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 A memorable cruise from Prime Destinations

A voyager class ship of the Royal Carribbean

Prime Destinations (the Leisure wing of HEMAS Travels) as the sales and marketing representative in Sri Lanka and the Maldives for Royal Carribbean International (RCI)to is ready to provide Sri Lankan travellers a unique holiday on board, said Marketing Executive of Prime Destination Warren Ahamet.

Prime Destinations represents three cruise liners under RCI, namely Royal Carribean, Celebrity and Azamara since 1998.

Singapore is all set with new infrastructure projects to enhance its position of being the Cruise Hub of Asia. The Sri Lankan market already enjoys great connectivity and short flying time to Singapore, he said.

According to a report by The Ocean Shipping Consultants; Asia can expect a 44 percent growth in cruise passengers by 2010. By 2015, the number of Asian cruise passengers is expected to hit 2.02 million, an 88.79 percent increase over 10 years, making the cruise sector one of the fastest growing segments in the tourism industry.

Area Director of Singapore Tourism Board for Sri Lanka, Southern India and the Maldives Kiran Bhandari told Daily News Business that Singapore is set to grab 21 percent of the market with an expected 1.6 million cruise passengers by 2015.

To support this goal, Singapore international cruise infrastructure will be doubled in capacity with the opening of the new International Cruise Terminal at Marina South which will be operational in 2010, Bhandari said.

He said that the new International Cruise Terminal will greatly enhance visitor experience in Singapore as it has been designed not only to be architecturally attractive but also to ensure a smooth and seamless experience for passengers.

The terminal will feature a spacious arrival and departure hall as well as a large ground transportation area to facilitate passenger movement.

The most unique feature about the new terminal is the waves and nautical elements that take centre stage in its design. Taking an angular rather than curvilinear form, the rooftop waves will appear as an imaginative mosaic of shapes and patterns which passengers will experience as constantly changing views as the ship approaches land, adding to the sense of anticipation as visitors take in the Singapore skyline. The new terminal building will also feature designated areas for taxis, coaches and private cars to allow efficient vehicular access and movement.

A waterfront promenade and park will provide disembarking passengers a pleasant arrival experience and distinctive night lighting will enhance the city skyline at night, making it a world-class hub for cruise passengers.

The Singapore Cruise Centre reported a cruise passenger count of over 943,000, in 2007, an increase of more than 10 percent over the previous year. A similar increase in numbers is expected for 2008-09.

Recognizing this growth potential, and the Singapore Government's efforts in building excellent infrastructure, cruise operators are offering a wide range of itineraries.

Leveraging on the Singapore position between major international maritime routes, and its excellent air connectivity to more than 190 destinations in 60 countries a number of cruise companies has chosen to create a base in Singapore to strengthen their Asian presence.

Exotic and romantic packages are offered by cruise liners ranging from two nights to 27 nights sailing across Asia to the Middle East and Europe.

Sri Lanka Ports Authority
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