Sri Lanka lures another cruise line

Apr 25, 2012 (LBO) – Sri Lanka is getting more cruise ship calls after the end of its 30-year war with the latest being the vessel MV L’Austral operated by the French cruise line Compagnie du Ponant, a statement said. The cruise vessel, owned by CMA CGM, the third largest container shipping line, made her maiden voyage at Colombo on April 23 with over 170 passengers and 120 crew members on board.

Its call to Colombo followed its call to the southern port of Galle, which the Sri Lanka Ports Authority said was emerging as the island’s top cruise destination.

SLPA chairman Priyath Wickrama said the port of Galle is being develop as a tourist port with tourist arrivals increasing after the end of the 30-year ethnic war in 2009.

Tourist arrivals rose 21.3 percent to 91,500 in March 2012 from a year earlier.