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MS Empress to rake in USD 18 Mn in first 4 months

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Advantis welcomes Cordelia Cruises to Hambantota :
Hayleys Ruwan Waidyaratne addressing the event at the cruise ships marquee theater. Picture by Shirajiv Sirimane
Hayleys Ruwan Waidyaratne addressing the event at the cruise ships marquee theater. Picture by Shirajiv Sirimane

The MS Empress cruise ship arrived with 1,600 passengers onboard yesterday ushering in a new wave of inbound luxury cruise tourists to Sri Lanka. This is also the first time that the Chennai Sri Lanka Cruise was initiated.

“We anticipate 80,000 tourist arrivals in the first 4 months of our operation and pump in around USD 18 million to the Sri Lanka from this operation,” said Cordelia Cruises President and CEO Jurgen Bailom.

In addition we will also use several local services for the ship as well from local ports. Asked by Daily News Business if it was difficult to market Sri Lanka due to the economic situation in Sri Lanka he answered in the negative. “We wanted to launch this cruise a year ago, when Sri Lanka was in a very bad economic state, but even then we never had negative sentiments for Indian passengers to sail to Sri Lanka.”

“Our partnership with Advantis is the first step in positioning both Sri Lanka and India as premier destinations for discerning travellers across South Asia. Today marks a significant milestone in our efforts to revitalize and unlock substantial commercial opportunities for the tourism value chain, as well as capitalise on our island’s vast untapped potential as a global hotspot for cruises,” Hayleys Advantis Managing Director Ruwan Waidyaratne said.

“This service will unlock the full potential of Sri Lanka and position the country as a top destination for luxury travellers seeking exceptional experiences,” he added.

The MS Empress boasts 796 cabins across five distinct categories, each filled with state-of-the-art amenities, providing unparalleled luxury and comfort to its 1,600 passengers. Director Marketing Sri Lanka Tourism, Dushan Wickramasuriya said that this will have a major positive impact for the tourism sector and help to boost arrivals in bigger numbers.”

Chairman Sri Lanka Ports Authority Keeth Bernard said that Sri Lanka is fast making a name as a preferred cruise destination and already 31 cruise ships had visited Sri Lanka this year. He also thanked the Sri Lanka Navy for assisting to rebuild KKS port for this operation.

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

Thursday, June 8, 2023 – 01:00

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