Port of call means an intermediate stop for a ship on its scheduled journey for unloading and loading of cargo or taking on supplies or fuel.
While the term ports is broadened and generalised to include facilities and amenities feasible to people and cargo, a port of call has an altogether different meaning and interpretation.
Ports of call are in fact a part of the sub-divisions to the generalisation made to the term ports and are used for all types of vessels. Port of call is a technical term which is used in all official shipping documents. For cruise ship, port of call is the premier stop from where they take on passengers for their cruise holidays. Technically, cruise ports are tagged under the sub-division of sea-harbours, which also includes cargo harbours.
Port of call can include both inland harbours and marine sea ports that cater to vessels transiting internationally. Further sub-dividing them, there can even be fish harbours where fishes are lugged and disseminated, cargo harbours where cargo is dispersed and a dry harbour where vessels’ maintenance and refurbishing is carried out. A marine port, tagged as a port of call, refers to a port where a ship halts so that passengers can embark and disembark appropriately or in case of cargo ships, load or unload goods.
When it comes to cruise ships, ports of call are already pre-assigned in a cruise vessel’s potential itinerary and as such the vessel is required to visit these ports within the specified time-frame. Though it’s the same with cargo ships, the port of call might change as per the requirements.
Along with the boarding and debark of voyagers, at a ship port, the necessary requirements to sustain the voyagers and the crew is also loaded onto the vessels. This further adds to the indispensability of these ports. Apart from these elaborations about a port of call, the interpretation of the term also includes a person’s intended pit-stop while undertaking a long recreational trip.
Ports form an indispensable component of the oceanic domain. Without their presence, the whole aspect of maritime operations becomes redundant. Over the years, the development of technology has brought about a lot of improvements in the port sector, thereby adding to its import and credibility in its routine state-of-affairs.