Kochi will receive a boat with a solar air-conditioned cruise within three months. The cruiser was introduced by the state water transport department (SWTD) to cater to the increase in tourists.
The construction of a 100-passenger cruiser is in the final stages of the Aroor private boat construction yard. The cost of the boat is up to Rs 2.5 crore. It is thought to operate a cruiser connecting tourist attractions in Kochi in two to two and a half hours, at a low cost. This is the second solar cruiser launched by the department. The first, called Aditya, performed services on the Vaikom-Thavanakadavu route.
“60% of the cruiser work has been completed. It is expected that the new cruiser will join our ship in three months. The electric power station is available when daylight is low and at night. Costs will be up to Rs 300 per person for two and a half hours,” said an official of SWTD.
“Currently, private boats on Marine Drive cost about Rs 150-Rs 200 per hour per person,” he added.
As per the previously submitted proposal, the ferry service will connect Wilington Island, Fort Kochi, Mattanchery, Container Terminal, Bolgatty Palace, Marine drive, and will conclude the voyage to Ernakulam Boat Jetty. The two-deck cruiser will have a seating area at the bottom of the duck and a dining area and a meeting area at the top. “It will be visited by ship. The issue of pollution will not be there,” said SWTD director Shaji V Nair.