Sri Lank, India ferry opens new route for people, vehicles

July 06, 2011 (LBO) – A new ferry service between India and Sri Lanka offers a cheaper alternative to airlines for tourists, traders and pilgrims and even the ability to drive across, the head of the company running the service said. “Our aim was to keep the price much less than that of airlines which is what we done,” said P K Thimmayya, chief executive of Flemingo Liners, a ferry passenger and cargo service company promoted by Flemingo Duty Free Shop and Tradex Shipping.

“What we’re offering is reasonable, not very cheap. The passengers who have done the journey seem to be reasonably happy with the pricing.”

Thimmayya said they had held talks with authorities in both countries to enable travellers to drive across in their own vehicles using the ferry ‘Scotia Prince’ which began operating in early June.

The nine-deck ferry operates twice a week between Colombo and the south Indian port of Tuticorin and can accommodate 1,044 passengers, around 300 tonnes of cargo and vehicles.

“The world over people can drive abroad. There already exists a system where travellers can take a six month permit and drive through,” Thimmayya told LBO in an interview.

Travellers wanting to take vehicles across can get the required