Feb 06, 2016 (LBO) – Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) said that the Hambantota Port would receive the largest cruise ship to call at the port, MS Rotterdam, this Sunday.
Measuring 238 m in length with 600 staff, MS Rotterdam is a luxury cruise ship from Netherlands. The ship will leave from Cochin harbor, Indian and arrive at the Hambantota port at 8.am with 1,176 passengers on board.
‘EUROPA 2’ was the biggest cruise liner to call at Hambantota port so far, the SLPA said in a statement. Measuring 226m in length the ship dropped anchor on 29th of January.
The MS Rotterdam is renowned as one of the biggest of luxury cruise liners and can carry 1,500 passengers. SLPA said that thus far the Hambantota port has received 13 passenger ships.
Minister of Ports and Shipping Arjuna Ranatunga said he could see the trend of Hambantota port receiving luxury passenger ships, adding this would bring business opportunities to the people in the area.
“We can focus on several sectors when carrying out the development process of the Hambantota port. First is developing the industrial zones at the port area. This area has great cultural and historical value.”
“Kirinda, Kataragama, Sella- Kataragama has great cultural and historical value. As well as Bundala, Palatupana, Yala and Udawalawa can be mentioned as environmentally significant areas.”
“Tourists visit these places to see wild animals. So it has great potential to increase number of vessel arrivals to Hambantota port.”
“The port would not receive significant income from the passenger vessels. But it creates indirect job opportunities for the people in the area.”
“So I think increasing the number of tourist vessel received at the Hambantota port would add value for the economy,” the minister added.