Kochi: The proposed advanced hydrofoil cruise vessel project is expected to provide a boost for cruise tourism in Kerala. A service will commence between Kochi and Kozhikode as soon as permission is granted by the Directorate General of Shipping. The high-speed vessel is getting spruced up for its maiden trip from Kochi. Two such Russian made vessels are now at the Cochin Port, awaiting the nod.
This hydrofoil cruise ship service is an initiative of Kerala State Ports Department, but the project has been stalled for over three years. The first such project in the whole country, the Kochi– Kozhikode hydrofoil cruise vessel is being operated with the support of private parties.
The vessels make use of the hydrofoil technology, by which the hydrofoils or wing-like structures mounted below the hull of the vessels develop enough lift, as craft gain speed, for lifting the vessels upwards from the water surface. This results in less resistance from the water, providing greater speed for the vessel.
The boat will lift itself from the water surface when it reaches a speed of 20 nautical miles. The vessel will rise up to 4 feet above water surface. Only the propeller of the boat will touch the water at this time. The vessels have a capacity of 150 passengers each.
In the second phase, the Department has plans to extend the service from Vizhinjam to Kozhikode via Kochi. At first, the vessels will operate for tourists.
The project had been initiated during the tenure of P A Sheikh Pareed as Director of Tourism and Ports in 2016.