From November, if you have just hopped off a flight at Goa airport, instead of hiring over-charging cabs, try opting for a luxury coastal ferry for a ride to your destination.
The new ferry service will be one of the first public-private partnerships in the state started by Drishti Marine, a private agency specialising in marine tourism, and the Mormugao Port Trust, a central government agency. It will get underway next month.
"The luxurious ferries will have trained lifeguards on board," G. Ravi Shankar, Drishti Marine CEO, told reporters here.
The daily ferry service will function with the help of two 40-seater catamarans which will ferry commuters between designated pick-up points like the state capital Panaji, heritage centres like Old Goa, beaches like Baga, Aguada and Sinquerim and the Dabolim airport.
The Airport Ferry Terminal (AFT) is located at Baina beach, Vasco da Gama, and is approximately five km from Goa airport in Dabolim.
A free shuttle service will be available between the ferry terminal and the airport, Shankar said, adding that the ferry terminals would eventually be used as watersports and entertainment hubs.
Fares range from Rs 100 for a ride between Old Goa and Panaji to Rs 800 for a trip between the AFT at Baina and Panaji, he said.
The ferry service, as envisioned by the state Tourism Department, adds to the range of offerings in terms of 'things to do' in Goa for the thousands of tourists who visit the state, the official said.