Colombo welcomes luxury ship

Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau, along with the officials of Sri Lanka Port Authority (SLPA), welcomed the vessel ‘Arcadia’ yesterday (February 3rd), at a brief ceremony held in the Colombo harbour.

This luxury carrier, owned by the UK based company Carnival PLC, had more than 2100 tourists on board, consisted of the British, Australia, New Zealand and Brazil nationals.

The local excursion tour operator Gemini Tours and Travels was thereafter busy with taking tourists in the ship to the prearranged destinations; Kandy, Pinnawala and Colombo City Tour.

Arcadia has 11 decks inclusive of a state-of-the-art swimming pool, an auditorium, a gym and a restaurant. Having set sail from the UK on the 3rd of January this year, the vessel was berthed at Cochin, India, just before resuming its journey to Colombo.

According to the SLPA officials, more than 20 such luxury carriers, coordinated by the Shipping Agency Services (Pvt) limited, had already been programmed to tie up in Colombo by the end of 2012.

This good news to those who are involved in the tourism sector is also vital to the economic development of the island, which has high expectations to boost the number of tourist arrivals to 950,000 by the end of the year, Sri Lanka Tourism said.