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 Ocean Princess cruises to Colombo
 

 

A plaque exchange ceremony was held on board the cruise ship MV OCEAN PRINCESS in celebration of its maiden call to Colombo with 672 passengers on the 10th of October, 2013. The agency services for this cruise line is provided by Messrs. Malship (Ceylon) Limited, a company representing many International Shipping Lines in the Conventional and Container shipping business. Ocean Princess is currently on a 38-day Western Mediterranean Cruise from Dover to Singapore.

Ocean Princess, formerly R Four, and Tahitian Princess, is an R-class cruise ship owned by Princess Cruise Liner. She mainly sails around the French Polynesian islands, Society Islands, Cook Islands, Marquesas Islands, and often sails to Hawaii. In November 2009 the Tahitian Princess was renamed “Ocean Princess” to reflect a more global theme. Ocean Princess is an elegant ship that features superb décor in the grand public rooms reminiscent of classic liner days. Over sixty percent of the rooms have outside balconies. It has two elegant restaurants, the Sterling SteakhouseSM and Sabatini’sSM, featuring menus that passengers’ taste buds will never ever forget.

To mark the significance of this move to the SLPA, plaques were exchanged between the Chairman of SLPA Dr. Priyath B Wickrama and the Master of the cruise ship MV OCEAN PRINCESS Capt. Carlo Servillo in the presence of senior officials of SLPA and the officials of Messrs. Malship (Ceylon) Limited.

Commenting on the significance of the occasion, Dr. Priyath B. Wickrama, Chairman, SLPA said, “The Mahinda Chinthana Vision is to drive tourism to new heights by doubling the hotel room capacity to 50,000 by year 2016 with US$ 3 billion FDI. The Sri Lanka Tourism Strategy for the period 2011 to 2016, launched in November 2011, aims to welcome 2.5 million arrivals by 2016 which will increase tourism earnings by over five times to US$ 2.75 billion a year. The Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) is fully poised to shoulder the development of this sector. The SLPA has already taken the initiative to contribute to this endeavor of the government.

It will develop the Port of Galle to be the most sought after cruise destination in Sri Lanka. Plans are afoot to fully develop the Port of Galle as a Tourist Port.

To give you some recent statistics, Sri Lanka's tourist arrivals surged 26.1 percent in August 2013 from a year earlier to 100,224 and total arrivals up to August were up 14.3 percent to 711,446. The booming economy of the country resulting from the dawn of peace has created a conducive climate for a boost in the Tourism Industry in Sri Lanka.

In this context, whilst working in tandem with the tourism sector, Sri Lankan ports have vitally important roles to play”.

Expressing his views on the occasion, Capt. Nihal Kappetipola, Managing Director, SLPA said, “We have recently seen an increase in the cruise vessels arriving in the Port of Colombo, which was a very rare occurrence before 2009.

I am also happy that tourist arrivals are increasing.

This trend betokens a new era for the tourism industry in Sri Lanka which is on the threshold of an economic renaissance with huge maritime-related infrastructure development projects in the port sector”.

“Therefore, it is important that our ports and coastal destinations are carefully managed and smartly promoted for the sustainable growth of this important market segment.

This apart, in order for Sri Lanka to fully capitalize on this growing tourism sector, it is extremely necessary to examine the current trends and future directions of the worldwide cruise industry.

I thank local operator Messrs. Malship (Ceylon) Limited for their efforts in introducing Colombo to the itineraries of Princess Cruises” he further said.

Mackey Hashim, Managing Director of Messrs. Malship (Ceylon) Limited also remarked at the ceremony “Our principals are eager to help Sri Lanka mark its global presence by including Colombo in their popular cruise itineraries and we are really proud to be associated with the renowned Princess Cruise Liner as their local representative. We are ready to shoulder the efforts of the Government of Sri Lanka to earn their projected income from tourism in the coming years”.
(DN-17102013)

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