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 Luxury Yacht ‘Sea Dream II’ makes its maiden call to Colombo

 


The Sea Dream II’s maiden call in Colombo was marked by an exchange of plaques, at a ceremony held on board “Sea Dream II’ at the passenger terminal of SLPA, between Chairman,  SLPA, Dr. Priyath B. Wickrama and the Yacht’s Master Captain Terje Willassen amongst a gathering which included Managing Director of SLPA – Capt. Nihal Keppetipola,   Harbour Master - Capt. Ravi Jayawickrama, Senior Deputy Harbour Master - Capt. Athula Hewavitharana, Managing Director of Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau - Mr. Rumy Jauffer, Chairman of Prudential Shipping - Mr. H. D Gunawardana and a host of distinguished guests invited by Helanka vacations GSA on behalf of Sea Dream Yacht Club in Sri Lanka. SLPA officials, Sri Lanka Tourism representatives and other special invitees were welcomed on board by Mr. Rohitha Mendis – Managing Director of Helanka Vacations, Mr. James Cabello – Vice President (Voyage Planning, Destinations and Land Programs), and Mr. Sudesh Kishore – President of the Sea Dream Yacht Club of India/ Corporate Chef, SDYC

“Sea Dream II”, the mega yacht, catering to affluent pleasure seekers with up market voyage experiences, called over at the passenger terminal of the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) on the 01st of November 2013. This classy and luxurious yacht owned by the Sea Dream Yacht Club USA is considered ‘The World’s best’ by acclaimed critics worldwide and the seagoing fraternity as well. 

With fifty six (56) couples on board, looking for a unique yachting experience like non other, an enchanting journey layered with exotic comfort, the yacht arrived in Colombo as part of her Asian Voyage, ‘Passage to the Far East.’ The passengers are pampered by an award-winning, attentive crew of 95 and the arrival of which was much awaited by travel enthusiasts in the region.  

On her next leg, she will sail to Singapore via Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Patong Bay and Langkawi giving all her passengers a totally unique and once-in-a-life-time experience. 

The Sea Dream II’s maiden call in Colombo was marked by an exchange of plaques, at a ceremony held on board “Sea Dream II’ at the passenger terminal of SLPA, between Chairman,  SLPA, Dr. Priyath B. Wickrama and the Yacht’s Master Captain Terje Willassen amongst a gathering which included Managing Director of SLPA – Capt. Nihal Keppetipola,   Harbour Master - Capt. Ravi Jayawickrama, Senior Deputy Harbour Master - Capt. Athula Hewavitharana, Managing Director of Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau - Mr. Rumy Jauffer, Chairman of Prudential Shipping - Mr. H. D Gunawardana and a host of distinguished guests invited by Helanka vacations GSA on behalf of Sea Dream Yacht Club in Sri Lanka. SLPA officials, Sri Lanka Tourism representatives and other special invitees were welcomed on board by Mr. Rohitha Mendis – Managing Director of Helanka Vacations, Mr. James Cabello – Vice President (Voyage Planning, Destinations and Land Programs), and Mr. Sudesh Kishore – President of the Sea Dream Yacht Club of India/ Corporate Chef, SDYC.  

At its maiden stopover in Colombo, Sea Dream II showcased its exclusive standard of cuisine and service with a video and a tour of the yacht to the representatives of SLPA, SL Tourism, guests and the Media.  

Commenting on the significance of the occasion, Dr. Priyath B. Wickrama, Chairman, SLPA said, “Sri Lanka is blessed with Sea, Sand and Sun and is rich in cultural and natural heritage – essential prerequisites to promote tourism as a development strategy. 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 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”.  

Expressing his views on the occasion, Capt. Nihal Keppetipola, 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. To give you some available statistics which I gleaned, 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. 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”.  

“After all, Sea Dream’s tag line “Its Yachting Not Cruising, Enjoy the Difference” is impressive and eye-catching. It reflects their desire to offer the traveler a unique but different voyage experience.  Their overwhelming desire to be the numero uno by distinguishing themselves in the yachting business, offering a luxurious, personalized and unforgettable experience to the passenger is quite enticing,” he further added.  

Mr. Rohitha Mendis - Managing Director of Helanka Vacations, the GSA for Sea Dream II yacht in Sri Lanka, and of Prudential Shipping, port agent for Sea Dream yachts said that the arrival of Sea Dream II to the region was an opportunity for unique holiday experiences, for the elite Sri Lankan traveler. “We are very happy to be associated with Sea Dream II’s maiden call to Sri Lanka adding Colombo to another luxury cruise operator’s itinerary and are encouraged by the response we have received so far during its maiden call to Colombo.” he further noted.  
(CPRD-04112013)

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