Sri Lanka, an anchor destination for new Indian Ocean cruise

Sri Lanka's state minister of defence Ruwan Wijewardene (L) takes part in a press conference in Colombo on April 24, 2019. - A Sri Lankan security dragnet hunting those responsible for horrifying bombings that claimed more than 350 lives has scooped up a further 18 suspects, police said April 24, as pressure mounted on politicians to explain why no one acted on intelligence warnings. (Photo by ISHARA S. KODIKARA / AFP) (Photo credit should read ISHARA S. KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images)

May 03, 2012 (LBO) – A new Indian Ocean cruise is due to open this winter, ferrying passengers to Sri Lanka’s main port of Colombo, targeting some 4,000 up market tourists from German speaking countries, officials said. Mooted by FTI Group, a German tour operator, the 206-cabin cruise liner carrying some 400 passengers, will sail to Muscat, Mumbai, Goa and Kochi over a four-month period.

Priced at 1,300 euros per person, passengers have the option of joining the cruise liner in either Dubai or Colombo, FTI director Lal Wijesinghe told reporters in Colombo on Wednesday.

“Our customer profile is retired fairly wealthy German speaking clients from Germany, Austria and Switzerland looking for a two to three weeks’ vacation,” said the Sri Lankan born Wijesinghe.

Passengers have the option of taking a holiday in Dubai or Colombo, touring local sites and experiencing the culture, before or after the 10-day cruise.

“We see this as a viable springboard to showcase Sri Lanka as a multi-faceted and internationally attractive destination,” said Abbas Esufally, Chairman Diethelm Sri Lanka, FTI’s local partner.

A leisure unit of Sri Lanka’s Hemas Holding PLC group, Diethelm recently signed up with FTI to