A British beauty carrying the name ‘Aurora’, made her graceful appearance on the Colombo port on 6 February, coming from Mumbai port, India. This was of course the beautiful passenger vessel, Aurora, who will end her long journey at Southampton, England, 22 April.
This gigantic vessel was built in the year 2000, carrying 850 crew members, and the ability of carrying 2000 passengers, and 889 feet in length (271m). It carries passengers from all over the globe, such as from UK, England, Oman, Dubai, India, and the majority being from UK and England. The increasing number of passenger vessels indicates that Sri Lanka is highlighted not only as a popular tourist destination but also as a valuable stop by for passenger vessels, having several natural harbours since the ancient times. On its arrival to Sri Lanka, it carried 1,000 passengers who explored with much enthusiasm of what this paradise island had to offer, enriched with natural resources and cultural elegance.
The visitors on board were given a warm welcome by the Sri Lanka Tourism officials, and were given brochures and information on board by Tourist Information Staff of Sri Lanka Tourism. The guests had the opportunity of visiting the Pinnawala elephant orphanage, visiting Bentota, Hikkaduwa and Negombo, the tea plantations, the temple of the sacred tooth relic in Kandy , Mount Lavinia Beach, Colombo City attractions and shopping in Colombo, all organised and handled by Luxasia Travel.
They had also had a sightseeing tour within the Colombo city limits, with the assistance of Shipping Agency Services Ltd. The tourists were pleased with the experience of having the opportunity of exploring a different destination which was compact and amazing. The vessel has a galore of exquisite facilities.
Soon after Aurora, another passenger vessel embarked on the shores of the island. This was ‘Costa Neo Classica’ which arrived on 14 February, at the Colombo port, coming from the Maldives. The guests were welcomed by Sri Lanka Tourism officials and were entertained by a cultural dancing troupe. It will sail back to the Maldives on 24 February. Comprising of 600 crew members and the ability of carrying 1,443 passengers, it was built in 1991.
During its short stay, the visitors on board were able to explore the Pinnawala elephant orphanage, Bentota Beach, and go on Colombo and a Negombo city tour. The ground handling was done by Exotic Holidays whilst the local shipping line was Aitken Spence. The arrival of these passenger vessels will certainly take Sri Lanka to greater heights, by promoting the natural and cultural gifts it has to offer, through their explorations.