Hapag-Lloyd’s luxury cruise liner Europa 2, docked at the Hambantota International Port (HIP) last week for an overnight stay. Over 200 passengers from the cruise liner took advantage of the stopover, making day trips to Yala, Bundala, Udawalawe, Kataragama, and Ella. Europa 2’s visit was the first luxury cruiser in Sri Lanka, after the Easter Sunday bombing as well as being the first time a cruise ship did an overnight stop at the port. The fact that Hapag-Lloyd had the confidence to bring their most luxurious cruise ship to dock at HIP is a glowing endorsement to normalcy returning to the country, and Hambantota Port was able to provide the best to facilitate the visit.
The CEO of Hambantota International Port Services (HIPS) Capt. Ravi Jayawickrema said, “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, as they were more than satisfied with the services rendered by HIPS. With travel advisories being lifted, we hope to see more cruise ships coming into the Hambantota Port.”