Hambantota Port received its first ever biggest cruise ship-MS Rotterdam, belonging to the American Line shipping company yesterday, Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) said. There were1,400 passengers and 600 crew on the vessel. Measuring 238 m in length and comprises of 600 staff, MS Rotterdam is a luxurious Netherland owned cruise ship. The ship left from Cochin harbour of India and arrived at the Hambantota port at 8.a.m.
The MS Rotterdam is renowned as one of the biggest luxurious cruise liner in world and has capability of carrying approximately 1,500 passengers.
The passengers on board toured the Hambantota dry zone botanical garden, historic places of Mulkirigala, Yala, Bundala National Parks and Sanctuary and the Udawalawa Elephant Orphanage.
Earlier ‘EUROPA 2’ cruise liner too called at Hambantota Port last January. SLPA said that thus far the Hambantota Port has been received 13 of passenger ships.
Minister of Ports and Shipping, Arjuna Ranatunga asserted that he see a new trend where Hambantota port is being patronized by luxurious passenger ships. “Increasing the number of tourist vessels at the Hambantota Port would add value for the economy,” the minister added.