CMA CGM, the world’s third largest container shipping line’s Cruise arm COMPAGNIE DU PONAT made its maiden voyage to Colombo Sri Lanka on the 14th November as it called at Sri Lanka Ports Authority.
With successful emergence of long lasting peace in the country, CMA CGM Lanka Pvt Ltd, a subsidiary of the blue chip conglomerate, Hayleys Plc requested through its long associated principal in France, CMA CGM, to commence their world renowned luxury Cruise services in Sri Lanka. In response to the request, luxury Vessel Mv. LE DIAMANT, was the first Cruise Liner to call three ports in the Country, Colombo, Galle & Trincomalee respectively on the same voyage.
This voyage is of great significance since a Cruise Liner is touching the port of Trincomalee, the world’s 2nd largest natural harbour after 30 years. The local agents CMA CGM Lanka together with Hayleys PLC are enthusiastic in supporting the ongoing tourist promotion initiatives.
LE DIAMANT that called Colombo on Sunday the 14th November 2010 has capacity of 112 cabins and is one of the 5 luxury cruise ships owned and operated by CMA CGM Group Cruise arm COMPANGNIE DE PONANT. This much anticipated vessel is touching Sri Lanka during her round voyage and in addition to covering Colombo, Galle and Trincomalee ports the passengers will have the opportunity of visiting key land mark and historical sites in the country.
To mark this Historic occasion a plaque exchanging ceremony was held on board Mv. LE DIAMANT. The Harbour Master of Sri Lanka Ports Authority Capt. Ravi Jayawickrama on behalf of the Chairman Sri Lanka Port authority graced the occasion along with other top SLPA official today at the SLPA passenger jetty where the vessel berthed. This function was also attended by the Board of Directors, Management staff of CMA CGM Lanka along with top officials from Sri Lanka Customs, French High Commission and the Department of Merchant Shipping. Director ( Port Operations) SLPA G.A.Thalagala, Director (Finance) Shirani Wanniarcchchi, Chief Operations Manager (Container Operations) Jayantha Perera, Chief Manager (Marketing and Business Development) Upul Jayathissa and Deputy Habour Master Capt. A.Hevawitharana were also present at the occasion.
The second such voyage is also planned for May 2011, the same 5 star luxury cruise vessel will call Sri Lanka once again. This indeed poses a positive sign, of the international community regaining confidence and perceiving Sri Lanka as a safe and one of the best tourist destinations in the world with the ending of the long prolonged war.