The Sunday Leader

‘MS MEIN SCHIFF 01’ Brings 1,850 Passengers To Sri Lanka

‘MS. MEIN SCHIFF 01’ of TUI Cruises arrived at Colombo Port with 1,850 passengers on November 13. The cruise ship started its journey from Europe via Suez canal in Egypt connecting the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea, and has sailed across several continents across the globe. The cruise targets mostly German tourists, and her approximate travel duration on this trip was between 2 (1/2) to 3 months throughout its whole journey.

This gigantic vessel had 900 crew members and 1,410 passengers joined with the excursions to explore selected areas such as Kandy, and had the opportunity to have a panoramic city tour, visit Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage, and a visit to a Tea Factory which were arranged by the Tour Excursion Agent Aitken Spence Travels and the Shipping Agent for this passenger ship, Shipping Agency Services (Pvt) Ltd.

Cruise tourism is one of the world’s fastest growing tourist sectors.  Cruise tourists are particularly concerned  about the zones in which cruise lines operate.These include the time of year, security situation of the country,climate conditions and tourist attractions, which are key factors in selecting a zone as of selecting a destination on land.

Cruise Tourism sector in Sri Lanka is developing rapidly and tremendously due to the peaceful  atmosphere and the tourism development process  in the country. At present, around 50 cruise calls take place per annum at the Colombo Port, which indicates the potential to attract tourists via another form of travelling across destinations. These cruise lines also call over at other ports such as Galle, Hambantota and Trincomalee to discover the treasures in this beautiful island and the gifts of nature it has to offer.

As a strategy to take forward this venture, Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) has identified this segment as one of the emerging sectors  in tourism development and SLTPB is jointly working with the  Sri Lanka Ports Authority  in collaboration with private sector stakeholders  and those who are  involved in the Cruise Tourism Industry in Sri Lanka.

Focusing the importance of the above niche segment, Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau has taken initiatives to organize Cultural Dance Performances for each Cruise Call, to welcome passengers to Colombo Port,  and show our hospitality, and traditional dance performances as an addition to showcase the traditional and cultural value.  The cruise passengers were highly impressed on the cultural dance performances organized by SLTPB during the arrival of the above passenger cruise to Colombo Port, making them experience an unforgettable stop over moment.

Enabling such cruise lines to make their visits on a regular basis is an efficient way of promoting destination Sri Lanka, blessed with four natural harbours and makes an excellent stop by for tourists to explore the wonder of this paradise island within a few days stay.

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