**Bhubaneswar:** After over a decade, luxury cruise ship Silver Discoverer docked at Paradip Port today morning despite heavy fog and 62 foreign tourists proceeded to lap up heritage of Odisha by visiting Ratnagiri, Lalitgiri and Puspagiri.
The tourists from USA, New Zealand, Australia and South Africa said that had reveied a very warm welcome and were happy that the ship had docked in Odisha. They keen on exploring the unexplored State and also expressed that they were looking forward to a great experience.
Deputy Conservator of Paradip Port Trust Atulya Mohapatra said, “Thick fog clouded the visibility today morning however the ship docked successfully without any problems. It has been more than 10-15 years since a passenger vessel has docked here. We hope the passenger vessel terminal gives a boost to Odisha’s tourism industry.”
Tour Operator Benjamin Simon said, “The cruise has 62 tourists and 93 crew members on-board. The ship will leave from the coast at 4:30 pm and will go towards Bangladesh and then Myanmar.”
It is notable to mention here that the Global Cruise Industry is growing immensely with more than 25 million passengers in 2017 and with over 95 plus ships on order today, the number of cruise passengers is projected to reach 40 million by 2025.
Odisha’s untapped cruise potential is enormous and can take advantage of the 5.5 billion cruise market which India is looking forward to.
The liner was very keen to include Gopalpur on sea port so that it can show case Asia’s largest brackish water Chilka Lake, and witness the migratory birds, Irawaddy dolphins as well the Olive Ridley turtles during this period in Puri and Ganjam district. The Gopalpur port needs to come forward and welcome this new segment of business for a win – win situation, stated experts.
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