COLOMBO : Sri Lanka’s Hambantota International Port (HIP) said on Thursday that it received over 6,000 tourists in November and December this year.
They were passengers arriving on five cruise liners that called at the port, the HIP said in a press release.
Among the cruise liners, the Azamara Journey docked on Nov. 29, carrying 620 passengers, and the Mein Schiff 5 called at the HIP on Dec. 11, carrying 2,200 passengers, according to the HIP.
The Celebrity Millennium ship docked twice in December, carrying 3,500 passengers in total, and Nautica arrived on Dec. 19, bringing 498 visitors.
To date this year, HIP has recorded approximately 22 cruise ship calls with most of them arriving from Chennai, via Cordelia Cruise Lines. The shipping line, which offers holiday packages to Indian and international travelers, made a number of ship calls to HIP from June to September this year, on their cruise liner ‘Empress.’ Approximately 7500 tourists arrived at the port throughout the year.
The Nautica and the Celebrity Millennium are bound for Phuket Thailand as their next port of call while the ‘Azamara Journey’ is headed to Sabang, Indonesia. The Mein Schiff 5 is on her onward journey to the Langkawi archipelago in Malaysia. The port’s initiatives to develop the cruise business as well as enhanced facilities to ships and passengers have paid off, resulting in the increase of ship calls HIP.