MS Europa, a luxury cruise ship considered as one of the most spacious cruise ships on the market is docked at the Colombo Harbour.
On their arrival in Colombo, the guests were welcomed by the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau and were also able to enjoy a cultural performance afterwards.
The visitors were seen to be enjoying the cultural performance very much, depicting traditional dances which was a new experience to them. The MS Europa captured the attention of many people with its magnificent structure, and the public were able to get a panoramic view of the whole harbor and its surroundings.
They arrived in Colombo after a short stay in Hambantota and Galle, and went on excursions to Yala, Bandaragama Agro village and canoeing in the Koggala lake. They also visited the Galaboda tea plantation, Akuressa. Over 900 guests from Germany who were onboard the ship visited Bundala National Park, Kataragama Temple as well as Ella as part of a five-day itinerary.
“It is noteworthy that this is the first cruise liner to call over in Sri Lanka after the recent incidents. Therefore, I wish to place on record my sincere appreciation to all the passengers for deciding to visit our island paradise and especially those who were responsible for resuming passenger cruises to the country as it validates the fact that the country is safe and secure for travel,” stated Minister of Tourism, Wildlife and Christian Religious Affairs, John Amaratunga.
Nalin Jayasundara, Managing Director, Aitken Spence, expressed that this is the first cruise ship which is coming after the April 21st. ‘’This is one of the most luxurious cruise ships in the world. As the ground handling agents if this occasion, we’re most privileged to be a part of this important occasion. This is a great endorsement for destination to enhance its tourism further’’ he said.
The ship managed by Hapag-Llyod Kreuzfahrten arrived at the Hambantota Harbor on June 5 with over 400 guests.
Guests who came onboard MS Europa stayed at the Shangri La hotel in Hambantota and also in Galle. As part of their long tour in the country, the guests also will travel to Colombo where they will experience a glimpse of the street markets and shopping arcades. Heli tours will make arrangements to take them to Sigiriya and Kandy. Upon completion of their hill country tour, they will be taken to tea plantations at Ingiriya. MS Europa is scheduled to depart on 8th of June 2019.
Hapag-Lloyd Kreuzfahrten has decided to have more frequent callers to Colombo, Galle, Trincomalee and Hambantota. The ship has been awarded the coveted distinction of 5-stars-plus by the Berlitz Cruise Guide 2019.
The Cruise market is one of the priority markets for Sri Lanka tourism. It is noteworthy to mention that MS Europe is the first cruise ship to arrive to the country after April.