International destinations, including Sri Lanka as well as other domestic destinations, including Port Blair, are also under consideration, according to a statement by the Chennai Port Trust.
Expression of Interest (EOI) has already been invited by the Chennai Port Trust for operating roll-on-roll-off passenger ship (Ro-Pax) services to Cuddalore, Nagapattinam, Puducherry and Karaikal.
The Port Trust has conducted an initial online meeting with the stakeholders who are interested in operating the ferry services and the cruise liners. The private operators who are desirous of operating the service must own or lease ferries, vessels and must mobilise their own funds for the project.
According to EOI, the Chennai Port Trust will not invest money or contribute any funds for the project but will provide its existing infrastructure facilities for the same.
The Chennai Port Trust is planning to make use of its dedicated "Cruise Felicitation Centre", which handles cruise and passenger vessels. The Chennai port had handled five international cruise lines in a year before the outbreak of Covid-19 infection.
Chennai Port Trust in a statement said the ferry service includes cruise ships and Sri Lanka is a possible destination for international services.