Discussions underway to begin cruise liner trips to Addu

Costa Victoria cruise liner outside Male' City. (File Photo/Sun/Mohamed Muzain Nazim)

Maldives Ports Limited (MPL)’s chairman Captain Mohamed Shareef states discussions are underway to begin cruise liner trips to Addu City.

In an interview to RaajjeTV on Saturday evening, Shareef said that many cruise liners from New Zealand and Australia currently travel near Addu on the way to Europe.

He said that having cruise liners stop in Addu will be of huge benefit to the Maldivian economy.

Shareef said the Addu City Council was engaged in discussions with a Maldives-based cruise company regarding having liners make stops in Addu.

MPL had upped the pilotage fee in late 2020, resulting in a halt in cruise liners that travel to the country.

Cruise liners that travel to Maldives anchor outside Male’ City. They are guided in and out of the area by pilots from MPL – which previously charged MVR 16,330.52 per hour for the service. The fee was unexpectedly increased to MVR 74,458.56 per hour in December 2020. Cruise liners are also charged additional fees for the use of the port.

MPL reduced the pilotage fee in December 2021, following concern from local shipping companies.