Kochi which is locally called Queen of Arabian Sea is a developing metro city in Kerala, located on the Arabian Sea side. It is a Port city and located close to famous tourist places in Kerala like Fort Kochi, Alleppey etc. There are many luxury ships (cruise vessels) visiting Kochi Port since last many years but a number of ships calling Kochi port are increasing every year. Kochi is also famous for the first Port where online immigration clearance for passengers who are coming by cruise vessels is implemented. Kochi has now become a hot spot for passengers coming by cruise ship.
There is two wharfs available in Kochi Port where cruise ships are docked. BTH (also called Samudrika) and Ernakulam Wharf both are located in Willington Island, to dock the Cruise Ships.
- BTH Wharf (Samudrika) – Cruise passenger’s facilitation center – which is located in Willington Island has 200mtr long birth. This is being used by medium and small size cruise vessels.
- Ernakulam Wharf which is located just opposite side of Willington Island has a 300mtr long birth where bigger ships like Quantum of the Seas, Queen Merry 2, Celebrity Century etc are being docked. At present, the Ernakulam Wharf is not fully operation and even facilitation center is also not available.
Generally, all the ships reach Kochi Port by morning 0600hrs or 0700hrs. Cruise passengers, who have booked their local visit, used to come out from the ship by 0800hrs onwards. Once come out from the ship, the authorities have made elaborate arrangements to greet the cruise ship passengers.
- Currency Exchange or ATM Counter: Before entering Samudrika Convention center for visa clearance, there is a currency exchange counter and a mobile ATM counter very close to the Ship is available. Those who want to exchange currency or want to draw money, these facilities are useful. Both this facility is being available only for the cruise ship passengers.
- Visa Clearance: There are many counters for temporary visa clearance is arranged.
- Local Shops: Many local shops selling souvenirs, artifacts, clothes are available just in front of the Ship. This is useful for those who are not going outside for shopping and sightseeing trips in Kochi and nearby places.
How to Go out of Kochi Wharf
After visa clearance, passengers who have already booked their tour package with the Shipping company or any other mode, they need to go out from the Samudrika main entrance where their representatives waiting with a signboard for a reception.
Cruise ship passengers have options to go out or to explore Kochi and other nearby places.
- Tour Packages: You can book a tour package through the shipping company or any online tour agent in Kerala like Srees Tours, well before your arrival date.
- Those who have not booked a tour package, a prepaid counter available to book taxi and tuk-tuk which are available just in front of the ship.
How to get your Pre Booked Taxi or Guide.
This information is for those who have not booked a tour package with Shipping company but booked a local sightseeing trip with any of the online travel company. After the visa clearance, those who already booked a tour package needs to come out from the exit of Samudrika convention center. This exit is at left side after visa clearance. Just in front of this exit you can see your tour agent or guide with a signboard waiting for you.
Those who have pre-booked their taxi or tour package with the shipping company used to come out from the same exit and one can find their local manager in the same place.
How to Book a Taxi for Local Visit.
Those who do not pre-book a tour package with either the shipping company or any other online travel agent and want to go for a local sightseeing or shopping in Kochi city, taxi or Tuck Tuck is available in front of the Ship and one needs to come from another exit. The left side of this exit, you can see a Pre Paid Counter from where one can book sightseeing day tour, taxi or tuk-tuk. In fact, you do not need to approach anyone as they them self will find you and explain the options available in Kochi. But either of the cases, whether it’s Tuck Tuck or Taxi car, you need to book the same from the Pre Paid counter only. The Prepaid counter is arranged by the Kochi Wharf authorities and is completely safe and secure and this taxi or three wheeler auto (tuk-tuk) are registered and trustful.
Best Tour Package for Cruise Ship Passengers
Shopping or What to buy from Kerala
Cruise Ship passengers are coming to Kochi just for 8 to 9hrs for a short trip to nearby places. The passengers need to find time from their short visit to have a shopping. There are varieties of shopping options available in Kerala. Few of them are below.
Spices: Kerala is very famous for homegrown species like cardamom, clove, black pepper, cinnamon, dry ginger etc are very famous in Kerala. All these items are available in Fort Kochi (wholesale market) cheap prices.
Cloths: Variety of clothing items available at Fort Kochi, Alleppey and Ernakulam city.
Antiques or Artifacts: All these items are available in Fort Kochi, Alleppey or on the way from Kochi Wharf to Fort Kochi or Alleppey which is cheaper.