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Mumbai-Goa cruise ferry delayed

According to Mumbai Trust Port (MbPT) officials, the service will be functional only after proper trial runs are completed. This will take until mid-January or end of January.

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If you were planning to spend New Year's Eve in the sea, between Mumbai and Goa, brace yourself for some bad news: The Mumbai-Goa cruise ferry services, which were scheduled to be operational by end of this month, have been postponed to mid-January. Reason being, the trial runs for the ferry-service are still underway.

According to Mumbai Trust Port (MbPT) officials, the service will be functional only after proper trial runs are completed. This will take until mid-January or end of January.

Sanjay Bhatia, chairman of MbPT, told DNA, "The cruise ferry has already reached India and is anchored at Mumbai. We have all the required permissions and are waiting for the trial runs to be completed. Once it is operational, the liner will be anchored at the domestic cruise terminal, which is close to the ferry wharf at Mazgaon." 

Last month, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari, who holds charge of the Shipping Ministry, had announced that the cruise ferry services between Mumbai and Goa would kick off in December. "Ideally, inaugurating services during Christmas or New year would have made good business sense, but we are more concerned about public safety. We are conducting trial runs in the day and at night to understand how does the liner sails during high and low tide," said an MbPT official.

The Mumbai port's current capacity is 80 ships, but has the potential to host 700 ships and 32 lakh passengers once it is developed completely. In the last week of November, a cruise ferry service between Mumbai and Kochi was launched. The ticket fare is Rs 30,000 for four nights from Mumbai to Kochi.

The Mumbai-Goa liner can hold around 400 passengers. The fare has not been announced yet; it is expected to be made public a few days before the service is made operational. The cruise ferry will not be available for four months in a year, i.e. during the monsoons.

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