Travel between Mumbai and Goa is set to get more interesting with the revival of the passenger shipping route, probably as early as December this year. Nitin Gadkari, Union minister for Road Transport & Highways, Shipping, Water Resources and Ganga Rejuvenation, made the announcement recently while addressing the media in Goa after the conclusion of the mid-review meeting of major ports.This service will be initiated under the Sagar Mala project, the Central government's initiative to modernise India's ports.
According to media reports, the Minister has also advised hotels to construct floating jetties so that passengers can be ferried to the hotels.
However, one has to wait and see if the Mumbai-Goa service will be a regular ferry service or a luxury cruise opportunity.
While details of the service are yet to be declared, according to reports, the vessel is likely to stop at various points in Raigad and Ratnagiri districts before reaching Panaji.
The minister pointed out that water transportation will reduce pollution and tourists will be able to enjoy the coastal view as they travel through the inland waterways.
Interestingly, the opening of the ferry services will revive a part of the historical sea route that once connected Goa and Mumbai.
Regular passenger services between Mumbai and Goa were available regularly, except during the monsoon, until the boats operating on this route were commissioned for use during the Sri Lanka war. Then a private catamaran service operated on the route for a few years. However, the opening of the Konkan Railway route eased all-season travel and the sea route was not used since then.