Sri Lanka to have its first year-round cruise ship

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Travellers will soon be able to take a luxury cruise from Sri Lanka, as the country receives its first homeported ship.

Royal Asian Cruises, which currently has offices in the US and India, will invest US$200 million to acquire and operate two vessels from the country.

The first, will be an 800-passenger ship scheduled to launch late next year.

The second will accommodate up to 2,000 people and is expected to set sail early 2016.

Both vessels will be luxury ships, although the company hasn’t released specific design details. They will be used on three- to – 11-night cruises to the Maldives and Singapore.

Royal Asian Cruises managing director Mano Sinnarajah said the venture will provide direct and indirect benefits to locals and the economy.

“Starting from the provisioning services from local businesses the cruise vessel will require in operating from Sri Lanka to the natural shopping and spending capability of the passengers and crew that will arrive on a weekly basis.”