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Luxury cruise ship docked at H’tota Port last week

Over 200 passengers from the cruiseliner took advantage of the stopover, making day trips to Yala, Bundala, Udawalawe, Kataragama, and Ella.

The luxury cruise liner ‘Europa 2’ docked at the Hambantota Port last week for an overnight stay, allowing over 200 passengers onboard to experience Sri Lanka, a statement from the Hambantota International Port Group (HIPG) said.

Hapag-Loyed ‘s Europa 2 was the first luxury cruiser to visit Sri Lanka since the Easter Sunday bombings and is also the first time a cruise ship stopped overnight at the Hambantota Port.

According to HIP Group, passengers visited Yala, Bundala, Udawalawe, Kataragama and Ella during their stay.

“Despite security being tightened within the port premises, our operations teams were able to personally look into speedy passenger movements in and out of the port to visit places of attraction in and around Hambantota within the time frame they had. We made every effort to make their movements hassle free. The feedback we have received from the tour operator was extremely positive,” CEO of Hambantota International Port Services (HIPS) Capt. Ravi Jayawickrema said.

The visit of Europa 2 is a boost for Sri Lanka’s tourism industry which took a hit after the Easter attacks, the statement said.