the nature,
extent and sufficiency of the port infrastructure facilities would determine
the size, frequency and type of vessels which come in.
Hospitality Role: For visiting ships, Ports provide the vital entry point and
the first exposure of the tourist to the destination. Similarly for outgoing
tourists, ports would be the exit point. The manner of receiving the tourists
and the tourist amenities and facilities provided would determine the
tourism popularity of the concerned port.
Connectivity Role: Since ports are the transit locations for incoming as
well as outgoing tourists, the efficiency of the ports in terms of effective
linkages to airports, railways etc and fast connectivity to popular tourism
destinations in the State and the country would be critical.
2.7.3 Infrastructure at Cruise Ports
While cruise ships can be handled at general purpose berths or even through
lighterage, it is desirable for all major cruise ports to have dedicated
infrastructure which enables the handling of large numbers of passengers with
ease. Ports, dependent on an increase in cruise traffic or self phased
development plans, create these facilities for cruise activity.
22.214.171.124 Facilities for Cruise Tourists
Primary Facilities: These facilities are desirable for meeting the basic
requirements of cruise tourists coming to the shore. They include:
Customs and Immigrations Facility
Tourist Information centre
Public address system
Toilets / Showers / Lockers
Foreign exchange counters
Bank service counters / ATM
Wheel chairs for disabled, old
Trolleys for baggage
Taxi service Excursion facility / Tour Operators / Coach transfers / shuttle
Parking Space for vehicles
Linkage/shuttle service to the Airport/ Railway Station
These facilities within the terminal are desirable for creating an ambience to
international standards. Many of these facilities being commercial, in addition to
lending a class to the terminal, can also possibly act as money-spinners for the
port. They include:
Terminal Map / Sign Boards
Escalators / Elevators Crew lounge
Air-conditioning for terminal building
Duty free shopping Gift / Souvenir / Artifact & Curio shop
Ice cream Bar
Magazine / Book store
Yacht Parking Facility/ Harbour Cruise Facility
Entertainment Centre / Gaming zone
126.96.36.199 Facilities for Cruise Vessels
These facilities are desired by cruise vessels so that they can extend safety and
convenience for their passengers and crew. Supplies to cruise vessels are
generally a premium activity, which enhance the commercial viability for the
Gangway / Aerobridge
Trucks for handling baggage
Baggage Conveyor system
Ship Water Supply
Garbage disposal facility
188.8.131.52 Port & Port related infrastructural facilities
Ship coordination centre
Maintenance & Repair
184.108.40.206 Facilities for entry-exit checks / clearances
Cruise tourists arriving into / departing from the port are subject to certain checks
and clearance procedures by law. Officials from specific government
departments are deputed to extend the clearances. Considering the short stay
nature of cruise vessels at the port-of-call and sensitive nature
of international cruise tourists, the clearance procedure should be quick and
hassle-free. The port authorities should create adequate infrastructure to
enhance the efficiency of the departments. The facilities to be provisioned by the
port at the cruise terminal include:
Custom clearance counter
Security check counter
Section 3: Global Scenario and Market Review
3.1 Global market
3.1.1 Cruising Routes
Cruising routes as of today pass through seas, rivers and canals. The open
ocean is not a cruise area, except the trans-atlantic link. Enroute destinations are
categorized from popular, to historical, to adventurous or experimental.(Wigand
Ritter and Christian Schafer, Tourism Recreation Research Vol 23(1), 1998) The
actual intensity of demand ranges from the rarely visited or experimental or
adventurous such as cruise areas of Antarctica and the Amazon, to the most
frequented or popular cruise destinations of the Caribbean and the
Mediterranean seas. In the icebound polar zones, the high cost of icebreaking
cruises prevents this last territory from be trespassed, although recently growing
interest of the public has created a demand for destinations in the northwest
passage, Northeastern passage, Greenland, Spitsbergen as well as the Antarctic
Peninsula and the Ross Sea. In the meantime, there was a steady growth in
cruises and the most significant increase has occurred in the Indian Ocean and
the Western Pacific. This demand pattern belies the expectations about the
dream –cruise of the warm and sunny tropical seas. There seems to be a lot of
prospective buyers for the more austere charms of the colder areas too. The
dominating position of the Caribbean is due to the popularity of cruises in the
USA, where the cruises are short and therefore not too expensive.
3.1.2 Cruising Markets
Amusement facilities on board has become major incentives although gambling
and liquor are still off limits in some parts of the USA. Some 79% of all cruise
passengers in 1989 were Americans(Ward, 1998). for them the vessel s a self-
Europeans prefer longer cruises of two or three weeks and rate comfort higher
than amusement as the reason for cruising. Most of the passengers are retired
people wishing to see places they may peraps, never have the chance to visit in
their lifetimes. This makes the routing of the cruise the Unique Selling Propostion
(USP). Many ports of call and shore excursions prolong the programmes and
make them rater expensive. The European market has however,already been
tapped and the same can be said for Japan. From a geographical perspective,
cruises in the Caribbean and the Mediterranean are definitely the most lucrative
offers for the north American and the European markets for the reasons of
proximity, climatic amenity and the variety of sightseeing .In Europe, cruises skirt
along the coasts of Norway and sometimes reach Spitsbergen, whilst in for
America, they follow the inland routes of British Columbia to Alaska. Some ships
are transferred for operation in the southern seas during the northern winter.
Visits to archipelagos and islands are a special type of cruise. Sometimes such
short cruises, upto seven days duration, are run with the same ships, 50 times a
year. Such circuits are popular as a sail and stay packages with a normal bathing
holiday on land,in the Caribbean and Greek islands and also around Hawaii,
Tahiti, the Canaries and experimentally around Spitsbergen and even Antarctica.
Every cruise region has a small number of main departure or embarkation ports.
For instance, Genoa, Venice, Istanbul etc in the Mediterranean, the Caribbean
ports such as Miami, Port Canaveral, San Juan in Puerto rico,
Bridgetown/Barbados and Singapore in South-East Asia are major cruise hubs.
Such ports are linked to major airports of Europe and America and enable the
tourists to fly-cruise to start their cruises without delays. Main ports like these
also serve for maintenance, bunkering, loading of supplies and discharge of
waste since the are usually, though not exclusively, sea ports with all marine
3.2 Market Profile
As a predominantly luxury service industry, it is vital to understand the market
profile of the cruise industry. As of today, the industry has been able to access
only a few niches within the massive tourist market, resulting in a penetration of
only about 1.5% into the overall market. A better understanding may drive better
penetration as well as help to sustain current growth. In the case of developing
cruise markets and hubs, market profiling is especially important.
In 2008, the Cruise Line International Association conducted a comprehensive
market profiling exercise with leading research agency WNS conducting the
actual survey.(CLIA Cruise Market Study 2008, 2008) The key aims of the survey
were to guage market penetration, propensity to travel, demographics, cruise
patterns and so on.
3.2.1 Market Segmentation by Income
Income is perhaps the key determinant in identifying potential cruisers as the
cruise industry remains restricted to the upper income segment, wherein there
are further sub-segments like contemporary and luxury cruises which are again
based on relative affluence.
Core Market (25+/$40,000): As indicated below, the most likely scenario
is that the majority of adults from this target market will cruise within the
next three years, based on stated intent to cruise. In addition to population
and cruising intent updates, these projections also include US/European
River cruises. This segment is most likely to choose short or medium
Affluent Market (25+/$60,000+): This segment is likely to go for
contemporary or luxury cruises
Very Affluent Market (25+/$80,000+): This more limited market is
showing slow growth, but cruisers from this segment will prefer the upper
end of cruises
Ultra Affluent Market (25+/$150,000+): This very high-end group is
showing surprisingly quick growth and are likely to go on luxury, long
duration cruise and niche cruises.
3.2.2 Key Findings
Consumer Interest in cruising continues to be strong, despite the economy
and fuel costs: 77% of past cruisers and 55% of those who have yet to
take a cruise expressed interest in doing so within the next three years.
95% of cruisers rate their cruise experience as satisfying: 44% claim
“extremely satisfying” making a cruise among the best in meeting and
Median age of cruisers is now 46, down from 49 in 2006; cruises continue
to attract younger travelers
Cruisers agree (80%) that cruise vacations are a good way to sample
destinations they may wish to visit again, which further demonstrates that
cruisers are the best prospect for travel.
Cruise line utilization and awareness of 30+ U.S. embarkation ports adds
strong inducement to future cruising: 72% cite additional “close to
home” ports as a reason they’ll be more likely to cruise. Benefits
cited: added convenience (74%), ability to drive to the ship (71%), saving
money on air travel (67%) and avoiding hassles of flying to embarkation
Cruisers are the premier leisure traveler; they take 39% more vacations
per year than non-cruisers and take more types of vacations with nearly
one in four being a cruise. They also typically spend 50% more on their
vacation than a non-cruiser.
Both past cruisers (69%) and cruise prospects (56%) recognize a cruise
vacation as providing very high value. Those who’ve experienced the
inclusive nature and service of a cruise, rank it as the best vacation
From the survey, we can infer that the potential for cruises continues to be
relatively strong despite the current economic turmoil perhaps due to the fact that
cruisers are mostly from the upper income segment which has been relatively
less hard-hit than the middle and lower income segments. Similarly, the presence
of regional cruise ports encourages the local market to go on cruises. In the other
direction, incoming cruise travellers are likely to come back for a longer duration
visit if they like the destination, creating even more benefit to the local economy.
While we have made some inroads into understanding the cruise routes,
destinations and the global market profile, it is vital to seek learnings from leading
international cruise hubs since our purpose is to study the potential of setting up
a new cruise hub. This will aid in internalising and applying the best practices
used by these ports to dominate the global cruise industry for a long time. Four
our purpose, we will look at Miami – the world's cruise capital – and Singapore,
which is the regional cruise hub of South Asia.
3.3.1 Case Study 1 – Miami
The Port of Miami got its start when business tycoon Henry Flagler extended his
East Coast Railroad to Miami in 1896.(Port of Miami Guide, 2008) Shortly
thereafter, Flagler funded construction of the Port of Miami and began collecting
dockage fees. The following year brought passenger cruise service to Nassau. In
1915, city officials authorized plans for a public terminal, turning basin and
channel deepening project, and the Port of Miami became a primary hub for
shipping to South Florida. Passenger service to Baltimore and New York began
in the 1930s, followed by inauguration of cruise service to Havana, Cuba in the
1940s, and subsequent control of port operations by the U.S. Navy during WWII.
In 1956, Dodge Island was annexed for port expansion. In 1968, the Port of
Miami set a record with four maiden voyages in a single month and celebrated
dedication of a $5 million cruise terminal. In 1976, Miami became the first port in
history to log more than one million cruise passengers in a year, with that pace
quickening to a record 1.5 million in 1980 when terminals 8 and 9 swung open.
Other milestones include the 1992 ribbon-cutting for the elevated, five-lane
bridge linking Port berths and the mainland, and the 1996 installation of
decorative bridge lighting to provide a glowing nocturnal landmark for Miami’s
The development of the cruise terminal took another major step forward in 1999
when terminals 3, 4 and 5 got a major facelift to accommodate Royal
Caribbean’s Voyager of the Seas, at that time the largest cruise ship ever
constructed, with first-time at-sea amenities including no less than a full-size
basketball court, an ice-skating arena, and a rock climbing wall.
In 2007, the Port of Miami handled 3,787,410 passengers and over 750 cruise
dockings. It is the Home-Port for over 20 mega-ships and the hub port for the
world's largest cruise lines like Carnival Cruises and Royal Caribbean
Today’s Port of Miami progress is reflected in $ 250 million of construction
projects geared toward upgrades and modifications, including new cruise
terminals, remodeling of two existing terminals, two additional multi-level parking
garages, access road reconfiguration, and a security gateway complex. (Juan
Passenger terminals D and E, are the latest additions to the Miami Cruise Port.
These 105,000 square-foot ultramodern, three-story buildings will meet the
needs of the new mega cruise ships that carry up to 5,000 passengers. Each
terminal will have among its special design features and amenities a VIP lounge,
a high-tech security screening facility for embarkation, airline counters, and an
airport-style conveyor baggage system. Their combined cost is approximately
As the embarking passengers enter the spacious ticketing area, they will be
standing in front of an uninterrupted 300-foot long and 85-foot high glass wall
facing the cruise ship. Disembarking passengers will go through a One Stop
Federal Multi-Agency Facility that brings under one roof the earlier functions of
the Immigration and Naturalization Service, U.S. Customs and Border Protection,
and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The Port of Miami has focused on positioning itself as a premier Home-Port as
well as being a port-of-call frequent by the majority of the world's cruise lines.
In the case of a Home-Port, where cruises begin and end, there are multiple
benefits for the port and the community:
• Cruise passengers often spend time in the city before and after their
cruises, which results in major revenues for the local economy
• Cruise ships taken on most of their supplies and fuel as well as carry out
their repairs at the home port.
• Guaranteed cruise traffic
• Enhances the brand of the city as a premier tourism destination
To be a good Home-Port, Miami has identified five key aspects which need to
be taken up:
- Outstanding port services and an equally appealing city
- Modern and efficient airport with substantial airliftModern airlift
- Attractive tourist destinations and itineraries
- Large population center
- Accessibility to that population
As one of the most popular tourist destinations in North America, Miami (Florida)
was already gifted with most of the required attributes to become a preeminent
Under the “Cruise Miami Program”, the Port has partnered with the Greater
Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau to encourage cruise vacationers to arrive
in Miami either before or after their cruise vacation to enjoy our many entertaining
destinations.(Juan Kuryla, 2006)
In addtion to this, the Port of Miami encourages its port-of-call program, where
cruise lines bring their vessels mid-week and passengers can spend a day in
Miami with the hope of returning for a future vacation.
Benefits to the Economy
The benefits of the Port of Miami's strategy to grow traffic have been quite
evident. Half of the Passengers extended their stay in Miami before or after their
cruise. Average passenger expenditure is $89.00 per dayand overnighters spent
an average of $280.00. 68% of cruisers flew on a commercial airline and 24%
drove into Miami.
Being a Home-Port and a Port-of-Call benefits the seaport and several tourist
attractions, such attractions as Everglades tours, South Beach , Vizcaya, , Parrot
Jungle, the Miami Seaquarium and local shopping venues. Thousands of cruise
passengers have the opportunity to visit South Florida and contribute to the local
economy.(Khalid A. Salahuddin, 2005)
The Port of Miami makes the largest contribution to the cruise industry across
Florida which also includes such major cruise hubs as Port of Canaveral and Port
of Palm Beach. Overall, Florida received nearly $4.6 billion in direct spending
and the Cruise industry generated 130,750 jobs with wages totaling over $4.6
billion in income for Florida workers. Passengers and crew spent $421 million in
Florida in 2003.
Being the Cruise Capital of the World, the Port of Miami offers many key
learnings which will prove invaluable to upcoming and proposed cruise ports.
1. Emphasis on development as a Home-Port
2. World-class infrastructure
3. Integration of Cruise Tourism into overall Tourism strategy
4. Availability of attractive tourist destinations and itineraries in the vicinity
5. Large catchment of potential cruisers
6. Building strong relationships with leading cruise operators.
3.3.2 Case Study 2 - Singapore
While the cruise industry has historically remained concentrated around North
America and Europe, Asia has shown excellent growth in this sector since 1990.
The Asia-Pacific region, which includes South Pacific, Southeast Asia, Far East
& Trans-Pacific, experienced a growth of 134% during the 1992-2001 period
reaching a figure of 2.1 million nights and a global market share of 3.5%.(Cruise
Tourism Potential & Strategy Study, CRISIL, 2005)
Singapore has been the hub port of the South Asian region for centuries with its
strategic location on the Straits of Malacca, at the meeting point of the Indian and
Pacific Oceans. For almost 200 years, Singapore has traditionally been a port of
call for cargo and trading ships. When Sir Stamford Raffles founded Singapore in
1819 and subsequently established it as a trading post for the British East India
Company, passenger ships also began to call at the island. Steamers operated
mail services from India to Hong Kong via Singapore, many of them with
commercial rates for the conveyance of passengers. (Singapore Tourism, 2008)
Singapore Port also was a hub for regional ferry traffic which connected to
nearby destinations in Malaysia and Indonesia.
Till 1991, cruise ships were handled at the cargo berths of the Port of Singapore.
In 1991 a dedicated International Passenger Terminal (IPT) was developed at a
cost of S$50 million by PSA at the Harbour Front Centre (formerly World Trade
Centre) in conjunction with the Singapore Tourism Board to promote cruise
tourism. In 1992, the regional ferry operation at Finger Pier was relocated to be
together with IPT at the upgraded facilities at HarbourFront Centre. (Singapore
Cruise Center, 2008)
In preparation for the arrival of the new generation of “Mega resort” cruise ships
to Singapore, the terminal at HarbourFront was upgraded and its berth extended
at a cost of S$22.5 million in 1998.
In 2003, the Singapore Cruise Centre (SCC) as a department was divested from
Port of Singapore Authority (PSA) Corporation and became an independent
company, Singapore Cruise Centre Pte Ltd (SCCPL) under the Temasek
Investment Group. The SCC became the operator for the IPT as well as the
regional ferry terminals.
Completion of SCC's second upgrade was completed in 2005 at the cost of S$5
million. In 2006, the SCC@HarbourFront (IPT) welcomed its 10 millionth cruise
passenger since its operations in 1991. SCC@HarbourFront celebrated its 15th
year anniversary. SCCPL partnered Singapore Tourism Board & Civil Aviation
Authority of Singapore to launch the S$10 Million Singapore Fly-Cruise
Development Fund (FCDF) to boost the cruise tourism.
In 2007, SCC became the first cruise and ferry terminal in the region to provide
free wireless Internet connectivity, and set the technological platform for future
wireless IT applications. The SCC is currently undergoing a $ 7 million
The Singapore Cruise Center currently has two berths of 310 m and 270 m
length, 12 m draught and a 55 m height restriction.
In 2008, Singapore handled over 1 million passengers and is the leader in the
South Asian region.
It is a major port-of-call for ships sailing along the major shipping channel which
passes through the Malacca Strait. Almost every round-the-world cruise line,
such Cunard or Holland America, halts at Singapore. It is also the home-port for
the Star Cruises line, which is far-and-away the market leader in Asia. In 2007,
Royal Caribbean International started home-porting its ships in Singapore, with
some of the exotic ports of call include cities in Cambodia, Hong Kong, Malaysia,
Thailand, and Vietnam. (Ravindran. N, 2007)
Since Tourism is a major source of revenue for Singapore, it has emphasised on
the need to get cruise tourists to spend as much time and money in Singapore as
possible. Thus, it has gone out of its way to both encourage ships to use it as a
home-port as well as an extended port-of-call.
Singapore is a major civil aviation and hence efforts have been made to
encourage “Fly-Cruise-Fly” packages based out of Singapore. This is critical
since Singapore is an island city with a very limited local market. Its catchment is
from the whole of South Asia including India, Malaysia, China, Indonesia and so
on, as well as international tourists who take cruises out of Singapore as part of
their overall packages.
The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) has been actively promoting cruise tourism
as part of its portfolio. It has set up a $ 10 million fund - Singapore Fly-Cruise
Development Fund (FCDF) - to support the marketing activities of cruise lines
which call at Singapore. The SDB has been actively projecting cruises as part of
its prominent and hugely successful “Visit Singapore” campaign.
The Singapore Cruise Center is part of a mixed-use development called the
Harbour Front, which also includes the massive Vivocity Mall. The SCC is also
close to the CBD of Singapore and its entertainment hub – Sentosa Island, which
enables tourists to easily access all the retail and entertainment facilities of the
Other than attractions in Singapore itself, cruisers are attracted by regional
destinations like Phuket, Vietnam, Malacca, Kuala Lumpur and Cambodia.
Singapore had announced the development of the International Cruise Terminal
with a scheduled completion date in 2010. This state-of-the-art facility will be able
to accomodate the biggest cruise ships in the world, a task beyond the limitations
of the SCC. Despite the current economic scenario, Singapore is proceeding with
the development of the ICT, although the completion date has been pushed into
As the leading cruise port in South Asia, Singapore offers key insights for other
ports in the region to follow:
World-class infrastructure helps to attract major cruise lines and gain
Network of local and regional tourist attractions are a key requirement
Well developed civil aviation infrastructure
Integration of cruise tourism into overall tourism strategy strategy
Strong governmental support to industry, including funding, especially in
the initial phase
Section 4: The Cruise Tourism Scenario in India
Cruise tourism is still a new concept in India. The Government of India took the
first steps in 2005. Despite constituting a cruise committee , identifying a few
potential cruise hubs and conducting detailed studies, nothing substantial has
moved on ground.(M K Banger, 2007) However, the potential for cruise tourism is
massive given the size of the domestic market, the range of possible destinations
in the region and the proximity of international shipping routes, among other
In 2008, India saw about 180,000 cruise passengers, mainly at the ports of
Mumbai, Goa and Cochin. (PTI, 2008). In 2007-08, 54 international cruise firms
sought permission to dock at Indian ports. The three major Indian cruise ports
saw between 30 and 40 cruise dockings each with Cochin emerging as the
leader due to its relative proximity to the international shipping channels.
To understand the potential of the cruise tourism industry in India, it will be
instructive to examine the regional cruise market, the overall tourism industry in
India as well as key cruise tourism drivers in the Indian context.
4.1 The Regional Market
While global trends in Cruise Tourism are relevant, the developments in the
neighbouring regions would be much more relevant to India.
Traditionally the region is divided into four sectors: Southeast Asia (India,
Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, etc.), South
Pacific (Australia, New Zealand, Solomon Islands, Indonesia, Papua Asia and
New Guinea, etc.), Far East (Japan, Republic of Korea, Democratic People's
Republic of Korea, China, etc.) and Trans-Pacific (Hawaii, Guam, Fiji, French
Polynesia, etc.).(Cruise Tourism Potential & Strategy Study, CRISIL, 2005)
According to the World Trade Organisation, the real potential for the Asian
market lies in selling products designed by Asians for Asians. It is very
different from the European market, especially with regard to the demographic
profile of demand, however, increasingly young Asians are following the example
of their US counterparts when it comes to lifestyle, which is a guarantee of
success for cruise holidays.
Total cruise passenger traffic in the South Asian region is estimated at around
1.2 million in 2007 with Singapore and Hong Kong being the major hubs and an
estimate of 1.5 million in 2010 and 2 million in 2015.. (ASEAN Press Release,
4.2 The Indian Market Today
India had around 5.08 million foreign tourist arrivals and over 527 million
domestic tourists in 2007.(Annual Report – Union Ministry of Tourism, 2008)
There were 9.78 million outbound tourists. India stands 42nd and 11th respectively
in the World and the Asia-Pacific region for foreign tourist arrivals (FTAs). All
these figures show impressive annual growth in excess of 15%, indicating a
robust expansion in the near future.
Some of the important drivers for the growth of foreign tourist arrivals include:
Natural beauty, heritage, cultural and architectural diversity
Relatively low cost destinations
Improved international connectivity
Strengthening of India's brand across the world
Increased sophistication of promotional campaigns
Availability of better tourism infrastructure
Some of the key developments promoting domestic tourist traffic and outbound
tourist traffic include: (Cruise Tourism Potential & Strategy Study, CRISIL, 2005)
Increase in disposable income across the society due to economic growth
Increased business travel, including the Meetings, Incentives,
Conventions and Exibhitions segment
Increased awareness of destinations
Better domestic and global connectivity
Increased marketing by States within India and by the tourism agencies of
All this points to one of the largest potential domestic tourism markets in the
world with over 550 million tourists. As a very basic guess, even if 1% of this
number decide to go on cruises, the number is over 5 million!
However, the actual number of cruise tourists who visited Indian ports was no
more than 50,000 in 2005-06 and an estimated 80,000 in 2007-08. While this
highlights how under-developed the industry is in India, it also points to the
massive opportunity which exists in creating even a minimal level of interest in
cruises within India's huge tourist market.
4.3 Market Response and Estimation
In order to understand the market for cruise tourism in India, the first step is to
identify the potential segments of the tourist market from which cruisers may be
sourced. (Cruise Tourism Potential & Strategy Study, CRISIL, 2005)
A. Cruise Tourist arrivals in India: Dedicated cruise tourists, who have been
coming into India through various ports till date also.
B. International Tourist arrivals in India: International tourists coming into India
primarily through various airports. As observed globally, these tourists offer a
latent demand for undertaking short exploration cruises in and around the
country as part of their overall travel plans.
C. Domestic Indian Tourists: India has a large percentage of domestic tourists
undertaking different tourism activities. In the absence of infrastructure and
facilities, these tourists have hardly been exposed to the concept of ‘cruise
tourism’. With development in infrastructure, this segment would comprise a
significant percentage of the cruise tourists, with primary interests in undertaking
both domestic and international cruise circuits.
D. Indian Outbound Tourists: Recent progress in the economic indicators of
the country has given rise to a category of upper class Indians visiting
international destinations regularly for leisure purposes. This category offers an
attractive potential for cruising through Indian ports, with their interests primarily
centred around cruise circuits that include international destinations.
As a qualitative means of exploring the preferences of potential cruise tourists,
CRISIL conducted a primary survey among 100 foreign tourists and 100
domestic tourists to understand various parameters like the perception of India
as a cruise destination, ranking of preferred cruise ports, the facilities that they
would expect aboard cruise ships and at cruise ports, etc Some of the key
findings include:(CRISIL - AC Nielsen ORG-MARG Survey, 2005)
South Asian destinations like Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia were
popular both among domestic and foreign tourists
Overseas travel and beach holidays were most popular among both
segments while domestic tourists rated cruises as their 3rd option.
Survey results show that 22 % of the Indian respondents had been on a
cruise while only 3 % of the foreign tourists in India had actually been on a
81% of domestic and 46% of foreign tourists wanted to go on cruises
Singapore and Hong Kong were among the two most attractive
destinations for domestic tourists
“Being at Sea” and “Seeing many places” were among the key benefits of
cruises for both segments
It is clear that for domestic tourists the food/cuisine rates on top of the list.
Accommodation, entertainment/ leisure facilities and ship liner more or
less have been given the same importance while informality onboard and
convenience while disembarking hold least priority
On the other hand the foreign tourists in India give the ship liner itself top
priority followed closely by food, accommodation, informality on board and
convenience while disembarking, which hold more or less the same rating.
While domestic tourists attach relatively less importance to port facilities,
both segments rated easy transit through port, positive attitude of port
personnel and convenience as top requirements
Both segments called for creation of world-class cruise terminals, a tourist-
friendly attitude and attractive destinations near ports
Domestic tourists rated Mumbai-Kerala-Lakshadweep-Male as the most
preferred cruise circuit while foreign tourists preferred Kerala-Backwaters-
Goa the most, and Singapore and Colombo figured as two of the most
attractive international destinations.
While the above conclusions are mostly qualitative in nature, they will be of great
use in designing a cruise product for the Indian context.
To estimate the Cruise tourism potential in India, empirical analysis on various
the tourist segments and the potential demand they can generate, can be used.
We expect the growth in demand for cruise activity to follow cruise tourism
growth observed Internationally& trends for overall growth projected for tourism
As discussed earlier, the total cruise passenger demand would be the sum total
of potential demand arising from the following segments:
A. Cruise Tourist arrivals in India
B. International Tourist arrivals in India
C. Domestic Indian Tourists
D. Indian Outbound Tourists
A. Cruise Tourist Arrivals in India – This figure is straightaway available.
B. International tourist arrivals in India – World-wide, about 1.5% of
international tourists go on cruises. The same figure can be taken for foreign
tourists arriving in India.
C. Domestic Indian Tourists – Since cruise tourism is a sophisticated and
usually expensive form of tourism, only urban, upper income tourists who travel
for leisure & holiday purposes may be considered for the market estimation. 27%
of domestic tourists are from urban areas at present, while only 5% are from the
higher income segment and 8.7% travel for leisure & holiday purposes. Finally,
we consider that only the same global percentage – 1.5% - of this number would
prefer cruises. This works out to .0018% of the domestic tourist market.
D. Indian Outbound Tourists – Only tourists going for Leisure & Holiday
purposes and some of those going for business are considered to be a potential
catchment, the latter because many cruises offer combined business-leisure
packages. 17% of outbound tourists went abroad for Leisure & Holiday purposes
and 29.1% for Business purposes. 50% of the latter are taken into account.
Finally, it is assumed that 10% of this total would want to go on cruises, of which
only 20% would prefer cruises originating in India. ie. 2% of Indians going abroad
on leisure purposes would go on cruises originating in India.
Segment % Traffic in 2007 (millions) Cruise traffic(millions)
Cruise Arrivals 100 0.08 0.08
Foreign Tourists 1.5 5.08 0.08
Domestic Tourists 0.0018 527 0.0093
Outbound Tourists 0.0063 9.78 .062
Hence, a potential already exists for over 231,300 cruise tourists in India as of
4.4 Initiatives to Develop Cruise Tourism in India
The Government of India has recognised cruise tourism as a thrust area.
Cabotage laws have been relaxed for a period of five years (December 2003
onwards). This will allow foreign cruise ships to carry Indians from one Indian
port to another, without having to touch a foreign port in between. Port tariffs
have been reduced by 33%. In fact, in the National Tourism Policy, 2002, the
Central Government has proposed to develop Cochin and Andaman & Nicobar
islands as international cruise destinations. It is also exploring the concept of an
integrated Indian cruise circuit comprising of six identified ports – Mumbai,
Mormugao, New Mangalore, Cochin, Tuticorin and Chennai.
To chart out a course of action in this regard, the following committees have
National Committee on cruise shipping constituted under Chairman,
Mumbai Port Trust (MPT) – to explore potential of cruise tourism and
ascertain infrastructural requirements at the identified ports.
National Committee under Director General of Tourism – to address
marketing related issues.
Port-level committees under respective chairmen with representatives of
all relevant service providers- to address and resolve issues at port level,
monitor requirements of cruise vessels and tourists.
Standing Committee under Secretary, In-charge of Tourism of respective
State Government with stakeholders – to develop and monitor requisite
tourist related services at places of tourist interest.
Committee constituted under Chairperson, MPT - to review rules and
regulations applicable to cruise tourism and recommend suitable
amendments to make them tourist friendly.
Consequent to the deliberations of the National Committee, Ports have taken
Each port has drawn up a status paper of existing infrastructure including
facilities for tourist reception lounge, baggage handling, communication
centre providing telephone, internet, fax, transport arrangements etc.
In consultation with State Govt & tour operators, each port has prepared
half day & full day excursion tours in and around the port cities which can
be packaged as part of cruisefor the tourists. Tourist attractions easily
accessible at other places in the country have also been identified.
Immigration facilities at ports have been discussed with immigration
authorities & to some extent procedures streamlined for speedy clearance
Each port has appointed a nodal officer for coordination with all agencies
involved & for prompt redressal of any difficulty to tourists/ cruise liners.
Of the short-listed ports, Mumbai invited EoIs from developers in 2006, however
the project has been stuck since the State Government has not agreed to the
locations proposed by the Port. Oyster Rock has been finalised as the location,
as of November 22, 2008 and the project cost estimated at Rs 1800 Crores on a
Cochin has also finalised its location and gotten a detailed study done in 2007,
however further progress has not happened. The project is estimated to cost
about Rs 400 Crores.
The other ports are still stuck at the project report stage. Therefore, despite the
Central Government focussing on cruise tourism from 2005, cruise ships
continue to be handled at general purpose berths across India.
5. Cruise Tourism in Kerala
Among Indian states, Kerala is relatively advanced in terms of cruise tourism
development, both in the marine and river cruise segments.
5.1 Marine Cruises
In terms of marine cruises, Kerala has received the highest number of cruise
vessels among Indian states. (News@Webindia, 2009) Cochin Port, which is the
major port in Kerala, receives, on average, about 35 cruise ships each year.
Smaller cruise also dock at Vizhinjam, near the State's tourism hub at Kovalam
on the outskirts of Trivandrum.
In response to the Union Government's cruise promotion policy, the Cochin Port
Trust appointed a consortium of consultants in May 2007 to determine how to set
up an International Cruise Terminal.(V. Sajeev Kumar, 2007) The consultants
have recommended the development of a mixed-use Cruise Terminal in the
Public Private Partnership mode.(V. Sajeev Kumar, 2008) The total cost of the
project is estimated to be about Rs 375 Crores.
The consultants pointed out that cruise tourism has emerged as the fastest
growing sector of the global tourism industry over the past decade. Among Indian
ports, Kochi has been the cruise port in India with maximum cruise calls. The
port, located close to the international trunk sea route from Europe to Far
East/Australia with a deviation of only 72 nautical miles, prompts cruise liners to
take advantage of the tourist attraction. The port has modern deep water
facilities and further development will facilitate the handling of bigger cruise
vessels with 360 metres length and beam over 40 metres.
Although the development of the terminal seems to have ground to a halt, Cochin
Port continues to host cruise ships, including such famous as the Queen Mary 2,
at its general purpose berths. The Port also hosted a stop of the Volvo Ocean
Race in December 2008.
5.2 Backwater and River Cruises
Kerala is the undisputed King of backwater cruises in India, with the Vembanad
and Ashtamudi lakes becoming world-famous for their houseboats in a short
period of time.
However, the product offering of backwater cruises have become rather stagnant
over time, with few new features being offered other than larger boats with a few
extra amenities. Most of the cruises cover little distance and just circle around
within one area of the backwater body, offering few destinations for the cruisers
to visit. In this sense, there is little variety and the cruises seldom last for more
than two days.
However, with the opening of the 205 Km long National Waterway III from Kollam
to Kottapuram in November 2007, the avenue has opened for cruises covering
greater distances, visiting more destinations and of longer duration. (The Hindu,
2007) The waterway is being extended to Kovalam in the south and
Neeleshwaram in the north. This means a potential cruising distance of about
500 Km. A cruise could start at Kovalam, pass through Kollam, Alleppey,
Kottayam, Ernakulam and Kozhikode and terminate at Neeleshwaram. Such
cruises could last over five days. The National Waterway is capable of taking
vessels of upto 500 tons displacement and has a width of 30 m and a depth of
Thus, the potential for river cruises across most of the length of Kerala and
traversing most of its key tourist destinations will soon be available to cruisers
from across the world.
Chapter 2 – The Kerala Scenario
Kerala's performance as a cruise tourism destination has been enviable among
Indian States. A combination of natural factors like its strategic location close to
major shipping lanes and its attractiveness as a tourist destination, along with the
strong brand built up over the past few years has drawn tens of thousands of
tourists to Kerala.
Backwater cruises have far and away dominated the industry in Kerala. This is
probably due to the fact that although Kerala is a maritime State, it only has one
major port, thus limiting avenues for marine cruise tourism while its backwaters
have been in use for hundreds of years and are very extensive. However, this
said, the marine cruise industry has been steadily growing in the State as well.
Marine Cruise Tourism in Kerala
Kerala's development as a port-of-call for cruise liners is comparitively recent. It
has only been since 2000 that significant numbers of liners started to call at the
ports of Kerala. This late development has been due to the fact that India has
become an international tourism hot-spot over the last decade or so with the
launching of highly successful international promotional campaigns like
Ports of Call
Kerala has a coastline of around 590 Km, which is probably the highest coast-to-
area ration in India, making it the most maritime of all major States. Along this
coast, there exist one major port and 17 intemediate or minor ports.
The State's lone major port is the Port of Cochin (a Major Port governed by Major
Port Trusts Act, 1963). There are 3 Intermediate and 14 Minor Ports in Kerala.
They are Neendakara, Alappuzha, Kozhikkode (Intermediate Ports) and
Vizhinjam, Valiyathura, Thankasserry, Kayamkulam, Manakkodam, Munambam,
Ponnani, Beypore, Vadakara, Thalasserry, Manjeswaram, Neeleswaram,
Kannur, Azhikkal and Kasaragode (Minor Ports). The Major Port of Kochi is
under the Ministry of Shipping, Government of India while the intermediate and
minor ports are under the administration of the Government of Kerala. Most of
the minor and intermediate ports in the State are seasonal in nature with
insufficient infrastructure to handle even medium and small sized vessels
throughout the year. (Kerala Ports, Govt. Of Kerala, 2008)
Year No. of Cruise Tourists
Cruise Tourist Arrivals in India
(Cruise Tourism Potential & Strategy Study, CRISIL, 2005)
The above figures are drawn from Mumbai, Goa and Cochin ports only. Over the
past few years, Cochin has rapidly risen to the top position among Indian ports
by a significant margin.
In 2002-03, the Port hosted 11 cruise ships and followed it up with 18 in 2003-04.
In 2004-05 it was 19, while in 2005-06 it was 22. (Thaindian Website, 2008) In
2006-07, 38 cruise ships with 15,977 passengers visited Cochin Port while in
2007-08, the figures rose to 43 ships and over 22,000 passengers respectively.
(Kerala Tourism, 2008) The figures for 2008-09 are likely to be similar despite the
global economic slowdown and the overall impact on tourism in and around
Cochin. Famous ships like the Queen Mary 2 and the Queen Victoria have
already made one or more visits to the port in the last 2-3 years.
Cochin has also been rated as the best cruise port in India over a variety of
parameters. (Cruise Tourism Potential & Strategy Study, CRISIL, 2005) Cochin
has been dominating the cruise market in India over the last few years primarily
because of the following reasons:
• Kerala's strong international tourism brand. This makes Kerala an
attractive stop for many tourists who want to sample the attractions of
Kerala during their cruise
• Proximity to the international shipping route. Out of all current major
ports, Cochin is one of the closest to the major shipping channels used by
most cruise liners
• Cochin already has port facilities available to handle all sizes of cruise
• The port is close to the city and tourists can make a quick visit to several
Cochin Port Trust (CPT) has recognised the importance of cruise tourism to their
overall business and has been supportive of the initiative. The same has been
true of Kerala Tourism, who see cruise arrivals as a way of attracting large
numbers of high-spending tourists to Kerala.
The Port has decided to set up a dedicated Cruise Terminal to transform Cochin
into an international cruise destination. It is estimated that as many as 150 ships
a year could call at Cochin once the terminal is commissioned. (The Hindu, K.A.
CPT appointed a consortium of consultants to study the cruise terminal project in
May 2007. (The Hindu, V. Sajeev Kumar, 2008) The consultants recommended
a Public Private Partnership model for the project and an overall project cost of
Rs 375 Crore. The project comprises building a world-class cruise terminal, a
Kerala Village as a major tourist attraction, a 238-room hotel complex, shopping
mall and office complex as well as a parking garage. The port has earmarked
6.71 hectares of land for the project of which 4.24 will bring in lease income while
the rest of the area will be developed through a special purpose vehicle (SPV).
The project was expected to be commissioned in 2010, but is yet to take off as a
private partner to develop the terminal has not yet been identified.
While Kerala possesses 17 intermediate and minor ports, only a few have been
visited by cruise ships. Vizhinjam, on the outskirts of Trivandrum, has been the
foremost of these while Beypore, near Kozhikode, has also received an
These small harbours are usually visited by small, luxury ships with no more than
a 100 passengers on board. Hebridean Spirit and Ocean Odessey are two such
ships which have visited Vizhinjam over the past few years. Slightly larger ships
may anchor offshore and bring their passengers onshore in small tender boats.
For example, Vizhinjam can only handle ships of up to 80 m length and 4.5 m
In the case of Vizhinjam, it is the port's proximity to major tourists attractions and
the city of Trivandrum which makes it a port-of-call for many cruise ships despite
the lack of any tangible facilities. In fact, industry sources are confident that many
larger cruise ships would like to call at Vizhinjam but are discouraged from doing
so due to the lack of handling facilities at the port. (The Hindu, S.A.
Kerala is endowed with minor ports almost along the entire length of its coast,
which makes any part of the State easily accessible from the sea. It is an ideal
cruise destination, where backwaters, hill-stations and cultural attractions can all
be reached within a two hour drive from the landing point. The key hurdles being
faced in utilising these facilities include:
• Lack of draft in minor ports and fishing harbours.
• Absence of passenger handling facilities
• Poor access to many of the minor ports
• Lack of dedicated Customs and Immigration facilities.
While tender boats can be used to ferry passengers to the shores, this is less
ideal than having the ship itself berth at the port and can be disrupted if sea
conditions are less than ideal.
Thus, Kerala has unmatched potential in becoming India's marine cruise tourism
hub but there is a long way to go in developing the world-class infrastructure
needed to realise that potential.
Backwaters in Kerala
Backwaters basically refers to water held or forced back due to a variety of
reasons. In the parlance of tourism, backwater represents a waterbody formed
by the conglomeration of different water sources like rivers, lakes, canals etc.
Kerala, a land of copious rainfall has a profuse overflow that runs into canals
where the rolling water tumbles in a effective surge through hills and mountain
passes to join a number of odd rivers. In the state, out of 44 rivers, 41 flow
towards the West while 3 of the them make their way towards the East. The