Ushering in a new wave of inbound luxury cruise tourists to Sri Lanka, Advantis, the transportation and logistics arm of the Hayleys Group, welcomed the Ms Empress of Cordelia Cruises on the 7th of June, 2023.
Leveraging the newly forged partnership with India’s top cruise line Cordelia Cruises, the Advantis team warmly welcomed 1,600 tourists from Chennai, as they made their inaugural stop at the Hambantota International Port. Disembarking passengers were garlanded with flowers and treated to a warm Sri Lankan welcome complete with Kandyan dancers and traditional drummers.
“We are delighted to welcome Cordelia Cruises and embrace a completely new segment of luxury cruise tourists. Today marks a significant milestone in our efforts to revitalise and unlock substantial commercial opportunities for the tourism value chain, as well as capitalise on our island’s vast untapped potential as a global hotspot for cruises,” Hayleys Group Chairman and Chief Executive Mohan Pandithage said.
With Advantis and Cordelia Cruises combining their expertise and resources, their shared mission is to unlock the full potential of Sri Lanka and position the country as a top destination for luxury travellers seeking exceptional experiences.
“Our partnership with Advantis is the first step in positioning both Sri Lanka and India as premier destinations for discerning travellers across South Asia. By seamlessly integrating these unique and diverse holiday destinations, we aim to chart new horizons for tourists and stimulate economic growth for both nations,” Cordelia Cruises President and CEO Jurgen Bailom stated.
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. Setting the stage for an unforgettable journey around the island for passengers, the vessel embarked on its inaugural sailing to Sri Lanka from the Port of Chennai on 5th June 2023.
Commenting on the partnership, Advantis Managing Director, Ruwan Waidyaratne said, “As an island nation, Sri Lanka has attracted maritime trade and travel for centuries. However, in the modern age, our nation is yet to leverage its natural advantages to the best of our ability. Through our alliance with Cordelia Cruises, we are able to facilitate the first-ever cruise sailing operation around the island, offering a remarkable opportunity for travellers to explore the rich heritage, breathtaking natural beauty, and vibrant cultural diversity of Sri Lanka. We look forward to working in close partnership with the Cordelia team to attract at least 80,000 visitors within the next four months alone.”
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 spread 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 and Aviation.