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KKS Port opens with MS Empress luxury vessel calling over from Chennai

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The MS Empress arriving at the KKS Port.
The MS Empress arriving at the KKS Port.

Ushering in a new era of maritime travel and tourism in Sri Lanka, particularly in the Northern region, the Kankesanturai Port Passenger Terminal (KKSPS) in Jaffna was officially inaugurated last Friday. The inaugural vessel to grace the port was the magnificent MS Empress from Cordelia Cruises, marking a momentous occasion.

The opening ceremony was attended by Minister of Ports, Shipping, and Aviation, Nimal Siripala de Silva, Minister of Fisheries, Douglas Devananda, and other distinguished guests. The KKSPS, constructed by the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) at a cost of Rs. 450 million, promises to revolutionize passenger travel in the region.

Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva inaugurating the terminal alongside Minister Douglas Devananda.

As the MS Empress, belonging to Cordelia Cruises, made its maiden call at the KKS Port, passengers were greeted with streamlined services provided by the SL Customs and Emigration and Immigration facilities at the terminal. The vessel docked at the outer harbor, and passengers were transported to the terminal via passenger boats, where they underwent necessary clearance procedures.

The introduction of passenger ships to Sri Lanka not only aims to generate revenue but also aims to foster friendship and strengthen the bond between the two nations. Minister de Silva emphasized the government’s commitment to bolstering Jaffna’s economy by providing opportunities for local products to be sold at the passenger terminal.

Furthermore, the Government of India has allocated funds for the development of the Kankesanturai port. Once received, these funds will be utilized to complete the port’s development, including the construction of two new jetties, a warehouse, and the enhancement of the existing jetty.

The new terminal will accommodate up to 200 passengers at a time.

The Minister highlighted that these developments would enable larger ships to access the port and offer exceptional facilities to tourists. He expressed his excitement at witnessing the grand arrival of the MS Empress in Jaffna, which not only demonstrates the rising prominence of the region as a desirable tourist destination but also has the potential to stimulate economic growth.

“We anticipate that the influx of tourists through this venture will stimulate various sectors, including hospitality, retail, transportation, and local businesses, creating a ripple effect of prosperity for the communities in and around all three regions the MS Empress will be calling on; Hambantota, Trincomalee, and Jaffna,” Minister de Silva stated.

The arrival of the MS Empress heralds a new era of cruise tourism in Sri Lanka, facilitated by a groundbreaking partnership between the Advantis Group, the transportation and logistics arm of Hayleys PLC, and India’s leading cruise line, Cordelia Cruises.

“Our collaboration with Cordelia Cruises ushers in a new age of travel in Sri Lanka. Together with the Cordelia team, we aim to attract a minimum of 80,000 visitors within the next four months, showcasing the diverse offerings of our country.

This partnership not only promises significant economic growth but also fosters intercultural connections and promotes sustainable development,” expressed Advantis Group Managing Director Ruwan Waidyaratne.

The Travel and Aviation arm of the Advantis Group will act as the General Sales Agent, while Clarion Shipping, a subsidiary of the Advantis Group, will serve as the Port Agent for Cordelia Cruises in Sri Lanka.

To commemorate the maiden call of the vessel at the KKS Port, a special plaque exchange ceremony.

Monday, June 19, 2023 – 01:00

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