The MS Empress, the first luxury vessel from Cordelia Cruises to Sri Lanka, was welcomed at the Kankesanturai Port (KKS), Jaffna, ushering in a new era of maritime travel and tourism for the Northern region.
As the luxury cruise liner made its inaugural voyage to Jaffna, Hon. Minister – Nimal Siripala De Silva, Chairman of Sri Lanka Ports Authority – Keith Bernard, and other distinguished officials, along with the Management of Advantis Group, extended a warm welcome to the crew and guests of Cordelia Cruises at the ceremonial welcome held at the KKS Port.
“We are thrilled to witness the docking of the magnificent MS Empress in Jaffna, marking the first time a cruise ship has ever called the KKS Port. This momentous occasion not only showcases the growing prominence of Jaffna as a sought-after tourist destination but also holds the potential to drive economic growth in the area. We envision a future where the region thrives as a flourishing hub of cultural heritage and vibrant economic activity.
“We anticipate that the influx of tourists through this venture will stimulate various sectors, including hospitality, retail, transportation, and local businesses, creating a ripple effect of prosperity for the communities in and around all three regions the MS Empress will be calling on; Hambantota, Trincomalee and Jaffna,” said Hon. Minister – Nimal Siripala De Silva.
The arrival of the MS Empress marks the beginning of a new era of cruise tourists to Sri Lanka brought on by a landmark partnership between the Advantis Group, the transportation and logistics arm of Hayleys PLC, and India’s top cruise line Cordelia Cruises.
“Our alliance with Cordelia Cruises heralds a new age of travel in Sri Lanka. As a pioneer in transportation and logistics, with expertise in maritime services, we are focused on supporting all opportunities for generating growth in travel and tourism. Together with the Cordelia team, we aim to attract at least 80,000 visitors within the next four months alone, showcasing the diverse offerings of the country. This partnership not only promises to generate significant economic growth, but also foster intercultural connections and promote sustainable development,” said Ruwan Waidyaratne, Managing Director of Advantis Group.
The MS Empress boasts 796 cabins across five distinct categories, each filled with state-of-the-art amenities, providing unparalleled luxury and comfort to its 1,600 passengers. The vessel embarked on its inaugural sailing to Sri Lanka from the Port of Chennai on 5th June 2023.
The Travel and Aviation arm of the Advantis Group will serve as the General Sales Agent, while Clarion Shipping, a subsidiary of the Advantis Group, will act as the Port Agent for Cordelia Cruises in Sri Lanka.
Advantis is Sri Lanka’s most diversified transportation and logistics provider, with over six decades of experience and operations across Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, the Maldives, Myanmar, Singapore and Thailand. Backed by the blue-chip multinational conglomerate Hayleys PLC, Advantis is at the forefront of the transportation and logistics industries providing end-to-end solutions covering Integrated Logistics, Projects and Engineering, Marine and Energy, International Freight Management and Travel & Aviation.