MEDIA CENTER FOR NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT OF SRI LANKA
FERRY SERVICES AND CRUISE SHIPS BETWEEN SRI LANKA AND INDIA
The first ferry is scheduled to set off from Tuticorn to the Colombo harbor tomorrow. The promotion of the service started on May 2nd, and it is informed that there had been many bookings.
This service will resume tomorrow after 30 years. This service will be an additional boost to the tourist industry and it will also immensely help the small businessmen who travel between the two countries for their business activities.
Meanwhile, an Indian cruise ship owned and operated by a Chennai-based AMET Shipping India will start calling at Sri Lankan ports from this month offering cruises starting at 10,000 Sri Lankan rupees a night. Reports from India said that thecruise service is being launched not only to cater to tourists but also to train cadets of the maritime university, AMET (Academy of Maritime Education and Training) university group, which owns AMET Shipping India.
AMET Shipping chief executive P Bharathi said the vessel MV Amet Majesty will operate from harbours in India's eastern and western coasts, shifting routes and ports of calls to avoid the region's twin monsoons. He said that regular cruise calls will start once the ship, acquired from Star Cruises, is fully refurbished.
The academy has to give placements to 400 cadets a year, therefore, the AMET management has decided the best option is to go for a cruise ship to train students and bring tourists at the same time.
The vessel will operate from the Indian ports of Chennai, Mumbai, Goa and Cochin. The ship has 267 cabins and nine decks of which decks 4-9 will be for passengers. It also has duty free shops, a pool, spa, restaurants and night clubs.
Cruise prices start from 10,000 Sri Lankan rupees per person a night which includes meals and entertainment.
The cruise operators chosen to launch the cruise service because of its proximity and as India is now the biggest tourist generating market for Sri Lanka. Many Sri Lankans also visit India, for sight-seeing, pilgrimage or shopping.(niz)