Ocean Princess to dock in Sri Lanka for first time tomorrow
Wednesday, 9 October 2013 00:00
By Cheranka Mendis
Worldlink, international sales agents in Sri Lanka for Princess Cruises for over ten years will host the luxury cruise, Ocean Princess tomorrow at the Colombo port.
This is the first time Ocean Princess will call on Sri Lanka. Princess Cruises is the world’s leading cruise company.
At a time when cruise tourism is considered the fastest growing segment in the global tourism sector, the likes of Ocean Princess calling on Sri Lanka shows the country’s potential to attract luxury brands as the industry readies to welcome 2.5 million tourists to the country by 2015.
Ocean Princess is likely to pay an annual visit to the country here onwards, Worldlink Travel Group Managing Director Ahintha Amerasinghe said.
The 593 ft long cruise ship can host 680 passengers and has over 200 balconies and sails to some of the most exotic destinations in the world. The elegant ship teems with rich accents and a charm that harkens back to a more celebrated era of ocean travel. While small in size, one can enjoy grand amenities, like Sabatini’s SM and Sterling Steakhouse, SM their refined specialty restaurants, the soothing Lotus Spa® and fitness center, a lavish casino and an array of bars, lounges and live entertainment.
Amerasinghe speaking to Daily Ft noted that Worldlink is the international sales and marketing sole agents in Sri Lanka for Princess Cruises. “The most popular places for cruises have been identified as Alaska, Caribbean Islands, the Mediterranean and Baltic,” he said. “From next year Princess will base a ship in Singapore for short-haul Asian cruises.” He stated that customarily a cruise would include a minimum seven night stay and the short-haul cruise from next year will feature four to five night cruises to shorter distances.”
Considered in the high-end luxury segment of tourism, cruises are fast becoming popular in the world, he asserted. “In Sri Lanka some two to three cruises will come by every year. This is an important market as close to 600-1000 travel in cruises.” Under Worldlink close to 200 Sri Lankans use Princess Cruises annually over the past few years. “Cruises have been considered the largest growing segment in the tourism sector. This is why we see names such as Princess investing a large number on new ships.”
Maintaining what he acknowledged as a ‘cruise centre’ in Colombo, Worldlink is the General Sales Agent for Cunard Lines (owners and operators of the world’s best known and luxurious cruise liners – Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria 2). Worldlink is also the general agent for Costa Cruises, P&O cruises and Uniworld River Cruises. They hold direct online access to all said cruises.